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L.A. Police: All Cars In L.A. Are Under Investigation

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the adjust-your-mirrors-and-put-your-hands-on-the-hood dept.

Crime 405

An anonymous reader writes with a link to an article by the EFF's Jennifer Lynch, carried by Gizmodo, which reports that the L.A. Police Department and L.A. Sheriff's Department "took a novel approach in the briefs they filed in EFF and the ACLU of Southern California's California Public Records Act lawsuit seeking a week's worth of Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) data. They have argued that 'All [license plate] data is investigatory.' The fact that it may never be associated with a specific crime doesn't matter. This argument is completely counter to our criminal justice system, in which we assume law enforcement will not conduct an investigation unless there are some indicia of criminal activity. In fact, the Fourth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution exactly to prevent law enforcement from conducting mass, suspicionless investigations under "general warrants" that targeted no specific person or place and never expired.

ALPR systems operate in just this way. The cameras are not triggered by any suspicion of criminal wrongdoing; instead, they automatically and indiscriminately photograph all license plates (and cars) that come into view. ... Taken to an extreme, the agencies' arguments would allow law enforcement to conduct around-the-clock surveillance on every aspect of our lives and store those records indefinitely on the off-chance they may aid in solving a crime at some previously undetermined date in the future. If the court accepts their arguments, the agencies would then be able to hide all this data from the public."

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Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 7 months ago | (#46559727)

I'm going to take a wild guess that claim is going to get bounced out of court. Sounds more like a stalling tactic than a real defense. Unless the L.A. PD is going to try and make the case that everyone in L.A. is suspicious, in which case they might have a point.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559807)

Everyone in the world is a potential criminal.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#46560297)

Not necessarily everyone in the world.

But to the NSA, certainly *EVERYONE* inside the United States of America is suspicious.

I read a line from TFA with disbelieve ...

"This argument is completely counter to our criminal justice system, in which we assume law enforcement will not conduct an investigation unless there are some indicia of criminal activity"

How naive the author of TFA can be !

The author should have known that the so-called "criminal justice system" of the United States of America is no longer the same one under the Constitution of the United States of America !

Under the "Patriot Act", under the Bush and Obama Administration, United States of America has essentially become the United Soviet of America.

There is no longer the presumption of innocent until proven guilty.

Nowadays, *EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT* no matter what you have done.

Nowadays, It is *UP TO THE DEFENDANT* to prove himself/herself innocent.

Yesssirreee, that's the USA that we've gotten, the United -freaking- SOVIET of America.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559851)

Really? You think it'll get thrown out of court? Because it seems more likely that it'll set a new precedent as being A-OK.

Laws are for the commoners, not the elite. You should know that by now.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (5, Informative)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 7 months ago | (#46559859)

Just LA? I assure you, everyone in *every western nation* is an *actual* criminal simply by being humanly incapable of knowing every possible or plausible interpretation, combination and permutation of every criminal statute.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46559983)

And read the article summary at the top of the page, again. It is a textbook case-study defining the term "Police State".

A police state is not one, contrary to cold-war era thrillers, where armed men patrol every street corner, asking for "papers".

A police state is the one, where, subject to arbitrary criminal suspicion by default, individualsnhave de facto rights that are inferior to the rights for police to act, at every level from municipal to federal.

Enjoy your police state, America.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (4, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | about 7 months ago | (#46560089)

And we still have people denying we're living in a police state! This is what it looks like and we're there. Now the question becomes, how do we get rid of it without the loss of millions of lives?

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560181)

Now the question becomes, how do we get rid of it without the loss of millions of lives?

Posting as AC for obvious reasons. Here's how to get rid of the police state without massive bloodshed:

-- Identify those responsible for bringing the police state into being.
-- Haul them out of their homes at gunpoint.
-- Take them to the nearest public square.
-- Hang, draw, and quarter them.
-- Leave the resulting bits on the National Mall to serve as a warning to others similarly inclined.

Re:Everyone is a potential criminal in L.A. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560225)

You can't take back what you want without giving up everything you have now.

Let's say that, hypothetically, you were to start a small revolution.

To begin with, what would happen is you would be criminalised, and called terrorists. Your friends and family would be turned against you (if it was known who you were). Should you go anonymously, they would be turned against the idea. Either way, the propaganda machine would go into overdrive, showing you to be evil commie terrorists, and people would accept what the state told them about your rebel group.

It would be a bitch trying to gather any public support, with the state constantly whispering in everyone's ear that you were the bad and nasty people, trying to get rid of their democratic rights.

So, you would need to be striking publicly, and often.

What would happen then? Well, you'd get caught. You're in a surveillance state. Cameras everywhere. Cops, military everywhere. Drones everywhere.

Loyal members of the public everywhere.

I have no idea how you could possibly win. You've been so blindly led to believe that you have your true freedom that you have allowed them to take it piece by piece in a bloodless coup. You gave up all that your great-great-great-great grandfathers died for, all in the hope of being the next famous rich bitch.

Just validating registration tags ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 7 months ago | (#46560043)

The LAPD would only need to state that the images were captured with the intent of validating registration tags. Police have the right to look at a plate's registration tag when the vehicle is on a public road, and even stop you and ticket you if it is out of date. This could be automated and a ticket sent in the mail.

Re:Just validating registration tags ... (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46560253)

And if it were actually used for this purpose you could simply download a list of plates whose registrations have expired or been revoked into each scanner, and have the scanner report it when it saw one of those plates. In other words the LAPD's monitoring goes way beyond what is necessary to enforce the law, which is (or used to be) strongly frowned on by the courts.

tree of liberty (5, Insightful)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 7 months ago | (#46559747)

is dying of thirst

Pre Crime (1)

bagboy (630125) | about 7 months ago | (#46559753)

Minority Report Anyone?

Big Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559757)

Keep voting more tax increases and bigger government.
Enjoy the repression you begged for!

Re:Big Government (-1, Flamebait)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46559953)

So...don't vote Republican?
Government is smaller under Obama, and the Bush tax increase was stopped by his continuation of the tax cuts for the rich.

Re:Big Government (3, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 7 months ago | (#46560067)

But neither party is interested in ending the intrusive, ineffective "War on Drugs".

Re:Big Government (2, Informative)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46560165)

Actually, BOTH parties are interested, but thanks to the culture war (by the right) neither can make a shred of headway.
This is all about pretending the hippies lost.

A way to become competent? (2)

Anna Merikin (529843) | about 7 months ago | (#46559769)

LA's cops department is notoriously incompetent -- need I quote chapter and verse? -- and, perhaps the civic leaders see this as a substitute for real police work.

If so, perhaps the courts, in their infinite wisdom, will rein these devices in. If not, well, who cares? They can track my movements through my iPad or mobile phone anyway.

Where do I sign up for the tour of the Gulag?

Re:A way to become competent? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559919)

I've ridden with the LAPD - have you? Most are extremely competent and driven to do the right thing. I see 3 things that drag them down:
1. Massive amounts of crime - both in quantity and quality. They do what they can. IMHO they need to quadruple the number of parole and investigation officers.
2. The organization is too big. That invites middle management with skewed goals and climbing the corporate ladder just like every other psychotic corporation.
3. Misinfotainment reporting varies from half truths to outright lies. Gotta keep those eyes glued to the TV so that more expensive commercials can be aired.

Re:A way to become competent? (1, Insightful)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46559965)

Yeah, Rodney King was SUCH a threat to 4 heavily armed policemen that they HAD to get 28 of their friends to watch and then perjure their action reports.

Re:A way to become competent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560041)

> LA's cops department is notoriously incompetetent^H^H^H corrupt^H^H^H populated by badge wearing baboons who can't type Shakespeare

Fixed That For You(tm).

Re:A way to become competent? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 7 months ago | (#46560077)

Don't you know you have to use monkeys if you want to type Shakespeare?

You're innocent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559791)

...until we decide to charge you with something.

The shades of Chief Gates (2)

mbone (558574) | about 7 months ago | (#46559797)

This is a police force where the Chief of Police in the 1990's, Daryl F. Gates, said [latimes.com] that casual drug users "ought to be taken out and shot," which prescription being specifically aimed at those "who blast some pot on a casual basis."

Mr. Gates is no long with us, but not because of any repudiation by the LAPD.

"All we need is the knowledge of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559801)

and everything else will be fine!"
Or at least that seems to the position of the powers-that-be. But they never seem to want the wisdom of God.
*beat*
Maybe I should have read the article.

"The state" has gone too far (2)

mike555 (2843511) | about 7 months ago | (#46559821)

Every time "the state" does something to violate personal freedoms, ask yourself, do you question enough everything they do? They start small but it all leads to things like this or worse. To keep your "questioning muscle" read some extreme libertarian blogs regularly, like Christopher Cantwell's (google it).

Re:"The state" has gone too far (0)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46559981)

The "State" does this for the good of Capitalists so reading libertarian blogs is the LEAST useful thing you can do
Might try some actual news, say The Nation.

Re:"The state" has gone too far (2)

demonlapin (527802) | about 7 months ago | (#46560191)

If the state didn't have the power to do this stuff, it wouldn't matter whose interests it served. It's been almost 400 years, and we still have to put up with the damned Puritans' idiotic belief that you can make perfect human beings if you just swing the hammer of the state hard enough.

Re:"The state" has gone too far (0)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46560219)

If the state didn't have the power, then the Autocrats in Capitalist Suits would.
If you think for a second that the Puritans are responsible for the enforcement of Capitalist gains, you know NOTHING at all about the Puritans, who were really, REALLY into mandatory work for the good of the many!

Re:"The state" has gone too far (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560271)

Provide a link or don't — but either way, you can take your recommended surveillance engine and shove it up your ass. I enjoy my privacy, and I'm not going to sell it out for a mere search result that I can get elsewhere without compromising: DDG, IXQ, SP, Qrobe, Privatelee, etc. Why the fuck would I use that other garbage — you collect a paycheck there or something?

No expectation of privacy (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559825)

The 4th Amendment's warrant requirement only applies when there is an expectation of privacy. There is no expectation of privacy when you are out in public, nor in anything that can be investigated with plain human senses (plain view, plain smell, etc).

When operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, there is no expectation of privacy attached to your license plate number, or your location. A police officer can follow you around all day without a warrant, and run as many checks on your plate number as he desires, and make a note of everywhere you go.

An officer does not need a warrant to listen to a conversation you have with someone at a park, nor does he need a warrant to take a sniff of whatever it is you're smoking outside your office.

You guys need to get over yourselves.

Re:No expectation of privacy (5, Insightful)

Holi (250190) | about 7 months ago | (#46559891)

Thats a lie that has been repeated so often that you have started to believe it. In a civil society privacy is expected even when we are walking down the street. How you say? Because in a civil society we respect each other and respect each others privacy.

Re:No expectation of privacy (2)

sahuxley (2617397) | about 7 months ago | (#46559989)

Taken to this extreme, how would police officers ever observe anything? I'm all for privacy, but if I get mugged in the street and a cop drives by, I sure as hell want them to be looking out and come to my aid.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560101)

My friend fought off a would-be rapist with Mace. The helpful police arrested her for carrying.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560033)

A civil society is regulated by laws. By omitting specific protections for these things, those laws say that this is legal.

If there are specific things you are entitled to privacy for while out and about, they are specified by said laws. These are not.

Just because you, as an individual, think it should be illegal does not make it so. That's what legislatures are for.

Re:No expectation of privacy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559893)

I don't know where you got your legal training, but you are plumb wrong on several points.

To wit: since the middle of the last century at least, police are prohibited from harassing individuals not suspected of a crime. They may *not* follow you excessively, even on a freeway in a marked car, waiting for you to make an error so they can charge you. Nor may they do similar in person. Case law substantiates this.

Re:No expectation of privacy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559929)

"They may *not* follow you excessively, even on a freeway in a marked car, waiting for you to make an error so they can charge you."

This is a strawman argument, because that is not what the police are doing with this system.

The case law does indeed prohibit them following you until you make a mistake and then charging you. But, it does not prohibit collecting times and locations for license plates the system observes. The police using this system are not following anyone around. They are simply checking every license plate they see, and saving time and location data in a database, which is perfectly permissible.

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

Intron (870560) | about 7 months ago | (#46560119)

And are all of the controls in place to prevent unauthorized use of the data, or can anyone with access browse at will? The police have already stated that release of the data violates privacy.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560205)

The police may use public data as they see fit, unless and until a judge says otherwise.

An example of a lawful use might be determining who was in the vicinity of a robbery at the time it occurred so that they might be questioned about whether they saw something.

An example of an unlawful use might be to use that data to survey an individual person waiting for them to commit an infraction so they could be charged.

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

Intron (870560) | about 7 months ago | (#46560275)

I didn't ask what were lawful and unlawful uses of the data. I asked whether proper controls are in place to monitor access to the data. Who is recording the activity of the police?

Re:No expectation of privacy (4, Insightful)

Holi (250190) | about 7 months ago | (#46559911)

>When operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, there is no expectation of privacy attached to your license plate number, or your location. A police officer can >follow you around all day without a warrant, and run as many checks on your plate number as he desires, and make a note of everywhere you go.

Actually no this would be called harassment and is illegal.

Re:No expectation of privacy (4, Insightful)

Herkum01 (592704) | about 7 months ago | (#46559927)

The law also does not provide that the police officers can stalk you 24/7 without some sort of warrant.

The laws were originally written when there was no "Orwellian" state where you could anonymously watched/recorded in public everywhere. Lets no pretend incidentally stumbling onto a suspicious conversation is the same as monitoring EVERY conversation.

Re:No expectation of privacy (5, Insightful)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 7 months ago | (#46559967)

There is no expectation of privacy when you are out in public

Stop repeating this nonsense; there is some degree of privacy even in public. The kind of privacy that's being discussed is privacy from being spied on by ubiquitous government surveillance devices that are installed in public places.

nor in anything that can be investigated with plain human senses (plain view, plain smell, etc).

The idea that hearing a conversation (or something similar) is the same as sticking surveillance devices everywhere in public places is simply absurd. I don't know why so many people are so stupid as to not be able to see that using humans to conduct surveillance on other humans would require massive manpower that machines don't require, or that this gives them a convenient and cost-effective way to collect all this data in a central location. The differences are absolutely huge; quit being an idiot.

You guys need to get over yourselves.

You need to get over yourself; your mentality literally ruins countries.

Your arguments have been debunked time and time again. I think you people are just willfully ignorant, or hate freedom and privacy.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560161)

You completely misunderstand. I love privacy and freedom, but not privacy to conceal criminal acts, and freedom to commit them.

The bottom line is that police are allowed to engage in general surveillance (it's called "patrolling") for the purpose of controlling crime. That includes keeping record of what transpires in the public space. Your expectation of privacy ends at the border of the public space. Anything you do in public is there for all to see, including the police.

Having an expectation of privacy in the public space is antithetical to freedom, and is antithetical to a civilized society, because it makes the government powerless to protect your rights against violation by another, which I might add is the only reason government exists.

I've never seen a bigger bunch of vocal kooks who don't want their rights protected, which is exactly what defines you and your ilk. You are the ones who hate freedom and individual liberty, because you want to make it impossible for those rights to be protected.

Re:No expectation of privacy (5, Insightful)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 7 months ago | (#46560247)

I love privacy and freedom, but not privacy to conceal criminal acts, and freedom to commit them.

If you want police to have the ability to infringe upon people's privacy and freedom to get at the 'bad guys,' then you don't actually love freedom or privacy.

The bottom line is that police are allowed to engage in general surveillance (it's called "patrolling") for the purpose of controlling crime.

Which has nothing to do with ubiquitous and automatic surveillance of public places. Stop trying to equate the two things.

Your expectation of privacy ends at the border of the public space.

Stop putting forth this nonsensical and incorrect (There is some degree of privacy even in public places.) argument as if it's a justification for automatic and ubiquitous surveillance. I do *not* believe for one millisecond that the government should have to the power to install surveillance devices everywhere in public places just to stop the big, bad bogeymen you're so scared of.

Having an expectation of privacy in the public space is antithetical to freedom, and is antithetical to a civilized society

It's antithetical to neither, and opposing ubiquitous surveillance of public places is certain not antithetical to either. Again, you fail at understanding the real issue.

I've never seen a bigger bunch of vocal kooks who don't want their rights protected, which is exactly what defines you and your ilk. You are the ones who hate freedom and individual liberty, because you want to make it impossible for those rights to be protected.

The government is supposed to be 'good'; it's supposed to respect people's rights. If we surrender our rights for 'safety' (Which likely doesn't even exist.), then we have tyranny. The government should be *better* than mere criminals. When it comes to these rights, you should be afraid of the government, not random bogeymen that the government claims it will protect you from.

I oppose this precisely because I want my rights and privacy protected. In a free society, individual liberties and privacy are considered more important than safety. That is why the TSA and NSA surveillance are evil, and would be evil *even if* they were effective.

If you're going to try to equate patrolling to ubiquitous surveillance again, don't even bother with a reply.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559975)

Big Data didn't exist when the 4th Amendment was written. Publicly available data should not be considered "public" when there is a capability of collecting it in aggregate.

Re:No expectation of privacy (2)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 7 months ago | (#46559985)

No, the Berger court said the 4th does not apply.
The Constitution says no such thing.

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 7 months ago | (#46559993)

Unfortunately, the "expectation of privacy" in what people do in their daily lives is gradually being shrunk to the point where soon it will no longer exist. At that point, the brown stains being wiped across the US Constitution will completely obscure the words of 4th Amendment.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560027)

Using your analogy, what LA is proposing is tantamount to a police officer following every car at all times. And you don't see any privacy concerns with that?

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46560075)

A police officer can follow you around all day without a warrant, and run as many checks on your plate number as he desires, and make a note of everywhere you go.

Your whole life, for no reason? Nope.

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 7 months ago | (#46560091)

The 4th Amendment's warrant requirement only applies when there is an expectation of privacy.

And if they can get the data, there's no expectation of privacy.

Circular reasoning at its best.

Re:No expectation of privacy (4, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | about 7 months ago | (#46560149)

The 4th Amendment's warrant requirement only applies when there is an expectation of privacy. There is no expectation of privacy when you are out in public, nor in anything that can be investigated with plain human senses (plain view, plain smell, etc).

When operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, there is no expectation of privacy attached to your license plate number, or your location. A police officer can follow you around all day without a warrant, and run as many checks on your plate number as he desires, and make a note of everywhere you go.

An officer does not need a warrant to listen to a conversation you have with someone at a park, nor does he need a warrant to take a sniff of whatever it is you're smoking outside your office.

You guys need to get over yourselves.

In that case, taking a video of a police officer in a public place should not be a problem.

Re:No expectation of privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560167)

Indeed, public officers and officials have no expectation of privacy in the performance of their duties.

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

Intron (870560) | about 7 months ago | (#46560283)

Except that many states have made it illegal.

Re:No expectation of privacy (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 7 months ago | (#46560215)

Sorry, but this is BS. I have such an expectation of privacy. That you would deny it to me means that this is a political, not a legal, matter, and merely stating that an officer does not need a warrant does not cut it in political discourse. I would also note that there is nothing, not one syllable, in the 4th Amendment about expectations of privacy in limiting the search of your "effects" (i.e., your personal property, such as, e.g., your car). All of this is a later invention by the courts; being invented, it can be changed as conditions change, and they have indeed changed.

In the internet jargon, surveillance in a free society does not scale. It is one thing if a policeman walks down my street and happens to smell or see something. It is quite another if, say, I woke up to find that there are 20 policemen stationed just outside my curtilage, each trying to peer in my windows with binoculars, and they stayed in position all day, every day. To be blunt, one is reasonable, the other, tyranny. SImilarly, if every time I drove away from my house I was followed by a convoy of police cars tracking my every move, I would conclude that I was the victim of official harassment (or worse), and react accordingly (say, by going to a Judge and / or the newspapers with my complaints).

Now that is possible to obtain this level of surveillance without actually delegating 20 policemen to peer through my windows, or to follow me about, and without it being obvious to the victim, the legal system will simply have to expand the legal expectations of privacy, or we will find ourselves living in a Stasi-like tyranny.

Re:No expectation of privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560331)

When operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, there is no expectation of privacy attached to your license plate number, or your location. A police officer can follow you around all day without a warrant, and run as many checks on your plate number as he desires, and make a note of everywhere you go.

An officer does not need a warrant to listen to a conversation you have with someone at a park, nor does he need a warrant to take a sniff of whatever it is you're smoking outside your office.

You are being more than a little misleading.

It is prohibitively resource-intensive to follow *every* driver around and listen to *every* public conversation if doing so requires an officer to be physically present. No one makes a big deal about one or two officers conducting surveillance on people because the cost is such that the police will not conduct said surveillance without a pretty strong reason to believe that the individuals being watched are guilty of a crime.

Average citizens did not have to worry about their privacy because it just wasn't feasible for the police to watch everyone at all times.

Now things are different. Technology has lowered the bar to the point where it is now possible to watch everyone and listen to every conversation on the cheap. Unfortunately, the public at large either doesn't realize it yet or do not fully grasp the implications.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 7 months ago | (#46559841)

Apparently, all they need to do is tell the Court that they've signed an NDA with the manufacturer of these ANPR cameras. Seems to be working pretty well for police departments all across the US who are sucking up thousands? millions? of completely innocent parties' cellphone connections via "StingRay" devices.

Re:Non-Disclosure Agreements (1)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 7 months ago | (#46560035)

What's next? Courts requiring an NDA before you're allowed participate in the justice system?

In USSA, you are guilty until proven innocent. (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 7 months ago | (#46559849)

That's the new reality. The laws just haven't been changed yet. Yet. And yes, the terrorists have won, by making the government and law enforcement do the terrorism for them.

Re:In USSA, you are guilty until proven innocent. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46560183)

The terrorists had little to do with this. Government has been going down this road for some time. Sometimes there is opposition, like this, sometimes it gets cheered on, like "healthcare reform" and digitization. The end result in either case is more electronic records available to the government, and less privacy for you.

Re:In USSA, you are guilty until proven innocent. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560189)

you ARE guilty.. turning everyone into a criminal is the sole point of enacting hundreds of laws every year..

And yes, the terrorists have won, by making the government and law enforcement do the terrorism for them.

it has literally nothing to do with terrorism; it's the natural progression of any government to subjugate.

Don't they need... (2)

Dj Stingray (178766) | about 7 months ago | (#46559863)

Reasonable suspicion or probable cause first?

Nothing is reasonable about scanning every single license plate you see. If the camera could scan the color/make/year etc of the vehicle, the compare that against known stolen vehicles or vehicles used in other crimes FIRST, then I could see them scanning the plate and doing further investigation, but just blindly scanning plates and recording their location is very disturbing.

Re:Don't they need... (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46559949)

Reasonable suspicion or probable cause first?

If they want to go poking around in your garage, sure. If the car's out on the street, not so much.

Nothing is reasonable about scanning every single license plate you see.

That, by itself, sounds pretty reasonable to me. Storing the data - especially that pertaining to not-immediately-flagged vehicles - is where it starts to get murkier, and yet there it's also still just an automation of what a cop could do - albeit to a far lesser extent - with a pen and paper.

Re:Don't they need... (3, Insightful)

Pikoro (844299) | about 7 months ago | (#46560211)

This is what I was thinking. Have the cameras doing the scanning, no problem. The camera scans a plate, then does a search for specific violations such as: Is the vehicle reported stolen, Has the vehicle been flagged as having received more than N parking or traffic violations, etc. Only a few select items to scan for. If it's a positive match, flag it and track it and notify an officer. If it's not, immedielty purge the record and move on to the next one.

To me, that does not sound wholy unreasonable.

Give these guys more money and power? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559875)

Taxes: something used AGAINST you.

Remember that next time you vote.

Catch 22 (1)

flerchin (179012) | about 7 months ago | (#46559877)

Of course, the alternative is that they release all of the data they collect, thereby publishing the public movements of everyone in LA to anyone with nefarious purposes.

Not storing the data is of course out of the question.

Re:Catch 22 (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46560259)

How about they only get to save data on "known bad" plates - expired, no insurance, stolen, warrants, etc.? That isn't so much data, and it isn't like there isn't CPU power to waste these days. The plate readers they use now on police cars are loaded with lists like that. You get a match, it gets saved. If not, it gets deleted.

Everyone needs... (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about 7 months ago | (#46559889)

...to get/make an IR License Plate frame.

Public View (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 7 months ago | (#46559895)

The tag on a car is in public view. Therefore anyone has the right to view the tag and even note the when and where of such a tag. Think about it a little bit. When a man or woman hires a private detective to follow a wayward spouse and report back on where they visit that has never been considered illegal and ordinary people were free to do such things and not just cops. This all really points to records at the county courthouse debates. Once electronic postings of those records became common people complained becasue it was now too easy for people to search public records. The idea that one must go to the courthouse in person to see the exact same records is absurd. Now the real complaint is that it is now too easy for the cops to have records of where every car is at all times. Here is the real problem. Criminals sometimes plan crimes. If a man wants to pull a stick up and he is short and skinny with black hair he may leave his car near the crime scene and have a person who is taller, blond and heavy set pick up his car later. But if the cops use computer power they can look back and see all the cars parked fairly near an armed robberies over time and get a very solid lead on who is doing the crimes. Changing who picks the car up will no longer work as a tactic for such crimes. We do not want to throw out tools that help catch criminals.

Re:Public View (1)

ssufficool (1836898) | about 7 months ago | (#46559935)

I agree. Anything in public view is fair game for recording. However, LA PD will need to allow public inspections of its records if they use this defense. I would hate to see this get sealed and be a another non-discoverable database... But then again. those databases don't exist.

Re:Public View (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46560157)

Is anybody allowed to do this?

Do private detectives need licences?

What kind of stalking crimes are there?

They already know the excuse is invalid, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559905)

This is an age old tactic by ALL authoritarian States. Instead of playing to the Law, you play to the ignorance of the sheeple, like one of those TV shows where the prosecutors always win by bending written laws to serve their new agenda. The sheeple think 'law' is all about clever people doing 'TRICKSY' things- and that the written law is designed to be so ambiguous, no-one knows what it actually means- hence the need for lawyers. This FALLACY is actively promoted in the mainstream media whenever possible.

Every alpha knows the US Supreme Court will shoot down this particular abuse of Law in a microsecond, but every alpha knows those abusing the law ALSO know this. So why the charade? Because such abuses are NOT designed to be lawful, but effective for a period, and also influential in changing the perception of the sheeple as to their rights, so in the not so distant future the written law can actually be changed to match the current abuse.

All major US police forces are instructed to IGNORE constitutional law. They are told that their political masters will protect those involved against any possible legal or civil penalty. They are told that the ONLY limiting factor as to the level of their abusive behaviour should be what the general public will 'safely' tolerate.

Recently, you see these ideas in play with the near universal harassment of those citizens who attempt to record the actions of police people. Despite the 100% clear ruling of the Supreme Court on the issue, most States give their uniformed thugs carte-blanche to arrest citizens who film the police. Notice I said ARREST. Of course, vanishingly few victims of these police-state abuses are successfully prosecuted in court, but that isn't the point. The arrest itself and threat of legal action acts as a massive disincentive to the average citizen to record footage of abusive behaviour by uniformed 'officers', and THAT is the point.

One can now watch video footage taken by the police themselves, showing absolute, inexcusable executions of American citizens, but not one video has led to the conviction of any police 'officer' in the USA. In the USA, the 'badge' itself gives the uniformed thug the absolute right to murder whomsoever they wish, PROVIDING the victim is chosen from a group already identified as a largely powerless 'underclass'.

The actions of the LA police department proves they now define all ordinary sheeple living there as the 'underclass'.

Re:They already know the excuse is invalid, but... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46560171)

Careful, you're cloak of anonymity isn't hiding your past in jail, nor your colour. Might as well be open about it.

Welcome to the Soviet States of America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559925)

What else do you people expect in Soviet USA?
Russia, USA and North Korea are the same regimes.

Too much time on their hands (2)

uarch (637449) | about 7 months ago | (#46559937)

It sounds like they have too much time on their hands. Perhaps they are overstaffed and in need of some headcount reductions in order to regain focus.

it's official (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46559999)

You are a criminal and we live in a police state.

The 2nd amendment has never been more relevant.

Re:it's official (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560237)

Why is the Second Amendment relevant? I'm just curious, because it sounds like you are advocating the use of arms against the government, which is illegal, and not even the purpose of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment protects the right of self-defense against another person taking your life, and the right to hunt for food to survive. There is no other lawful purpose for possessing a firearm, including committing treason.

Jews... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560011)

... have taken over your country. This is just another symptom of their obsessive desire to control everything their 'goyim' (cattle) do...

What is kapporot?
What is shechitah?
What is bris?

Jews are sick monsters - just look at the three things above.

If you can't beat them... (5, Interesting)

apenzott (821513) | about 7 months ago | (#46560013)

...Join them.

I believe another strategy on this would be to setup a crowdsource movement to create Android based ALPR devices and scatter them all over LA County and have these devices harvest data for uploading to the web for EVERYONE to view, especially with the ability to get real-time tracking on any California (E) plated (governmental) vehicle.

By doing this, it would encourage the lawmakers to make it a requirement to have a specific warrant before this data collected by anyone. This assumes that the new law would be designed to raise barriers to "amateurs" entering the ALPR business and use them indiscriminately.

Best results if that can also be done in the District of Columbia and Sacramento, CA so we can keep tabs on our lawmakers actions.

Re:If you can't beat them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560145)

What is scary about your proposal is not that you make it. The scary thing is that the next post says it already exists.

What about private companies? (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#46560021)

We get all worked up about the government data collection. But what LAPD is doing is perfectly legal for a private company to do. There is already a huge industry of people with license plate scanners to scan every car in a parking lot and tip off repossession companies for the tip money. Private investigators collect such data to use in divorce cases, child custody cases. Stalkers and creeps could use private detective agencies to access such data base of collected license plate scans.

I am not saying, "So we should let LAPD scan license plates". What I am saying is whatever argument you use against LAPD is valid an order of magnitude more for private companies too. And any solution, change we propose should also prohibit such private companies from consolidating such data into some kind of national data base queriable by private detective agencies, repossession companies, divorce lawyers, etc.

Re:What about private companies? (2)

demonlapin (527802) | about 7 months ago | (#46560231)

The major difference is that a private company can't arrest me and put me in jail. Government can.

Re:What about private companies? (1, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#46560295)

Today the private companies and the corporations have more power than the federal government. Yes, they can't arrest you and throw in jail, yet. But they can ruin your life so much it is just as bad as being thrown in jail.

Re:What about private companies? (1)

haus (129916) | about 7 months ago | (#46560243)

The Constitution provides protection from action by the government, but not from private parties.

I suspect that the framers did not envision a time where private companies would have the ability to perform surveillance activities at or beyond the scale of what governments are capable of. At some point a real conversation needs to take place, and we need to determine if unlimited tracking/investigation of citizens by private organizations is in the best interest of the nation.

Re:What about private companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560291)

"Information just wants to be free", so, yeah, good luck with that.

That's Communism for you...where? (1)

kbsoftware (1000159) | about 7 months ago | (#46560039)

I for one welcome our new overlords, the Illuminati.

Re:That's Communism for you...where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560139)

This has nothing to do with communism.

Re:That's Communism for you...where? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46560187)

New?

This might sound crazy... (1, Interesting)

sahuxley (2617397) | about 7 months ago | (#46560055)

...to some of you but police officers are also there to protect you from those who might want to take your money or otherwise commit a crime against you. I'm aware of the potential for abuse from these systems, but if we decide they can't watch us in public, where can they watch us? What deters a robber that knows for a fact there will never be a cop around to catch him in the act?

Re:This might sound crazy... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46560199)

logic doesn't work on slashdot.

Classifying logical fallacies on slashdot is assigned homework for IB logic students.

In case you haven't noticed... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 7 months ago | (#46560061)

This argument is completely counter to our criminal justice system

Law enforcement personnel don't think about these things the same way the rest of us do.

Re:In case you haven't noticed... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46560269)

Depending on the question that can simply be a training issue.

ARGUS... (1)

bored (40072) | about 7 months ago | (#46560117)

I fail to see how this is any worse than ARGUS, which _HAS_ been deployed over US cities as well as foreign conflict zones. The limiting factor is currently the storage space, but its not hard to imagine one of these things flying over every US city in the next decade storing a couple months of video.

Really, this has been going on for years with spy Satellites too, and no one really seems to care because the exact capabilities are still classified, but i'm betting ARGUS is just complementary to what we already have.

Random, link...

https://www.aclu.org/blog/tech... [aclu.org]

Re:ARGUS... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46560221)

Most people really don't care about 'privacy' in public.

Have you ever watched people in public? Lots of nose picking and self preening as if nobody was around. Most people are too self involved to have it affect their lives. The people 4sd's from the mean, the paranoid and the criminal, don't make up enough of the population to have any effect.

Police officers do the exact same thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560121)

"The cameras are not triggered by any suspicion of criminal wrongdoing; instead, they automatically and indiscriminately photograph all license plates (and cars) that come into view."

I can argue that a police officer does the exact same thing, just not as effectively. They "view" licence plates and check them against there internal "hot list" which might be oh say... 2 items, and if one of them matches then they act on it. So what difference does it make if a machine does it. You are in a public space, you are driving around something that can identify you. It just too bad that technology has just increased that officers memory to millions of licence plates.

Re:Police officers do the exact same thing. (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46560263)

... check them against their internal "hot list" which might be oh say... 5 to 7 items, ...

FTFY.

It's always best to be honest in your reportings and not make biased digs, people will be more understanding. You will still be attacked though...

EFF bites Orwell (1)

epine (68316) | about 7 months ago | (#46560245)

If the EFF really wants to take a bite of Orwellian ass, they should campaign relentlessly to have the phrase "identity theft" replaced by the phrase "credential theft".

FFS, no-one can steal my gosh-darned identity until they can call up any of my nearest and dearest family members and convince them that it is really me over the course of an hour-long phone conversation.

I'd count that as actual identity theft.

All we get for this careless throwing around of the phrase "identity theft" is taking the spotlight off how poorly designed and implemented many of these credential mechanisms really are. The big institutions ought to wear their own failures, rather than making their customers take the heat, in particular, the insane persistence of black marks even after one has conclusively demonstrated that the black mark was a bungle to begin with.

How this isn't covered under "slander" is scandalous.

fight back already you pussies. (4, Insightful)

resfilter (960880) | about 7 months ago | (#46560277)

i'm getting tired of this, is anyone else?

they want not just license plate cameras, but to track all of your movements. disable your vehicle if they want. UAVs with cameras now and guns later. wiretapping everything. they want complete tracking of what we buy, who we know, where we go, who we fuck, our entire genome.

all this personal private data in the grimy hands of people that we don't know, and dont trust, collected with our supposed consent because a few people signed a 'protect us from everything at whatever cost' bills after some terrorist fear mongering.

'public view is up for grabs' is a terrifying concept. there's a big difference between someone taking a picture of you on the street, and a cop taking pictures of everyone on the street all the time, so it can be harvested electrically for suspicious activities.

i won't live in a police state, and i wont move either.

we are the nerds. we are the ones that made this shit up! they're misusing our technology here

that also means we are the ones with the capability to destroy these electronic monitoring devices in the least damaging way possible

we also seem to form one of the communities with a very high percentage of people that have a gut feeling that this kind of thing is terribly wrong, and that realise how much it's going to get worse.

we dont need activists or guerilla armies to get ourselves out of this mess, the future is now. we need nerds to fight, not guns.

at what point do we save the power hungry morons and the whining fearful masses that keep signing off on all this stuff from screwing ordinary innocent people over?

at what point will it be necessary to destroy these implements of monitoring with technological means?

i hope this gets me on a terrorism list. this kind of stuff comes to my neck of the woods, i'm going to try my best to fuck it up.

Perverse incentives......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46560317)

I don't think they have thought this policy through all the way

what if a criminal has an associate tape a fake license plate that matches the criminals license plate, and drives infront of several license plate reading cameras?
license plate cameras have helped that criminal establish alibi!!!!!

what if a guy with some petty grudge (maybe against some office coworker or neighbor) tapes a fake license plate to a car that is same make and model of his target, and then drives wildly through intersection or does something else illegal

easy to hoax this system!!!!!

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