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posted by takyon on Saturday May 16 2015, @05:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the MichaelDavidCrawfordNews dept.

Claiming it's because there's no poles to mount them on, the City of Paradise Valley, Arizona began installing license plate readers inside towering, fake cacti:

LPRs are normally mounted on light poles and traffic lights to scan for stolen cars or vehicles involved in an Amber Alert, but cities and counties have been stashing them in dozens of different covert locations, from car's fog lamps to retrofitted ladders. And in Arizona, it's not uncommon to see antennas camouflaged as a cactus, so the decision – at least from an aesthetic point-of-view – makes sense.

[...] [Town manager Kevin] Burke said the cameras are not being put in fake cactus to be secretive, but because there are no light poles in the area to put them on. He says they're trying to make the cameras aesthetically pleasing. It's all part of a $2 million police technology upgrade the council passed last year.

Is it safe to say the cameras are operated by a bunch of pricks?

 
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2015, @05:24AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2015, @05:24AM (#183660)

    License plate readers simply should not be allowed. It's important to differentiate between someone spotting you (people have faulty memories and don't care much about strangers) or some random person recording you by chance (it doesn't all go to a central source like the government for a specific purpose and will likely not identify you anyway) and the government putting surveillance devices everywhere in public places. Employing individuals to do the spying would be far more costly, would result in many inaccuracies, would cover less ground, and would take more time. They're simply not comparable situations, and yet people try to compare them all the time.

    There is some degree of privacy even in public places, and we should have privacy from mass surveillance.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2015, @05:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2015, @05:28PM (#183787)

    > the government putting surveillance devices everywhere in public places.

    I think we might get more traction if we called it was it really is: stalking. If there was a person following you around in public recording your movements and your purchases, etc, you would have a case for getting a restraining order on them. Just because its automated doesn't make it less stalkery and threatening.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2015, @06:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 16 2015, @06:43PM (#183799)

      I've seen idiots argue that violating people's privacy is fine as long as it isn't a person doing it. They were talking about the NSA's mass surveillance and tried to use that angle to argue that it wasn't spying at all.

      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Sunday May 17 2015, @06:05AM

        by davester666 (155) on Sunday May 17 2015, @06:05AM (#183972)

        That's the NSA's position anyway. It only becomes a 'search' for a human to view the data.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2015, @02:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2015, @02:40PM (#184047)

          I'll just program a robot to go around killing people randomly. It isn't a person doing it so it's fine.