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Local Politics Discuss License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers at the Political Forums; When the city of San Leandro, Calif., purchased a license-plate reader for its police department in 2008, computer security consultant ...

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Old 06-27-2013, 09:35 AM
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Default License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

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When the city of San Leandro, Calif., purchased a license-plate reader for its police department in 2008, computer security consultant Michael Katz-Lacabe asked the city for a record of every time the scanners had photographed his car.

The results shocked him.

The paperback-size device, installed on the outside of police cars, can log thousands of license plates in an eight-hour patrol shift. Katz-Lacabe said it had photographed his two cars on 112 occasions, including one image from 2009 that shows him and his daughters stepping out of his Toyota Prius in their driveway.

That photograph, Katz-Lacabe said, made him “frightened and concerned about the magnitude of police surveillance and data collection.” The single patrol car in San Leandro equipped with a plate reader had logged his car once a week on average, photographing his license plate and documenting the time and location.

At a rapid pace, and mostly hidden from the public, police agencies throughout California have been collecting millions of records on drivers and feeding them to intelligence fusion centers operated by local, state and federal law enforcement.

With heightened concern over secret intelligence operations at the National Security Agency, the localized effort to track drivers highlights the extent to which the government has committed to collecting large amounts of data on people who have done nothing wrong.

A year ago, the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center – one of dozens of law enforcement intelligence-sharing centers set up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – signed a $340,000 agreement with the Silicon Valley firm Palantir to construct a database of license-plate records flowing in from police using the devices across 14 counties, documents and interviews show.

The extent of the center’s data collection has never been revealed. Neither has the involvement of Palantir, a Silicon Valley firm with extensive ties to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies. The CIA’s venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel, has invested $2 million in the firm.

The jurisdictions supplying license-plate data to the intelligence center stretch from Monterey County to the Oregon border. According to contract documents, the database will be capable of handling at least 100 million records and be accessible to local and state law enforcement across the region.
License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers | The Center for Investigative Reporting

Tell me again how we are not living under the eyes of big brother? Local, state, and federal governments do not trust its own citizens, and that my friends should scare the hell out of every body.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. What I don't understand is what is government looking for with these massive searches and data storage on innocent people?
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

When you add it all up it's far to much and makes Zero sense.
It's past time for the pendulum to swing back on the gov't surveilance public data base issues.
we are the bosses, we should have the cameras/tracking/etc turned on them not the other way round


State photo-ID databases become troves for police - The Washington Post

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State Photo-ID Databases Become Troves for Police

By Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima

June 17, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "Washington Post" --- The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable photo databases that state officials assembled to prevent driver’s-license fraud but that increasingly are used by police to identify suspects, accomplices and even innocent bystanders in a wide range of criminal investigations.

The facial databases have grown rapidly in recent years and generally operate with few legal safeguards beyond the requirement that searches are conducted for “law enforcement purposes.” Amid rising concern about the National Security Agency’s high-tech surveillance aimed at foreigners, it is these state-level facial-recognition programs that more typically involve American citizens.

The most widely used systems were honed on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq as soldiers sought to identify insurgents. The increasingly widespread deployment of the technology in the United States has helped police find murderers, bank robbers and drug dealers, many of whom leave behind images on surveillance videos or social-media sites that can be compared against official photo databases.

But law enforcement use of such facial searches is blurring the traditional boundaries between criminal and non-criminal databases, putting images of people never arrested in what amount to perpetual digital lineups. The most advanced systems allow police to run searches from laptop computers in their patrol cars and offer access to the FBI and other federal authorities.



Such open access has caused a backlash in some of the few states where there has been a public debate. As the databases grow larger and increasingly connected across jurisdictional boundaries, critics warn that authorities are developing what amounts to a national identification system — based on the distinct geography of each human face.

“Where is government going to go with that years from now?” said Louisiana state Rep. Brett Geymann, a conservative Republican who has fought the creation of such systems there. “Here your driver’s license essentially becomes a national ID card.”

Facial-recognition technology is part of a new generation of biometric tools that once were the stuff of science fiction but are increasingly used by authorities around the nation and the world. Though not yet as reliable as fingerprints, these technologies can help determine identity through individual variations in irises, skin textures, vein patterns, palm prints and a person’s gait while walking.

The Supreme Court’s approval this month of DNA collection during arrests coincides with rising use of that technology as well, with suspects in some cases submitting to tests that put their genetic details in official data*bases, even if they are never convicted of a crime.

Facial-recognition systems are more pervasive and can be deployed remotely, without subjects knowing that their faces have been captured. Today’s driver’s-
license databases, which also include millions of images of people who get non-driver ID cards to open bank accounts or board airplanes, typically were made available for police searches with little public notice.

Thirty-seven states now use *facial-recognition technology in their driver’s-license registries, a Washington Post review found. At least 26 of those allow state, local or federal law enforcement agencies to search — or request searches — of photo databases in an attempt to learn the identities of people considered relevant to investigations.

“This is a tool to benefit law enforcement, not to violate your privacy rights,” said Scott McCallum, head of the facial-recognition unit in Pinellas County, Fla., which has built one of the nation’s most advanced systems.

The technology produces investigative leads, not definitive identifications. But research efforts are focused on pushing the software to the point where it can reliably produce the names of people in the time it takes them to walk by a video camera. This already works in controlled, well-lit settings when the database of potential matches is relatively small. Most experts expect those limitations to be surmounted over the next few years.

That prospect has sparked fears that the databases authorities are building could someday be used for monitoring political rallies, sporting events or even busy downtown areas. Whatever the security benefits — especially at a time when terrorism remains a serious threat — the mass accumulation of location data on individuals could chill free speech or the right to assemble, civil libertarians say.

“As a society, do we want to have total surveillance? Do we want to give the government the ability to identify individuals wherever they are . . . without any immediate probable cause?” asked Laura Donohue, a Georgetown University law professor who has studied government facial databases. “A police state is exactly what this turns into if everybody who drives has to lodge their information with the police.” Continue Reading
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

Those plate readers are awesome. I know for a fact we have recovered hundreds of stolen cars this year alone thanks to the devices.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

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Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. What I don't understand is what is government looking for with these massive searches and data storage on innocent people?
Because one day we'll have a kidnapping case where a licence plate is spotted by a by-stander and this system will allow us to track not only who owns that plate, but where they've been. No, I don't like the fact that the gov't can collect data on us, but if it saves a child from a horrific death, then I'll bite my tongue and deal with it. I do think that we should be taking steps to prevent abuse of this information, but we have to make sure that if swift access is needed, then it's available.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

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Originally Posted by Awahso View Post
Those plate readers are awesome. I know for a fact we have recovered hundreds of stolen cars this year alone thanks to the devices.
We? Congratulations.

I'm afraid I fall into the camp of the civil libertarions on this one. I don't like the idea of the government sticking it's nose into my life unless it is investigating me for a valid reason. We have cameras on lamp posts fiming intersections and causing more accidents than occured before they were installed to improve safety. They have benifited society by raising such large amounts of revenue at least several municipalities have quietly shortened the duration of yellow lights to increase the number of violations but we're not a bit safer. Drones are filling the sky at an alarming rate. Facial recognition programs, credit card remote readers... The list goes on and on.

Free people are not required to be Id'd by government agencies unless they are suspected od of criminal acts. Tyrants fear their people to the point of this paranoia. I'm afraid we're there.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

NY state police and our local sheriff both use those readers. The reason given when the legislature approved it was so they could catch folks who did not have insurance or had not renewed their tags. When they run their despicable checkpoints the lead vehicle each direction has a reader and processes your plate before you get through the line. The officers just look for inspection sticker and if you look suspicious or the computer gives a hit they direct you to pull over. Without a revolution this whole big brother state will just get worse.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

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Originally Posted by Jackass master View Post
NY state police and our local sheriff both use those readers. The reason given when the legislature approved it was so they could catch folks who did not have insurance or had not renewed their tags. When they run their despicable checkpoints the lead vehicle each direction has a reader and processes your plate before you get through the line. The officers just look for inspection sticker and if you look suspicious or the computer gives a hit they direct you to pull over. Without a revolution this whole big brother state will just get worse.
If the computer gives a hit that means your information isn't coming up or it was flagged. If you have valid registration and insurance, it takes about 20 seconds to clear the error up.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: License-plate readers let police collect millions of records on drivers

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Originally Posted by Alonzo Tubbs View Post
We? Congratulations.

I'm afraid I fall into the camp of the civil libertarions on this one. I don't like the idea of the government sticking it's nose into my life unless it is investigating me for a valid reason. We have cameras on lamp posts fiming intersections and causing more accidents than occured before they were installed to improve safety. They have benifited society by raising such large amounts of revenue at least several municipalities have quietly shortened the duration of yellow lights to increase the number of violations but we're not a bit safer. Drones are filling the sky at an alarming rate. Facial recognition programs, credit card remote readers... The list goes on and on.

Free people are not required to be Id'd by government agencies unless they are suspected od of criminal acts. Tyrants fear their people to the point of this paranoia. I'm afraid we're there.
My local PD and SO to clarify.

The fact of the matter is they aren't being suspected of crimes in this situation. In fact the officers seldom see any information about a car unless it gets a hit. All it is doing is scanning numbers, running it through a database and then either flags it or moves on. The fact that it is very impersonal and no information is given to the officers unless something comes up is why it has been upheld and allowed (at least here in Georgia). Facial Recognition I am a bit more on the fence about depending on the context.
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Last edited by Awahso; 06-27-2013 at 02:54 PM..
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