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It's Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the they-know-what-you-did-last-summer dept.

Privacy 201

New submitter blastboy writes "Every day in Britain, a vast system of cameras tracks cars on the road, feeding their movements into a database used by police. And because that data is networked, cops can use it to go back in time — or even predict your movements. But even though there are serious concerns about the technology, and it's regularly been abused by law enforcement, it has now been exported by the Brits and put in place by police departments around the world."

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Well this is necessary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745005)

Government surveillance is necessary in this date and age to protect not only our Freedoms but also our security.

England, the USofA, and the rest of the Free World have fought a long and hard battle against totalitarian, oppressive and stifling governments. And with the current trend of indiscriminate searching, monitoring and spying on its citizens, the Free World will stay free.

Re:Well this is necessary (0)

PcItalian (1835114) | about 7 months ago | (#45745169)

Government surveillance is necessary in this date and age to protect not only our Freedoms but also our security.

England, the USofA, and the rest of the Free World have fought a long and hard battle against totalitarian, oppressive and stifling governments. And with the current trend of indiscriminate searching, monitoring and spying on its citizens, the Free World will stay free.

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over how wrong you are. A free world would consist of an armed people protecting itself everyday, not a dictatorship in disguise as a 'Free World'

Re:Well this is necessary (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45745239)

I think this is a case where Poe's Law [wikipedia.org] applies.

Re:Well this is necessary (4, Funny)

Subm (79417) | about 7 months ago | (#45745773)

I think this is a case where Poe's Law applies.

I think this is a case where whoosh! applies.

Re:Well this is necessary (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745253)

WOOOOOSH
How could you not see the sarcasm? Same question to the mod.

Re:Well this is necessary (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 7 months ago | (#45745407)

How could you not see the sarcasm? Same question to the mod.

Yeah, I figured it was a joke, too. Then again, there are some thoroughly unhinged posters on /. who might actually agree with this...

Re:Well this is necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745435)

The scariest part isn't that some didn't get the sarcasm, but that there ARE people who would actually say something like this and believe it.

Re:Well this is necessary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745519)

WOOOOOSH

How could you not see the sarcasm? Same question to the mod.

Is it really sarcasm? Living in the USA, I feel less free than ever and I'm old. When the USA was fightin' commies, we were fighting regimes that suppressed the rights of their people to the point of not allowing them out of the country. Everyone knew that in the USSR there was no color, birthday cakes or sunshine until the Berlin Wall came down. Only the the USSR monitored its citizens using men in black Mercedes.

Now we're "fighting" a free people who roam about the world so now everyone is suspect. Now everyone is under surveillance. It's to the point where thought is a crime; not necessarily from the state. Now institutions, such as universities and your workplace, have decided to take punitive actions against those with ideas that might not be perceived as politically correct. Facebook, marketing, and the like have really become the tools used by the "tyranny of the majority."

Re:Well this is necessary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745541)

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over how wrong you are. A free world would consist of an armed people protecting itself everyday, not a dictatorship in disguise as a 'Free World'

Armed people? Protecting themselves? We're too busy suspending our kids from school when they pull out a fucking toy gun. You expect that pathetic parent to carry a real gun? Yeah right. Yet another freedom that will succumb to the anti-will of the Sheeple. Feel free to "think of the children" when you can't defend them against tyranny.

Welcome to the society who didn't give a shit enough about freedoms to protect them in the first place, wants everything for free, and then wants to bitch about how all those free things in life rob them of privacy.

I laugh at your idea that people actually give a shit enough to want a Free World.

I need to work on my sarcasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745211)

Government surveillance is necessary in this date and age to protect not only our Freedoms but also our security.

England, the USofA, and the rest of the Free World have fought a long and hard battle against totalitarian, oppressive and stifling governments. And with the current trend of indiscriminate searching, monitoring and spying on its citizens, the Free World will stay free.

'-1' - D'oh! I thought the last sentence was a dead give away.

-Doug Salmon, Kilgore Trout's retarded neighbor.

State Abuse... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745017)

...it's regularly been abused by law enforcement, it has now been exported by the Brits and put in place by police departments around the world....

Well, of course, the Brits have always been the first to invent new technical concepts. The steam engine, the computer, the jet, radar, you name it.. In this case we wrote the book here, so I'm not surprised that we're exporting it.

The book was 1984.....

Re:State Abuse... (4, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#45745321)

I could have sworn it wasn't meant to be taken as an instruction manual. Possibly the worst mistake since that whole fiasco about serving man.

Which, coincidently is the movie reference that pops into my head whenever I see a cop car with "to protect and serve"

We also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745389)

...wrote 'Brave New World'.

Which dystopia do you prefer?

Re:We also... (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#45746135)

actually 1984 and Brave new world are both amongst some of my favourite books of all time.

The thing I find interesting is to think about what Orwell would include today. I mean, he had no way to know that it would be possible for so few to do so much. Even his view screens that could not be turned off and acted as cameras.... envisioned a world where nobody knew if they were watching when. He never considered a world where that act doesn't require an active observer, a world where they can just always be recording and then go back and watch later. Such technology was too far out to even be a pipe dream.

Hell, 15 years ago people in the know talked about it like it was a pipe dream. I mean sure, we could envision it then, but, the data requirements for both movement and storage were impossible, only maybe as an outside chance, in the hands of a sophisticated group like the NSA, and even then likely more than they can handle.... and now....today.... we know its true.

Hell I remember people talking about TCP hijacking and types of MITM attacks that always ended with "yah maybe if you were the NSA and could be snooping on every backbone connection".... 15 years ago, that was fiction; but it had become imaginable.

I have to wonder what 1984 would include if it had been written in the 90s.

Re:State Abuse... (3, Interesting)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 7 months ago | (#45745473)

Thank you. I was waiting for a 1984 reference to appear... It provides me with a lame excuse to plug another British writer (sort of) I've stumbled across recently:

Arthur Koestler [wikipedia.org]

He wrote about totalitarianism as well, but much more subtle and less dramatic then Orwell. To each his own, but I have a new favourite dystopianist.

Re:State Abuse... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745497)

The first steam engine was invented in Spain. The abacus, the world's first computer, was invented in Sumeria. The first jet aircraft was invented in Romania. Radar was invented in Germany.

Don't let those facts stop you from claiming the Brits invented everything, like you limeys always do.

Re:State Abuse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745837)

We only claim we invented everything as an antidote to the Americans claiming they did :)

Re:State Abuse... (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 7 months ago | (#45746305)

I've even read a Brit claiming they had the first European printing press, Mr. Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany must be over the moon!

1948 (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 7 months ago | (#45745995)

The original title of the book was 1948. He was writing about the cold war.
Editors made him change the title to 1984. Read 1985 for some more info.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745025)

O don't have a car. Public transport FTW.

Re:No (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#45745119)

I bet they have a GPS tracker on that bus you're on too! They know exactly where it's going.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745133)

Subway m8, everyone knows where they are headed anyway.

Re:No (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45745623)

they'll still run you down and pop you just to be sure.

Re:No (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 months ago | (#45745163)

Buses have gps trackers, internal cameras recording all journeys to hard disk, recorders on the vehicle management systems etc. They can replay who got on/off and every press of the brake/accelerator the driver makes. The latter is used for insurance purposes to prove how the driver responded to accidents etc.

Re:No (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#45745189)

...which of itself has no value, as bus routes are publicly advertised. The trick is the widespread CCTV surveillance - if they want to know which bus you're taking, they can find out.

Re:No (1)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | about 7 months ago | (#45745771)

Well I heard that they track the trains, so they're sure to be tracking buses too.

The car's the thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745033)

You decided to vote for the Tories, Britain. You decided to vote for the corrupt Beeching to suck up corporate welfare for his road-building business and strike his Axe down on public transport.

And now you are surprised that we're over-taxed and over-tracked across the country while engaging in the statistically most dangerous everyday activity in the Western world.

Re:The car's the thing. (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 months ago | (#45745127)

You decided to vote for the Tories

To be fair, labour were just as bad - a lot of the survelience law was passed by them. The only real difference between the left/right in the UK is which way they shaft you. they both shaft you though.

Re:The car's the thing. (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#45745213)

Tories bad, therefore Labour good, right?

while engaging in the statistically most dangerous everyday activity in the Western world

What?

Re:The car's the thing. (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#45745455)

> Tories bad, therefore Labour good, right?

Just as bad as the "GOP haters" here who criticize them for surveillance, then turn a blind eye when the dems do it. Remember Khrushchev: "Politicians are the same all over, they promise to build a bridge, even where there is no river" (only time politicians tell the truth is when criticizing politicians)

> while engaging in the statistically most dangerous everyday activity in the Western world

driving.

Re:The car's the thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745889)

The Beeching report came out in 1963. Labour under Harold Wilson (Oxford Graduate) won the 1964 Election. Did they stop the closures?

Did they heck.
If you were to take the trouble (which I doubt) you may be surprised to find out that the majority of lines closed as a result of the beeching report were closed under Labour. Many of my family were railwaymen and a good few lost their jobs are a result of the closures. Many of the lines closed were long past their sell-by-date and the people working on them knew it.

Don't foget that it was also PM Harold Wilson who canned the TSR2 and bought the RAF and Navy US made Phantoms. They were crap in 1964 and never improved.

Perhaps you should study a subject before making comments you clearly have no clue about.

Hell (2)

TempleOS (3394245) | about 7 months ago | (#45745035)

God is perfectly just. Judge not lest you be judged. I giggle thinking about that.

It's not all a downward slide (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45745039)

Boston police apparently abandoned [arstechnica.com] their license-plate reading program after reporters found out they weren't using it for the stated purpose of finding stolen vehicles.

Of course, it is easier to get a crooked, ineffective police program killed when it is funded from the local budget, not windfall "homeland security" dollars in the US.

Re:It's not all a downward slide (2)

mishehu (712452) | about 7 months ago | (#45745067)

I'm sure that the Boston program is only down temporarily - stupid monkey with the wrench broke things. But never fear, it will be back again in the near future under a new guise... And when it does, I will keep singing that one Rockwell song every time I get in my car...

Re:It's not all a downward slide (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45745193)

There's no pleasing some people.

Re:It's not all a downward slide (1)

Scutter (18425) | about 7 months ago | (#45745217)

It's cynicism borne of past experience. Governments are not trustworthy. They never have been and they never will. Constant vigilance against abuses is the only way to stop it. Public apathy is why we're where we are.

Re:It's not all a downward slide (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45745361)

There comes a point when cynicism and apathy become mutually reinforcing and, soon, indistinguishable.

Re:It's not all a downward slide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745077)

That's great - when they're caught.

Unfortunately, most of the media is incompetent or corrupt. The 60 Minutes show on the NSA is an example of how pathetic news reporting has become and it has not been doing its job as a public watchdog.

Re:It's not all a downward slide (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45745113)

Boston police apparently "abandoned" [arstechnica.com] their license-plate reading program after reporters found out they weren't using it for the stated purpose of finding stolen vehicles.

FTFY - you forgot the scare quotes.

"Indefinite hold" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745255)

I thought it was placed in an "indefinite hold", at least until they can figure a way of turning off the readers when they enter the police employee parking lots (where the most unpaid ticket were found).

Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (5, Insightful)

John3 (85454) | about 7 months ago | (#45745047)

Tracking the movements of vehicles is quite a bit different than tracking cell phone conversations. There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads. Operating a vehicle (at least in the US) is heavily regulated, requiring registration of the vehicle, insurance, and licensed operators. In my area, in addition to the traffic cameras there are license plate scanners on most police vehicles. They scan and record the plates of vehicles as the police drive around town, popping up an alert if they get a "hit" on a vehicle with issues (suspended registration, insurance, or involvement in a crime). You're also tracked via tolls (EZ Pass in my area) and gasoline purchases (credit card data), but the police don't have easy access to that data without a subpoena.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745069)

"Expectation of privacy" is one of those bullshit arguments which just requires moving the Overton window until expectation is eliminated.

If a party - public OR private - has no business processing data, it should not be processing it.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 7 months ago | (#45745157)

I only agree there is "no expectation of privacy" for a car in the sense that cars are not invisible. If my car is parked outside Starbucks, then anyone on the street can see it, and it is not a breach of my privacy to say "I saw Sir Garlon's car parked at Starbucks this morning." This is perfectly reasonable.

It is one hell of a leap from there to "it's perfectly OK for the government to track someone's vehicle 24/7." Pretending that "no expectation of privacy" in the first sense is congruent with "no expectation of privacy" in the second sense is totally disingenuous. As Jules from Pulp Fiction said, that "ain't the same ballpark, ain't the same league, ain't even the same fuckin' sport!"

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745491)

Actually it was Vincent Vega who said that, and he shut the hell up as soon as Jules asked him if he'd give a foot massage to a guy.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#45745131)

If there's no expectation of privacy on public roads, then why do people get freaked out if they notice someone following them? There is some expectation of privacy on public roads, especially as you move away from cities.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (4, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 7 months ago | (#45745155)

If there's no expectation of privacy on public roads, then why do people get freaked out if they notice someone following them?

For the same reason people don't worry that people can see them when they are out in public, but freak out when they notice someone staring at them. You are being singled out and focused on, and probably not for something good.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

buck-yar (164658) | about 7 months ago | (#45745283)

Then why do people get upset at surveillance man? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7tBHV0xu68 [youtube.com]

There's no expectation of privacy standing around talking in a parking lot

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745495)

Probably because they extrapolate to that someone is actually going to do something bad to them like jack their car?

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45745145)

There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads.

I fully expect that governments not record my movements with cameras in public places.

Operating a vehicle (at least in the US) is heavily regulated, requiring registration of the vehicle, insurance, and licensed operators.

Irrelevant.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

John3 (85454) | about 7 months ago | (#45745237)

I fully expect that governments not record my movements with cameras in public places.

They aren't recording YOUR movements, they are recording the movements of a licensed piece of equipment on roadways built and maintained using public funds. BTW, I don't condone this data warehousing, I am pointing out the huge different between NSA tracking of electronic communication and government observation of physical movement through open public spaces. They are VERY different situations and the headline implies they are alike. Debating the recording of vehicle movement should be done independently of debating the NSA surveillance program as linking them muddies the discussion.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 7 months ago | (#45745335)

They aren't recording YOUR movements

You can try to pretend they aren't, but I don't buy it.

licensed piece of equipment on roadways built and maintained using public funds.

All irrelevancies.

Well, SirGarlon's post above already summed up how I feel about all this.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

buck-yar (164658) | about 7 months ago | (#45745469)

And a GPS tracker planted on your car isn't tracking YOUR movements, its tracking the movements of the govt owned GPS tracker. LOL at your distinction.

Also, tell me where in the Constitution this is stated as something the govt is to do. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the constitution knows its duties are enumerated, not infinite.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

John3 (85454) | about 7 months ago | (#45745589)

And a GPS tracker planted on your car isn't tracking YOUR movements, its tracking the movements of the govt owned GPS tracker. LOL at your distinction.

Also, tell me where in the Constitution this is stated as something the govt is to do. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the constitution knows its duties are enumerated, not infinite.

A GPS is attached to a specific car. Recording every vehicle passing through a toll booth is not targeting your vehicle or any other vehicle. There is a difference.

The government does lots of things that are not in the Constitution. Check the 10th amendment. Not supporting the recording of all this vehicle data, but I still stand by my assertion that it's quite different from NSA recording and logging of private calls.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45745153)

There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads.

Bullshit.

If that were true, they wouldn't need a warrant to search your car.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#45745245)

That 'warrant' thing has been watered down to probable cause with regard to the search of an auto where we reside.

Probable cause has been watered down to the eye-of-the-beholder method, often adjudicated by a 20 year old with a marine haircut.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45745483)

That 'warrant' thing has been watered down to probable cause with regard to the search of an auto where we reside.

Probable cause has been watered down to the eye-of-the-beholder method, often adjudicated by a 20 year old with a marine haircut.

23 year old (minimum age requirement).

Otherwise, yea.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (2)

John3 (85454) | about 7 months ago | (#45745263)

HUGE difference between observing a vehicle's location and searching the vehicle. BTW, police do not need a warrant to search your car if they observe an illegal item on the dashboard or passenger seat. If the item is in plain site they can stop you and then search the rest of your vehicle without any warrant.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45745513)

HUGE difference between observing a vehicle's location and searching the vehicle.

HUGE difference between the statement "no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads" and reality.

BTW, police do not need a warrant to search your car if they observe an illegal item on the dashboard or passenger seat. If the item is in plain site they can stop you and then search the rest of your vehicle without any warrant.

Plain 'sight,' and yea, that's called "being in the commission of a crime," and when you're in that state you forfeit a lot of rights. But that has nothing to do with OP claiming that there's "no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads," unless you add the addendum, "while you're blatantly breaking the law."

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745243)

While there is a cliche that there is no expectation of privacy that is a very aggressive interpretation of the 4th ammendment, I do not disagree with such a blanket assessment. True, there is no expectation of privacy in respect of being recognized by other private persons. 4th ammendment, however, specifically limits the government from intruding into the personal lifes. There will always be justification of "du jour". For the beginning, I think that the new law needs to be introduced which would require notification, in writing, when personal data was collected by any level of government without consent. Blanket statement saying that just by being on the road one relinquishes his right do not fly.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

EngineeringStudent (3003337) | about 7 months ago | (#45745275)

The only reason that there is no legal writ is because the average person hasn't been forced to think through it.
Please remember this is rule OF the poeple BY the people, at least in theory, in the US.

If you do something odious enough to make the average person think it through, they will usually find a way to work against the odious and in the actual public good.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#45745279)

No, I do not accept your argument. I see no legitimate reason for the police to track innocent people for the purposes of solving crimes that have not happened yet. It would be one thing if they had plate recognition software that was scanning for a list of stolen vehicles but that's not whats happening. They're creating a log of where everyone is at all times of the day, just in case they find out later they were doing something illegal. Reality is not a corporate network and the government are not our sysadmins.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745401)

For every person complaining that the police are shitting on their privacy there is someone complaining that the police should be doing more.
I just saw a documentary where some guy was ranting that knives should be illegal.

Finally somebody gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745445)

Spying on innocent civilians is an application of guilty before proven innocent, the exact opposite of what government claims to provide us. Same with police checkpoints. The fact that it occurs on public property is irrelevant, because the essence of the act is the same whether you are on public or private property. If you aren't guilty yet, then they have no reason to demand proof of your innocence -- unless of course they have adopted the principle of guilty before proven innocent.

Big Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745305)

There's a big difference between seeing, recognizing and maybe even following a car on a public road and cataloging every single one and keeping that data for as long as you want. If you don't think there is some expectation of privacy imagine a private citizen/organization putting a bunch of these up and tracking government vehicles. You'd have arrests, lawsuits, threats and confiscation of the equipment within a week.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 7 months ago | (#45745333)

There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads.

Sure there is. Now, I don't mean to say that I have an expectation of privacy for any given trip, but I certainly have an expectation of privacy when it comes to someone gathering months or years worth of data on where I go, when, how fast, who with, etc, etc, etc.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745391)

The system was broken the day the horse and buggy guys got them to require registration of motor vehicles. They then tacked on drivers licences and insurance requirements to use a public space.

To the specific issue, there is a HUGE difference between systematic monitoring and recording and targeted. Monitoring somebody with reasonable suspicion is far different than monitoring everybody because we can. It's rather funny how the police are ok recording everybody else all the time but fight tooth and nail not to be recorded themselves, perhaps they know just how invasive and wrong the recording is.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 7 months ago | (#45745397)

There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads.

This is the tricky bit, where a line needs to be drawn. There is a difference between "no expectation of privacy" and "expectation of unencumbered, constant surveillance".

Lets say I was walking down a public high street, having a conversation with my girlfriend. I have no expectation of privacy there either, but I would feel somewhat violated if in ten years time I was presented with a written transcript of what we were saying to each other on that day.

ANPR (number plate recognition) has been used in UK petrol stations for nigh on a decade now, so a car can be pinpointed to a certain area. That is quite different to having a permanent record of everywhere I have driven, kept for decades.

The comparison with NSA surveillance seems quite obvious. It is one thing to have a record kept by an ISP, by the site you visited, by your own machine and so on. It is quite different to have a full and complete record of all your actions logged by a third party and kept for years on end.

What we really lack at the minute is strict laws over what is and isn't acceptable to monitor without a court order.

"Expectation of privacy" (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 7 months ago | (#45745405)

You know what? Fuck all this "no expectation of privacy" bullshit!

Sure, anything people do in public could be observed. But those are the keywords: "anything could." Not "everything will." And certainly not "everything will be observed and then get stored forever in an instantly-searchable government database!"

This Orwellian shit needs to stop.

Re:"Expectation of privacy" (1)

fulldecent (598482) | about 7 months ago | (#45745571)

Remember, the only legislated privacy we have is the privacy of consumer video rentals.

This is an important legislation. Its motivation for passing is also an important thing to consider.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 7 months ago | (#45745425)

There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads.

It's called stalking, there's a line, they went way past it.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

John3 (85454) | about 7 months ago | (#45745603)

Stalking is targeted. This is trolling.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745639)

Oh stop with the "no expectation of privacy" crap. Your argument is basically saying it's OK to stalk someone. Yes that's what you are saying, if someone leaves their house it's OK to record their every movement, who they are with, where they go, for how long. You are saying that if there was enough money it would be OK to have a police cruiser at every residence so that when you leave you home you can be followed and watched.

Another "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" cheerleader. You are a coward. Just because people can doesn't mean they should. What's next, cameras in every house? Just in case you know. We would be able to stop domestic violence and child abuse. Think of the children!!! Of course we would only use the video for those purposes. You argument is because regulation exists it's OK to track your location with video. OK there are regulations concerning bathrooms, stall cam here we come! Just in case you know, you might slip or not wipe and that would be a health hazard.

There are expected norms for decency, respect of others, and community. You obviously don't have any of those and ubiquitous monitoring isn't one of them. Another commie in the rough waiting to pounce with more restrictions, regulations, and chains. Putin called and was wondering when you'll make it back home.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

John3 (85454) | about 7 months ago | (#45745751)

Oh stop with the "no expectation of privacy" crap. Your argument is basically saying it's OK to stalk someone. Yes that's what you are saying, if someone leaves their house it's OK to record their every movement, who they are with, where they go, for how long. You are saying that if there was enough money it would be OK to have a police cruiser at every residence so that when you leave you home you can be followed and watched.

I never said it was OK. I do not support this recording, but I did say you should not privacy when driving a government registered vehicle on government maintained roads and bridges while in possession of your government issued license. I guess you also expect to fly in a plane anonymously, and cash your paycheck anonymously as well. LOL at you posting as anonymous and calling me a coward. Have fun in your fantasy world of anonymous driving.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 7 months ago | (#45745669)

I would argue that while there isn't an expectation of privacy while on the roads there could be a good argument for anonymity on on the roads which is what you loose with mass 24x7 government surveillance of your movements.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

IndustrialG33k (1801670) | about 7 months ago | (#45745911)

Tracking the movements of vehicles is quite a bit different than tracking cell phone conversations. There is no expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle on public roads. Operating a vehicle (at least in the US) is heavily regulated, requiring registration of the vehicle, insurance, and licensed operators.

This is really no different than the retinal scans and facial recognition in our future; they follow the same "no expectation of privacy" argument. Our IDs are our registration. We have insurance mandates as well. Private land is subject to eminent domain, and will be seized for unpaid taxes. The only difference I see is that our operators are not required to have licensure! The government should be for the people, but due to the apathy of the people, people have become slaves to their government.

Re:Quite a bit different than NSA tracking (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 months ago | (#45746283)

This is a CLASSIC case of where technology advances past the law. Police surveillance traditionally meant two detectives following around the perp in an unmarked car and drinking lots of coffee. The implicit man power commitment was in itself a limitation on how far the privacy of citizens could be infringed. Now that this limitation has been rendered obsolete, you can expect the courts to follow the norm of imposing a new limitation in the future.

APNR is old news (0)

zaax (637433) | about 7 months ago | (#45745065)

IT WAS A COOL, QUIET MONDAY EVENING in northeast England when the computer first told them about Peter Chapman. The clock read a little after five, and two officers from Cleveland police were cruising in their patrol car. A screen lit up next to them: the on-board computer was flashing an alert from the local police network. The message told them the target was a blue Ford Mondeo and gave them its registration number.

It was only a few minutes before they came across the car and pulled it over with a sounding of their siren. Inside was Chapman, a 33-year-old convict wanted for questioning in connection with a string of offences, including arson and theft. The officers verified his identity and took him to a station just a few miles away.

At 5:07 p.m. on October 26, 2009, just 20 minutes before he was arrested, Chapman had driven past an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera stationed next to the road. As his car passed, the camera recorded its registration number, together with the time and location, and sent the information to Cleveland Policeâ(TM)s internal computer network, where it was checked against a hotlist downloaded from Britainâ(TM)s central police database.

There was a hit: a request to detain anyone driving Chapmanâ(TM)s car had been entered into the system three days earlier. Once the computers had processed their searchâ"a matter of fractions of a secondâ"the command to apprehend the driver was broadcast to local officers, who stopped and arrested Chapman as soon as they were able.

This feat was made possible by the continuous operation of a vast automated surveillance network that sits astride Britainâ(TM)s roads. The technologyâ"known as License Plate Recognition (LPR) in the US, where it is also usedâ"captures and stores data on up to 15 million journeys in the UK each day.

One Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745377)

Ok, that's the one case where it did some good. Now where are the droves of cases of people getting pulled over for being a day behind on their registration. Or the typo in the system resulting in the wrong person being flagged for arrest. Or the case where someone used a stolen ID when they were arrested and now the actual owner of the ID has a warrant out for their arrest (actually happened to someone I knew)

Re: APNR is old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45746081)

Great. Now take the other few thousand people who drove by that device that did NOT generate a hit because they had no legal warrants against them. Was a record of their movements maintained as well?

See the difference? If you use that tech to search for things legally authorized and stop recording things that are not ' just in case' then you're doing it right.

The fact that is not the default behavior and is not mandated speaks volumes.

And I'm enjoying the benefits (2)

flightmaker (1844046) | about 7 months ago | (#45745099)

I believe it's because of the proliferation of ANPR and other cameras that I had a major reduction of my motor insurance premium this year. Society pays for the crimes of the minority, so using technology to take the crooks off the road pays dividends to all.

Re:And I'm enjoying the benefits (1)

Xest (935314) | about 7 months ago | (#45745601)

You too? Mine dropped from about £380 to £165.

To be fair I think it's a number of factors ranging from dealing with uninsured drivers by stating all cars must either be insured, or declared off the road and linking that up with insurance/DVLA databases to automatically pay a visit to cars registered with neither insurance nor off the road, through to the EU ruling that insurers can't discriminate based on inherent physical traits like sex, through to more work being done to cut down on fraudulent claims for injury and so forth.

Interestingly I saw the office of fair trading the other day declared premiums are still too high. I wonder if I might yet see my insurance drop further.

Re:And I'm enjoying the benefits (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745813)

Insurance was so expensive because the insurers were selling the details of accident victims to lawyers (in return for "referral fees"), who then sued other insurance companies on behalf of the victims, thus driving up the cost of insurance for everyone. And, incidentally, making the insurers' 5% profit margin that much more valuable.

This was great for insurers and lawyers but sucked for everyone else so the government banned the practice. And the cost of insurance has plummeted.

ANPR has fuck all to do with it.

Re:And I'm enjoying the benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745891)

I believe it's because of the proliferation of ANPR and other cameras that I had a major reduction of my motor insurance premium this year. Society pays for the crimes of the minority, so using technology to take the crooks off the road pays dividends to all.

I won't even try and remove the cloud of ignorance hovering all around you that helps you think you're not paying for that entire traffic camera system through the many, many other taxes you pay, but feel free to enjoy the 15% off your motor insurance premiums in exchange for a 50% increase in your medical insurance costs. After all, those traffic cams do a damn good job in keeping track of just how many times you drive to stuff your face with junk food, which they turn around and sell that information to your healthcare provider. Even in socialized medicine, those costs are buried. Enjoy your taxes.

God Save The Queen... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745107)

...and her Fascist Regime

Glad to see my tax is being spent wisely (2)

Ice Tiger (10883) | about 7 months ago | (#45745111)

" Another man, who spoke to journalists but chose to remain anonymous to prevent further harassment, says he was stopped more than 25 times by police under a variety of pretences after he had attended a peaceful local protest against duck and pheasant shooting. He finally made a formal complaint after police armed with machine guns pulled him over during an evening out with his wife."

Apart from the invasion of privacy, what a complete waste of resources, maybe some budgets need to be reduced in order to cut down on waste.

Re:Glad to see my tax is being spent wisely (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#45745199)

"...duck and pheasant shooting"

We sapiens would find something to fight over even if religion and race were non-existent.

Re:Glad to see my tax is being spent wisely (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 7 months ago | (#45745831)

" Another man, who spoke to journalists but chose to remain anonymous to prevent further harassment, says he was stopped more than 25 times by police under a variety of pretences after he had attended a peaceful local protest against duck and pheasant shooting. He finally made a formal complaint after police armed with machine guns pulled him over during an evening out with his wife."

Take two scenarios: Police records all known locations of the car of the "duck and pheasant shooting protestor". When a "duck and pheasant shooter"s house is burnt down, they find that the protester has been near that house repeatedly and he becomes an arson suspect.

And scenario two: "Duck and pheasant shooting" protester is stopped 25 times, including by police with machine guns.

The second one is clearly unacceptable. The first one? I don't know.

Re:Glad to see my tax is being spent wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45746125)

The second one is clearly unacceptable. The first one? I don't know.

You don't know? I do. It is unacceptable because it violates people's privacy. Why would they be tracking his location before he committed any sort of crime to begin with?

Re:Glad to see my tax is being spent wisely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45746231)

Yeah but in scenario one, everyone who lived near the house that got burnt down, attended the protest and drives a car regularly would flag up on the system as well. For smaller protests this would have a smaller chance of spying on law-abiding citizens but with bigger protests/marches, there's a fair chance you'll catch innocents in the net and that imposes on their freedom.

smell the fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745123)

cannot let us out of their sight for fear we'll run tell the truth somewhere

1984 (0)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about 7 months ago | (#45745147)

ANPR IS A BRITISH INVENTION: created, developed, and tested in the UK. Its first major outing was in 1984, when police scientists set themselves up in a small, unmarked cabin on a bridge overlooking the busy M1 motorway.

Concerns about the new technology were raised immediately, including from within the government. A 1984 report for the Greater London Council Police Committee warned that the system made every car a potential suspect and handed policy on mass surveillance to the police. “This possibility in a democracy is unacceptable,” it concluded.

It's even worse than ever expected (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45745165)

We're tracking ourselves!

just wait (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#45745343)

Just wait until we export SCORPION STARE [wikia.com] !

Typical government redundancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45745349)

Police and the NSA wasting tax dollars doing the same thing twice?

Can they just set up a Ministry of Truth, and be done with it? It would save a lot of money.

One picture from the article illustrates why we (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#45745369)

One picture from the article illustrates why we need this in the UK. Its the large muzzy threat [cloudfront.net] that we face.

Re:One picture from the article illustrates why we (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 7 months ago | (#45745799)

And here I thought only we here in the US had people like you.

Just let me know when they're tracking my bicycle (2)

CyclistOne (896544) | about 7 months ago | (#45745667)

... perhaps they already are ...

To Be Honest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45746039)

Old Blighty of late is reminding me more and more or something out of Orwell. We care about "security" of Britons, but couldn't give a monkey's toss about their rights, freedoms, feelings.

Washington State (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#45746055)

... will begin tracking vehicles following legalization of marijuana use. The system is called "Dude, where's my car?"

It's DRM all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45746107)

It's a system designed to thwart lawbreakers, except that lawbreakers know how to avoid, so it's only effective "against" law abiding citizens, and therefore is of no use to anyone.

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