Tiburon Approves Recording Every Car That Enters/Leaves... Despite More Evidence Of Traffic Camera Abuse In UK

from the feeling-safer-yet? dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about plans in the wealthy coastal town of Tiburon here in northern California to photograph and record the license plate info of every car entering or leaving the town. It kicked off quite a debate in the comments, and now comes the news that the town is moving forward with the plan, despite complaints about civil liberties and privacy violations. Of course, it's worth noting that just as this plan is moving forward, reports out of the UK are indicating that law enforcement there has been abusing traffic cameras for purposes well beyond traffic monitoring. They're using traffic camera images of traffic around political protests to note cars that appear at multiple such events, and placing them on some sort of terrorist "watch lists." Police are apparently going through the database of images and "marking" certain cars, which then allow them to be searched in the fight against terrorism. Not that there's a big protest culture in Tiburon, but this certainly shows how a simple traffic camera effort can escalate into something that is much more questionable from a civil rights standpoint.


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    lavi d (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Not that there's a big protest culture in Tiburon, but this certainly shows how a simple traffic camera effort can escalate into something that is much more questionable from a civil rights standpoint.

    "That bitch is cheating on me again. Look! There she goes!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    “We have an obligation to spend as few tax dollars as we can,” he said.
    Cronin expects to see the cameras installed within four to six months. The total cost could run as high as $197,000.

    Further proof that no amount of money can replace functioning synapses

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Rights versus privileges...

    Not too many rights when exercising your privilege to drive.

     

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    New Mexico Mark, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Rights versus privileges...

    We regret to inform you that your privilege to speak your mind on the information superhighway has just been revoked. If you continue to do so, your privilege to breathe air which might be shared by the public will be revoked as well. Take a deeeep breath now. You may have to make it last. :)

     

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    Point of View, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Traffic Camera Abuse

    The UK's use of traffic cameras is hardly abuse in my opinion, tracking autos at certain events in an effort to suppress terrorism is hardly the controlling big brother activity that many fear. The UK has suffered many terrorist related events, more than the U.S has ever experienced, the thing that people should truly fear is the bomb or other agent of destruction that kills in cowardice with the accompanying announcement of ownership by people with a real agenda of control by terror.

     

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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Most people don't think about roads that way, that may be arguably true but programs like this (and the technology that enables it) are changing our public commons and how we view them.

    Today, I can still take a stroll down a street and expect a level of privacy assuming I hear no noise from others walking or cars driving. As technology enables more things like this, that expectation of privacy is changing.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Rights versus privileges...

    I guess you give up your right to breathe air if you excercise your privilege to use an elevator.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    The car is in a public place. There is nothing illegal or sinister at hand here. Only those with something to hide will find it objectionable.

     

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    Lyle, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    This could be done by humans

    To answer Derek, what about someone watching the street from a window? The metric I contend should be used is could humans do it. Did it happen in a village, the answer is yes. This is all part of the unintended consequences of the global village that was so hyped 12-15 years ago. In a village no one has any privacy so we wanted a village we got both the good and the bad of it.

     

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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Traffic Camera Abuse

    The UK's use of traffic cameras is hardly abuse in my opinion, tracking autos at certain events in an effort to suppress terrorism is hardly the controlling big brother activity that many fear.

    I'd argue the exact opposite, tracking an individual and putting them on a watch list because they've exercised their right to protest seems a like a dangerously big brotherish type of activity. I think we have to be very careful where we draw the lines on "its okay to single these people out and punish/watch them because their thoughts and ideas are dangerous".

    I've seen too much of 1984 come true already, thought crimes are one of the scariest ones to me, and I'd really appreciate it if I wasn't the only one scared of thought crime becoming a reality. Clearly protest and thoughts are in two entirely different classes, but do you really want to even start down that path? This whole "in the name of suppressing terrorism" thing frightens me.

     

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    Chargone (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    I'm quite sure this sort of comment should really go in the 'reducto ad hitlerum' [or however it's spelled] grouping.

    Especially if it's serious.

     

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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Re: This could be done by humans

    To answer Derek, what about someone watching the street from a window?

    Exactly, the privacy wasn't really there before, but we're heading towards a lot more windows, with a lot more eyes behind those windows (e.g. google street view puts a lot more eyes behind that window). It makes the level of expected privacy lower.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:17pm

    #1 terrorists I see

    Are;
    a. Some .gov body
    or
    B. Something that ends in **AA..

    Go figure..

     

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    ppartekim, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:20pm

    RE:

    If one uses the line "Only those with something to hide will find it objectionable" then they also would not complain about cameras put in every bathroom stall.

    I mean if you have nothing to hide then you should not care where cameras are put right.

     

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    vyvyan, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: This could be done by humans

    You have right to free movement within the State (that's US international) boundary. Unwarranted monitoring will deny your rights.

     

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    ppartekim, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: This could be done by humans

    While YOU have the right of free movement your CAR does not..

     

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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Re:

    I'm just going to go ahead and give the benefit of the doubt and assume that is sarcasm. But just in case, for those of you reading this and considering taking that seriously ...

    Only those with something to hide will find it objectionable.

    This will never be a valid argument. The fallacy of logic is often that the one making the statement does not care about privacy in this specific instance, but does not consider the implications of privacy eroding in instances where they do desire privacy or those individuals who do care about privacy in this specific instance.

    As an example, would you mind having an in depth IRS audit every year? Or perhaps having the depths of your hard drive and browser history shown to your local clergyman or grandparent? As one example in this Tiburon situation, the woman who is cheating on the guy whose job it is to cross check some of those license plate numbers. This situation is different, but you have to be very careful when you say things like "nothing to hide, nothing to worry about" because thats not true for everyone in this instance, or for you in other instances.

    Suggested Reading

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Re: This could be done by humans

    To answer Derek, what about someone watching the street from a window? The metric I contend should be used is could humans do it.

    Humans could stand outside your house and look in your windows too, but we don't want the government setting up cameras to look into everyone's houses, do we? I don't think that's a very good metric.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    Only those with something to hide will find it objectionable.

    ... says the anonymous commenter.

    Based on this, though, I will take this as explicit permission that you are fine with me releasing the details of your IP address. After all, you have nothing to hide, right?

     

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    anonymous coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Guess your right, we should just throw the constitution out the window when we are in our car. Now where did I but my portfolio of IOU's from the bankrupt (morally and fiscally by the way) State of Californai?

     

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    anonymous coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    Are you a member of the SS or Gestapo? Just wondering, seems your assumptions of guilt kind of fit right into their playbook.

     

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    Smile, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Oh Yeah - this is going to work out just great

    All members of the city council who voted for this should have cameras, on public property, pointed at their driveway - you know - just to make sure no bad people are about.

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:54pm

    Re:

    Your house is in a public place, too. Usually, so is your body. Why don't we make it legal to search those at an officer's will as well?

     

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    vilain (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    This could be used in litegation

    Just as the city can use this info, so can defendants. All it will take is a large settlement of a "driving while black" racial profiling class action and those cameras will be history.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Go for it Mike. After all, you check it all the time anyway.

    Heck, let me post it:

    65.94.80.252

    See? Some of us don't have anything to hide.

     

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    Sneeje (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 6:12pm

    New hobby...

    This soooo makes me want to invent a way to make my license plate coverable/uncoverable at the push of a button. Wonder what would happen if you deliberately obfuscated their video surveillance?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:


    See? Some of us don't have anything to hide.


    What about your name? Your website? Who employs you? How much you earned last year? How much you paid in taxes? How much you spent on vegetables? Where have you traveled in the last year? What kind of car do you drive? What TV shows do you watch? What internet sites have you visited today?

    Nothing to hide? Come on... you haven't done anything wrong, right?

     

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    SaratogaSam, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Now they have an excuse to ramrod it thru

    Some months ago, there was one of those once-a-decade murders in Tiburon and the officials (who probably had the camera plan brewing) used that excuse to ramrod it thru ... while the investigation on the murder has reached nowhere. So it makes you wonder, was that murder really a cause or an effect of the plan?

     

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    CAS, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    What's really frightening

    is that if you take this and mix in warrant-less wiretapping like the White House has been doing, the US and the UK are really beginning to look a lot closer to Communist Russia.

    Dissenting puts you on a "terrorist list" which opens you up for further investigation such as wire tapping. Next thing you know, you're in a terrorist prison without a trial. Crazy thing is, this all may have happened without a shred of evidence that would be admissible in court.

    Liberty has to be defended even if it means defending those that you find abhorrent otherwise one day you'll find your own liberties have been curtailed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yup, I haven't done anything wrong, and the authorities know all about all those things you asked.

    When I walk in public, I assume that everything that can be seen with the naked eye can be recorded. So if I am wearing a badge or shirt them identifies my job, or I am driving a car, I assume that someone might actually see me. My license plate remarkably is public information (it's on the outside of my car!).

    The rest of your questions are entirely pointless, and would require me to disclose information that you request from nobody else here. That information is NOT public.

    I would say that once again, you are taking things to a bizarre absolute, mocking your users rather than considering alternate points of view. That would be dumb, not smart.

     

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    net625, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You silly Canadian you... or your using tor...

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yup, I haven't done anything wrong, and the authorities know all about all those things you asked.

    So please, reveal who you are.

    When I walk in public, I assume that everything that can be seen with the naked eye can be recorded.

    Indeed. But there's a difference between being seen in public, and having everything put in a gov't database.

    So if I am wearing a badge or shirt them identifies my job, or I am driving a car, I assume that someone might actually see me. My license plate remarkably is public information (it's on the outside of my car!).

    Yes, indeed. But again, that's quite different than storing it in a gov't database that all parts of the gov't can access, even for totally unrelated purposes.

    I would say that once again, you are taking things to a bizarre absolute, mocking your users rather than considering alternate points of view. That would be dumb, not smart.

    Heh. I do not mock "users." You, however, are a well known commenter on this site with a long history of bizarre and misguided personal attacks, faulty reasoning, ignorance of basic subjects, and patently absurd logic. Thus, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask you to actually back up one of your ridiculous statements.

    But, of course, you refuse to reveal who you are or who pays you.

    Gee... I wonder why.

     

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    Christopher, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Or, anything that someone else might THINK is wrong by THEIR moral code.

    As I have said before, with a bunch of laws today, we are going DANGEROUSLY down the road towards no one having any freedom that "THE STATE" doesn't give them.... when the opposite is supposed to be true, that people have certain inalienable rights (like the right to move, which is NOT given up when you are in a car!) as given to them by nature.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:06am

    Re: Re: Re: This could be done by humans

    BINGO! That is the bottom line: unwarranted monitoring will deny some more paranoid people (who might not be doing anything wrong) their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:08am

    Re: Re: This could be done by humans

    Actually, no, they couldn't.... it would be called 'stalking' under the laws of today, and it's a no-no unless you are a police agency with a valid warrant.

     

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    Christopher, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:09am

    Re: What's really frightening

    Yep..... that is the bottom line here: this might be used to stifle dissent against 'THE LAWS OF THE STATE' and therefore these cameras are dangerous to the freedoms that this country is supposed to so 'love'.

     

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    Christopher, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:12am

    Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Actually, it is not a privilege. The fact is that it is a right, the same as you had the right to own a horse and USE IT 200 years ago.

    The police and the feds like to make you THINK that it is a 'privilege granted by the all-powerful STATE'.... but it is not.

    Many other countries around the world have stated that in recent legal decisions, and so have some lower courts.

    The only time that your RIGHT to something can be infringed is if you are putting someone else in danger, like when you are driving drunk.

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:35am

    Re: Traffic Camera Abuse

    Yup we should all be quaking in our boots - decades of terrorism, much of it heavily funded and backed in the USA should be able to be used as an excuse for anything.

    Except that's wrong isn't it? (the excuse bit I mean). These people aren't scary terrorist bad guys, they aren't even close to it. The demonstrations they attended were peaceful and public, and not remotely a threat to anything other than perhaps some politician's images; yet they end up on terrorist watch lists and get harassed by police constantly ever since.

    The message is quite clear - exercise your UK equivalent of 1st Amendments rights and spend the rest of your life being pulled over and harassed.

    How do you make the leap from scary terrorism (last seen in the UK 2005) to "all people should be monitored and placed on watch lists if they protest against anything" now?

    Although we do agree on your last sentence and the condemnation of predator drone attacks on small villages - you are quite right that people should fear those with a real agenda of control by terror, although it's possible we disagree on exactly which people they are.

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re: This could be done by humans

    Good point - neither do your jeans - consider all free movement rescinded unless you plan on wandering around butt naked.

    Do that in front of a minor though and we’ll add you to one of our extra special lifetime databases.

     

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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:54am

    Re: What's really frightening

    Amen - the cowards as ever are those who would hand over all of their liberties for a little temporary safety. Mr Franklin and chums knew this – seems a lot of the people in this thread have forgotten it.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, nice try. You are turning into quite the troll on this issue yourself, aren't you?

    Who I work for and who pays me? Gee, that would be a long list (as I am self employed). It isn't anyone in the hollywood movie industry or record industry, if that helps.

    Thus, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask you to actually back up one of your ridiculous statements.

    I will reveal exactly what every other user on this board reveals. IP address, browser type, plugins, and other things that are exchanged. Setting the bar higher for me, well, making you a fool.

    Indeed. But there's a difference between being seen in public, and having everything put in a gov't database.

    Is it really any different? What happens is concerned citizens write down every plate number that comes in through the gate, and enters it into a database and puts it online? Are the violating anyone's rights? I don't think they are. They are only reporting what they saw in public. We cannot deny the government the right to collect the same data that an average citizen could collect.

    Your argument in weak here, you know you are caught out, and now you are down to personal attacks. sort of like that happens when you corner the wounded animal, and it strikes back, I guess.

    WTG Mike, way to treat your readers.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    While "many other countries" may have stated that driving is a "right," that is not true in the United States. As has been copiously discussed, the right of the state with respect to driving is almost absolute. The state can take away your privilege to drive without a trial. The state can restrict your privilege to drive without a trial. The state can refuse to grant you the privilege to drive in the first place.

    None of this is "think," it is actual. I would love to provide examples of each, but I am sure that well-informed visitors to this site already know of many examples.

    I also have to wonder whether driving is truly a "right" in the "many other countries" you describe. For instance, in the U.S., in the vast majority of states (maybe all), if you refuse one or more tests to determine whether you are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, your driving privilege is automatically revoked for six months to a year. Do other countries just say, oh well, it is a right, and let you go on your way? Hmmm, struggling with that one.

    What about driving with glasses? Because driving is a "right" in some European country and you refuse to wear your glasses and present a hazard to others, the state is not permitted to take action because driving is a right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Ah, yes, the well thought out and argued point of view. Ummm, no, you do not throw the constitution out the window. No one ever said we should. Conversely, where is the constitutional right to drive on a road free of surveillance? What "right" is being violated by having a camera watching a road? The road is a public place and there is no expectation of privacy on a public road, as has been pointed out in suit after suit after suit. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever won a "right to privacy" suit when the location of the privacy is a public road.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    You will have to explain how that follows from any of the statements previously made.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    There have been many court cases arguing whether there is an expectation of privacy on a public sidewalk or a public street. The courts have held, unanimously, I believe, that there is no expectation of privacy in any public place.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Rights of free speech are protected by the constitution. There is no right to drive in the constitution, and it is unlikely that there ever will be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Traffic Camera Abuse

    I think we have to be very careful where we draw the lines on "its okay to single these people out and punish/watch them because their thoughts and ideas are dangerous".

    Various government entities and law enforcement agencies have been watching people for about as long as there have been such entities and agencies. The only difference between historical watching and current watching is that cameras make it easier.

    So, with respect to your comment regarding "do you really want to even start down that path," kind of late for that question. That path was taken decades ago. Cameras just make what has already been done for a long time easier.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re:

    Your house is in a public place, too. Usually, so is your body. Why don't we make it legal to search those at an officer's will as well?

    Excellent example. In fact, anything outside your house that is in plain view may be "searched," so long as you do not open anything that is closed (privacy issues) or enter a portion of the yard that is closed off, as by a fence.

    Similarly, searching of anything in plain sight on your body is perfectly allowable. However, searching of pockets, purses, brief cases and the like are permissible only to assure the safety of an officer or because of probable cause.

    Do not delude yourself. The police are searching with their eyes continuously. How do you think probable cause is frequently established in the first place. Sometimes those actions can take place within the confines of a vehicle, but are visible from outside the vehicle. Of course, perhaps you think the police should not be permitted to stop a car after seeing a woman with tape over her mouth being shoved down after apparently struggling to sit up to look out the window?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This could be done by humans

    Oh, please. Both of you. So, I am not permitted to have a camera that I own aimed toward the street? Why not? The camera is on my land, it just happens to be aimed toward the street.

    Define "unwarranted." How does a camera deny your "rights" to free movement within the "State"? Cameras are not everywhere, they are in relatively few places in comparison to the total available land mass of the U.S.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Re: RE:

    Cameras in bathroom stalls have already been ruled as illegal. You are late on this one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Re: RE:

    There is an expectation of privacy in a bathroom stall - as has already been litigated.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Re: Oh Yeah - this is going to work out just great

    Ummm...well, your neighbor's camera is already aimed toward your house, and his camera can be accessed on the internet.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: What's really frightening

    Being against cameras is the white conservative version of "snitches get stitches". It all comes down to people who have something to hide.

    If you don't have anything to hide, why care if public information (where your car is, it's in public) is recorded?

     

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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What makes you think that 'will' and 'cause' are inclusive of one another?

    Personally, having a badge tag on my vehicle tells me that I probably know more about what police are doing than you. :)

     

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  55.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Setting the bar higher for me, well, making you a fool.

    No, actually, you're the foolish-looking one because, although you seem to be taking the position that it's okay for people to have abusable information about you, whenever they want, for no reason at all, you refuse to give any abusable information. :)

    Do I smell an asshat?

     

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  56.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What happens is concerned citizens write down every plate number that comes in through the gate, and enters it into a database and puts it online?

    Your license plate number only become abusable when it's attached to a database with other private information, such as your name, birth date, and social security number. Your usual concerned citizen doesn't have open access to those types of databases.

     

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  57.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: What's really frightening

    Why is 'having something to hide' the benchmark here? Having something to hide does not mean that you have something criminal to hide.

     

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  58.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Having Something To Hide?

    Why is 'having something to hide' the benchmark here? Having something to hide does not mean that you have something criminal to hide.

     

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  59.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    """
    I will reveal exactly what every other user on this board reveals. IP address, browser type, plugins, and other things that are exchanged. Setting the bar higher for me, well, making you a fool.
    """

    Wait a minute, 'every other user' did not claim they had nothing to hide, as you so broadly claimed for yourself. Now you seem to feel that you -do- have something to hide. And now you are starting to understand why the "nothing to hide" argument is so specious. By the way, Mike took it easy on you, I would have asked for medical records, criminal records, library records... after all, you've got nothing to hide.

     

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  60.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:13am

    Re: Having Something To Hide?

    'Having something to hide' is the benchmark as it’s a statement that almost looks like it makes sense until you look closely at it, plus it’s a statement that can be used to ‘justify’ a lot of state controls with no need for pesky thought to get in the way.

    In response if you have nothing to hide you, you do indeed have nothing to fear except the usual bureaucratic incompetence, abuse of the data for other purposes, future uses of the data and technology by a less friendly regime, a reduced service as human intelligence is replaced by technology for detection purposes; given time I could probbaly rattle of a few more but what would be the point?

    In general my experience says the nay-sayers are not going to understand the issues until we’re way past the point of no return; I’ve never been able to work out if they are wilfully stupid or just ignorant, or if indeed there’s much of a difference.

    We can already point to concrete examples of where the exact same technology is already in place and already being abused by police forces and states. We can point to examples from history where similar levels of state control and monitoring have enabled organisations such as the Gestapo, the KGB and others to become so effective. Yet still people refuse to see the problem, to me that takes a special kind of stupid.

     

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  61.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Ok, let me explain.

    Once upon a time, man invented language. And all was good.

    But sometimes, language wasn't good enough to explain things, so the figure of speech was born. Then the simile. And hence cameth the metaphor.

    So, now, instead of having to tell about every tiny bit of something that happened, man could use a figure of speech to compare two different yet related events.

     

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  62.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, you set the bar higher for yourself stating that you have "nothing to hide" and therefore don't mind all your information being known.

    The rest of the people here have not stated that they want everyone to know their private information because they have "nothing to hide" and thus have made no requirement to themselves to reveal said info.

    Is it that difficult to understand? By not revealing that info, you are actually agreeing with them tacitly, but you're saying the opposite in an attempt to troll or simply to make yourself look better (ex: the definition of hypocrisy).

     

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  63.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I will reveal exactly what every other user on this board reveals. IP address, browser type, plugins, and other things that are exchanged. Setting the bar higher for me, well, making you a fool.

    Well, since you have no problem revealing all of this info, and you have no problem putting it into a database that might connect unrelated info, then I should be able to cross reference the comments you've posted in the past, and that includes your name, your website and your email address.

    You clearly have no problem with me publishing all that information, since you have nothing at all to hide, right?

    That's funny because one time I mentioned your name and you threatened to sue me. Looks like you do have some stuff to hide, don't you?

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    Ah, yes. The old "figure of speech." However, in this case there appears to be a non sequitur. If you are in a public place your "rights" to privacy are limited; not non-existent, but limited.

    On the other hand, privileges are just that, privileges. As they are granted, they can be taken away. As you correctly pointed out, an elevator can be a privilege, but in the U.S. an elevator has been redefined as a right by the ADA if you are in any building except a private home (there are some exceptions, but in general elevators are a requirement). Since elevators are a right, I guess you get to breathe while on them.

    Oh, yeah. Cameras are often installed on elevators, along with microphones and speakers, so I would not expect privacy in an elevator.

     

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  65.  
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    Dave, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Big brother

    Where I live in Maidstone, Kent in the UK all the main approach roads into town have had installed dedicated fixed cameras at intervals, monitoring all lanes (mind you, we don't have many on the roads in this town!), purely for the use of number plate (in American - license plate!) surveillance. It's funny how they just suddenly "appeared" without any announcements, consultation or notification. Pretty much a fait accomplis, as far as I can see. Just means that cars can be tracked pretty much all over town, presumably with the aid of conventional CCTV - which the town is also riddled with. Some folk say that there is no expectation of privacy in a public place but I feel that this should only apply to your actual standard mark one eyeballs - NOT being watched or tracked all over town with high-powered electronic surveillance gear.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Big brother

    I drove from Midwest U.S. to the east coast and then south into North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised by the huge proliferation of cameras in places that seems almost unlikely, including what I thought were relatively remote sections of the highway. However, there is a public need to monitor traffic flows and to deal with problems quickly, so it seems that the cameras help move "eyes" from point-to-point without the physical presence of the police.

    Besides, without those cameras, where would all those reality shows about idiot drivers get their footage?

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    NO, I didn't say that, Mike is trying to strawman me into that position, which isn't mine at all.

    There is certain information that is public when you cruise the internet, such as IP address. Heck, many chat boards actually put the IP address next to posts (which would be good to do here). An IP address is the license plate on a car, it's visible publically, it isn't an issue of privacy.

    What Mike asked for was PRIVATE information, which isn't part of the game. He is just frustrated because I managed to poke holes in another "moral outrage" story, so he takes it out on me.

    it's a nice try, but once again, Mike fails. So the only asshat you smell might be coming from floor64, not this one over here.

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Knock yourself out, good luck.

    Actually, I didn't do any such thing to threaten to sue you for revealing personal info (as you don't have any of it). I said that I would not tolerate you discrediting posts by using information that you keep private, and then insinuating that I made posts which I did not make.

    Sorry Mike, you fail again. After all, if you had my personal information, you would call me as I asked and we could talk. Apparently you don't have any information, my phone isn't ringing.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Having Something To Hide?

    I have to say that your point of view is pretty standard for the "freedom damn everything else" crowd.

    We can already point to concrete examples of where the exact same technology is already in place and already being abused by police forces and states

    Exactly where do you see that? The only examples I have seen are single officers or officials doing stupid things. I don't see any great wholesale invasion of anyones' rights by the police or other authorities.

    It also isn't like anyone is peeping into your house or violating your private space. They have the ability to see what can be seen with the naked eyeball. Would you be happier if the cameras were replaced with a gate and a guy writing plates on a paper? Perhaps a police office stationed full time that does nothing but check the plate of every car coming into town? Would that make if different?

    All of these actions are legal, above board, and do not in any way violate your rights. You drive on a public road, anyone can film you. I can drive behind you and document all your rolling stops if I feel like it, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. You are in a public space.

    Please stop trying to pile this up as some grand conspiracy to violate your "FREEDOM!". It's a crock and you know it.

     

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  70.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    An IP address is the license plate on a car, it's visible publically, it isn't an issue of privacy.

    No, it isn't. Unless it's legal to hide your license plate number with a spoofed license plate nowadays?

     

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  71.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    After all, if you had my personal information, you would call me as I asked and we could talk. Apparently you don't have any information, my phone isn't ringing.

    That's not even logical. Who fails again, lol?

     

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  72.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    An IP address is the license plate on a car, it's visible publically, it isn't an issue of privacy.

    Also, I'll restate my point here. Your license plate number, like your IP address (if you're showing your actual address, which you're not legally required to do) only become abusable when it's attached to other private information, such as your name, birth date, and social security number. Your usual concerned citizen doesn't have open access to that type of information.

    In this situation, your license plate number would become attached to such a database, which would be abusable by all kinds of people. If this doesn't matter, and isn't a problem, then you should give Techdirt permission to release your private information in conjunction with what you insist is your 'Internet license plate'.

     

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  73.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Having Something To Hide?

    The only examples I have seen are single officers or officials doing stupid things. I don't see any great wholesale invasion of anyones' rights by the police or other authorities.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1230680/What-kind-country-arrests-innocent -people-boost-DNA-database.html

    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/21/traffic-cameras-used.html

    http://boingboing.net/2008/04/21/person-info-from-uk.html

    One of these examples is in the blog post, which I guess you didn't thoroughly read.

    They have the ability to see what can be seen with the naked eyeball..

    Plus the ability to attach that information to a huge database with all sorts of private information about you, including your DNA.

    That's the point. That's the problem. You want to stand there and write it down my number? Fine. But not a police officer, because that absolutely does violate my rights.

    Your license plate number only become abusable when it's attached to a database with other private information, such as your name, birth date, and social security number. Police have this. You don't.

    Further, my freedom is more important than anything else, and I lived through a real, live terrorist attack. I would do it again and again to preserve those freedoms. You can shrug that off if you like, but when you're being arrested and prosecuted for a crime that you didn't commit because you happened to drive by the wrong place at the wrong time, you'll wonder what happened to America and I'll already know.

     

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  74.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry Mike, you fail again. After all, if you had my personal information, you would call me as I asked and we could talk. Apparently you don't have any information, my phone isn't ringing.

    No. I don't have you phone info. I never said I did.

     

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  75.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Having Something To Hide?

    Rose - you're wasting your time.

    You just have to accept that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it think.

    The above is a perfect example of the sort of wilful ignorance I was trying to describe. The evidence is there, it's even in the article the respondent is commenting about, they just choose to ignore it. You can't complete with a mass media spoon-feeding these morons stupidity; in order to understand the issue from both sides they would have to expend some effort, so they don't.

    The best you can hope for is that some people will read the issues, understand them and act on them, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

    One of the joys of a democracy - next time you go past a hospital emergency department take a look in... That man who electrocuted himself while balancing on a stack of paint tins, that woman with the burns from a "is this thing hot?" incident and that guy with horrific injuries from operating heavy machinery drunk - they all get to vote too.

     

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  76.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Big brother

    Absolutely - There are good uses for cameras, exactly as you state to monitor traffic at busy intersections or key hotspots but that's not what this is about.

    Originally many of those cameras were less 'camera' as you or I know it but more a sort of basic speed gun, the idea being that if traffic is moving an average speed somewhere around xxMPH than all is well. Then someone decided that real cameras would be useful to see the extent of tailback etc so more and more real cameras went up on roads.

    We've gone well past that though. In the UK a group of nutters decided to bomb the London underground and a bus the politicians got all scared (or pretended to in order to get their way), we now have numberplate cameras on major roads all over London and expanding outwards at a terrifying rate. Although oddly enough the nutters involved didn't drive anywhere near their target and used public transport instead.

    Anyway, these cameras as Dave points out have been placed on roads with no debate or consultation they just arrived "for our safety".

    We've gone from the point where someone is monitoring vague traffic signals to warn of delays to a system where someone in an office types in your numberplate into a database and instantly gets a detailed look at exactly where you've been in the last few years.

    Some people don't find that scary - I hope they are right, I suspect not.

    As stated in the article police and politicians in the UK are already using this technology to stifle dissent, checking number plates to see who was near this or that political demonstration then placing them on terrorist watch lists.

    Some people don't find that scary either - I hope they are right, again I suspect not.

    Our equivalent of first amendment rights are already being compromised - Sometimes I wish we had a 2nd amendment.

     

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  77.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 1:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Having Something To Hide?

    If no one refutes him, then someone else who comes along and reads it might think that his argument has logical merit. :)

    This particular horse may prefer the funny Kool-Aid, but the rest of the herd may not. In light of that, I don't believe that I am wasting my time here.

     

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  78.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 2:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Having Something To Hide?

    Fair point - good luck with the anti-Kool ;0)

    Sometimes I just tire of banging my head off flat surfaces!

     

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  79.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 4:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > There is no right to drive in the constitution,
    > and it is unlikely that there ever will be.

    You do not, however, lose all your other rights merely because you happen to be in a car at the time.

     

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  80.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > where is the constitutional right to drive on
    > a road free of surveillance? What "right" is
    > being violated by having a camera watching a
    > road?

    If the government uses the cameras the way the UK government was described as using theirs, then yes, the government would be violating the Constitution, specifically the 1st Amendment.

    You see, in America, the government can't document and photograph protesters for purposes of creating an intelligence database. The federal courts have ruled that such government surveillance and record-keeping of protected 1st Amendment activity creates an unconstitutional chilling effect on free speech. So just as an FBI agent can't walk around among a protest group photographing people for his files, neither could a city use its camera system to document which cars are present at which events for purposes of creating databases and "watch-lists".

    Your whole "this is a public place so anything goes" argument is simplisitic at best. For example, the "expectation of privacy" standard only applies to 4th Amendment issues and analysis. It has nothing to do with whether the 1st Amendment is being violated.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    You do not, however, lose all your other rights merely because you happen to be in a car at the time.

    That is asolutely true. So, whatever you can do in your car that is not readily visible from outside the car is considered private. However, if you can see an action from outside the vehicle or you can see the vehicle, and they are in a public place, your rights are somewhat constrained as they would be when you are walking in any public place.

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned that nearly all stores have cameras and record every customer and transaction that takes place. As the cost of recording media gets cheaper, the length of time these recordings are kept lenghten. So, when you wiped a buger on a pot in Wal-Mart, it was probably recorded. Also, when you scratched your crotch when you were alone in the canned food isle was recorded. There is nothing to prevent a Wal-Mart employee with a sense of humor from posting those things on Youtube - or turning them over to the police, which they do frequently.

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    You see, in America, the government can't document and photograph protesters for purposes of creating an intelligence database.

    I guess if a bunch of people were in their cars and protesting while going down the highway, then there might be a first amendment issue. HOWEVER, U.S. courts have ruled time and again that there are issues that trump first amendment rights. Traffic safety is one of those issues. So, if your claim is that traffic cameras violate your first amendment rights, I suspect the courts, and the police, would tell you that you can make the same protest in an area without cameras, and preferably in an area where you do not present a traffic hazard while protesting.

    Your whole "this is a public place so anything goes" argument is simplisitic at best. For example, the "expectation of privacy" standard only applies to 4th Amendment issues and analysis. It has nothing to do with whether the 1st Amendment is being violated.

    It may be that my argument is simplistic, and yet, the cameras exist and challenges to the cameras on a constitutional basis have, thus far, failed. So, simplistic or not, the number continue to increase on our highways and the length the recordings are kept are increasing. While the original "purpose" may be traffic safety, who knows what happens to the recordings after that original purpose is met.

    Though I do not know how accurate television shows are, you will note that CSI and NCIS show how easy it can be to locate people with GPS and to monitor their movements based on cell phone usage. They also track people with iPass and credit card usage. If these portrayals are accurate, it seems as though any public activity can be monitored without violating first amendment rights.

     

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  83.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > I guess if a bunch of people were in their
    > cars and protesting while going down the
    > highway, then there might be a first amendment
    > issue.

    They don't even have to be driving down the highway for it to be a 1st Amendment issue. As in the UK example, using the cameras to document which cars are parked around these protest events, then using computers to cross-check the lists and develop databases of repeat protesters is a prime example of how this can be abused. (And if done in the USA, it would violate both the Constitution and the U.S. Code.)

    > U.S. courts have ruled time and again that
    > there are issues that trump first amendment
    > rights. Traffic safety is one of those issues.

    I would dearly love for you to cite me that case. The idea that local traffic ordinances trump the U.S. Constitution is ridiculous on its face.

    Oh, and the cameras in question in Tiburon have nothing to do with providing traffic safety in the first place. All they do is record the license plates of everyone entering and leaving town. That doesn't enhance traffic safety one whit.

    > It may be that my argument is simplistic, and yet,
    > the cameras exist and challenges to the cameras
    > on a constitutional basis have, thus far, failed.

    I wasn't aware that there had even been such a challenge. Considering this program in Tiburon has just now been put into operation, if a challenge has already been heard in the district court *and* worked its way through the appellate system, that case would have to have set the all-time record as the fastest federal suit to ever go through the system.

    > Though I do not know how accurate television
    > shows are, you will note that CSI and NCIS
    > show how easy it can be to locate people with
    > GPS and to monitor their movements based on
    > cell phone usage.

    Well, as a federal cop and attorney myself, let me disabuse you of the notion that anything you see on a CSI show even remotely resembles reality. I enjoy watching CSI for its sheer comedy value. The entire premise of the show-- that crime scene techs are out interviewing witnesses, carrying guns, serving warrants, and conducting criminal investigations-- is ludicrous.

    As for NCIS, I watched the very first episode of that show several years ago and gave up on it immediately when the lead character, Mark Harmon, essentially hijacked Air Force One after a presidential flight because a Navy officer had passed out and died on board before it landed. He didn't want the FBI to interfere with his case, so when he saw them approaching across the tarmac, he drew his gun and order the pilots to take off, then threatened to murder the lone Secret Service agent who stayed behind after the president left if she tried to stop him. This Secret Service agent was apparently so impressed with Harmon's insanity, that she quit the Service at the end of the episode and joined his NCIS team full time.

    What I just described above is so far beyond reality that it might as well be a cartoon.

    As for your claim that the police can just pull up your cell phone and track you at their whim, that's also false. If I want to do that with a suspect, I have to get a the US Attorney to authorize a warrant for the suspect and a subpoena for the cell phone provider and have a judge sign off on them, which won't happen if I can't meet the probable cause standard the Constitution requires.

     

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  84.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Re: Nothing to hide

    > Only those with something to hide will find
    > it objectionable.

    Whenever one of my fellow cops says this, I always like to pose a question back: if you stopped me on the side of the road and wanted to search my car, saying to me that I shouldn't mind if I have nothing to hide, what would be your response if I told you, "Okay, officer, I'll give you consent to search my car, but only if afterward, we go to your home and you let me look through whatever I want-- everything from your personal financial files to the browser history on your computer to your wife's underwear drawer. Would that be okay with you, to have a total stranger looking through your private things? I mean, you shouldn't mind if you have nothing to hide, right?"

    Funny how their tune always changes when presented with that scenario.

     

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  85.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > I am surprised that no one has mentioned that
    > nearly all stores have cameras and record every
    > customer and transaction that takes place.

    That's because most of us understand that the Constitution only protects against violations of rights by the government. Stores are private entities and as such are not covered.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > I guess if a bunch of people were in their
    > cars and protesting while going down the
    > highway, then there might be a first amendment
    > issue.


    They don't even have to be driving down the highway for it to be a 1st Amendment issue. As in the UK example, using the cameras to document which cars are parked around these protest events, then using computers to cross-check the lists and develop databases of repeat protesters is a prime example of how this can be abused. (And if done in the USA, it would violate both the Constitution and the U.S. Code.)

    Well, good thing there are very few, if any, cameras around parking lots.

    What "U.S. Code" are you citing?

    > U.S. courts have ruled time and again that
    > there are issues that trump first amendment
    > rights. Traffic safety is one of those issues.


    I would dearly love for you to cite me that case. The idea that local traffic ordinances trump the U.S. Constitution is ridiculous on its face.

    How about comments regarding the Supreme Court?

    - - - - - - - -

    A further claim that might be raised against photo-radar is that its use chills the freedom of association found by the Supreme Court to be implied by the First Amendment. Such a claim asserts that both drivers and passengers might avoid traveling in vehicles with individuals with whom they would normally associate in order
    to avoid being officially observed and photographed by photoradar. This argument misconstrues the scope of associational rights. The Supreme Court has delineated two types of associational rights: (1) freedom of expressive association, and (2) freedom of intimate association.64 The freedom of expressive association protects organization within groups for the exercise of First Amendment rights, such as freedom of speech and region. The freedom of intimate association is an outgrowth of the privacy doctrine and protects an individual's right to engage in intimate relationships without threat from excessive governmental regulation.

    Speed enforcement through photo-radar technology does not compromise freedom of expressive association for two reasons. First, a claim that photo-radar use might prevent certain individuals from traveling with persons with whom they would normally associate will not support a claim for infringement of freedom of expressive association. A showing "of specific present objective harm or a threat of specific future harm" to associational rights and First Amendment rights is necessary to support a freedom of expressive association claim when government regulations will only indirectly affect the exercise of First Amendment rights. In Laird v. Tatum68 and Donohoe v. Duling, the activities of the plaintiffs' lawful political groups were under surveillance. The Laird plaintiffs argued that surveillance by U.S. Army observers of the activities of the political groups had a chilling effect on their First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of association. The plaintiffs in Donohoe claimed that the taking of pictures by uniformed police officers of persons involved in demonstrations violated the demonstrators' First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court in Laird held that a claim of a hypothetical chilling effect on First Amendment and associational rights would not support a freedom of expressive association claim if the government regulation did not directly prohibit First Amendment activity. Thus, the Laird and Donohoe courts held that, where government activity prevents exercise of First Amendment rights indirectly, a freedom of expressive association claim requires a specific showing of an objective present harm or threatened future harm.

    Second, the freedom of expressive association claim against photo-radar is far weaker than the claims presented in Laird and Donohoe since photo-radar speed enforcement is not solely directed at groups organized for the purpose of exercising First Amendment rights. Freedom of expressive association protects association only for the purpose of exercising First Amendment rights. Successful freedom of association claims involve government regulations targeting the activities of particular groups organized specifically to exercise First Amendment rights. The only group targeted by photo-radar would be speeding drivers, who certainly do not represent an organized group, much less a group organized for First Amendment purposes.

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    There are others that I leave you to find for your brilliant self.

    Here are other camera cases where constitutional rights were raised, and found not violated:

    In State v. Holden, The Utah Court of Appeals was confronted with a set of facts similar to those in Urbina. Because of the number of people frequenting the defendant's house, a neighbor suspected that he was selling drugs, complained to the police, and consented to the installation of a video camera on his property aimed at the defendant's front yard. In denying Holden's suppression motion, the trial court concluded that the video camera "recorded nothing different than would have been seen had an officer been at the same location for the entire time." Holden continued to press the argument on appeal that a search warrant should have been obtained because he had a reasonable expectation of privacy inasmuch as, if he had known he was being "watched" around-the-clock from across the street, he would have been "offended." The appellate court affirmed the denial of the defendant's suppression motion, noting "that objects falling within the plain view of an officer from a position where he is entitled to be are not the subject of an unlawful search.... For an officer to look at what is in open view from a position lawfully accessible to the public cannot constitute an invasion of a reasonable expectation of privacy."

    Oh, my...you mean a camera recording everything in plain view is not a first amendment violation, EVEN IF IT IS SOMEONE'S HOUSE!!!

    Here's another:

    The Supreme Court of Vermont had occasion to review the warrantless installation and use of a motion-activated video camera that police focused on the defendant's marijuana plants and a portion of the path from the house leading to the plants in State v. Costin. The defendant conceded that his crop, located on his unposted property and about 150 feet from the house, was outside the curtilage, and although he admitted there was no Fourth Amendment issue, Costin contended that he was afforded greater protection under the state constitution. The court held otherwise, commenting that Costin had no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to that portion of his property under video observation because "in the area in which he tended his marijuana garden[,]... he took no steps to exclude the public." Upholding the use of the video evidence, the court concluded that the camera the police had installed was merely substitute for in-person surveillance.

    Oh, no! Police installation of a camera does not violate first amendment BECAUSE THERE WAS NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY.

    Oh, and the cameras in question in Tiburon have nothing to do with providing traffic safety in the first place. All they do is record the license plates of everyone entering and leaving town. That doesn't enhance traffic safety one whit.

    Your point being? Where is the first amendment violation? You have failed to provide a connection. How is entering and leaving a town a violation of first amendment rights?

    > It may be that my argument is simplistic, and yet,
    > the cameras exist and challenges to the cameras
    > on a constitutional basis have, thus far, failed.

    I wasn't aware that there had even been such a challenge. Considering this program in Tiburon has just now been put into operation, if a challenge has already been heard in the district court *and* worked its way through the appellate system, that case would have to have set the all-time record as the fastest federal suit to ever go through the system.

    Cameras of all types are challenged all the time, and MOST of the challenges fail unless you can clearly show how the cameras chilled first amendment or fourth amendment rights, as noted in the examples I provided above.

    > Though I do not know how accurate television
    > shows are, you will note that CSI and NCIS
    > show how easy it can be to locate people with
    > GPS and to monitor their movements based on
    > cell phone usage.

    Well, as a federal cop and attorney myself, let me disabuse you of the notion that anything you see on a CSI show even remotely resembles reality. I enjoy watching CSI for its sheer comedy value. The entire premise of the show-- that crime scene techs are out interviewing witnesses, carrying guns, serving warrants, and conducting criminal investigations-- is ludicrous.

    While your enjoyment of NCIS as a comedy is fascinating, it does not address the surveillance issues.

    As for NCIS, I watched the very first episode of that show several years ago and gave up on it immediately when the lead character, Mark Harmon, essentially hijacked Air Force One after a presidential flight because a Navy officer had passed out and died on board before it landed. He didn't want the FBI to interfere with his case, so when he saw them approaching across the tarmac, he drew his gun and order the pilots to take off, then threatened to murder the lone Secret Service agent who stayed behind after the president left if she tried to stop him. This Secret Service agent was apparently so impressed with Harmon's insanity, that she quit the Service at the end of the episode and joined his NCIS team full time.

    What I just described above is so far beyond reality that it might as well be a cartoon.


    Still waiting for some sort of counterpoint to the surveillance issues I brought up.

    As for your claim that the police can just pull up your cell phone and track you at their whim, that's also false. If I want to do that with a suspect, I have to get a the US Attorney to authorize a warrant for the suspect and a subpoena for the cell phone provider and have a judge sign off on them, which won't happen if I can't meet the probable cause standard the Constitution requires.

    So, fundamentally you agree that with the proper warrant such surveillance can easily happen. Well, after all your diversionary rhetoric it is nice to see that the basic facts are correct.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > Well, good thing there are very few, if any, cameras around
    > parking lots.

    ?!?!? I don't know what cave you live in but parking lots and parking garages are lousy with cameras most every where I go. And people also park on city streets, which are also well-covered by cameras here in the DC area.

    > What "U.S. Code" are you citing?

    There's only one, chief.

    > How about comments regarding the Supreme Court?

    No, I'd like a case citation, please. You claimed that the Court has ruled that the traffic code trumps the Bill of Rights.

    Cite it.

    > While your enjoyment of NCIS as a comedy is fascinating, it
    > does not address the surveillance issues.

    No, it addresses the silliness of you citing one of these ridiculous shows to prove how something works in the real world.

    > So, fundamentally you agree that with the proper warrant
    > such surveillance can easily happen.

    LOL! Yeah, once you get all the hard stuff out of the way, all that's left is the easy stuff. You sure got me there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    No, I'd like a case citation, please. You claimed that the Court has ruled that the traffic code trumps the Bill of Rights.

    I think there were sufficient case cites showing that in general the Bill of Rights is not that limiting when it comes to cameras. Just because none of the cites were specifically traffic related does not change the fact that in each of the cites there was a constitutional challenge to the presence of the cameras, and in each case the court ruled that the Bill of Rights was NOT violated by the presence of the camers.

    I noticed you failed to place any connection with possible Bill of Rights violations and the Tiburon case. Nice way to avoid providing logic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Nov 26th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    > I think there were sufficient case cites showing that i
    > general the Bill of Rights is not that limiting when it
    > comes to cameras.

    Which, of course, wasn't your original contention. I'll just take it as a given at this point that you can't provide a citation to your claim that the traffic code trumps the Bill of Rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Rights versus privileges...

    You are not only hilarious, but you are drawing an incorrect assumption from the case laws I already cited. However, since you apparently have issues with comprehension, I will help you out...

    In Kovach v. District of Columbia, Kovach claimed his constitutional rights under the fifth and fourteenth amendments were violated by his receipt of a red light camera ticket. The court upheld the ticket for a variety of reasons.

    In 2006, (unable to find the actual case) federal judge Charles S. Haight said that videotaping by police needs limits to assure that first amendment rights are not violated. However, Judge Haight also said that "the restrictions on videotaping do not apply to bridges, tunnels, airports, subways or street traffic..."

    You are going to love this one. Federal judges and a court of appeals ruled that the Migratory Bird Act and precedence permitted the installation of a continuously recording camera on a farmer's land. Farmer Stephen VanKesteren said that the cameras violated his fourth amendment rights. Two courts said while they were bothered by the cameras, they could find no clear violation of his fourth amendment rights. Of course, it probably hurt VanKesteren that he was clearly killing endangered birds. Incidentally, there was NO warrant for the cameras.

    There are also numerous articles analyzing traffic cameras and whether they pass constitutional muster. Nearly all the analyses believe, based on the most relevant case law available, that as long as the cameras are focused on traffic related issues or are clearly in public places, and the cameras are not capturing people engaged in exercising their first amendment rights, then the cameras are legal.

    Now, I would certainly be open to your counter evidence showing that properly placed and used cameras are unconstitutional.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Nick From Tib, Oct 16th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    i live in this town

    lived here in tib for over 15 years now. the reason for the cameras is because there was ONE murder in our town last year that has gone unsolved... because it was a contract killing on an old lady. the town is just overreacting. the cops swear they will only use it for big things like murder but we shall see.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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