This article is very messily written, which makes figuring out the facts difficult.
First, there's the inclusion of ridiculous hyperbole, which seems to be a requirement for all media these days:
"...an attempt to disguise the true purpose of the cameras mounted up front, which are high-powered automatic license plate readers."
So what exactly is the difference between a high-powered LPR and a low- or medium-powered LPR? What function does "high-powered" serve here other than to increase the drama factor of the article?
Then we're told this:
"Blaze also spotted a Pennsylvania State Police parking placard on the dash."
"The city's fleet manager denied the vehicle belonged to the State Police."
If the placard said state police, why would you go to the *city*'s fleet manager to track it down. Wouldn't you make inquiries with the state?
And in the end, it turns out that the vehicle was a city vehicle after all, which makes the initial claim that it had a state police placard on the dash suspect.
Then there are the assumptions the author makes that are unwarranted. In criticizing the attempt to disguise an SUV, we get this:
"Google tends to use vehicles with lower profiles, better gas mileage, and very distinctive branding/camera setups. Anyone stupid enough to believe a hulking SUV with a city parking permit was a Google Maps vehicle..."
Here a clue to the author: not everyone is as immersed in the tech world as you are and don't know (or care) what kind of vehicles Google uses, so an average Joe or Jane who sees an SUV on street with a Google logo on the side is not "stupid" for not realizing that's not the type of vehicle Google employs.
> Would you say that US laws are unenforceable outside of the US? Or just that > Indians are just more inept?
More like the governments of other countries are spineless and roll over for the U.S. instead of protecting their citizens like they're supposed to.
The reason India's law is unenforceable here in the U.S. is that the U.S. won't allow it to be. If other countries grew a pair and said the same to U.S. authorities when they try legislating for the world, their people would be much better off.
> If this is indeed the case, even though there is almost no chance of being > prosecuted especially if I never go to India, the law implications are > staggering.
This is hardly the first time this kind of issue has come up.
In most countries in Europe, Holocaust denial and publication of Nazi symbols and imagery is illegal. In the earliest days of the public internet, various prosecutors in Germany and France attempted to shut down US websites that violated their anti-Nazi laws and/or prosecute their owners. Since that sort of thing is squarely 1st Amendment protected speech in the US, the European prosecutors were never successful and they've basically just learned to live with the fact that Americans can put Nazi stuff on the internet with impunity and their only recourse is to block those sites from access within Germany, France, etc.
This law won't apply to any company that has no physical presence in India. If I acquire and publish satellite imagery of India from my office in California, India can't do anything to me. In fact, it's 1st Amendment protected speech.
That's what's ironic about the whole thing. India claims it's doing this for national security reasons, but this law won't do anything to stop foreigners outside India's borders-- people who are most likely to be a security concern to India-- from creating and analyzing overhead images and maps of India.
> If so, it raises even further questions about the > constitutionality of this particular warrant, which may > have forced this suspect to provide evidence against > someone else.
That's actually less of a constitutional issue. While you do have a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, absent something like spousal privilege-- which isn't a constitutional issue-- you have *no* right whatsoever to be free from incriminating others. If you have evidence that can be used to help the government's case against someone else, you can be compelled to provide it. Period. And nothing in the Constitution protects you from that.
> Not that due process was at the forefront of law > enforcement's mind in this case. Or the magistrate > judge's either. Jonathan Zdziarski points out the warrant > was obtained within 45 minutes of the suspect being > arrested -- not even enough time to bring in a lawyer.
WTF? Due process has *never* required the police wait to apply for a warrant (or the judge to wait to grant one) until the subject/defendant's lawyer shows up at the warrant application hearing.
> Do your job right or criminals get off free and it is no > one's fault but your own.
Did you not read the article? The cops *did* do their job right. They acted properly under the laws as they existed at the time. This court is applying law as it exists today to a search that occurred in the past before the law existed.
I know this "community" is generally anti-cop as a general rule, but it's absurd to suggest cops should somehow psychically know how the law will change in the future and conform their actions accordingly.
> This is not the best advice. The proper procedure is, DO > NOT SPEAK ANY WORDS WHATSOEVER. Stand there like a lamp > post, and SAY NOTHING. Pressure will be applied, threats > will be made, SAY NOTHING. Don't even nod or shake your > head.
That's actually extremely poor advice, Mr. Internet Lawyer Genius Person, considering the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that a person has to affirmatively and verbally assert their right to remain silent in order for it to have legal effect. Sitting there "like a lamp post" will allow the government to argue that your silence in the face of accusations that would provoke a response in a normal person is evidence of guilt.
Your license to practice Internet Comment Thread Law should be revoked.