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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: -1, Flamebait) by glyph on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:35PM

    by glyph (245) on Sunday February 23 2014, @12:35PM (#5166)

    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.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by LookIntoTheFuture on Sunday February 23 2014, @03:06PM

    by LookIntoTheFuture (462) on Sunday February 23 2014, @03:06PM (#5188)

    "...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.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Sunday February 23 2014, @03:12PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday February 23 2014, @03:12PM (#5190)

    They mosty definitely do not need a compete history of who when where, and when. It *will* be abused.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by glyph on Sunday February 23 2014, @03:37PM

      by glyph (245) on Sunday February 23 2014, @03:37PM (#5194)

      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.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:29PM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:29PM (#5206)

        Tracking cars not people, just like 'metadata' only tracks calls, not people.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:43PM (#5241)
        You're full of shill. Since when do we allow a police officer to follow a single vehicle, uninterruptedly, without a warrant? Simply because we can do it by automated means now, approaching continuous (due to the increasing # of cameras, license plate readers, and other surveillance technology), does not magically justify it and make it okay.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by githaron on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:41PM

    by githaron (581) on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:41PM (#5212)

    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?

    • (Score: 1) by Foobar Bazbot on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:02PM

      by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:02PM (#5223) Journal

      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.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:45PM (#5243)
        Having been homeless before, let me offer my perspective: the ONLY thing you have a right to do in this country is to keep walking. No, you may not stop and rest. No, you may not sleep outside. If you don't own a home, and you aren't in motion, you're either trespassing, loitering, or illegally camping.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by akinliat on Sunday February 23 2014, @06:52PM

          by akinliat (1898) <akinliatNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday February 23 2014, @06:52PM (#5269)

          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.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hb253 on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:51PM

    by hb253 (745) on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:51PM (#5219)

    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...

    --
    The firings and offshore outsourcing will not stop until morale improves.
    • (Score: 1) by Eunuchswear on Monday February 24 2014, @04:36PM

      by Eunuchswear (525) on Monday February 24 2014, @04:36PM (#5939) Journal

      Ex cons?

      At the rate the US imprisons people you'll all be ex-cons soon.

      --
      Watch this Heartland Institute video [youtube.com]
  • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:38PM (#5239)

    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.