Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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

Thank you!

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

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

FBI to Put Criminals Up in Lights

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the billboard-busted dept.

United States 315

coondoggie writes "The FBI today said it wants to install 150 digital billboards in 20 major U.S. cities in the next few weeks to show fugitive mug shots, missing people and high-priority security messages from the big bureau. The billboards will let the FBI highlight those people it is looking for the most: violent criminals, kidnap victims, missing kids, bank robbers, even terrorists, the FBI said in a release. And the billboards will be able to be updated largely in real-time — right after a crime is committed, a child is taken, or an attack is launched. Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami will be among those cities provided with the new billboards."

cancel ×

315 comments

Free publicity? (5, Insightful)

five18pm (763804) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828648)

Now how many want to bet that some idiot will commit a crime just to get on the billboard?

Re:Free publicity? (5, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828676)

That would, I think, require even more stupidity then normal, considering the number of ways one could achieve a similar level of publicity without the risk of going to jail for a great many years.

Now, how long before someone hacks a billboard to show the President's face... that should be the question asked.

Re:Free publicity? (2, Funny)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828780)

require even more stupidity then normal

You did not yet realize everything is about growth?

CC.

Re:Free publicity? (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828822)

Now how many want to bet that some idiot will commit a crime just to get on the billboard?
How about hacking the billboard ;-)

Re:Free publicity? (1)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828852)

How about hacking the billboard ;-)
That's a Billboardin.

Re:Or hacking opportunity (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828842)

Just imagine when the porn traders see this advertising opportunity. It will make the hacking of text signs [spacing.ca] look tame.

On the other hand, coming up to election time a "wanted for crimes against humanity" [motherearth.org] hack could go down well.

Re:Free publicity? (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828940)

And who would hide in a major city with a billboard? Just hide in some other smaller but not small enough city.

please, no new billboards (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828650)

I really don't mind this idea as long as they use existing billboard space.

Re:please, no new billboards (1)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829376)

So you don't think there will be any Google Ads on the billboards?

My spam link (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828654)

If you only click one myminicity spam link today, make it this one.

http://spamslashdot.myminicity.com/ind [myminicity.com]

Thanks

Cool! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828656)

Can we do a daily minute of hate as well?

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828778)

It's on the billboard.

Re:Cool! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828830)

Remember how we scoffed that politicians just don't "get" computers? I think they understand now. We'll soon wish they had remained ignorant.

Re:Cool! (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829094)

Exactly. Running man and 1984 come to mind more frequently than ever.

Re:Cool! (3, Insightful)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829206)

Remember how we scoffed that politicians just don't "get" computers? I think they understand now. We'll soon wish they had remained ignorant.
Remaining ignorant means:
- Jack Thompson [wikipedia.org] can disable a primary use of computers - video games. While technically useless, these were able to make computers as powerful as they were today. Furthermore, they give access to a wider variety of games should they be in a position of not liking this one [gamespot.com] .
- People such as Kevin Mitnick [wikipedia.org] get treated much more severely for computer crime than they should be. Granted, there's a lot of work for ensuring that your systems are secure once again, but some damages were inflated and inconsistently reported (i.e. damages ranging in the millions were allegedly reported to the FBI but not shareholders.)
- Various politicians can do fear mongering, such as claiming a kid interested in computers is going to be a future basement hacker that could launch nuclear missiles. Even if they can't directly act against those children, they could easily turn their peers against them with this propaganda.
- And finally, you'd have civilians driving loudspeaker vans saying things similar to "It looks like you're writing a letter". This would usually appear before elections (and IIRC, there were a few personal accounts of this still occurring in Japan.)

Since computers are now more mainstream, people can more easily recognize BS - at least that's the theory anyway. The average person won't easily believe that computers can easily explode (but remain gullible enough to believe pressing ALT-F4 activates an IRC exploit), and computer experts will more easily lock onto incorrect statements that they've seen before.

Re:Cool! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829098)

Sure we'll serve freedom fries to the people at that time as well.

Minute of hate schedule for this week:

Monday: Muslims - goulash and eggplant to be served
Tuesday: Christmas Hate suspended Cafeteria closed
Wednesday: Irish - Pizza and walking tacos to be served
Thursday: Albanians - American Burgers and Freedom fries to be served
Friday: Shao-lin Monks - ala Carte with salad bar served today.

and suggestions for the national minute of hate need to be sent to the Czar of thought.

Re:Cool! (5, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829412)

Is this a gutshot reaction or something? Seriously, I don't see what the problem with this is. They're not planning to put up pictures of recently released criminals. They're not planning to put up pictures of sex offenders in your neighborhood. They're not planning to put up pictures telling you to vote Republican. This is to be used same way as America's Most Wanted and backs of milk cartons. At least for now. If that changes, then start complaining.

They just have to make sure they display a context label with each photo. Wouldn't want a kidnap victim to be confused for a terrorist.

Cool! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828678)

Digital billboards? By the FBI?

Living in the future is so cool!

A NEW LIFE AWAITS YOU IN THE OFF-WORLD COLONIES! (5, Funny)

wolfpaws (112843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828684)

The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

Its bound to work (5, Insightful)

Instine (963303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828688)

Because fame is such a big deterrent. Especially in the States

Re:Its bound to work (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828804)

Because fame is such a big deterrent. Especially in the States
Because jail is such a big deterrent. Especially in the States.

I don't think attention whores are going to turn criminal just to get their face on a billboard. As for those that are criminals and attention whores, they were going to act out anyways.

Re:Its bound to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829034)

Perhaps no attention whores will turn criminal just to get on the billboards. but then again, I don't think they would if the "deterrent" of jail suddenly wasn't such a deterrent either.

As for those who, as you say, are both criminal and attention whores, maybe they would have acted out anyway, but if they could act out in a bigger way, and get put up on billboards across the twenty biggest cities in the states, maybe they will just go that much further to get the attention they crave.

What If ...? (3, Insightful)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828692)

I saw a spot about this on some news TV program. Every single alleged criminal they showed on a billboard was either black or Hispanic. Now I'm not saying this isn't a good idea, and I'm not saying that it's a deliberate white-supremacist plot. But what are the consequences if this sampling is representative of the wanted postings in general? What happens when people see minorities on wanted postings over and over?

Re:What If ...? (3, Insightful)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828728)

What happens when people see minorities on wanted postings over and over?

I imagine the consequences will be about the same as those for minorities being oversampled as criminal suspects on the nightly TV news...people will unreasonably fear black and Hispanic males, and racial stereotypes will be carried forward in the national subconscious. COPS made the young black man the national face of crime; it needs no "white supremacist plot" to reinforce in the minds of people that different is bad and scary.

Re:What If ...? (3, Interesting)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828992)

"COPS made the young black man the national face of crime; it needs no "white supremacist plot" to reinforce in the minds of people that different is bad and scary."

I don't dispute that COPS was heavily distorted, but is there any evidence that the show really had any effect on racial perception? As a result of structural historical and economic reasons, black people make up the overwhelming majority of criminals in certain urban areas.

I would imagine the perception was already there because of this.

Re:What If ...? (3, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829218)

It might help if young black men stopped committing crime at 10x the national average. I'm just saying. (Don't worry, most of it is black on black, which is also why blacks are so much more likely to get murdered themselves. Unless that's "oversampling" too?)

I am somewhat curious as to what part of the country you live in to believe that minorities are "oversampled as criminal suspects on the nightly TV news." I take it that you've never come across the results of the FBI victim surveys?

Good god, but some people really let the rose tint fog up their glasses.

Re:What If ...? (0, Flamebait)

GottMitUns (1012191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829022)

When they show WHITE crime victims in mass media stupid liberals complain that it's racist because they are white and not enough blacks shown. Now when it's majority black we hear complaints of racism. Mind you, racism is alive and well in America. As a matter of fact America will cease to be the USA if(if ever) there is no racism.

Re:What If ...? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829304)

But what are the consequences if this sampling is representative of the wanted postings in general? What happens when people see minorities on wanted postings over and over?

Don't worry, it'll never happen. It's New York. If there were, say, 100 criminals who were eligible for the billboard treatment, and 97 of them were Black or Hispanic, the politically correct NYPD billboard-masters would put the mugs of the 3 white guys up in lights.

If the billboards were being run by the same cops whose fists are wrapped around the billy clubs day-to-day, different story. But the NYPD Propaganda Ministry? Heh.

Slander (3, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828694)

This is slander of the highest degree. These are people _accused_ of crimes, not guilty criminals. The damage to one's reputation will be near-irrepairable. I cannot believe that they are seriously considering this system.

Re:Slander (5, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828726)

no, these are people who are wanted for a crime so they can face trial who refuse to turn themselves in and be tried in front of a jury. same thing as the wanted posters in the post office

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828740)

the billboards will be able to be updated largely in real-time -- right after a crime is committed,

Re:Slander (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828850)

no, these are people who are wanted for a crime so they can face trial who refuse to turn themselves in and be tried in front of a jury. same thing as the wanted posters in the post office
Just wait for the first amber alert put out with the description of a generic black/hispanic male because (as an example) some white woman killed her kid(s) but enjoys the attention from claiming they were kidnapped instead.

The fallout from that should be a riot.

Re:Slander (2, Insightful)

OgreChow (206018) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828734)

I see your point, but we've never had any principled outcry against wanted posters in the post office. And "America's Most Wanted" has been on TV for years.

They could do some terrible damage by showing both the suspect and his offense on these billboards. How long do you think an accused kiddie rapist would last under those conditions?

Re:Slander (3, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828814)

Key word: accused. In 2004, I had a rifle pointed at me and complained to the police. Result: The offender claimed that _I_ threatened _him_ with my weapon. I was accused for a crime I did not commit. After a year-long trial, I was aquitted. In January 2007, I was attacked in my own car. I beat the living shit out of the attacker and he thus claimed that _I_ attacked him. I had no physical damage worth reporting, so now _I_ face charges. There is a big difference between being accused of a crime, and actually committing one.

Re:Slander (0, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828860)

So you had no physical damage done to you, but you beat the living shit out of somebody? Congrats, the charges are perfectly valid. Self-defense doesn't include the right to teach people corporal lessons.

Re:Slander (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828982)

You know, if someone jumps me, I'm not about to let them do "enough damage" to me so I don't get charged with a crime. If I get jumped by some thug who wants my wallet or whatever, I'm going to attempt to take him down in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

Re:Slander (1)

carps (1140441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829156)

Not to pick nits, but you were originally making a point about being incorrectly accused of committing a crime. Right or wrong, the level of force you applied to your attacker may have been criminal, if there is a law against it.

I have to say, I'm glad I'm not in your place being placed in threatening situations on a regular basis. Much more pleasant to consider these situations in the abstract.

Re:Slander (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829200)

Actually, to pick nits, I wasn't the same poster that you are referring to.

And I'd rather be alive and face charges that I can defend myself in a court of law rather then be dead or severely injured because I didn't defend myself because I was afraid of being charged.

Re:Slander (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829210)

So if a guy walks up to you, grabs you by the collar, pulls out a knife and says "gimme your money, bitch-boy" you're *not* gonna beat the shit out of him? Damn dude, you might just be a bitch.

Re:Slander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828960)

Lessons learned then - next time, kill the guy(s). No one to make up false allegations.

Re:Slander (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829092)

"Key word: accused. In 2004, I had a rifle pointed at me and complained to the police. Result: The offender claimed that _I_ threatened _him_ with my weapon. I was accused for a crime I did not commit. After a year-long trial, I was aquitted. In January 2007, I was attacked in my own car. I beat the living shit out of the attacker and he thus claimed that _I_ attacked him. I had no physical damage worth reporting, so now _I_ face charges. There is a big difference between being accused of a crime, and actually committing one."

Uhhhh, maybe you should hang out with a different crowd...

Re:Slander (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829240)

and these are just the cases where he was actually accused of a crime!

Real Criminal gangs.... (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829312)

Yes, it seems the real criminals work either with or above the law.
This is the way it works in Florida.
The law turns a blind eye to the "cop friendly" criminal or gang's kidnapping, rapes and murders.
The full force of the law will be used to go after anyone seeking revenge against or trying to expose those perpetrators.

I cannot decide if this is the intent of the law enforcement personnel, or just that some criminals and gangs know the law and law enforcement tactics better than non-criminals.

Re:Slander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829334)

Maybe you should stop beating people up

Re:Slander (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828796)

It's the same principle as a wanted poster, do you consider those slander as well?

Re:Slander (1)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828876)

I agree. This system is fine for escaped criminals and missing persons, but to extend its use for suspected criminals is a little bit overboard.

I'm sure they'll put up corrections (2, Insightful)

clawsoon (748629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828920)

I'm sure that if they're ever wrong, and put the wrong guy up on the billboard, they'll put up a correction later so the guy can clear his name in the public eye.

I'm sure of it.

Yeah.

FBI (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828974)

Think of the intersection of subset: People_convicted_of crimes and subset: Guilty_criminals. There is a difference, but the FBI will never acknowledge this. Haven't you learned that? You must post bail pretty quick. Slander is high on the list of the FBI's accomplishments.

Not Slander. (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828976)

Libel, maybe. Unless they have giant speakers under the billboard.

The Running Man (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828696)

Is it me or is the future starting to look more and more like the Running Man?

I guess the next thing we need is to make criminals get punished on TV game shows like The Price is Right, Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. Or maybe force them to be watch those programs, that is probably worse...

Daytime TV (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828712)

What do you think they do in gaol?

Re:The Running Man (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828742)

I don't know, seeing some maggot that rapes old women torn apart on TV might actually send a message.

Re:The Running Man (1)

Methuselah2 (1173677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828770)

That's precisely what I thought. Then I thought, geez, these things will encourage copycat crimes, by people who want to become famous and don't care about anything else. Then I thought, maybe terrorists would try to top one another to make the billboards. Then I thought, "Why should politicians be the only ones who get nationwide publicity by talking about terrorism?"

Re:The Running Man (1)

Amphetam1ne (1042020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829272)

Coming up next: Climbing for Dollars!

No Boston? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828700)

I'm glad they're not setting them up in Boston, otherwise idiots might yet-again confuse LED's for bombs.

Re:No Boston? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829054)

They'd put the names of the screen oprators on the screens. Holy runaway recursion!

Re:No Boston? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829220)

It's a reasonable assumption...otherwise, why would they have pictures of criminals and terrorists on them?

Website Advertisements (3, Interesting)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828704)

Maybe they should spend some money on advertisement space on the internet. That way the notices could be on just about every web page that is ad supported. They could get more efficient advertisement due to the web being more detailed that billboards.

I think I could spot my brother in a website ad if he were posted on it.

Another good thing about this is that the wanted photos would be displayed when any store employee is surfing the internet. They would see the photo and maybe spot someone in the store at that time. Those people aren't going to remember the picture of the billboard they drove by on the way to work.

Re:Website Advertisements (1)

losethisurl (980326) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829348)

Nope, no ad blocking going on here...

How do I know? (4, Interesting)

tsotha (720379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828708)

This kinds of schemes always remind me of the old Ahnold movie The Running Man. I understand there are lots of bad people out there... but, thing is, it takes a certain amount of trust for me to believe the guy on the billboard really is a murderer/child molester. Somebody I don't know is trying to enlist me in the search for someone else I don't know. It makes me a little uncomfortable.

Re:How do I know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829046)

You can't be serious. How would you feel if someone close to you was murdered, a suspect was identified and was on the run and some idiot like you saw the guy, recognized them, but decided not to report it for the reason you listed. Asshole.

Re:How do I know? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829088)

Than your comfort level must be extremely low as my guess is you know scant few in law enforcement, much less those who create wanted posters and alerts.

Oblig. BB (2)

Bootle (816136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828724)

So when do these billboards start displaying the latest IngSoc?

Oops, wrong country. The US is far too smart for doublethink!

Re:Oblig. BB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828934)

I'd be happy for it to think once.

When that happens, then we'll move on to doublethink.

Actually, when the billboards to happen, will the good citizens be required to have a two minutes hate? Complete with Insoc dictionary/bibles in hand? Just substitute any minority face for Goldstein.

Let me be the first to... (2, Insightful)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828730)

Let me be the first to welcome our informantively illuminated overlords. My love for them is as big as for a brother.

Old Topic but whatever (3, Insightful)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828732)

This was on CNN a good time ago. They were all happy because they caught some guy that turned himself in after seeing one of those build boards. There are many problems with these things. How long till people start acting in vigilantly ways? You couldn't put what they are wanted for without getting someone angry or violent. However if you didn't put up what they were wanted for people (especially in USA) would over act. Sure its neat but how long till someone who is actually not wanted for something ends up on one? If I wanted to see who was wanted for crimes I would go to the post office. However, If these things were only used for missing people I don't see the harm in them and welcome them fully.

Re:Old Topic but whatever (1)

lilmunkysguy (740848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829058)

A system is already in place for missing persons. It's called Amber Alert.

http://www.amberalert.gov/faqs.htm [amberalert.gov]

Re:Old Topic but whatever (0, Troll)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829104)

"... people (especially in USA) would over act."

What a crock load of fear mongering.

Re:Old Topic but whatever (1)

DeeQ (1194763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829230)

Yeah considering we think that lightbrights are bombs. We NEVER overact.

Re:Old Topic but whatever (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829126)

There is little difference between this and a wanted poster in the post office or a segment in America's Most Wanted.

Seems like too few (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828736)

Aren't there more than a 150 members of Congress? Or are they just sticking with Senators?

if santa flew into (1)

snp05 (861628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828748)

in real time?? i wonder if santa flew into one of these billboards, will we get a live broadcast of o good kind?

Device Specs (2, Interesting)

coldcell (714061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828756)

They're using these [cisco.com] , and yes, they DO run Linux.

Re:Device Specs (1)

Methuselah2 (1173677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829066)

Hey, if it runs Linux, it can't be all bad!

What a GREAT idea (4, Insightful)

puppetluva (46903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828760)

This is a really good idea!

I think it will be useful for:

  • Getting sensationalism out of the newsroom and into advertising where it belongs. (and eliminating any sense of personal or editorial responsibility when smearing someone's reputation).
  • Helping the government to use private billboard companies to irresponsibly violate the privacy of private citizens. Shifting the power once and for all away from non-profit-generating people.
  • Hyping crimes out of proportion to their real risk to society and keeping the people quaking in their boots (and consuming).
  • Finally getting rid of that pesky "innocent until proven guilty clause"
  • Punishing people who didn't give enough in campaign contributions to the party in power
  • Allowing us to effectively bundle advertising, racism, and fear (maybe even in one billboard!). Imagine how many security systems, bank accounts, insurance policies, guns and KKK memberships we could sell in bundled ad campaigns!
  • Making us look really modern. . .pushing us from the 21st centry to 1984

I can't wait until these images can be broadcast directly into the skies above our houses. I have long thought that we don't mistrust and/or hate our fellow citizens enough in the USA. I was worried that we might drop our murder rates and/or school shootings to the levels of other countries, but it looks like we are well on our way to whipping our citizenry to new heights of paranoia and aggressiveness.

Re:What a GREAT idea (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829146)

Getting sensationalism out of the newsroom and into advertising where it belongs. (and eliminating any sense of personal or editorial responsibility when smearing someone's reputation).

No responsibility? You think the FBI is just going to randomly pick somebody, get a picture and biographical details about them and flash it up on a billboard? If you're on this thing it's because you're a material witness to a crime or a suspect likely with enough evidence that they're going to arrest you when they find you. They're not going to use this for petty things if for no other reason than to avoid making the public stop caring what the billboards say. In fact I would be willing to bet substantial sums of money that the people they featured will be fugitives believed to be in the area--people who were either already convicted or who have warrants out for their arrest to begin with.

Helping the government to use private billboard companies to irresponsibly violate the privacy of private citizens. Shifting the power once and for all away from non-profit-generating people.

That would be your inalienable right to not have somebody say where they saw you when you were in public?

And believe it or not, the government is not a profit-generating "person." They are, at best, a consumer. In this case, the billboards are being provided as a public service. No money involved. The people who will be featured on those billboards is decided by the FBI. How, again, are the advertising companies usurping power?

Hyping crimes out of proportion to their real risk to society and keeping the people quaking in their boots (and consuming).

Hyping crimes out of proportion? Exactly how hyped do you think these crimes are going to look mashed between advertisements for radio stations and shoes?

Keep them consuming? What the hell? How does putting a billboard up keep people consuming, even in the paranoid "ZOMG GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY OUT TO GET J00!!" crowd? Or is it that you believe they're going to be putting up pictures of people who don't have a government-approved balance on their credit cards?

I think you should take your tinfoil hat off from time to time. Something appears to be seeping into your brain--and it ain't the evil gub'mint brain control waves.

Finally getting rid of that pesky "innocent until proven guilty clause"

Oh. I didn't see in the article where you were going to be instantly shot on the spot if anybody spots your picture on the billboard. Let me read it again.

...Nope. You're just making shit up.

Punishing people who didn't give enough in campaign contributions to the party in power

Damn fugitives. Never sending their politicians any money. Sent 'em all off to Gitmo for some waterboarding, I say.

Allowing us to effectively bundle advertising, racism, and fear (maybe even in one billboard!). Imagine how many security systems, bank accounts, insurance policies, guns and KKK memberships we could sell in bundled ad campaigns!

"Turn in this fugitive, receive his identity as our free gift to you?" I kind of like it, actually.

Making us look really modern. . .pushing us from the 21st centry to 1984

Oh! Oh my god! There it is. The super-clever pun that made reading the rest of your nonsense drivel worth reading. 'Cause, you know, we don't get enough 1984 references on Slashdot. We can always use one more--bonus points for getting it out with bullet points!

I was worried that we might drop our murder rates and/or school shootings to the levels of other countries

Wow. I thought it was the evil video games corrupting our children into murderers. To think it was billboards this whole time! Jacky boy, wherefore art thou? Your country needs you!

You know, seriously... idiots like you are the reason reasonable people can't get any traction when they try to raise legitimate concerns about privacy or justice or due process or racism or any other number of important national issues.

imagine all the fun one can have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828784)

hacking into this network...

This won't increase public safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828806)

Billboards distract drivers and cause accidents. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/08/17782/23546 [scotland.gov.uk]

These particular billboards could distract drivers worse than regular billboards. When you're designing a sign, you realize that you won't get much attention. There's a limit to visual acuity and available time as people move past your sign. You therefore make it simple. People get the message quickly and move on. These wanted posters invite you to take a close look so you can pick out the details and recognize the suspect if you see him/her. People will do that and there will be a net decrease in public safety as they smash into each other.

This is a clueless plan and a waste of the public's tax dollars. (Smoke comes out of my ears as I resist a rant.)

Re:This won't increase public safety (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829080)

These particular billboards could distract drivers worse than regular billboards
Sadly, New York wasn't one of the cities mentioned - from what I've seen it would probably be an improvement.

You call that dystopic? (4, Funny)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828808)

This is a much-belated step in the right direction - it would have been an excellent policy move 20 or 30 *years* ago, when giant billboards to facilitiate the 3 minutes hate, or to flash "OBEY" in subliminal letters, were state of the art.

  But this is the 21st century - we can implant chips in people's brains now! We can contract out the manufacture of wireless control collars to the lowest bidder!

  The government deiberately squelches these technologies to pander to the minority of religious nuts who have disproportional influence over our government.

  That's why I support Ron Paul and the transumanist dystopian party - deregulation and the ability to sell advertizers direct access to our subconscious will enable us to achieve the economic benefits of a nihilistic hellscape.

Worry not, citizen! (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828818)

Big brother is watching. And he loves you!

Now the real question: (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828836)

How long until some kidnap victim gets lynched by somebody who saw him on the billboard and thought he was the kidnapper?

Re:Now the real question: (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828880)

How long until a kidnap victim is seen in public but isn't recognized as a kidnap victim and ends up in a shallow grave?

Oh, wait!...

Black and Mestizo scum... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21828848)

I guess there's going to be a lot of BLACK and MESTIZO faces on those billboards...

I'm sure the ADL and B'nai Brith will be onto this and accuse the police of 'profiling'... After all, we can't have WHITE Americans actually SEEING black and mestizo faces as criminals, can we? Becuase we know "We're all the same", right? Which is why Africans have put a man on the moon, and Mexico is a wonderful, prosperous country...
Oh, wait...

No billboards, please (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828900)

I'm of mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, I'm all for ways to help spread information and help make things safer. OTOH, I'm fortunate to now be living in one of 4 states in the USA which ban billboards [mainetoday.com] . (The four states are: Maine, Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii.)

It was hard to fathom just how "noisy" every place else was until I experienced it first hand. I've lived and traveled in other places where billboards were seemingly everywhere. (e.g. NYC, Boston, San Jose) A trip down any major road, especially near a large city, felt like an assault of advertisements screaming for my attention. (Hmmm. I wonder if that has anything to do with the prevalence of road rage?)

Send them out over radio and TV (ala National Weather Service weather alerts) or cell phones or ultra-mobile PCs or mobile GPS units. I'm sure you can think of others approaches.

BTW, I'm curious to see how long it'll take for MIT or Caltech to implement one of their infamous hacks on these?

More spam to ignore (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828956)

These days billboards are ignored by so many anyway, i don't really see this as an effective use of funds. we are bombarded by so much nonsense now, this will just fade into the background.

The post office called... (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828958)

They want their bulletin board back.

Ohio: America's Pit Stop (1)

drumondd (1120047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21828966)

Did anyone else notice that Ohio gets three of these signs? One each in Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus. It makes me wonder why they skipped Cincinnati! Seriously though, regarding criminal movement on major highways: in the proposed areas they have coverage of I-80/90 in the Northeast, and I-71 in Columbus. Why would they pass up coverage on I-75? The road only stretches from Florida to the U.P. in Michigan! Even if they were trying to hit the major cities [wikipedia.org] in Ohio, they passed up #3 (Cincinnati) and opted for #5 (Akron).

Definitely gives new meaning to the term 'Gateway State'!

Future target of sweet, sweet hax (3, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829010)

I can hardly wait for these to be subverted into showing Future Conan [ytmnd.com] or old "Get Smart" episodes or something.

Time for a new contest ladies and gentelmen (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829016)

Time for a new contest ladies and gentelmen:
The first one to hack those and put Bush face on there wins.

The prize? Fame, respect from peers, pride, a lot of media attention and, maybe, a prosecution.

Nobody would think of (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829050)

Nobody will even try to hack in to put up pics of "W" or the dick...

Only violent and dangerous criminals of course.... (1)

Jewfro_Macabbi (1000217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829110)

If the FBI actually has to look for them - and no one knows where they are - then it doesn't sound like they are truly very dangerous criminals. Mostly they don't have to look for people with a habit of committing crimes, as they tend to have a habit of getting arrested. "Dangerous criminal" often just means dope dealer. While I'm sure there are dangerous dope dealers, we hardly need billboards lighting up local pot heads. "Paedophile" might really be that - or it might be Genarlow Wilson's face on that board. But hey we need to punish those evil teenagers who sleep with other teenagers! As for "terrorist" - don't get me started. Can we expect billboards of lunatic homeless who fancy themselves Al Qaeda operatives?

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829120)

We will just destroy them just like our brothers are destroying the machine overseas.

http://blog.wired.com/sterling/2007/12/burning-british.html [wired.com]

I doubt one of these billboards can survive a homebrew thermite charge.

8th amendment?? (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829128)

IANAL but isn't public shaming a form of cruel and unusual punishment?

How long until... (1)

the saltydog (450856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829216)

2600 Magazine prints an article on how to hack into the billboards?

(Cue the Bush/Cheney billboard photoshops!)

Personally, I want to see the Fark Ha! Ha! Guy on it. That would be a coffee/keyboard moment for me.

Absolutely Sickening (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829234)

The thought of giant billboards showing enemies of the state, and the public acceptance thereof, is just appalling. People wanted by the FBI for a crime have not been proven guilty in a court of law, and so for the government to broadcast that these people are guilty is an undo usurpation of police powers over the jury system.

Re:Absolutely Sickening (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829430)

Well said. Please fax that to all the representatives. It's also worth noting that things like these appeal to a very vocal minority, so once theyar there, no politician is going to get rid of them, so they will always be an expense on out budget.

I might be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21829370)

This might be unright thought on my part, but this seems pretty doubleplus ungood to me.

Quick survey (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21829428)

Has 1984 been...:
a) Not read by...
b) A great source of inspiration to... ...most politicians?

We have been calling things Orwelian for so long that it doesn't pack quite as much punch than before, which is ironic since things are getting more and Big Brother-ish than ever. What escapes me is...

Shouldn't politicians be afraid of passing laws* resembling a dystopian future in a novel about absolute fascism?

* or in this specific case, provide budget for technology...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

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

Loading...