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posted by janrinok on Sunday June 21 2015, @04:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the back-to-eating-donuts dept.

In a rare move against the advance of license plate readers, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has vetoed a plan to acquire the scanners in the Bayou State. It had previously passed both houses of the Louisiana legislature overwhelmingly.

Many law enforcement agencies nationwide use these specialized cameras to scan cars and compare them at incredible speeds to a "hot list" of stolen or wanted vehicles. In some cases, that data is kept for weeks, months, or even years.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/06/louisiana-governor-vetoes-license-plate-reader-bill-citing-privacy-concerns/

[Related]: Governor's Statement

Senate Bill No. 250


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday June 22 2015, @04:30PM

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday June 22 2015, @04:30PM (#199478)

    I would guess you've never had your vehicle stolen, then.

    Ah, I see. So you're going to use the "If X happened to you, you'd think differently, and therefore your current arguments are wrong!" fallacy? Or what are you suggesting here that is of use to the conversation? Try to refute my actual arguments.

    Second of all, this just shows you're unprincipled. Sacrificing privacy & freedom in these instances for security is the sign of a coward, and those arguments will never convince me.

    I take your point - it is possible for any system to be corrupted.

    It's not just possible for it to be corrupted; history overwhelmingly demonstrates that these systems *will* be corrupted.

    It is also possible, with much effort, to design a system wherein the corruption is detected and responded to.

    That's hilarious! You're killing me here. Next you'll tell me we just need to design a system to control the NSA and all will be well. These things are never easy, and the best way to make sure they aren't corrupted is to get rid of them entirely. They can't abuse what doesn't exist. And that is a perfectly acceptable solution when you're dealing with devices that violate your privacy or mass surveillance.

    But even if they weren't abused, I'd be opposed to them 100% simply because they are mass surveillance devices by design and necessity.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22 2015, @06:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 22 2015, @06:15PM (#199532)

    Ah, I see. So you're going to use the "If X happened to you, you'd think differently, and therefore your current arguments are wrong!" fallacy? Or what are you suggesting here that is of use to the conversation? Try to refute my actual arguments.

    Second of all, this just shows you're unprincipled. Sacrificing privacy & freedom in these instances for security is the sign of a coward, and those arguments will never convince me.

    No, I'm stating that X happened to my family, and possibly would not have with this technology, therefore I think you may be wrong and I think differently. And that I am willing to consider the idea of something that might have reduceed the risk of the livelihood of my family being destroyed. And yes, if you had walked in my shoes you may feel differently. So try answering my actual question: Have you, or have you not, been the victim of vehicle theft?

    But now that you've asked for a contribution: I'd also say that since long before I was born police have used hot sheets of stolen cars, and I do not see why applying it to all cars driving past a certain point is wrong by itself. In fact, I do prefer it to be administered impartially upon all rather than at the whim of the cop in the car looking up plates individually. I do have questions about data retention.

    Aside from that, we do sacrifice privacy and freedom for security. That happens, and the question is more of what a legitimate trade-off looks like. Society does restrict you, even if you haven't run up against it yet, and absolute freedom and privacy is a complete myth if you intend to live in any community of human beings. But since no arguments will ever convince you I see no need to engage in arguing with you. That still won't keep me quiet, though.

    That's hilarious! You're killing me here. Next you'll tell me we just need to design a system to control the NSA and all will be well. These things are never easy, and the best way to make sure they aren't corrupted is to get rid of them entirely. They can't abuse what doesn't exist. And that is a perfectly acceptable solution when you're dealing with devices that violate your privacy or mass surveillance.

    But even if they weren't abused, I'd be opposed to them 100% simply because they are mass surveillance devices by design and necessity.

    I'm glad you are amused. And sure, the NSA might be a prime example, why not? The NSA isn't going anywhere and it's just as pleasant a laugh to imagine thinking you - or anyone else - will be able to make them go away. (Espeically when those who hold the actual power and wealth of the nation want them to stay where they are and do what they do.) There will be a system to monitor foreign communications - that will exist, at minimum. So, you're left with the option of who controls it and how it is controlled. Just because I want it to go away doesn't mean I'm naive enough to think it will or that I can demand that it will.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday June 22 2015, @06:31PM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday June 22 2015, @06:31PM (#199535)

      Have you, or have you not, been the victim of vehicle theft?

      Your question is completely irrelevant to the validity of my arguments.

      But now that you've asked for a contribution: I'd also say that since long before I was born police have used hot sheets of stolen cars, and I do not see why applying it to all cars driving past a certain point is wrong by itself.

      Because you should have privacy from mass surveillance; it's that simple.

      Here are the differences between humans doing the monitoring and machines doing it instead:
      1) Cost. It's far more expensive to have humans conduct mass surveillance, which makes it nearly impossible to do.
      2) Reliability. Humans are far more fallible and have bad memories. This means your data is likely safe, because it's stored in a fallible human brain and can't be easily shared. Only the most memorable and important information is usually remembered.
      3) License plate readers can be nearly everywhere and yet still report their data to a single source (the government), and quite efficiently. Humans can't do that nearly as easily.

      The differences are so fundamental that we need to recognize a right to privacy from mass surveillance. If most people just keep assuming that humans doing X and technology automatically doing X are the same thing, we are well and truly doomed.

      Aside from that, we do sacrifice privacy and freedom for security.

      Yes, we do. Examples of this are the TSA, the NSA's mass surveillance, DUI checkpoints, License Plate Readers, stop-and-frisk, Stringrays, and warrantless wiretapping of all sorts. And all of which is, without exception, an egregious violation of our fundamental liberties and must be eliminated. You're not in good company when you advocate for the security state.

      Also, the US is supposed to be 'the land of the free and the home of the brave'. Try to act like it.

      Society does restrict you, even if you haven't run up against it yet, and absolute freedom and privacy is a complete myth if you intend to live in any community of human beings.

      I merely want the government to follow the constitution, which means that mass surveillance devices are necessarily prohibited.

      Just because I want it to go away doesn't mean I'm naive enough to think it will or that I can demand that it will.

      Then you have given up and are part of the problem. It's naive to think that if we let them have the mass surveillance infrastructure, they'll follow all the rules and make sure no communications from US citizens get spied on. I don't expect that it will be easy to defeat the NSA, but even if the odds are nearly nonexistent, it's worth trying.

      Foreigners deserve privacy from mass surveillance, as well. Any foreign surveillance should be as targeted as possible, and it should be done on enemy countries.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Monday June 22 2015, @10:09PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday June 22 2015, @10:09PM (#199616) Journal

        I don't expect that it will be easy to defeat the NSA, but even if the odds are nearly nonexistent, it's worth trying.

        The Stasi were defeated. I take heart from that.

        We must remember that we're all carrying around devices for the NSA to spy on us, but they can also be used to spy on them. The people at the NSA are humans who physically exist. They have homes and drive cars. They buy things. They marry and have friends. They can be seen walking down the road or filling up their tank at gas stations. As long as those things are true, they remain quite vulnerable to an angry and determined citizenry.

        Naturally they can then choose to only hire single, unattached orphans whom they house in underground bunkers and who never see the light of day, but that's not going to be a very fun career option for those people and it will breed a thousand Edward Snowdens in their ranks. It is no fun at all to be the jailor when you're the one who can't leave the jail.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.