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Facebook Won't Take Down Undercover Cop Page In Australia

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the don't-try-it-in-texas-though dept.

Australia 254

New submitter jaa101 writes "Facebook has refused a request from Australian police to take down a page with details of undercover police vehicles saying it cannot stop people taking photos in public places. The original story is paywalled and it doesn't give a link to the relevant page which seems to be here . This page for the state of Victoria has 12000 likes but a similar page for the state of Queensland has over 34000, and there are other Australian pages too."

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Don't complain about crime then (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717703)

If the police are being outed undercover then don't whine when crime occurs.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41717749)

If the police are being outed undercover then don't whine when crime occurs.

If "Law Enforcement" didn't regularly abuse their sweeping privileges, maybe this wouldn't even have come up?

Re:Don't complain about crime then (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#41718125)

If you find a single biped not abusing sweeping privileges, please check for a pulse...

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#41718185)

If you find a single biped not abusing sweeping privileges, please check for a pulse...

My wife gave me Sweeping Privileges, but I declined. Also, I am not Marty Feldman.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718277)

Damn your eyes!

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#41718307)

My wife threatened declining privileges so I swept. Also, Sergio killed me too neither.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718231)

So what you're saying is that the Police are to blame when they fail to enforce the law, but are to blame for their failure to enforce the law?

Perhaps you could outline precisely how thin you believe the thin blue line should be? A venn diagram may be helpful.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#41718613)

The thin blue line should be thinner around consensual crime, and around extracting cash from motorists by parking themselves on mis-zoned "speeding hotspots", and thicker around thefts and violent crime.

The police near us regularly set up speed traps along a six-lane, divided road zoned at 60kmh (it was zoned thus 20 years ago, when it was just a two-lane road, and hasn't been changed as the road's grown) or just before the onramp to the freeway, where the speed limit changes from 60kmh to 110kmh over a few hundred metres.

Meanwhile, when some friends of ours were robbed, the police just told them to call their insurance company, and check out the local pawn shops.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0, Troll)

alonsoac (180192) | about 2 years ago | (#41719143)

I am less worried about police abuse than organized crime and government corruption. Perhaps they should just let the police do their job and then keep an eye on them so they do it properly, but messing with them is not going to solve anything.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717789)

They should be allowed to people to post pictures of under cover cops.

They should also be held liable when that police office gets killed or the suspect they are investigating commits a crime.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (5, Insightful)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | about 2 years ago | (#41717861)

Everyone is neglecting the fact that this isn't about outing police officers who are undercover. It's about outing unmarked police cars, which serve no purpose other than to try to catch people for traffic violations and in fact are going to be worse at deterring crime than a marked police vehicle, since the sight of a cop car is a powerful deterrent. It's not like undercover cops drive unmarked cop cars with light bars and antennas; that would be a dead giveaway. Frankly, I like police vehicles to be visible so that I can find them in the event of an emergency if I need help. I care far less about fining the people who are driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718047)

This.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#41718223)

If you think an unmarked police car's primary purpose is catching people "driving 5 mph over the speed limit" then you've been listening to too much reactionary "why don't they go after real criminals?!" and "don't they have anything better to do?!" arguments, usually heavily promoted by people who have been caught breaking the law for 'trivial' reasons like speeding.

Unmarked cars *are* used for "better things" than catching speeding motorists (even ones doing a mere 5 over - no cop stops you for 5 over, especially not an unmarked unit, you also get a 10% leeway to account for speedometer inaccuracy so the only time that "5 over" would be even close to something you could be pulled for would be in a 30 mph zone) - they're used primarily in the investigation and containment of stolen cars and for major crimes involving motor vehicles such as drugs, burglaries, etc.

They certainly do stop ordinary motorists if something flags you to them (impaired driving, excessive speed, tax/insurance issues etc) but they're not there to "catch you out" - you make it sound like it's some trick to make you break the law when you think they're not looking.

I know for a fact that Cheshire Police in the UK doesn't care if you know what unmarked cars they use - I have seen them personally show large, unobscured photographs of them with number plates showing clearly in public settings - because they're not designed to trick you, they're designed to be less visible than a panda car so they can tail suspect vehicles more easily, and your "5 over" driver is not such a motorist.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718327)

Police reaction to speeding in the UK and US is often quite different. The last time I took the wheel in the UK I made a 220 km journey, over mostly M roads, in an hour and got no tickets despite passing several marked police cars. I presume it's because I always stayed left except to pass, was diligent about signaling and generally being polite in my driving behavior aside from the speed.

In contrast, a co-worker of mine received a ticket for 2 mph over the limit last year in the US.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#41718953)

In the past month, I've passed three marked state trooper cars on the expressway while doing 80+ in a 55mph. None of them gave me a second look because I drive like you described above - proper signaling, staying the driving lane except to pass, etc

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719147)

There is a considerable difference between 80+ mph and 220+ kph my metrically-challenged friend.

No matter how polite your driving is, a US cop WILL pull you over and WILL ticket you if you pass them doing 120+ mph on an Interstate if you aren't a fellow cop. In most US states you'll also spend some time in jail.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

IdolizingStewie (878683) | about 2 years ago | (#41719225)

Incidentally, there's also a considerable difference between 220 km and 220 kph.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (5, Informative)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | about 2 years ago | (#41718401)

Perhaps that is your experience with the police in the UK (or wherever you happen to reside; making the assumption given what you said), but where I live, it is very different. A friend of mine was ticketed for going 63 in a 60 MPH zone (no erratic driving, no alcohol, no anything). I saw the ticket with my own eyes. While that is exceptional, you can regularly get pulled over for 5 over on the freeway here (Oregon/Washington). And the vast majority of unmarked police cars I've seen around have been pulling over people for driving 5-10 over, not tailing suspect cars or some more justified purpose, as you've said. This is of course anecdotal and YMMV with where you live; just saying what is true for where I am. Don't get me wrong; I am all for police officers doing their job and keeping people safe and certainly people who are clearly driving unsafely, driving while intoxicated, etc. should be caught.

But the fact of the matter is that the focus of the police should be on preventing crime, not on increasing revenue. A clearly marked police car is the most effective thing there is for ensuring that everyone around is driving safely. You stick a cop car in the road and people will drive quite carefully. Unmarked cars are specifically meant to not be observed by people so that they will commit crimes in front of them and thus get ticketed, crimes that potentially would not have been committed if the car had been clearly visible. To me, this is like making the argument that police officers shouldn't wear uniforms so that muggers will beat up people in front of them and get caught, rather than the beatings never happening in the first place. I understand and respect that you can make an argument both ways here, that there is the potential for the mugger to commit crimes later, etc. but in my personal opinion, it is of dubious morality to allow people to be injured today in hopes of avoiding injuring people tomorrow. When I'm being assaulted, I want to be able to look around and run to the nearest cop car, not to miss it 'cause it's unmarked.

Ultimately, my complaint is that the motorists who get "caught" by unmarked cars who wouldn't by marked cars are the 5-10 over motorists. If someone is truly driving dangerously, they're not going to stop because of a marked car. If you're driving 100 on the freeway, you can't slow down fast enough upon seeing a cop car to not get caught. If you're driving drunk, you can't magically sober up because you saw a cop. The people get caught by unmarked cars rather than marked ones are the 5 over motorists, so I fail to see how they provide sufficiently valuable service to outweigh the crimes they fail to prevent.

Anyways, it's all anecdotal, and there are arguments for both sides. YMMV.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718553)

Perhaps that is your experience with the police in the UK (or wherever you happen to reside; making the assumption given what you said), but where I live, it is very different. A friend of mine was ticketed for going 63 in a 60 MPH zone

He was breaking the law.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Insightful)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | about 2 years ago | (#41718627)

It wasn't a matter of whether or not he was breaking the law. Parent claimed you don't get pulled over for 5 over, but in fact you certainly can where I live.

Additionally, due to inaccuracies in speedometers and poor reaction times (e.g. to changing slopes of hills), it's impossible to drive at or under 60 without having your speedo sitting more like 53-55, in which case you will in fact be driving dangerously by going significantly slower than the flow of traffic. The problem with speed limits/speeding is that speeding is not inherently dangerous (at reasonable speeds; certainly driving 150 is). Rather, moving at a significantly different speed than the flow of traffic is dangerous. I am in fact putting myself and those around me in more danger by driving at 60 if everyone around me is going 75 than by driving 75 with them. The answer certainly isn't to abolish speed limits, but the point is that strict enforcement of speed limits increases revenue, not safety.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41719037)

Parent claimed you don't get pulled over for 5 over, but in fact you certainly can where I live.

Certainly you can, but it is very rare and there IS a viable defense for that if you can show your spedometer is 5mph off-- because certainly you ARE allowed to drive with that degree of error and AFAIK you cannot be ticketed for such an error.

Additionally, due to inaccuracies in speedometers and poor reaction times (e.g. to changing slopes of hills), it's impossible to drive at or under 60 without having your speedo sitting more like 53-55

What, is your reaction time like 10 seconds? You cant see the hills coming? Your car does not just abruptly jump up 5 mph on a downhill unless it is a very severe grade, and even then if youre engine braking / riding the brake you should be able to hold one or two under the limit very easily.

I do it all the time with and without cruise control, claiming its impossible is absurd.

I am in fact putting myself and those around me in more danger by driving at 60 if everyone around me is going 75 than by driving 75 with them.

Some states have laws allowing that. Some do not. Ultimately, being part of society means you agree that society makes the rules, rather than you deciding which rules feel right for you.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 2 years ago | (#41718599)

See, I think this could be due to observation bias and a self-selecting bias. You're probably a good, upstanding citizen and so are the majority of your family and friends. Therefore, the vast majority of the police experiences you, your family, your friends, and your co-workers have is traffic tickets. This doesn't mean there *aren't* dozens of police who do nothing but write traffic tickets to earn money for the PD all day every day, but I don't believe that's all the cops are actually doing.

Looking at these pictures, though, these police cars are about as well camouflaged as the so-called "stealth" cars my local police department uses. Look guys, nobody other than cops has that much crap stuck to their dash, that many antennas attached to the car, or has hand-operated headlamps attached to the driver and passenger side windows. If you're aware at all and know what to look for, unmarked cars are as subtle as a fart on a long elevator ride.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | about 2 years ago | (#41718655)

Nowhere in what I wrote did I claim that was all cops do (or if I did, I misspoke). I certainly don't think that lowly of the police and respect them for the valuable service they provide. I just claimed that the "stealth" cars serve little purpose other than writing traffic tickets, and so outing them isn't going to somehow result in a rash of major crime.

Yes, the "stealth" is often not particularly stealthy though. :-)

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41719059)

I just claimed that the "stealth" cars serve little purpose other than writing traffic tickets, and so outing them isn't going to somehow result in a rash of major crime.

Maybe you dont live in a place where causing gridlock (sitting in intersections on red), or red-light running is rampant. I do; every single time I pass the 15th and constitution intersection I see about 5 cars run the left-turn red light because they think its their turn.

Honestly, I think we need fleets of undercover cops, so that maybe we could curb some of the worst of the "road belongs to me" behavior. Ive even seen metro busses blocking intersections, I dont think youre aware of how bad it can be.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718641)

100% surefire way to not get speeding tickets: just don't speed. Funny how well that works.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#41718805)

you've really never heard of inaccurate speed cameras or insufficient training in how to use them?

it happens [smh.com.au]

A portion of NSW speed cameras have been installed by Poltech International, some of whose installed cameras gave wildly inaccurate readings in Victoria. ...
Some motorists claimed they had been booked doing speeds their vehicles were not capable of reaching ....
Last month, following checks of these claims, it emerged that three of the cameras were faulty. ...
The readings had led to fines and licence suspensions for some motorists.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41719073)

you've really never heard of inaccurate speed cameras or insufficient training in how to use them?

it happens [smh.com.au]

Its also quite rare, and 99% of the time people complaining about undercover cops / cameras have ulterior motives for doing so.

There may indeed be privacy or abuse issues; but its not the problems with these measures that makes people complain, its that theyre actually effective.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718861)

This is not a 100% surefire way to not get a ticket.

It is quite common in my municipality for cops to make pretext stops and then cite the driver for failure to provide proof of insurance or not wearing a seat belt or some other easy money ticket.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41719077)

Not carrying proof of insurance is actually kind of a problem if you get into an accident. Do you really want to hear someone say "ill call you with my insurance details"?

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41719141)

You breaking the law in another way that the officer can see isn't an excuse.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718917)

100% surefire way to not get speeding tickets: just don't speed. Funny how well that works.

You have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide right?

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#41719107)

crimes that potentially would not have been committed if the car had been clearly visible.

That is true, however preventing traffic violations in a small area doesn't nessacerally mean reducing the overall rate of traffic violations or improving safety.

Whereas if someone gets caught they are hit with a fine and here in the UK (and from a quick check on wikipedia a number of other places too) they are are also hit with "points". If they do not know where they are being watched then the risk of being caught will hopefully serve to discourage them from repeating the offense whereever they are. IMO the points are a bigger deterrent than the fines because building up too many of them will end the driver up in court with likely loss of license.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719209)

I know of a case where motorists who would get caught by an unmarked car but not by a marked car. Back around the time when Fast & Furious was a movie a few departments got the bright idea to buy a few cars of the type that young hooligans liked to soup up for street racing, paint/decal them like those hooligans did and then drive around until the hooligans would "challenge" them to a race (stupid revving engines at them and shit). The cops would wait for the idiots take off at high speed and then nail them hard.

Best use I've ever heard for an unmarked car.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718437)

Unmarked cars *are* used for "better things" than catching speeding motorists (even ones doing a mere 5 over - no cop stops you for 5 over, especially not an unmarked unit, you also get a 10% leeway to account for speedometer inaccuracy so the only time that "5 over" would be even close to something you could be pulled for would be in a 30 mph zone) - they're used primarily in the investigation and containment of stolen cars and for major crimes involving motor vehicles such as drugs, burglaries, etc.

You don't live in Aust(drive 5 under or we'll get you)ralia do you?

Here, they are slowly and surely reducing the tolerance for speeding violations. Victoria seems to be leading the way and they now have a pretty-much zero tolerance on many automated detectors. They also rolled an ad campaign a few years back called "Wipe off 5", trying to convince people to not drive that little bit over the limit. The net result was that a good number of dumb people started driving 5 under the limit. Gee, funny that they moved to zero tolerance enforcement policy soon after.

Other states are following suit; I have seen the very same wipe off 5 ads on the tele and radio in SA and NSW and those states are progressively reducing the tolerance on speeding violations (SAPOL recently refused to publish the current tolerance even under FOI, and they refused to publish statistics on the number of infractions for between 1-5 km/hr over).

It's a good way to increase safe^Wrevenue.

To your point: Every police vehicle in the area I live, marked or not, has a mobile radar mounted on the roof. You can spot them a mile away, but they are allowed to ping you from about that far away too. I regularly see unmarked police making what look like routine traffic stops on the roads around here. I am sure that a lot are for offenses other than speeding (mobile phone use is being targeted here, and failing to come to a complete stop or turning 5 seconds before the prescribed time on a sign was popular for a spell).

My point is that unmarked police are doing a lot of traffic work from what I can see. I was even pulled over a few years back by an unmarked police car for a very minor infraction.

The one time I needed to actually use Police services (to report an assault on a family member that had happened the day before and gone unreported) they sent a marked car containing two plainclothes officers to take the report.

So I would say that the use of unmarked cars really does depend on your location.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Informative)

F'Nok (226987) | about 2 years ago | (#41718601)

It's nice that you've completely ignored the article in question, so I'll try and clarify.

This article is about Australian unmarked police cars, whose only purpose pretty much is to pull over speeding cars.

Because any police car can pull over any car for a random alcohol or drug test, they don't need to be in an unmarked car or have reason (ie, impaired driving). They're legally entitled to do it to anyone, any time, if they are driving a car.

Because in Australia there are no tax/insurance issues, because that's covered by the road authority and police have no authority to even ask you about it.

Because in most states of Australia there is no 10% leeway any more, it's a fixed leeway. You can and do get fined for being 5km/h over the signed limit. I once got fined for being 5km/h over because the road change from a 60 zone to a 50 zone and the unmarked police car behind me thought I didn't adjust me speed fast enough.

In Australia the unmarked cars really are there to catch people speeding, it's their primary purpose.

So perhaps you should pay attention to the context of the story, especially when every other reason you've listed as a purpose for unmarked police cars do not exist in Australia.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0, Flamebait)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#41718657)

It's nice that you've completely ignored the article in question, so I'll try and clarify.

This article is about Australian unmarked police cars, whose only purpose pretty much is to pull over speeding cars.

Because any police car can pull over any car for a random alcohol or drug test, they don't need to be in an unmarked car or have reason (ie, impaired driving). They're legally entitled to do it to anyone, any time, if they are driving a car.

Because in Australia there are no tax/insurance issues, because that's covered by the road authority and police have no authority to even ask you about it.

Because in most states of Australia there is no 10% leeway any more, it's a fixed leeway. You can and do get fined for being 5km/h over the signed limit. I once got fined for being 5km/h over because the road change from a 60 zone to a 50 zone and the unmarked police car behind me thought I didn't adjust me speed fast enough.

In Australia the unmarked cars really are there to catch people speeding, it's their primary purpose.

So perhaps you should pay attention to the context of the story, especially when every other reason you've listed as a purpose for unmarked police cars do not exist in Australia.

Then we fall back to the first point I made - people going "whaaaaaaa! I got a ticket for doing 5 over! How unfair! I couldn't see the police car! waaaaa!"

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. It's not suddenly "unfair" because you don't think a cop can see you. If you don't break the law you can't get a ticket.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

F'Nok (226987) | about 2 years ago | (#41718715)

I do agree with you, though I do think my fine for not hitting the brakes after a sign change was a bit harsh.
You're supposed to adjust speed slowly to avoid increased danger. Everyone hitting the breaks at the 50 sign wouldn't be safer at all.

But the point is actually that the cops in such cars are out there to raise revenue.

I'm not complaining about any fines, I used to pay them and get on with life - I now live in the inner city and don't even own a car.

I'm saying these cars are pretty much exclusively for the purpose of raising money, not for making the place safer, as police should be doing.
Objecting to unmarked cars because their purpose is counter-productive and a waste of police resources is not the same as whining about a speeding fine.

I object in principle to the laws on speeding, but when you speed you know the possible consequences and must accept them. We have speed cameras all over the place here that get a hell of a lot of people for it.
You speed, you pay the fine.

Unmarked police cars are a completely different issue. They do not contribute to safer roads, and do not contribute to a safer society. They are a waste of police power.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#41718845)

Why not brake gradually before the sign? Just because the limit changes at the sign doesn't mean you have to go at that speed right up until that point.

If there's a radar-equipped car on that stretch it is just even more prudent to do it that way, especially if there's a 10% tolerance on Australia's tickets.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

aevan (903814) | about 2 years ago | (#41718893)

Sometimes you don't have the option.
There is a fun one near where I am at the moment: it's an 80kmph highway. However, it's currently Canada's third season of the year: road repair.
Just on the leeside on the corner of a hill is a sudden drop do to 60 kmph...with 'Fines are doubled when workers are present"

That said, the sign marking the site of the speed change is far in advance of workers (so no worker safety issue), there have been no police cars trapping it, and no one is actually braking for it (so no driver safety issue so far).

Still, it's one of those times where you just don't have any advanced warning unless already familiar with the road.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

F'Nok (226987) | about 2 years ago | (#41718927)

It's worth noting that signs are not always visible with sufficient distance to change speed before them.
The laws here state that you're supposed to have time after a change of limit sign to adjust speed before you can be fined.
In that case it was a suburban area that entered a shopping strip and the signs had recently been changed. It used to be 60 along the whole stretch.
The 50 sign was not visible until you were very close to it.

With speeding tickets here you are assumed at fault unless you can prove otherwise, so despite the fact these things had changed and there was no signage to indicate that, and also the sign was not visible until too close, and that my speed was acceptable by the legal distance after the sign, the cost to dispute it without being sure of victory (and costs) was prohibitive for me at the time - this was years ago.

Beside that, I said it was harsh, and believe it was, but I paid the fine and don't gripe about it because it was an unmarked car. In that stretch braking would have been unsafe and I would have done the same with a marked car behind.

Thing is though, marked cars almost never pull you over for that stuff, because they actually have priorities other than revenue.
Given that I didn't actually break a law, and they waited until well after I was at the right speed before pulling me over, it was a quota system in play and they were under quota and I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I object in principle to the unmarked cars, my ticket was just an example of how they are sometimes misused. But even beside that misuse, they are still a waste of police resources, and I objected to them long before my own personal experience with them.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Informative)

F'Nok (226987) | about 2 years ago | (#41718747)

I should actually add a little more to that and point out that I have seen (and also been subject to, but did not speed up) unmarked police cars tailgating on freeways in an attempt to make people speed up to just over the limit and pull them over.

That's not only fairly dangerous, but should say a little more about the intent of the cars when they resort to such tactics.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#41718831)

If you don't break the law you can't get a ticket.

because speed cameras have never been found to be faulty, badly calibrated, or officers insufficiently trained in their use?

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#41718867)

If you don't break the law you can't get a ticket.

because speed cameras have never been found to be faulty, badly calibrated, or officers insufficiently trained in their use?

My point still stands. It might be a pain in the ass, but a ticket issued under such circumstances is invalid and you can have it dismissed in court. My wording was less verbose than necessary to handle all the edge cases.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

ireallyhateslashdot (2297290) | about 2 years ago | (#41719171)

My point still stands. It might be a pain in the ass, but a ticket issued under such circumstances is invalid and you can have it dismissed in court. My wording was less verbose than necessary to handle all the edge cases.

<sarcasm>Yeah, and judges don't count the opinion of a police officer higher than that of a defendant. Nope, that NEVER happens. </sarcasm>

I've gone to court over a traffic ticket, fought it and won, and STILL ended up paying court costs and fines that ended up being more than the original fine.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

FirephoxRising (2033058) | about 2 years ago | (#41718605)

Over the last month unmarked police cars have been all over the highways. They are patrolling out on the road and they stopped my wife for doing 106km/h in a 100km/h zone on a steep downhill section of the road. My wife was in 3rd gear to slow the car down, but like everyone else here, she didn't ride her brakes to keep it under 100. She now has to pay $100 dollars or take it to court. I have heard numerous similar stories, I'd be OK if they were in some of our dangerous curves or in school zones where idiots keep speeding, but they're not. Personally I think the unmarked cars should be strictly for investigation unless they see something dangerous. Oh and before you say speeding is dangerous, piss off, 106 isn't excessive speed. In fact I support calls for the 110km/h zones to be expanded and even 120 on the divided freeways, roads are better now, cars are better now, we don't need the old limit. Conversely, if people drive too fast in poor conditions/faster than they or their car can handle, then throw the book at them.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718665)

Jo ham is a fucking idiot. Just my personal estimation.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#41718725)

Jo ham is a fucking idiot. Just my personal estimation.

My username begins with a small letter and has an underscore in it. Just my personal estimation.

Also, I'm sorry about your speeding fine. Maybe take more care next time, eh? Log in too - more carelessness!

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718825)

OH really. So that speeding ticket I got doing 55 in a 50mph zone had a 10% leeway? It was at night and there wasn't a single other car on the road. The officer was obviously fishing for a DUI. I still got a ticket.

Cops most definitely do stop people for doing 5mph over the limit. It happens all the time. ANY reason to pull you over to fish for bigger crimes. Ah well, what are you gonna do, cops are scum. The police in my area do not have "real" criminals to chase after, so they pull you over for some bullshit reason, search your vehicle, 3 other cop cars show up and its a big scene. I once got a ticket after 2 hours of searching my vehicle (without my consent) while I was handcuffed and being accused of being on drugs. I was sober, driving a nice car and do not look like any sort of "profile." My ticket was for not changing the address on my drivers license after moving (I had moved a couple months earlier.) 2 HOURS, 4 police cars, handcuffs, and unreasonable search. No reason given for pulling me over either. Just fishing.

Fuck the police. Fuck them up their stupid asses.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719011)

Actually this is Victoria, Australia. There is no 10% leeway on speeding, it's 3kms, and these cars sole purpose is for 'traffic operarions', is speeding, running a yellow, not coming to a complete stop or not indicating while turning.

A massive percent of the states revenue comes from traffic operations, so it makes sense that they would invest to increase it.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41719129)

They certainly do stop ordinary motorists if something flags you to them (impaired driving, excessive speed, tax/insurance issues etc) but they're not there to "catch you out"...

That's really weird. In the US, if an unmarked police car tries to pull me over for any of those reasons, this only means one thing, and it means that it's a criminal trying to impersonate a cop.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718273)

It's about outing unmarked police cars, which serve no purpose other than to try to catch people...

.. committing criminal offences? Damn those Police, trying to catch criminals!

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718427)

In Australia, there is widespread contempt and disgust at the unfortunate police who are tasked with raising revenue for cash-strapped states/cities. They will cite for 'speeding less than 1Mph over - and do. They have re-jigged traffic regulations, so you are guilty, until proved innocent, and deliberately use unmarked cars in excess, because that garners more revenue.
Like the army of 'parking inspectors' that also skulk about covertly taxing motorists with 'drive by camera plate number recognition'. Combine that with speed cameras, and heavy handed 'collection' tactics, has everyone angry. (Note- normal police in marked units are respected) .

No laws broken, as unmarked does not= undercover. But now the undercover will have to make an effort not make a few more dollars writing out tickets on the way back (to make their monthly quota of infringements).

The Police can easily fix this, just ask that just the tiny miniscule set of true 'undercover' cars be removed nicely. Some even think this this site may have been set up by the police to help the police, as any right minded criminal will think 'crap, they have a speed trap set up in my street'. You can see by the numbers, that there are hardly any marked cars nowadays.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718587)

They will cite for 'speeding less than 1Mph over - and do.

As they should be. Speed limit means that is the fastest you can go. Anything over including 0.0000000000000000000000001 over is breaking the law and should be ticketed.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#41718855)

except odometers only have to be accurate to within 10% for a car to be roadworthy

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41719085)

Then show your car is inaccurate by that degree and get the ticket thrown out.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

alonsoac (180192) | about 2 years ago | (#41719151)

better yet get the thing fixed and don't go over the speed limit?

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718519)

Everyone is neglecting the fact that this isn't about outing police officers who are undercover. It's about outing unmarked police cars, which serve no purpose other than to try to catch people for traffic violations

That's ok then they should be held liable for any traffic accidents and deaths resulting from them.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#41718871)

even if we ignore the fact that they're not actually doing anything wrong and therefore shouldn't be liable for anything - there's still the point of it wouldn't be possible to link any specific accident to the page.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41719005)

since the sight of a cop car is a powerful deterrent

Bull. People regularly slow down at the sight of cop cars or traffic cameras, but speed right back up again once they know theyre past them. It doesnt deter anything, it just postpones it.

which serve no purpose other than to try to catch people for traffic violations

Oh the horror, cops going after folks for violating the law.

Frankly, I like police vehicles to be visible so that I can find them in the event of an emergency if I need help

...Im pretty sure there is a phone number you can dial to have a cop on the scene in around 5-10 minutes. Im pretty sure the chances of just "happening" to see a cop in that time are pretty low, at least based on my experience in and around DC (where one MIGHT see a cop in 10-20 minutes of driving around the capital and RFK stadium).

Re:Don't complain about crime then (2)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 2 years ago | (#41719045)

Your right there only job is to collect funds to fill government coffers that's why they are unmarked. They are not ticketing to punish they are ticketing to keep the government funded and that's wrong.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#41719193)

They should also be held liable when that police office gets killed or the suspect they are investigating commits a crime.

But only if the person who took the pictures was the murderer.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Informative)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | about 2 years ago | (#41717821)

There isn't really any problem here, this is just the Vic Police overreacting. The vehicles are 100% obviously cop cars, with exactly the same antenna and will always have some form of lightbar inside or outside the vehicle. Anyone who can't spot an undercover cop in Australia needs their eyes checked.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#41718001)

Yeah this is usually the case, criminals already know what the make and model of the unmarked cars are.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (2)

CaptainDefragged (939505) | about 2 years ago | (#41718193)

Yes they are not "undercover" as such but just unmarked or covert cars. The are generally easy to spot unless they are behind you. New South Wales Police are even taking advantage of this with a special batch of 50 highway cars highly marked and extremely visible from the rear, but almost covert from the front. They even have photos of their covert cars on their own Facebook pages. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.420791607956995.85178.217834118252746&type=3 [facebook.com]

Re:Don't complain about crime then (4, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | about 2 years ago | (#41717891)

They are outing undercover police cars, not the police themselves. Big difference. Given the many makes and models they use and how common those vehicle types are on the roads, a public database is not going to put a dent in any undercover operation at all.

Re:Don't complain about crime then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717951)

Afaik these are the unmarked cars, typically used to bust speeding motorists - not Inspector Gadget's crack team of undercover cops. If you think they've unearthed a ring of criminal masterminds using facebook to pass information, you've been watching far too much tv.

Also, can someone PLEASE explain Streisland to these morons?

Lists like this have been circulating for as long as I can remember. I started driving in the 70's and (for example) when speed traps became popular, so did lists of speed traps on BBS's - AND lists of where police cars liked to hide in wait, unmarked or otherwise. Now you can download databases of thse things onto your gps.

Are they using them to fight crime? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 2 years ago | (#41718569)

If they're anything like the US, they're not really using the cars for fighting crime, they're using them to capriciously enforce traffic laws to generate revenue. It's quite a clever scam over here. They keep the enforcement just low enough that people get comfortable driving at a speed that is safe, but exceeds the posted limit. As long as they don't get too greedy, they can pick off a driver here and there and soak them with fines.

If they enforced better, either people would wise up and stick to the limit, or they would clamor for more just limits - the speed limit is a tax on your time that ought to be weighed against the presumed benefits. They use a mix of marked and unmarked vehicles (though the unmarked vehicles are still pretty identifiable by their dark color, illegal (but who's going to enforce it....) window tint levels, and utility equipment mounted to the front.) to make sure that people don't notice where the enforcement is taking place.

At least it's not in the US... (0)

michael_rendier (2601249) | about 2 years ago | (#41717757)

Here, you would be labeled an enemy of the state right off...Now if DARPA didn't have such a big hand in the facebook database...

Re:At least it's not in the US... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717915)

Here you would be labeled a nigger if your mom was black, but she isn't. She just loves the big black cock...

Not quite the surveillance state.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717783)

....they were looking for.

Erm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717785)

saying saying??

Does anyone even read what they post on here anymore?

Re:Erm... (3, Insightful)

gomiam (587421) | about 2 years ago | (#41718099)

No no, they don't don't ;)

can facebook face a accessory to murder change (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41717791)

can facebook face a accessory to murder change if a undercover cop gets killed from a post on it?

Re:can facebook face a accessory to murder change (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717897)

These aren't fucking undercover. They're unmarked. And there's a huge fucking difference. And you're a fucking idiot.

Re:can facebook face a accessory to murder change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717917)

can facebook face a accessory to murder change if a undercover cop gets killed from a post on it?

Yeah right. They hold about as much culpability here as the guy running the lead smelting machine at the plant used to make the bullet that killed the cop.

That being said, I'm sure someone will try. After all, that's what lawyers and courts are for, right? Bringing forth pointless cases will little or no merit for the express purpose of putting money into the courts or lawyers pockets.

Re:can facebook face a accessory to murder change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717973)

Obviously not, you're a fucking retard. Who is going to use that Info to commit murder?

Re:can facebook face a accessory to murder change (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41718315)

corporations have no public responsibility. they are only responsible to their shareholders.

Re:can facebook face a accessory to murder change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718673)

Honestly I hope not. Every cop who isn't solving violent crimes should be shot directly in the face. No drug crimes, no crime period that isn't violent. If it isn't violent then it is not a crime IMHO. Bitch.

Wait, the police always said... (5, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 2 years ago | (#41717801)

...if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Are they now saying that information can be misused by wrong-doers, and that privacy actually has a value?

Re:Wait, the police always said... (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41719159)

Are they now saying that information can be misused by wrong-doers, and that privacy actually has a value?

Almost. They're saying their privacy has value and your privacy doesn't. Although this is hardly the first time authority has claimed exemption from its own laws. While I'm sure there are earlier examples, it was Syrus who first said "Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet", which translated means "Every rumor is believed when directed against the unfortunate." That's how authority keeps people supporting it no matter how bad the justification is. I could be a police officer and right now get up, walk outside, and shoot the first person I see in the head. No reason whatsoever. But here's the thing: The human mind can't handle reasonless action. All actions require justification, and so we fill in what we don't know with what we expect. What we want.

In the end, the guy I just shot in the head, well... he deserved it. He must have done something. Why else would me, the nice police officer, have shot him?

And that's how they get you -- every time. Authority is always right because authority is always right because...

Saying saying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41717803)

saying saying it cannot stop people...etc.. typo?

Undercover? (3, Insightful)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 2 years ago | (#41717841)

Unmarked != undercover... or is that what Aussies call their unmarked cars?

Re:Undercover? (3, Informative)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | about 2 years ago | (#41717853)

You're absolutely correct - most of the vehicles on the page are unmarked highway patrol, a few detective vehicles but nothing I would consider 'undercover'. If they were undercover they wouldn't be in a vehicle that has radios and lights installed, they'd be using portables.

Re:Undercover? (1)

deniable (76198) | about 2 years ago | (#41718581)

Given the drivers are usually in uniform, I wouldn't call them undercover.

Re:Undercover? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41718719)

Right. These are generally used for traffic enforcement. The real undercover cars are generally picked up short term from Rent-A-Wreck or whatever cheap local rental outfit you have there.

For unmarked traffic enforcement purposes, something that is popular and blends in is what they use. Speeders can't be bothered to check a list of plate numbers and knowing that the cops use a silver Honda Accord will just make them jump every time one of a few thousand identical cars goes by.

The real criminals are screwed because the cops generally don't stake them out using the same rental car twice. And new plates wouldn't be a show-stopper for the cops anyway.

They should be thankful (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41717869)

The list of people following the page is a good list of possible suspects. The police should be thankful of Facebook for doing their job for them.

UC-Car vs UC-Cop (3, Interesting)

Penurious Penguin (2687307) | about 2 years ago | (#41717991)

Seems it aint so easy to do the same in the YouEssay -- at least not with an actual officer: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/melissa-walthall-texas-undercover-cop-facebook-arrest_n_1970479.html [huffingtonpost.com]
So far, two people have been caged for that.

Re:UC-Car vs UC-Cop (1)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#41718079)

If the article is to be believed, she and a few other people posted a picture of the officer in retaliation for the officer testifying in a drug case against one of her friends. So, you've got a charge of retaliation for that offense, but since she actively identified the person as being an undercover cop, she also blew open any current cases the officer was working on, which would also open her up to obstruction of justice.

The article questions whether retaliation is a legitimate charge because it can only be pressed in the case of "intentional harm or threat to harm" through an unlawful act. Obstruction of justice is an unlawful act, and exposing an undercover police officer can open them up to violent assault by criminals they may have been working with. That they knowingly posted his picture and identified him as an undercover cop satisfies the "intentional" part - the threat to harm could come from the potential for harm in such an event, so the charges are certainly fair.

Just my two cents.

Re:UC-Car vs UC-Cop (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718911)

There is no obligation for the populace to keep the government's secrets. That's why they make everyone sign a scary-looking nondisclosure agreement before granting access to them.

This is certainly retaliation, but it is the government retaliating against a citizen that is making their work more difficult. And if there is anything that a government worker hates, it is anything that requires them to demonstrate competence and diligence in their job.

Re:UC-Car vs UC-Cop (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41718257)

Seems it aint so easy to do the same in the YouEssay -- at least not with an actual officer: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/melissa-walthall-texas-undercover-cop-facebook-arrest_n_1970479.html [huffingtonpost.com]

The difference being those are actually undercover cops, not just unmarked cars (which the story is actually about), which usually contain uniformed police and are not terribly hard to identify (except in the dark).

Shoe on the other foot (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#41718007)

Sucks when the law works against you, doesn't it?

Good for facebook - teach these little hitlers that society works both ways. Being a part of the executive doesn't provide you with special privilege.

Re:Shoe on the other foot (0)

Xenkar (580240) | about 2 years ago | (#41718133)

Why call them little hitlers when you can more accurately describe them as authoritative sociopaths?

When you call them Hitler, you are defining them as something not everyone agrees on. Some people think Hitler is a hero. Some think he is the greatest mass murderer ever. But assuming Hitler is guilty of every piece of war propaganda slapped on him, you are lessening his crimes by equating them to people who don't want unmarked police car photos plastered all over the Internet.

Eventually "Hitler" will lose its impact as a shaming label if it is applied to everything. I believe that it would be good for it to lose effectiveness but then people will just move on a new shaming label. Perhaps it'll be Bush or Obama.

Don't break out the champagne. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718063)

They may just add it to the Great Firewall of Australia instead.

In 3, 2, 1....with apologies to Poe & Pink (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#41718215)

"We're going to have shut down that Godforsaken internet before it cripples our ability to enforce the law and protect the citizens." Safety? How can you get any safety when you didn't eat your rights?

Trapster (1)

GeoBain (1954832) | about 2 years ago | (#41718217)

How is this any different than an app like Trapster [google.com] which just allows motorists to warn each other of speed traps?

Police didn't seem to care the last time (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41718341)

Crims hung out on Flinders street outside the WTC police offices and wrote down the rego plates of cars going in and out. It created a bit of a stir but they are entitled to hang out in public places and write things down.

Classic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718625)

Facebook operates under a presumption, i.e. a vague understanding and in many cases a misunderstanding of USA legalities, laws and rules.

G of Australia operates under THEIR rules, which evolve by the minute to cover the illegal activities of the Australian Government Bureaucrats.

A possible solution to the crisis is for Australia to hire a killer, give him financing, send him to San Jose California, stalk the Starbucks Cafe's
near Facebook, and when the opportune moment arises, murder Mark Zuckerberg.

What is the matter people of Australia? You got an ITCH, SCRATCH the FUCKING ITCH. Get Some Balls! Use Some Money! Hire SomeONE
to do what you could never do!

I vote for the evaporation of Australia and all peoples of Australia from the face of the Earth in Celebration of Earth Week, just for the fun of it. .!.

These Aussie non stories are a crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41718983)

The idiotic undercover Aussie Slashdot "editors" are the criminals.

People interested in "News for Nerds. Things that Matter" are the victims.

Tie me fucking kangaroo down, mate.

Kim Dotcom reversal time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41719047)

Pardon the schadenfreude, but I for one, would love to see Zuckerberg's compound get raided and Facebook shut down.

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