siliconwafer writes "The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to acquire a vehicle license plate tracking system, to be used at the national level. According to the solicitation obtained by the Washington Post, commercial readers, supplied by a private company, would scan the plate of vehicles and store them in a "National License Plate Recognition" (NLPR) database. This is already being done at the state level, and privacy advocates are up in arms, with EFF and ACLU suing California over their automatic plate readers. Now that this has potential to become a broad and national program."
[ED Note: "Shortly after the Washington Post broke the story on the national plate reading system, it appears the DHS has shelved their plans for the tracking system, by order of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, at least in the interim."]
Shelved for a few months until the furor dies down. You think the 800 ton gorilla will slow down any time soon, just when it's getting everything it ever wanted? In all of history, there has never been such power to track humans on such a scale, with such accuracy and precision, as there is today--and that ability is only increasing. Since it benefits the people at the top of the status quo, it'll continue to happen, short of the status quo being radically altered.
I get the unprecedented-ability concern, but lets face it... driving on public roads is a privilege, and licence plates are there specifically for identification of vehicles that do so.
I guess I just can't see a legitimate reason why the government should *not* be allowed to use this new technology. Not even the ALCU/EFF are arguing otherwise, just that the system should be more transparent.
"...legitimate reason why the government should *not* be allowed to use this new technology."
Abuse of the collected data in the future, by people who have no morals.
They mosty definitely do not need a compete history of who when where, and when. It *will* be abused.
They will be tracking cars, not people. It's not nearly the same thing for law enforcement purposes, and within accepted practice under current laws.
Consider Google Glass. Many of the general public are afraid of the privacy implications, but geeks just shrug and tell them privacy in public is at best an illusion.
Tracking cars not people, just like 'metadata' only tracks calls, not people.
driving on public roads is a privilege
At one point in history, that may have been true but how would anyone function in modern society without being able to use public roads?
Hey, slow down!
He said "driving" on public roads is a privilege, and you said "using" public roads is essential in modern society. Don't you know that using public roads (The Way The Good Lord Intended, with feet) is a right, which nobody plans to take away*, and only these new-fangled motorcars need driving privileges granted by the state? It's for your own safety, so shut up and take your medicine!
*Y'know, aside from all the highways that are posted "motorized vehicles only"... kindly ignore those, else the state's position on the "right to travel" and the "privilege of driving" might look like some kind of farce.
If you don't own a home, and you aren't in motion, you're either trespassing, loitering, or illegally camping.
And just recently a number of cities have made it a felony to do any of the above.
Why don't we bypass all this preliminary crap and get to the desired end state? That being, tracking collars and periodic check-ins with "security officials" (similar to how ex-cons must meet with parole officers).
And maybe throw in some money to bribe people so they can rat out "suspicious" family members, friends and acquaintances...
At the rate the US imprisons people you'll all be ex-cons soon.
Not even the ALCU/EFF are arguing otherwise, just that the system should be more transparent.
You're full of shit. From the fine line to the EFF:
We will continue to push for records in this case and to encourage legislatures to pass legislation--like Michigan's and Massachusetts'--that has teeth and provides meaningful limits on the collection, retention and sharing of license plate data.
Sounds a lot like they don't feel that government should be using it, or at least not using it without serious limitations. Transparency is cited as a MEANS to make the citizen aware of abuses.
We have also argued, though, that the only way to have an informed public debate about appropriate limits on ALPRs is through greater transparency about how the technology is actually being used.
They want transparency to HAVE A DEBATE about HOW TO LIMIT license plate readers. Taking someone's words and twisting them to suit your viewpoint is a common shill tactic. (Shill.) Even the states they cite as being good are those that limit the actual collection and storage of data--they don't cite them as being good because of transparency.
Some of this legislation--like New Hampshire's, which bans police and private companies from using license plate readers, and the proposed legislation in Michigan, which would limit the retention of license plate numbers to no longer than 48 hours--are really good.
IOW, you're a shill and a bad one at that. Stop trying to put words in others people's mouths.