Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Massachusetts Plans To Keep Track of Where Your Car Has Been

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the dude-where's-my-car dept.

Government 521

Attila Dimedici writes "Massachusetts wants to establish a database with the information gathered by license plate scanners installed in police cars. The scanners will scan license plates of every car the police vehicle passes and transmit that information (along with the location) to a database that will be made available to various government agencies. The data wil be kept indefinitely."

cancel ×

521 comments

I've been waiting for this. (5, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#36848332)

This is about as 1984 as it gets. Not only do Americans have no rights anymore, their movements are tracked by the government.

Fascism.

Re:I've been waiting for this. (2)

SputnikPanic (927985) | about 3 years ago | (#36848506)

The fact that Mass. would even put together a plan like this shows you just how weakened the 4th Amendment has become. Of all the amendments in the Bill of Rights, this one, it seems to me, is the one that's the most gone.

Re:I've been waiting for this. (-1, Offtopic)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 years ago | (#36848660)

Nah, depending on where you live the 2nd is most likely the most weakened, even to the point of nonexistence

Re:I've been waiting for this. (0)

SputnikPanic (927985) | about 3 years ago | (#36848790)

Maybe, but 2nd Amendment cases have lately been succeeding in court. DC, for example, had its gun ban struck down about a year or two ago.

Great idea! (1)

torgis (840592) | about 3 years ago | (#36848522)

This sounds like a wonderful idea, but something isn't quite right. I just can't quite get my thumb on it.

That's it, freedom! There are still some lingering freedoms out there, they must be found and eliminated.

Re:I've been waiting for this. (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 years ago | (#36848578)

This is about as 1984 as it gets.

Lets not get into hyperbole here, lest people take us all for nutters and disregard our warnings that this is an invasion of privacy.. Government-mandated propaganda and webcams in every home is more 1984 than cars being tracked, but this is pretty horrible.

Re:I've been waiting for this. (2)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36848696)

So, if a corporation would do that, it's OK, but if a govt. does it, it's not? I think it's time to decide either way and make the choice apply to everyone...

I'm going to opt out... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848338)

... of making a reasonable and thoughtful comment. Instead, I'm going to just say "fuck you Massachusetts," because that's really all they deserve.

Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848342)

No reason to do this. As a Massachusetts resident this is totally unwarranted.

Re:Police State (4, Insightful)

derfy (172944) | about 3 years ago | (#36848572)

No reason to do this. As a Massachusetts resident this is totally unwarranted.

"No reason to do this. As a fucking US citizen this is totally unwarranted."

FTFY.

No More (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848362)

Sounds like the time has come for We The People to declare all-out war on these fucking surveillance cameras and destroy them at will.

Re:No More (1)

qbzzt (11136) | about 3 years ago | (#36848530)

We're talking about surveillance cameras located in police cars. Do you:

1. Attack the car with the cops still in it, getting into a violent confrontation with people trained to fight.

or

2. Break into the police station at night to destroy the surveillance cameras, when the place is, well, also guarded.

Try voting the bastards out. It's hard, but a lot less bloody.

Re:No More (3)

morari (1080535) | about 3 years ago | (#36848646)

You kill the cops while they're standing at the doughnut counter, then torch their car.

Re:No More (2)

Krojack (575051) | about 3 years ago | (#36848664)

Try voting the bastards out. It's hard, but a lot less bloody.

Only to be replaced by bastards. It's a never ending cycle. A lose lose situation. Pretty sad.

Re:No More (1)

adolf (21054) | about 3 years ago | (#36848732)

The cameras in question are typically on the cars, not in them.

Around here, they are specifically mounted on the trunk lid, and are very conspicuous indeed. They could be disabled very quickly indeed with a good ball-peen hammer, or a sharp knife.

I'm just sayin'.

Re:No More (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | about 3 years ago | (#36848550)

Cameras don't make policy. Tyrannical politicians and corrupt-to-the-core police do.

Your policy proposal is close, though. Make the one edit and you're there.

Here comes the Police Hive Mind (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36848368)

Funny, I just wrote about this yesterday:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2339756&cid=36833636 [slashdot.org]

Re:Here comes the Police Hive Mind (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36848502)

Police are already a hive mind. Radios and records departments did that a long time ago.

This just makes them one tick more cyborgy.

Re:Here comes the Police Hive Mind (1)

what2123 (1116571) | about 3 years ago | (#36848698)

I guess that's not as cool as a cyber-orgy

That could be very helpful. (1, Offtopic)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 3 years ago | (#36848386)

This kind of thing would be utter hell on suspended and uninsured drivers. It could help make the roads WAY safer.

Re:That could be very helpful. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848436)

Fucking shill if I ever did see one.

Re:That could be very helpful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848440)

Yep. Tracking everyone always makes everyone else safe, the politicians that is.

Re:That could be very helpful. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848442)

You know what else would get suspended and uninsured drivers off the roads? BANNING CARS!

Re:That could be very helpful. (2)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#36848514)

You know what else would get suspended and uninsured drivers off the roads? BANNING CARS!

Yup that would do it. I totally agree with the sentiment as well.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36848524)

When cars are banned, only bans will have cars.

Re:That could be very helpful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848744)

When cars are banned, only bands will have cars.

fixed that for you

Re:That could be very helpful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848454)

This kind of thing would be utter hell on suspended and uninsured drivers. It could help make the roads WAY safer.

Safer how? Does a database prevent car accidents somehow? Please explain how that works.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 3 years ago | (#36848492)

The uninsured and suspended drivers get tracked, the cops use the tracking to find and arrest them. Their cars get impounded. Essentially, they are harassed off the road. Suspended/uninsured drivers cause most of the accidents.

Re:That could be very helpful. (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 years ago | (#36848520)

Suspended/uninsured drivers cause most of the accidents.

Cite?

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#36848528)

Suspended/uninsured drivers cause most of the accidents.

Citation Please

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#36848548)

1. lets see some statistics on that
2. the police would not bother with that.

Re:That could be very helpful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848580)

The uninsured and suspended drivers get tracked, the cops use the tracking to find and arrest them. Their cars get impounded. Essentially, they are harassed off the road. Suspended/uninsured drivers cause most of the accidents.

Proof. Now.
As an uninsured driver myself, I was never in one accident. I've since switched to public transit but please do explain exactly where you get this data.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 years ago | (#36848462)

nope. it's for profiling surveillance and for batching people together. for catching uninsured it makes some sense, but not for suspended drivers.

Re:That could be very helpful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848464)

Safer? Just because someone is uninsured or has a suspended license doesn't make them unsafe drivers. Now if there were a scanner to measure drivers stupidity, now THAT would make the roads safer.

Re:That could be very helpful. (3, Insightful)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 3 years ago | (#36848704)

Generally, a driver's license is suspended because the driver has done something unsafe.

Often (usually?) uninsured drivers are uninsured because they have demonstrated that they are unsafe drivers, and therefore can't get insurance for a reasonable price (or at all).

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

epicmaneuvers (2396674) | about 3 years ago | (#36848466)

That's the type of thinking that strips citizens of thier rights.

Re:That could be very helpful. (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 3 years ago | (#36848490)

The fact that police cars have cameras which can identify license plates and flag any vehicles with violations will make the roads safer. Storing that information along with location and date/time information for an indefinite period doesn't help anything. You know, for the citizens at least.

Re:That could be very helpful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848594)

The fact that police cars have cameras which can identify license plates and flag any vehicles with violations will make the roads safer. Storing that information along with location and date/time information for an indefinite period doesn't help anything. You know, for the citizens at least.

I've no mods points, but still, +1 insightful

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 3 years ago | (#36848620)

If a previously unreported stolen car is involved in a crime, they could go back a few days or weeks and find out where the car has been.

I cannot think of a reason to keep more than a few weeks of history.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 years ago | (#36848614)

They're already safer than they've ever been. I prefer my freedoms and privacy to a vain pursuit of taking all possible danger out of life.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#36848638)

This kind of thing would be utter hell on suspended and uninsured drivers. It could help make the roads WAY safer.

One problem there, Ace. All they are doing is tracking the cars. A car belonging to a person with a suspended license can be driven legally by someone with a valid license. Also, some insurance covers you no matter which car you drive so even though the owner may not have insurance on the car the driver may be covered. So yeah, this is really not very helpful.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 3 years ago | (#36848802)

Oh yeah, but guess what they will do. They'll pretend that each car has only one driver, because many cars do so. Then they'll harass every car owner who happens not to have a valid drivers' license at the time their database report got generated. And then they'll say "oh, but it's a very small minority of car owners and we have a right to verify anyway". And so it goes.

Re:That could be very helpful. (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | about 3 years ago | (#36848770)

I think that plate numbers can already be flagged. They're just not tracked. So this doesn't really affect the uninsured case. I sure got pulled over quick when my registration expired. I rather doubt it was the super tiny sticker which the cops noticed at night. It was probably flagged as recently expired. The difference here would be that you could look back for sightings of a car that was just reported stolen or silently track someone without a warrant, eg anti-terrorism. But I honestly think that we need more of this, not less. I'm constantly annoyed by blatantly illegal driving. It annoys me that chronic speeders and such aren't flagged by stationary plate readers along the highway, etc. Seems like a small investment would make things a whole lot safer if people stopped crying because they got a ticket..

IR LED? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848394)

Anyone want to comment on the laws about surrounding your license plate with IR floods?

Re:IR LED? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36848434)

If you make an IR-obscured license plate that works, it will be illegal.

Re:IR LED? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36848560)

Does that law say that? Because I'd bet existing law only outlaws making the plate non-visible. Visible means eye, not camera. IR light is, by definition, not visible.

Re:IR LED? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36848674)

You may have a point, but try that argument in practice and see how far you get...

Re:IR LED? (2, Insightful)

meloneg (101248) | about 3 years ago | (#36848734)

That is only a matter of time. States like this didn't outlaw radar-detectors before they impeded the revenue stream.

Here's Your Sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848406)

And this is why I moved out of Massachusetts

Fight the Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848412)

SQL injection attack in 3...2...1...

Re:Fight the Power (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848568)

I've been thinking about having an SQL injection bumper sticker made. I would do it in reflective material and OCR friendly font. I think just a simple ');-- immediately to the left of the plate should do.

Re:Fight the Power (1)

dietdew7 (1171613) | about 3 years ago | (#36848824)

Eventually all programs susceptible to SQL injection will be fixed and then you'll be doomed like the rest of us. Just kidding... carry on.

Attention, Driver! We Have a Special Offer for YOU (1)

Lance Dearnis (1184983) | about 3 years ago | (#36848446)

...Because, seriously, I'm thinking, but, I cannot think of ANYTHING the state can do productively with that kind of information that isn't going to be thrown out in court. It's the 'held onto indefinitely' part that's damning.

An idea I could get behind and understand: Immediately comparing on arrival the information with a database of license plate numbers of people with warrants currently out on them. Bonus points if you can get the hits back to the officer in time for him to turn on the lights and go after the guy. But there's no need to keep the data for more then a minute after the search is done.

The 'redundant' idea: You already -have- a list of what plate goes with what vehicle and where it's supposed to be, it's your Motor Vehicle Registry. Cops already delve into this all the time.

The 'criminal' idea: Immediately taking said registry information and...doing much of anything with it, you've just performed a dragnet search.

The 'likely' idea: Guess what! Facebook and Google, along with many other valued partners, are now government affiliates! (Seriously, I'm thinking, and this is the only thing I've come up with so far that wouldn't go to the Redundant Department of Redundancy, considering the data retention)

Re:Attention, Driver! We Have a Special Offer for (1)

ohcrapitssteve (1185821) | about 3 years ago | (#36848680)

Neat ideas, but unfortunately if an innocent, law-abiding person is driving the vehicle of someone who's license is suspended / is uninsured / a criminal, we're going to have a lot of false positives. If my license was suspended and I was obeying the law and not driving, it's totally possible that a family member or friend would then be driving my car, and it'd be out on the road getting scanned by these scanners.

Objective: computer vision defeat (1)

AdamThor (995520) | about 3 years ago | (#36848450)

How to defeat the computer eye without defacing your plate? Try to wash it out with IR? Something else?

Would the scanner stop the cops every time there was a misread?

Re:Objective: computer vision defeat (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 3 years ago | (#36848816)

In Soviet Russia, the cops would stop YOU every time there was a misread. No wait, I meant here. It'll be considered reasonable suspicion, just wait.

Change the national Anthem (2)

isotope23 (210590) | about 3 years ago | (#36848458)

"Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free or the home of the slave?"

Re:Change the national Anthem (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36848656)

Dude. Please go read about slavery, then never compare having your license plate kept in a database to being chained in the hull of a ship for months, sold, forced to labor, quartered in a shack, bred like a dog, and fed garbage for the rest of your short, disease-ridden life.

Moron.

Re:Change the national Anthem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848756)

Read your history - slavery didn't start with balanced power between a people and their government.

Re:Change the national Anthem (2)

torgis (840592) | about 3 years ago | (#36848672)

"Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free or the home of the slave?"

Subject: Stop Work Notice or Notice of Violation
Site Address: slashdot A.P.N.: 210590 Case Number: fkall

Dear sir,
On 7/22/2011 the State of Massachusetts posted a Stop Work Notice or Notice of Violation on your post for "illegal star-spangled banner pole height".
As of this date, no permits have been issued to clear the Stop Work Notice or Notice of Violation. You must apply for all required permits and approvals, pay all associated fees or take necessary action to correct the violation within 30 days of this notice. No permits, licenses, or other entitlements may be issues by any State Department until this violation has been cleared.

Sincerely,
The State of Massachusetts

I'm gonna say that's a no. No, it doesn't.

Ummm, this is news? (2)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 3 years ago | (#36848476)

I don't know how many states are doing this now, but they also under at least SOME circumstances share with the feds as well. Vermont I KNOW for certain has had this for some time, though far from all PDs have the equipment yet. They're way ahead of the civil rights people on this one, and their official line is you're in public, you don't have a right to privacy in public, and "oh we keep it all secure and only accessible under controlled conditions" which of course means every intel agency in the govt has it of course...

Truthfully though, this stuff is inevitable, the issue is the sneaky way they're kind of sliding into it. There was NO debate on this at all in our state.

Re:Ummm, this is news? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#36848622)

Is Vermont storing a database of where and when everyone's license plates have been scanned, or is it they just have scanners that connect to a database that lets the cops know that the car is stolen or being searched for in some way?

Re:Ummm, this is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848624)

But you are in public, and you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you are in public.

They have a point, its the same point people here make when someone gets arrested for video taping a cop. We don't get to take both sides of the argument.

Re:Ummm, this is news? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#36848682)

I don't see why there would be, since they probably aren't breaking any law by doing it.

Re:Ummm, this is news? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#36848812)

So, of course, if the police were all to be followed by citizen chase cars who report their position on a live map and offer a live video feed, there will be no objections at all since the car is in public and has no expectations of privacy, right?

Don't worry, citizens (-1, Troll)

straponego (521991) | about 3 years ago | (#36848494)

“We’re currently working to develop a policy that balances the effective use of this powerful law enforcement tool with the privacy concerns we’re keenly aware of,” Harris said.

That can only mean that they won't record license plates belonging to Republican politicians near gay bath houses.

Re:Don't worry, citizens (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#36848644)

No, this is Massachusetts. It means they won't keep a record of license plates belonging to Democratic politicians ever because it would be too easy to figure out who they are taking bribes from. According to something I read, the last three speakers of the Massachusetts state legislature are in jail for corruption (they are all Democrats). The current speaker is a protege of one of those three.

Re:Don't worry, citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848754)

Then they'll have to turn them off all over Cambridge, and near Barney Frank's house when his houseboy is "entertaining". (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/tours/scandal/gobie2.htm)

The Democrats run Massachusetts (5, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 3 years ago | (#36848766)

By a very large majority in both houses. They have a supermajority in the House, and there are only a few token Republicans in the Senate.

Note that this kicks in not long after a Democrat takes the governorship, making the MA government absolutely dominated by Democrats. The only way Republicans have any influence is to get something the Democrats did declared unconstitutional in state court.

So your metaphor needs changing to reflect the reality of what exceptions would be. It's more likely the Democrats would be specifically tracking Republicans to catch them at gay bath houses.

thanks massachusetts (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 3 years ago | (#36848518)

fight this massachusetts citizens, or indeed deserve the epithet "masshole"

Re:thanks massachusetts (2)

Ksevio (865461) | about 3 years ago | (#36848596)

Should we fight Google driving around doing the same thing while we're at it?

Re:thanks massachusetts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848726)

No. That's a private corporation, and private corporations are BEAUTIFUL!

Old Laws Before Automation (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 3 years ago | (#36848544)

I think the problem rests in old case law, developed when automation like this was just science fiction, that anything not on private property is fair game. We need a new legal concept of "public but ephemeral" that applies to information that is normally soon forgotten like who was in a parking lot a week ago. Any collection of ephemeral data that occurs without a warrant should itself expire within a short period of time as well should be distribution limited - i.e. no sending it off to another database at the FBI that is exempt.

That may still be too much of a slippery slope, because once its collected there will always be pressure to extend the retention and expand the distribution. All it would take is one kid getting kidnapped and the license plate data expiring a day before the cops thought to look at it and voila, ready-made emotional argument to push for doubling retention time.

In Florida, the cops download a list of license plates of interest and only check scanned plates against the list instead of uploading everything they scan to a database. I'm not too happy with that either because I don't think that requiring a driver to regularly prove their innocence is valid, even if it is done passively, but at least it is miles better than what Massachusetts is planning.

Re:Old Laws Before Automation (1)

pz (113803) | about 3 years ago | (#36848634)

Damn, and I just ran out of mod points. Very insightful comment!

Re:Old Laws Before Automation (3, Interesting)

John Bresnahan (638668) | about 3 years ago | (#36848806)

In Florida, the cops download a list of license plates of interest and only check scanned plates against the list instead of uploading everything they scan to a database

Ever since I moved to Florida, I've wondered why almost everyone backs into parking spaces, rather than pulling in as most people did in Illinois.

Someone finally explained to me that it is because in Florida, cars only have a real license plate, and by backing in, that plate ins't visible to passing police cars. In Illinois, cars have plates on the front and backs of cars.

I understand the desire for privacy, but it does worry me that so many people here seem to feel the need to "hide" from the police.

Protecting records of "public ephemeral" facts (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 3 years ago | (#36848808)

I think the problem rests in old case law, developed when automation like this was just science fiction, that anything not on private property is fair game. We need a new legal concept of "public but ephemeral" that applies to information that is normally soon forgotten like who was in a parking lot a week ago.

I agree, in general, though there is room to quibble about whether the gap in the law is best sourced to "old case law" or to the fact that the Constitution itself doesn't consider the issue of public ephemeral data.

Any collection of ephemeral data that occurs without a warrant should itself expire within a short period of time as well should be distribution limited - i.e. no sending it off to another database at the FBI that is exempt.

That may still be too much of a slippery slope, because once its collected there will always be pressure to extend the retention and expand the distribution. All it would take is one kid getting kidnapped and the license plate data expiring a day before the cops thought to look at it and voila, ready-made emotional argument to push for doubling retention time.

Alternatively, you could retain the data indefinitely, but require a warrant for the search of the historical data, specifying the search parameters and providing the cause justifying the search. This would give non-current public ephemeral data similar protection to traditional private data, while at the same time not destroying the data itself. Since the data can be searched with a warrant issued with cause, this eliminates the risk of mandated destruction destroying evidence that could have solved a crime -- and thus eliminates the opportunity for exploiting that as the basis for lobbying for extension in the "casual search" window for the data.

Dummy data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848546)

While I know it is illegal to alter to obscure your actual plate, would getting a mass movement to have bumper stickers or other decals on vehicles (or even mailboxes or other things on the side of the road) that bear a superficial resemblance to license plates so as to flood them with garbage data work (until they ban that)?

Re:Dummy data (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 3 years ago | (#36848738)

Anything you do to piss off a cop will not work out well for yourself.

If you make his sensor go off because of a sticker then prepare to be investigated for interfering in police business or some other horseshit.

I.... don't really see a problem (1)

CCTalbert (819490) | about 3 years ago | (#36848558)

I know most folks are going to run up the "holy crap it's Big Brother!" flag... but I don't know if I really care or not.

It's sort of like data retention, in a way- one firm I worked with was very concerned that every scrap of "evidence" from their work be discarded- they tended to do sloppy work and get sued a lot, and were working under the assumption that our own records would generally show how f@#Ked up we were.

The company I'm working for now almost has a totally opposite mindset- they find that their records typically support their assertion that they've done good work, and so keeping records is a good thing.

Big Brother knowing where I've been, assorted points on a map... well, how does that really harm me? Now if I'm out doin' crimes, then obviously I'm bothered, but otherwise.... I just don't see a reason that I would care.

I can see it being part of a "slippery slope" issue, but this is public- there is no assumption of privacy. If you *are* expecting privacy in public, well, that went away as soon as everyone started carrying cameras.

(And, if I'm doin' some crimes, I'll game the system and use it to my advantage!)

Re:I.... don't really see a problem (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 years ago | (#36848792)

I know most folks are going to run up the "holy crap it's Big Brother!" flag... but I don't know if I really care or not.

You will care. But only when it's too late to do anything about it.

The time to stop rolling down a slippery slope is at the top, not at the bottom when you're smashed and broken after running into a brick wall.

Re:I.... don't really see a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848822)

It all depends on your view and level of trust of Big Brother. You could see Big Brother for what its supposed to mean, a caring over-seeing sibling looking out for you and whom you help look out for others too. Or, you can view Big Brother as an omnipresent faceless being that is indeed still controlled and overseen by humans beings with all their personal emotions and faults.

Are you (generally speaking, not just at the above post) part of the system, adverse to the system or apathetic towards the system?

Oy vey! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848826)

You have a sub million account number - some geek you are! What are you, a manager?!?

Let me explain something to you:

You assume that government and law enforcement's data are synced instantaneously AND without error - an impossibility! Horrible assumption! Anyone with any sort of software development or maintenance experience would know the problems with this system and with trusting technology. Garbage in - garbage out, Mr. PHB!

And even if they had all the data they could have on you, they still make mistakes.

But one would say, "So what! They make a mistake and I'll sue for false arrest!!" Yeah, good luck with that. With all this monitoring, even if you're Mother Teressa, they'll find something on you. And we are talking about Massachusetts here. The prosecutor will find some law from 1793 that you violated just to burn your ass citizen!

Patent idea! (3, Funny)

torgis (840592) | about 3 years ago | (#36848564)

I'd like to propose a new line of designer license plate, the CAPTCHA-plate. You heard it here first, folks.

to help spot traffic pattern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848566)

They could use the information to understand better traffic pattern, and employees commute routes. This information could for planning road construction, and public transportation.

In Soviet Amerika (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848588)

the license plates take pictures of YOU!

great (1)

jonpublic (676412) | about 3 years ago | (#36848602)

just another database tracking all my movements. like at&t, apple and google.

Re:great (1)

jonpublic (676412) | about 3 years ago | (#36848618)

i forgot facebook should be added to that list too.

Rights.....this cop is an idiot. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848606)

“What about the rights of someone who is already a victim to have their assailant brought to justice?” Procopio asked. “There’s a freedom to being able to live your life not worried about being the victim of crime that’s also a freedom worth protecting.”

That statement is so Orwellian ...

So, we're going to violate everyone's rights and treat them with suspicion and perpetually watch them because someone was a victim of a crime? And if someone were a victim of a crime, was their rights violated if it wasn't Government doing it? And if there rights were violated, then that means all the private companies that are collecting information on me are violating my rights. Slippery slopes have to sides, baby!

What next, the cops are going to say, "Hey, we're searched at airports for public safety. This is the same thing!" You'll see.

Oh! And you can bet your ass that the cops and politicians will be exempt from this!

I was thinking, this system existed for while now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848654)

Maybe, I am totally ignorant, but I was thinking this "license plate scanning" thing was going for a while now and not only in MA, but in other states as well. I clearly remember seeing on TV one of those devices installed in police vehicle (and it was many years ago). System would take pictures of license plate of bypassing cars and scan them through the police database.

So, what is exactly different in Massachusetts system ?

F*CK THE POLICE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848658)

When I was younger there was a RAP group called NWA who had a song called FUCK THE POILCE.
Back then it was about racial tensions. Now it is all about basic freedoms.
Either way I still agree FUCK THE POLICE!

Mosaic theory (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about 3 years ago | (#36848670)

First let me get out the way that I am opposed to the police doing this sort of thing. The legality of doing this is obviously going to be challenged. I suspect that the "mosaic theory" is going to come into play. In that theory, aggregated data can be more than the sum of its parts. For instance if a person aggregates all of the publicly available information on internet cables crisscrossing the US into a map, the US government could, under the mosaic theory, hold that while each part of the data compiled is and ought to be publicly available, the compilation of that information constitutes a security risk and can be considered sensitive. I think it's going to be interesting to see if that same theory can cause the compilation of non-private publicly-available data, the license plate at location at time data, into a database to be considered unwarranted invasion of privacy.

Whoops. (2)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about 3 years ago | (#36848688)

Guess I won't be helping out with that after school reading program in that bad neighborhood.

Just Make Their Jobs Easier (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 3 years ago | (#36848730)

Everyone should just start phoning the police, FBI, DHS et al and letting them know where you and who you are with every time you change locations. In addition you should forward them copies of all the emails that you send and receive.

Its been happing for awhile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848740)

Here in California, its been going on for a long time now. 4-5 years.
Some city / countys not so much.
The do track time/gps, even while driving around.

Fine. I want to keep track of their Senators. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 3 years ago | (#36848748)

You want to track me and my car in your state? Fine, let me see and track via public website every single location of all elected personnel working in that state then, starting with the Senators. Hey, might as well see where my elected officials are at, especially while "on" duty.

Oh, I'm sorry, shoe on the other foot doesn't fit so well? No room for privacy and freedom? Gee, go figure.

Massholes.

The Innocent have NOTHING to fear! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848758)

Right?

This has so many routes to abuse that I go cold thinking of it.
And just think, everyone near that bank job, where the cop was gunned down will be getting a "friendly" visit from the cops, just for a chat, you know..... Especially if they were going a little over the speed limit, or were giving their pals a lift somewhere.

Its not just "1984", its "Brazil" too, all crappy record keeping and bogus matches.

Technology (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | about 3 years ago | (#36848774)

I once told my IT manager, "Just because we can doesn't mean we should." Technology, very unfortunately, has erroded our rights simply because the "government" whether local or not can do these things without accountability or scrutiny. When you do make noises, they justify it by citing public safety, the welfare for women and children, and other politically correct BS. I don't think there is a corner left in life to find some privacy. It won't be log before *everything* you do is logged.

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848796)

this has already been put in place in many areas.. I say this with experience as a developer of a certain Law Enforcement Software package.

Did you know that many cars (even back before 2000) are equipped with 'black boxes' that record specific information?

Good Advice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848798)

lol google ad:

_Sell Your Used Car_
We'll give you an offer for your used car today. Get paid tomorrow!

For reference: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36848830)

To contact Governor Deval Patrick, here is the mass.gov contact page:
http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_contact_us

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...