Methods and technology used during wars are brought back to the “homeland”. Many citizens of all political persuasions and with varying degrees of paranoia have the feeling that there are being watched and their movements tracked. Turns out that the paranoid folk among us have been right all along.
As the evidence mounts up that we are all suspects. Intrepid news reporters are doing their job and investigating the claims of the paranoid citizens. In this case how much information can the cops gather about our habits by using automatic car tag readers? For those of you who aren’t keeping up with the militarization of local police – here is were tons of tax payer dollars are being spent – computerized car tag readers which are the put in a big ass data base. Homeland Insecurity wanted a Nationwide car tag system and had put out bids – supposedly this neat plan was put on hold. Or was it?
In Virginia a reporter put in a freedom of information request to her local police department for all car tag information collected on her car. It turns out that her car has been tracked around town as she goes about her own personal business. As I think about the data collected by the police I’m wondering how a stalker could use this data? That boyfriend who can take – “no”. You know the kind I mean. There there is that delusional guy you don’t even know who has a thing about you. How easy would it be for a hacker to get your records? Or the hacker who hires out his talent – or perhaps someone on the police force who is less than honest.
Techdirt had a report of a guy who was driving along, when a fleet of cops suddenly appeared and one especially looked ready to put some holes in a completely innocent guy. He had been to the doctor’s office with his wife looking at a sonogram of their baby. This is another case of automatic car tag reading and a computerized database check which yielded a “hit” for a stolen vehicle. Except that this computerized car tag reader mistook a 7 for a 2 – so this was NOT the correct license plate and the car model and color was wrong. The cops did NOT verify – they rode in ready to kill. How often do the computers make mistakes? Has anyone died yet because the cops couldn’t be bothered to verify? We don’t know because cops lie and they cover up their crimes. Current case in California of cops planting “evidence” and then lying in but one example. See 29 April 2014 report on Techdirt.com for the full details.
We have a problem in this country – militarization of the police and the lack of oversight of police. Albuquerque PD is one of many police department which is out of control. The citizens has begun to protest the extremely high kill rate (the Albuquerque cops have a higher per capita kill rate than the NYC cops – and that department isn’t a sterling example). The Seattle PD is under Federal supervision.
Somehow the citizens have to find a way to require police departments to change their trading, selection and leadership to better reflect the fact that we the people are not the enemy. Update — oh another bad cop — caught strangling his own K-9 dog. Where the hell are these cops coming from? One good thing about all the smart phones with camera — cops being bad will get caught by the citizens. There have been a lot of stories lately of cops shooting people’s pets — and now this jerk cop abusing his partner.
Update: edited typos some of which were introduced by the Android version of spell check. I’ve not checked the last few entries which have been from a small Android device. The smart phone is far worse. The tables are getting there in terms of productivity tools. Photo editing is still far better using a full sized computer — or lap top. Lap tops are really far superior to the early desk top — the screens are better and the speed and software options are amazing.
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