Justin Case writes:
If you have an IP-enabled security camera, you can download some free, open-source software from GitHub and boom—you have a fully functional automated license plate reader, reports ArsTechnica .
Matt Hill, OpenALPR's founder, told Ars technica "I'm a big privacy advocate... now you've got LPR just in the hands of the government, which isn't a good thing."
Will "they" like it when "we" have a crowdsourced database of where and when congressmen, judges and cops go throughout their work day?
Does this level the playing field? Open yet another can of worms? Both?
Thing is, there WILL be constant surveillance and monitoring. It's kind of like the people who wish nobody had guns and so try to outlaw them. Since it is unavoidable that some will have them, it's necessary that all have access.
I don't like your comparison. I don't like the implications of what you say. But, damn, maybe you're right. That's going to take a little thinking. Is it possible that to defend against surveillance, I have to be part of the surveillance network? I need to learn how to use it, and put it to my own best advantage? I need to learn how it really works, and how it can be misused, so that I can turn it around to my use?
I guess that also, when it is being misused against me, I need to be able to see that, so that I can help to prevent that misuse?
Sounds like a twisted world. But, it's probably not much more twisted than the old world. Back in past centuries, they had things like trial by fire, trial by water, and other silly twisted shit. Tomorrow, it will be trial by video evidence?
I'm putting my money on trial by trolling comment sections.
No, it wouldn't, IF we made the politicians (law makers) and executives (pay the politicians to make their laws) live in a fish bowl. When a politician CAN'T get away to a private bathroom stall to test "a wide stance" with a random dude, when a politician CAN'T get away with a little vaykay with a Congressional Page, when an executive cannot make a single statement without social media fallout, brand tarnishing etc. you will see change so fast your head will spin .
The answer is to make them live as transparently as they're forcing us to. Only we can live with the transparency. They'll die in a week when exposed to the sunlight.
This is an extremely good idea, but I would want triggers in the system to track "dedicated targets". Just like the no-fly list being secretive and difficult to get delisted from, the public list of targets we monitor (to give them 0% privacy in life) all trigger multiple, random, and nearly automated information feeds. Want to "follow" the sex lives of your politicians? You can now! You want to know the second they arrive at a Target so you can approach them and ask random appropriation committee questions? You can NOW!
Bwahahahahah..... This is the best idea since sliced bread. Make all those assholes live in a fish bowl for every second they deny and attack our privacy. Make them live the wisdom of "be careful what you ask for, you might get it". I positively just know that we would see astounding reductions in corporate crime, political corruption, bribery, etc. the moment we engaged in a mass 1% surveillance system.
Fuck surveillance on the 99%! Do it to the 1% and see what crimes we could stop.
You've not made a coherent case that other having networks of plate readers lends any level of parity.
It's not really similar to a weapon.
Deranged criminal in San Bernardino attacks, kills 14, wounds 21Deranged criminal in London-Leytonstone attacks, wounds 3
But yes, a gun culture is good, and all deranged criminals buy as many guns as they want with the general public standing up for their rights. Freedom!
Oooh oooh, now compare Paris!
Meanwhile, since October, at least 102 Palestinians have been killed wielding KNIFE against Israeli citizens.You really can't carry this anti gun rant very far before you run up against the fact that the gun is irrelevant.You can't keep insisting that everyone that mounts an attack was "deranged", with the implication that they should not have been allowed to buy a gun because the derangement was so obvious to everyone around them.
1) I'm unaware what makes a rant, please point out the key phrases in the observation that makes it worthy of the term?
> speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.
2) "at least 102 Palestinians have been killed wielding KNIFE against Israeli citizens"
Wikipedia says that 109 have been killled, but only 64 were attackers (who were the others?). They also say that these attacks killed 20 Israelis. How many Israelis would be dead if they'd had guns instead of knives?
The issue is that there is the 2nd Amendment and rather than attempt a straight up honest repeal of it, it will just gets eaten up at the corners till it no longer exists. Even if you hate guns, you have to recognize that doing away with the constitution in this manner, like we've come to realize has been done with the 4th Amendment, means you have no protections whatsoever. So instead of crying about the fact that people can legally own guns, and trying to undermine the Constitution and Bill of Rights to correct that issue, propose an amendment to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
Any other method is a de facto repeal of everything and a sure fire way to make sure we live under a completely unfettered government, one that even now shoots dead 400 people per year: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/police-killings-data/14060357/ [usatoday.com] Take a police force like that and put it in the hands of politicians unrestrained by any Constitutional boundaries, and you have death squads. In other words, don't fuck with the Constitution -- if you want to make guns illegal, do that via the Constitutionally sanctioned process which means repealing the 2nd Amendment.
if you want to make guns illegal, do that via the Constitutionally sanctioned process
Same result. When government has nothing to fear, tyranny just comes quicker.
Same result. When government has nothing to fear, tyranny just comes quicker.
And what is it that you think government has to fear from civilian gun ownership?
Let's not even get into the armaments that the Federal government, or even state national guardsmen have.
In most locations, local cops have enough guns, armor and armored vehicles to take on just about anyone with even automatic weapons. And if they can't, there's the state and federal boys. If you think you can hold off the government with guns, you're lying to yourself and others, friend.
Because no one with half a brain (including those authoritarian gub'mint Joes) really believes that any civilian group can hold territory against them.
Eventually there comes a tyrant so nasty that the Military will remember their oath.
Here, let me refresh your memory:http://www.history.army.mil/html/faq/oaths.html [army.mil]
The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)
You miss my point rather completely, sir.
Which is that the government really doesn't care if you have your long guns and/or hand guns, or even some military style MP5s, AR-15s and the like.
Should we get to the point where we have a significant number of mutinous (for *whatever* reason) military personnel, the government may well have an issue. Especially since local and state guys will likely go off the reservation long before the regular military.
All that said, no one is going to take your precious gun(s) away Frojack. Just relax. Sleep with it tonight. Caress it lovingly and call it by name. It will help.
TFA isn't even about guns. It's about the ridiculous idea that we could somehow use crowdsourcing to "get back at" those who are spying on us.
In any case, we can try to limit the amount of mass surveillance being used against us. Personally, I think we should start with our town/county/city councils and convince those folks (you know, our neighbors) that cameras everywhere and license plate readers are useful in certain circumstances, but often just trample on our rights. Once we get some local legislation limiting the use of such stuff, as well as some sane retention and disclosure standards, we can move outward from there.
Fantasy is really powerful, and is pretty much always better than reality. That said, I recommend against raising a militia and storming the statehouse or the White House or mostly anywhere else. As your mother should have (and likely tried) taught you, "use your words, Frojack!"
People who argue against gun ownership in the United States often make the point you are, that even an AR-15 doesn't matter so much against a military that can drop daisy cutters (or whatever much more powerful armament). But you and they ought to pause and reflect how much difficulty the US military has had in defeating similarly armed adversaries in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria. And those are in places where most of the American military and public don't much care if you have to kill 100 innocent children to get 1 bad guy.
Now consider an American military that is tasked with suppressing a rebellious citizenry in its own country. Is a fighter pilot from Des Moines, Iowa really going to be willing to strafe his own neighborhood? What bomber crew will obey orders to carpet bomb suburban Philadelphia? Maybe some would, but not most. Given too many of those orders, and the images of American children lying dead and dismembered in the street because some asshole in Washington DC ordered it, and most American generals would turn those guns on the politicians and the bankers that control them in a hot hurry.
There are other considerations, too, like angry patriots seizing those bases and warehouses full of big, bad weapons and destroying lines of supply for that military and all the other things that go along with guerilla warfare, but you get the picture.
It does matter very much that American citizens have guns.
If the soldiers and police had that much of a conscience why would you need guns to resist them?
Wouldn't killing unarmed people weigh more on your conscience than killing someone pointing a gun at you or your group/tribe members?
Because it's far far far easier to pressure people into arresting innocent civilians than it is to kill them. If the innocent and oppressed don't have weapons, you can use "less-than-lethal" weapons to arrest them. If you have a family locked in their house, you just bash in the front door. If instead they are armed with handguns and rifles, now it's not so simple. Now the cops have to decide if it's really worth murdering the whole family over a stupid/selfish/immoral law.
You seem to think people will have an inate view of what's right. It won't work like that. The government knows propaganda -- they have to do it well to get into government in the first place, it's evolution, survival of the fittest.
The average american will believe what the government needs them to believe, which means that when the government comes for $GROUP the rest of the country will believe that's the right move. The government may even put up a show of being reluctant, just before they put 70,000 Americans in concentration camps.
How did an armed population go then when it came to defending the constitution?
How you get from there to patriots storming government facilities is beyond me.
What's more, just off the top of my head, I came up with five places where the government suppressed armed citizenry without those folks' neighbors providing any support. Waco [wikipedia.org], Ruby Ridge [wikipedia.org], Attica [wikipedia.org], Watts [google.com] and Little Rock [wikipedia.org].
You can call people sheep or cowards or blind to the truth, but in fact, most folks in the United States (unlike places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) believe in our system of government.
Yes, our rights are being curtailed. Yes, our government representatives seem to be wallowing in filthy lucre from those who wish to twist our nation to its own ends. But at the end of the day, the vast majority of Americans believe in and support our constitutional republic.
As Churchill (at least it is most often attributed to him) succinctly put it, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."
I'm not an apologist for government and corporate intrusions into our privacy, nor am I sanguine (see what I did there?) about the prospects for fixing things in the near term.
However, AFAICT we're very far away from any sort of widespread civil insurrection in the U.S. and aside from the epidemic of local/state police murdering unarmed people, the government isn't engaged in (despite the paranoid Jade Helm [wikipedia.org] fantasies) in using the military to suppress dissent or anything else in the U.S.
In fact, aside from the (I believe) unconstitutional "constitution free zones" around border crossings, ports and airports, the Posse Comitatus Act [wikipedia.org] is not being broken.
If you think I'm wrong, please provide me with some evidence. N.B., hysterical ramblings from the blogosphere or talk radio aren't evidence.
Now consider an American military that is tasked with suppressing a rebellious citizenry in its own country. Is a fighter pilot from Des Moines, Iowa really going to be willing to strafe his own neighborhood? What bomber crew will obey orders to carpet bomb suburban Philadelphia? Maybe some would, but not most.
Those that would, would quickly find themselves at the receiving end of incoming from soldiers that could actually REMEMBER their oath.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States_who_died_in_officeEventually there comes a tyrant so nasty that the Military will remember their oath.
1) And how the fuck does people shooting presidents help? They still do shitty stuff and they already have term limits. If you think the real power would put up with stuff like "term limits" you're silly. The President is responsible for some stuff but much of the real power has moved elsewhere. Go look at who really is responsible for most of those laws and treaties.
2) Term limits are undemocratic and so is assassination of leaders.
3) The people in the USA don't seem to be so good at picking good leaders with their votes. Who really thinks they will do better picking good leaders with their guns?
4) If you pick your leaders by "most firepower" instead of "most votes" it gets quite hard to change the leader later on- since he would have the "most firepower" and by then he would have eliminated most of the major challengers already. That's why most violent revolutions lead to Dictatorships.
The issue is that there is the 2nd Amendment
No it's not. The issue here is a gun culture in the US that dates back 400 years. The 2nd amendment is a symptom of that culture, and attacking the symptoms rarely works.
"attacking the symptoms rarely works."
I agree. So, the solution would be to kill off all the progressives who happen to be hoplophobes? I could learn to like your thinking . . .
Right now, you're rights to privacy, freedom of speech/religion/press, to a public trial, and guns are all protected by the same document. You fuck with that document on one issue, you fuck with it on all issues. The history doesn't matter -- the issue is whether the government is or is not bound by the Constitution.
Except that this innate "fundamental" right for a person to own a gun goes back a whopping 30 to 40 years. For the previous several hundred years before that the 2nd was a "dead" amendment, meaning that the courts at all levels agreed on what it meant and that there wasn't any challenges based upon it. It wasn't until the NRA pumped millions and millions of dollars into lobbying, sponsoring "2nd Amendment" law professorships, etc. that suddenly there was this epiphany in this dead amendment. A Chief Justice who served for a good deal of the 20th century called the NRA actions a fraud perpetuated on the people.
It is really pathetic to hear people buy into this "fundamental protection" that has been recognized as such for, what, four years now?
This is completely revisionist history and has no basis in fact.
In the era when cannons were the highest level of sophisticated siege weaponry, citizens can and did own them for their own purposes and militia. In fact the truth is the polar opposite of what you stated: it wasn't until comparatively recently (1934 - registration and taxation; 1986 - significantly more burden before purchase) that there was any limitation whatsoever on the private ownership and use of weapons of practically any sort.
If you want to play, we're going to play with facts. Your move.
Wow. "No basis in fact." You mean the NRA didn't fund a professorship [gmu.edu] to "educate people about the 2nd Amendment"?
Do you mean that former Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative judge mind you, didn't describe the idea that the Second Amendment gives an unfettered individual right to a gun a fraud on the American public [wikipedia.org]?
You mean it wasn't a dead amendment [brennancenter.org]:
From 1888, when law review articles first were indexed, through 1959, every single one on the Second Amendment concluded it did not guarantee an individual right to a gun. The first to argue otherwise, written by a William and Mary law student named Stuart R. Hays, appeared in 1960. He began by citing an article in the NRA’s American Rifleman magazine and argued that the amendment enforced a “right of revolution,” of which the Southern states availed themselves during what the author called “The War Between the States.”
I've got lots of "facts" [pace.edu] (see footnote #3 for instance). Just what the fuck do you have for "facts"? I've got law journals. I've got historians. I'VE GOT A FUCKING CHIEF JUSTICE. What the fuck do you have?
"we're going to play with facts" Are you really that full of yourself? You ain't got shit. It isn't my move, because you're not even in the game, junior.
What the fuck do you have?
The constitution. When the second amendment mentions "the people", it is describing an individual right, just as it did in many other instances. The mere fact that it mentions a well-regulated militia as one reason it was written does not mean that the right hinges on that reason and that reason alone. That was just one justification given.
You're making a mistake here. That the government routinely did not follow the constitution in the past (and still does not do so) does not mean we should continue that tradition. Even the founders violated the constitution in some ways, but we should not follow their example.
If you want the second amendment changed, the only honest way is a constitutional amendment.
> the issue is whether the government is or is not bound by the Constitution.
Such absolutism. Seems like that sort of attitude has been in the news a lot recently.
In case you haven't noticed, the constitution has been interpreted and reinterpreted ever since it was first ratified. That's human nature - no document is sufficiently complete to cover all real-world cases, otherwise the document would be of infinite length. So, the "fuck with that document" train left the station a long time ago and really, anyone who thought it wouldn't was delusional.
The constitution is not an unchanging document; that's why it can be amended. If the government wants powers the constitution did not grant it, it needs to write a constitutional amendment. A government that violates the highest law of the land is not legitimate; it's more akin to a group of thugs that uses force to get its way.
So no, we don't need to cover all real-world cases, because the document can be amended. There is some ambiguity that gives us some wiggle room, but the government has gone far beyond that in many instances and is simply violating the constitution with impunity.
I agree that the train of constitution fuckers left the station years ago and its riders are presently so high on coke and v.iagra that the future of America as constitutional republic is basically hopeless -- especially so when the people the constitution is designed to protect are so willing to roll over and take it up the butt sans lube.
It's kind of like the people who wish nobody had guns and so try to outlaw them. Since it is unavoidable that some will have them, it's necessary that all have access.
What a myopic american-centric perspective. The rest of the 1st world doesn't have the same level of problem with gun violence as the US does. Throwing up your hands with an "all or nothing" excuse is to utterly fail to understand how people actually live their lives. Yes it is technically impossible to eliminate all guns and all surveillance, but that doesn't mean there aren't drastic steps that can be taken to vastly improve the situation. Perfect is the enemy of the good.
Okay, I'll bite. How do you propose we take surveillance and guns out of the hands of the government?
The government is purely a creation of laws. We need to put in place laws that control it' use of surveillance. The same way we have laws that prevent the government from just taking citizen's property and murdering people in the dead of night. To argue otherwise is to simply give up on the concept of democracy, you would be advocating a return to monarchy or oligarchy or some other non-representative form of government.
The same way we have laws that prevent the government from just taking citizen's property and murdering people in the dead of night.
In the US, the former is called assert forfeiture, and the latter happens because of the drug war. We should work to fix these issues, but the point is, they are not yet fixed, or at least not in the US.
Who cares about that point? The war on drugs and asset forfeiture are both creations of law. They can be uncreated by law as well. Focus, man, focus!
No, they are violations of law. Asset forfeiture, as often practiced, is a complete violation of the constitution. The drug war often uses unconstitutional methods as well. What we need is accountability for those who break the law and the politicians create the unconstitutional laws and policies. Instead, if the courts care about the constitution at all, the offending laws or policies simply get overturned, but the enforcers and creators of those laws and policies are never punished.
Sounds like you are endorsing a government that is rule of man not rule of law. Good luck with that.
Just the opposite. I want the government to follow the constitution, which is the highest law of the land. I want those in the government who violate the constitution to be punished for doing so. That's the rule of law.
So you are telling me that the solution is to use laws?
Where have I heard that before?
Oh. It was my post that you said was wrong.
I favor hanging. That would send a clear message.
Because public executions have totally eliminated corruption in China...
Thing is, there WILL be constant surveillance and monitoring.
Then there will be no democracy; not even the small amount that we have now. Stop with this defeatist attitude. It's entirely possible to limit or ban the government's use of a specific technology. By giving up, you reduce the chances of success to zero and become part of the problem.
Go ahead and ban it, they'll do it anyway. Do you think the three letter agencies will let us actually limit their powers? Just look at recent news if you're not sure.
Go ahead and ban it, they'll do it anyway.
Just like slavery continues in the US to this day or how Jim Crow laws never vanished. No one said it's going to be an easy battle, but to pretend that positive change is impossible is simply demonstrably false.
The thing with surveillance is that as technology progresses it can only get cheaper and easier. Panopticon is inevitable; the only fair thing is if access to it is equal.
The thing with surveillance is that as technology progresses it can only get cheaper and easier.
The government, however, relies on taxpayer dollars, and humans must be hired to do the work for them. Banning or limiting bad government surveillance is a lot easier than trying to disarm a country of 300 million people. It's a lot easier for random individuals to hide their guns than it is for the government to hide massive surveillance operations.
Panopticon is inevitable
With that attitude, yes.
the only fair thing is if access to it is equal.
A solution that allows for the demise of privacy is not acceptable.
Privacy is already dead. The surveillance that the government has been doing was already illegal, and that didn't stop them from doing it. Those people they hired did what they were told regardless of the constitution, probably thinking it was for the greater good.
Do you have a plan that would actually prevent people from spying on each other? Attempting to do it by law relies on people following that law, which history repeatedly has shown doesn't work. People do what they can get away with. To paraphrase: outlaw surveillance and only outlaws will have surveillance. The only way I can think of to enforce a ban on surveillance would require extensive surveillance to find out who's violating the ban.
So again, serious question, do you have a workable plan to stop surveillance?
Privacy is already dead.
It's really not. You're exaggerating. Even with the high levels of surveillance we have today, the government is neither omnipotent nor omnipresent. There are still many things it cannot see or hear, or at least not on a massive scale. We are not yet at the point where privacy is dead, and even if it was, that would be just another reason to fight to improve the situation. I'm not aware of the government having the capability to break all forms of encryption, monitor everything that goes on inside all homes, and monitor every conversation even if it takes place in real life, so privacy is far from dead.
The surveillance that the government has been doing was already illegal, and that didn't stop them from doing it.
Because there is no actual punishment for violating the constitution. The politicians who signed off on the unconstitutional laws and policies, as well as the people conducting the surveillance and everyone working for the NSA, should be put in prison. If there were actual punishments for violating the highest law of the land, this would likely reduce the chances of massive surveillance occurring.
Here's the thing: The NSA was caught violating he constitution and the politicians and employees responsible for this have not been punished. The NSA failed to keep its activities secret, so what we have to do is punish them (both low-level workers and the ones in charge) for their actions.
Attempting to do it by law relies on people following that law, which history repeatedly has shown doesn't work.
Laws that aren't properly enforced or don't apply to the situation at hand don't work. There are plenty of laws and constitutional amendments that have improved many awful situations throughout the country's history, so there is no reason to think it's impossible to improve the situation now. Laws against murder might not stop murder, but not having them and having no way to punish murderers would make the situation even worse. And an individual murderer is nothing compared to the scale of mass surveillance.
To paraphrase: outlaw surveillance and only outlaws will have surveillance.
I want to enforce the constitution to stop *mass* surveillance. Mass surveillance requires a great deal more resources and human workers in order to pull off, so it's harder to hide effectively. Again, this is different from trying to disarm an entire populace.
The only way I can think of to enforce a ban on surveillance would require extensive surveillance to find out who's violating the ban.
Although they might be few, there will probably always be people like Snowden who will try to alert us of the government's wrongdoing. The problem here is not that we don't know that the surveillance is occurring; it's that we are not holding the lawbreakers accountable.
For license plate readers and red light cameras, we should simply completely ban the government's use of them. No chance of surveillance if they don't have the equipment to pull it off. Allow no taxpayer dollars to be spent on their massive surveillance, challenge the government in court at every turn, destroy the surveillance equipment if necessary, and if and when the courts finally get the point, properly punish the government lawbreakers for trying to overthrow our constitutional form of government. Your local government is also easier to influence, so license plate readers and such should be easier to challenge.
We'll probably have to rely on whistleblowers in the end, and then we have to punish the government when it breaks the law, which we aren't doing currently.
i believe the issue is mass surveillance, not your run of the mill surveillance. however, there are wheels in motion to stop mass surveillance. it's slow, it will take years if not decades but it's merely a matter of time. the system works, it's just slow on a human timescale. while it's nice to think we can demand someone fork over a master plan to solve all of societies ills, it's best to remember that society is the plan to solve societies ills.
You're right. That's why the top echelons of those agencies need to be sent to live in Guantanamo. If they think it's cool to tear our country apart from the inside, they need to go.