This bit was interesting: "1994 federal law, the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, is supposed to prevent non-governmental third parties from accessing a person’s name, home address, or telephone number through a motor vehicle database. For safety reasons, plate numbers are not personal information, but federal safeguards have for some reason not extended to Xerox, which sells “comprehensive name and address acquisition services” that toll and parking providers use to locate and ticket violators. "
So leaving a LPR database open and unsecured for those of us "third parties" would potentially be in violation of federal law. Right? Smirk.
You would think that we (US) would have learned from the days of the Iron Curtain, a divided Germany with border guards and the behavior of those in that position of authority. And now we have the TSA acting like this. Not exactly a shining example of democracy in action, is it?
Bring back the OTA! (Office of Technology Assessment) It is ridiculous to expect congressmen to have a basic understanding of how the internet works or the ramifications/fallout from uninformed policy decisions.
Perhaps a qualified panel of technology experts be created to advise our elected talking heads, before they go off and do more damage than good.
Senator Upton is probably accepting more than campaign contributions from Comcast, he is probably getting technology advice as well. Great, just what we don't need.
And this is why I didn't rush to install the xfinity wifi box that Comcast sent me; I called their "customer service" (Ha!) and asked what could I expect from the new device... and no technical answer was forthcoming. So I sent it back and kept using my own wifi router. I hope Comcast loses the class action lawsuit. It would serve them right.
Ummm... nevermind what I just said. These aren't the network infrastructure investments you are looking for... you can go about being worried that we won't invest in network upgrades... Title II is very very bad... etc.
Funny... I don't recall granting the local police those eavesdropping powers (or associated location-tracking powers) either. And I have a hard time believing that criminals are that tech-advanced. Perhaps we need an anti-Stingray device... you know, for the good of the people, us puny civilians.
Bingo. This is the same old song and dance being played on a new station. Competition is good for the marketplace, right? Unless you are one of the big boys who could lose some precious market share to some little upstart service provider. We can't have that now, can we? (end sarcasm)
How about one step further towards real reform... don't reauth the Patriot Act, and defund and eliminate Dept. of Homeland Security. Getting rid of ineffectual DHS would make me and alot of other concerned citizens feel MUCH more secure. Between the NSA and DHS, our elected officials better get their act together.
What is really boggling is that the OTA was saving taxpayers money!
"Holt's amendment would have allocated $2.5 million to re-start OTA. And Holt emphasizes that $2.5 million is a tiny amount of money compared to the amounts good technical advice can save taxpayers. For example, Holt notes that one OTA report recommending an overhaul of the Social Security Administration's computer system led to hundreds of millions of dollars in savings."