An Anonymous Coward writes:
Federal agents have persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor constitutionally protected activity.Emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers—devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars—at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, not far from the Mexican border.Agents then compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation. http://www.wsj.com/articles/gun-show-customers-license-plates-come-under-scrutiny-1475451302
Federal agents have persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor constitutionally protected activity.
Emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers—devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars—at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, not far from the Mexican border.
Agents then compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation.
First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Muslim.
> There is no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are in public.
That is an archaic assertion. At the time video cameras were larger than washing machines, computers were larger than delivery trucks and both cost significantly more than an entire year's salary. So there actually was an expectation of privacy in public, it was simply inconceivable that pervasive surveillance existed anywhere outside of science fiction. Circumstances have changed, the law needs to change to.
So there used to be an expectation of a good probability of privacy even in public places, but with new technologies, this is fading fast.
This was ensured because folks would not vote for a big enough govt to have staff to watch many given the technology of the time.The question is if a lack of expectation of privacy due to the new technology should be used to justify using the new technology.
The argument that power corrupts the good guys says that this circular argument is a bad idea.But not allowing the new technology handicaps law enforcement in the face of bad guys enabled by technology.
Perhaps the answer is to separate the gathering of information from searching or using it.First something bad has to happen,Then a very limited search of gathered information is permitted to sort out what happened.Given the invasiveness of this search, the 'badness' of the act should control how extensive the search is.This coupled with limiting the time that the information is stored and public disclosure of the searches after time might be a useful compromise.The problem is how to you build a system that can be trusted to do only this?
> Perhaps the answer is to separate the gathering of information from searching or using it.
That's a modern sword of Damocles for ordinary citizens. If the information is there, it will eventually be abused because that's human nature. We've seen exactly that scenario play out where anti-terrorism investigative powers are constantly being expanded for non-terrorist investigations to the point of frivolity even, like getting involved in protecting a Harry Potter book from leaking before release. [bbc.com]
There are only two ways to stop abuse of information: (1) don't collect it or, less effectively (2) make searching it a high-effort task, e.g. all security cameras only store their records locally on-site with the camera and are not networked, so if you want footage you have to hoof to each camera and manually copy the recording. Laws of mean can be changed and violated at will, laws of physics can not.
So are you saying that when you are walking around the grocery store or a county fair or some other public event, you assume that nobody will see what you're doing?
That's what is meant by a reasonable expectation of privacy: Things going on in your living room or your bedroom are different from walking around on the street.
Difference being if I whip out my camera and start recording you at the grocery store, you can see me (notice all those warnings in stores that security cameras are in use), I can see you and we are on somewhat of a parity.
And should I follow you out of the store, make a point to film your plate number, I think a strong case can be made for harassment, and the parallel should be obvious.
You're smart enough to realize the how close this comes to the stasi, but unfortunately are unable to extend even a modicum of concern to those who you disagree with politically.
NO, that is not what I am saying. Did you miss all that stuff about cameras and computers? Because poor reading skills are the only explanation I can come up with that doesn't otherwise point towards you being a total fucking idiot.
Being seen and then forgotten by individual people are the circumstances under which "no expectation of privacy in public" was determined to be a valid concept. Now we are seen by cameras that operate 24x7, never forget and cross reference their memories with thousands and thousands of other cameras at practically no cost.
Circumstances have changed. Ca-fucking-piche?