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posted by Dopefish on Sunday February 23 2014, @10:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the party-like-it's-1984 dept.

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."]

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @10:22AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @10:22AM (#5142)

    Since 2005/2006, Germany has a state-wide toll collection system based on automated plate recognition. Plates of all vehicles are scanned and stored, only trucks have to pay toll.

    Current legislation in Germany makes it illegal for police to use plate information from toll collect. However, it has been discussed repeatedly to make this information available to authorities to defend against "terrorist threats".

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by FuckBeta on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:54PM

    by FuckBeta (1504) on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:54PM (#5168) Homepage

    Does it really wish to bring back the MfS []?

    Godwinning the thread is warranted when the state seeks to legitimize the real time monitoring of the location and travel habits of its entire population. Traveling on foot is not a realistic opt out.

    IBM and the Holocaust [] is a book by investigative journalist Edwin Black which discusses how the NSDAP government used early computer technology to better organise genocide. With modern technology, could Hitler have failed to exterminate the Jewish population of Germany?

    Some questions we should ask when approving our government to implement a new piece of technology are:
    -in the event of a government acting unlawfully or purporting to install a dictatorship, would this technology seriously undermine the ability of the people to organise resistance?
    -could this technology be used to single out an unpopular class (trade unionists, communists, ethnic groups, the wealthy) for selective enforcement?
    -how else could this technology be abused (assuming that it will be abused due to human nature)?
    -how can we mitigate such potential for abuse (technical measures better than legal measures)? ...because fuck mass surveillance

    Quit Slashdot...because Fuck Beta!