CCTV on America's streets

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Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:00 pm

The government has sought a National ID Card system for a long time. During the Clinton presidency, it was sought to be implemented through the National Health Plan. You may remember President Clinton holding up a card and telling us that the card was all we needed to access the health care system. I believe that was a major factor in the defeat of the plan, but I could be overly optimistic.

When conservatives are in office, the focus on National ID shifts to immigration control or other security issues, as is the case now. The result is always the same - an ID card system that every American will have to carry - and to produce on demand for access to governmental services. As the government takes over the distribution of more and more services, that changes to simply produce on demand, period.

Do I sound like a conspiracy theorists? Perhaps. But I don't believe the idea has been cooked up by a small band of pinstripe-suited gentlemen in a smoke-filled room, but that it is a function of the entrenched beaurocracy that our government has become. The national ID system will make tracking us - and taxing us - all the simpler, and that's the basis behind it. It's not some giant scheme involving UFO's, oil, and 'the Man'. It is, purely and simply, about control and money, and the government's desire to 'get their cut'.

I believe that, like death, it can be delayed, but not prevented. The government has been wearing down our resistance to this for decades, and we've been lulled in to a false sense of security regarding it. We've given the government access to so much of our lives that we no longer fear it when they encroach further upon us. If you use government services, the government gets to set the rules under which you use them. Shame on us for letting the government provide so many services.

We've let the government claim ownership of the airways - and therefore they get to set the rules under which we fly on them. They certainly own the airports, so they get the set the rules under which we board and deplane. We let them claim ownership of the 'public airwaves', and thus control the content and character of radio and television broadcast. The government owns the roads, so they get to set the rules undrer which we drive on them.

The government gets to take a portion of your paycheck, and hold it for you. Then, when you get old enough and you meet other criteria they get to determine, they 'give' it back to you under rules they set. They are so generous. We've allowed this, we've even made it the "Third Rail" of politics - touch it and die. I hear lots of people clamouring about 'loss of freedom', but I don't think most of them even know what freedom is. It's not about whether or not you can pick your nose in public without fear of being caught on film, or even fear that the government will know which book you checked out of the government library, it's about being responsible for yourself, wholly and totally, without the ever-expanding 'safety net' that we've woven, web-like, beneath us. If you want to be free, you have to accept the danger, if you want to avoid the danger, you have to accept the cost. The problem is, in a democracy, your fellow cowards can vote away your freedom along with their own. The Devil, as they say, is in the details.

And the Devil always claims his due.

V/R
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Postby barfle » Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:28 pm

Shapley wrote:Shame on us for letting the government provide so many services.

AMEN!! And I don't say that very often.
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Postby dai bread » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:19 pm

Re Haggis' piece on NZ parliament:

This piece of arrogance caused a rash of satirical photos to be printed in newspapers & shown on TV as soon as it was announced.

It was soon pointed out that the rules referred only to photographs taken in the House itself, or more specifically, the debating chamber, and they were accompanied by liberalisation of what could be photographed or filmed there. Previously, cameras could show only the person speaking; no reaction shots; no panoramic shots. Now they can show those. Since members are sometimes sleeping, eating or reading during speeches, the potential for mischief is high.

For all practical purposes, it's business as usual. Our MPs are quite capable of making themselves look foolish. They don't need any help from the news media.
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Postby dai bread » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:20 pm

Sorry not to include Haggis' original post here, but the BBB won't let me post quotes.
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Postby Shapley » Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:42 pm

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:54 pm



From the article:

"People are foolish to buy into these systems without thinking, just because they want to save 20 seconds of time going through a toll booth," he said.

I don't know about those other states but Texas reads and digitally stores your license even when you pay the toll out of your pocket. The license can be recalled and used.
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Postby Shapley » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:37 pm

I can understand why records are kept of EZ-Pass transactions, since they are needed for billing, but I can see no reason why photo records of cash customers' license plates would be retained.

Again, I have no specific problem with random recording of public movement on public right-of-ways, but I wonder how the expense of record-keeping, as well as the expense of fighting possible privacy-violation lawsuits, is justfied. How much possible gain can there be from recording the license numbers of thousands of vehicles that lawfully use the tollways that it justifies the cost?

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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Sun Aug 12, 2007 4:22 pm

Shapley wrote:.... I wonder how the expense of record-keeping, as well as the expense of fighting possible privacy-violation lawsuits, is justfied. How much possible gain can there be from recording the license numbers of thousands of vehicles that lawfully use the tollways that it justifies the cost?

What cost? Digital storage is dead cheap, the system is automated, the search program is automated. Put in a license number of interest, get a record chain. In theory, the stored records would never be accessed unless there is an event to trigger interest. I'll leave it to Haggis, who actually has some experience, to speculate how safe this is.

I don't see how privacy-violation could become an issue. Public and private are mutually exclusive categories, and all the recorded events are in public.
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Postby Shapley » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:05 am

What cost? Digital storage is dead cheap, the system is automated, the search program is automated.


Dead cheap is still at a cost, however insignificant. Since it is the government we are talking about, that cost will be at least four times what it would cost anyone else. Again, I don't see the justification for it. The purpose for installing the CCTV at the toll booths was to catch gate-crashers. There is no reason to record or, if they are recorded, to retain, the information on those who do not break the law.
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Postby jamiebk » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:42 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:


From the article:

"People are foolish to buy into these systems without thinking, just because they want to save 20 seconds of time going through a toll booth," he said.

I don't know about those other states but Texas reads and digitally stores your license even when you pay the toll out of your pocket. The license can be recalled and used.


When you "buy" your EZPass, they provide a little metalicized bag in which you can keep your transponder. This prevents communication with the sensors and thwarts monitoring your individual car (except when you need it to get through the toll booth). If you don't keep the transponder in the bag, you can be tracked anywhere they have a sensor along the highway...look above the road on some of the green highway signs...you'll see antennas
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Postby Shapley » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:49 pm

The same can be done if you have OnStar in your vehicle. OnStar can find your vehicle wherever it roams. I don't think it can simply be switched off, or it would be useless as a theft recovery system - the theives would simply have to switch it off when they steal the car. It is either always on or it can be remotely activated. In either case, it can be used to find you, or your vehicle, anytime.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:17 pm

Most toll roads (in Texas, anyway) are considered to be private entities. They can keep whatever records they want while you use their "private" property.
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Postby dai bread » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:00 pm

Shapley wrote:The same can be done if you have OnStar in your vehicle. OnStar can find your vehicle wherever it roams. I don't think it can simply be switched off, or it would be useless as a theft recovery system - the theives would simply have to switch it off when they steal the car. It is either always on or it can be remotely activated. In either case, it can be used to find you, or your vehicle, anytime.


My sister has Onstar in her car. She thinks it's great, and its use in emergencies, and for tracking her teenage daughter, outweighs any privacy considerations.

I should add that the daughter was tracked to ensure that she got from Montana to California safely. She was on her own.
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Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:07 am

This is from 2006 I wasn’t aware this had gone as far as it has.

The tenants of Faircliff, a 112-unit low-income housing complex, are now enjoying the fruits of a recently completed $16 million city-financed rehabilitation project. Along with the fresh carpeting, modish playground equipment, and new community center came a state-of-the-art security system, aimed at helping Faircliff shed its reputation as an open-air drug market and better meld with the $400,000 condos sprouting up elsewhere on Clifton Street NW. The system includes not only cameras on all of the residential buildings but also what surveillance-industry types refer to as “one-way voice” intercoms, meaning tenants can be addressed by their watchers but cannot respond to them.

In recent months, residents and guests alike who have violated the stringent apartment rules have been singled out over the intercoms and given orders such as “get off the steps,” “no chairs allowed in the playground area,” or, perhaps most common, “no loitering.”

Wanda Griffin, who has seen children ordered to not eat ice cream on their steps, says the hardiest residents respond to their unseen watchers with a flurry of f-bombs, which the intended targets can’t hear, and a pair of middle fingers pointed in arbitrary directions. The intercom directives have also kicked off a semantic debate at the complex: Is it possible to loiter in front of your own home, where you pay rent?
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:07 am

Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved

Considering that one of the few justifications I was willing to accept for these kinds of cameras was the resolution of outstanding crime, I’m starting to revise my whole attitude towards them.

It seems that spycams are no more about solving crime than red-light cameras are about traffic safety.
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Re:

Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:42 am

Haggis@wk wrote:This is from 2006 I wasn’t aware this had gone as far as it has.

The tenants of Faircliff, a 112-unit low-income housing complex, are now enjoying the fruits of a recently completed $16 million city-financed rehabilitation project. Along with the fresh carpeting, modish playground equipment, and new community center came a state-of-the-art security system, aimed at helping Faircliff shed its reputation as an open-air drug market and better meld with the $400,000 condos sprouting up elsewhere on Clifton Street NW. The system includes not only cameras on all of the residential buildings but also what surveillance-industry types refer to as “one-way voice” intercoms, meaning tenants can be addressed by their watchers but cannot respond to them.

In recent months, residents and guests alike who have violated the stringent apartment rules have been singled out over the intercoms and given orders such as “get off the steps,” “no chairs allowed in the playground area,” or, perhaps most common, “no loitering.”

Wanda Griffin, who has seen children ordered to not eat ice cream on their steps, says the hardiest residents respond to their unseen watchers with a flurry of f-bombs, which the intended targets can’t hear, and a pair of middle fingers pointed in arbitrary directions. The intercom directives have also kicked off a semantic debate at the complex: Is it possible to loiter in front of your own home, where you pay rent?


I've always viewed government-run residential complexes as a sort of refugee camp for economic refugees and, as such, subject to the same type of governmental control the government exerts over the tent cities it erects for those who find themselves in government shelter for whatever reason - no right of gun ownership, subject to drug searches, etc. Citizens retain the full rights of citizenship and are free to exercise them once they leave the confines of government-owned facilities. IMHO, it is one of the incentives to encourage them to leave such facililites as soon as they find themselves financially able. Tenants of any facility are subject to the covenants set by the landlord, even if that landlord is the government. If you don't like the covenants, don't move there. If you have no choice but to accept the government's largess, then you should have no choice but to accept the governments' covenants. There are 'tenants' rights' established to set limits on those covenants, but the right of the landlord to maintain an orderly and lawful premise should not be overriden by undue concern for the rights of tenants.

Again, it is the price we pay for allowing our government to provide such services. The best we, as concerned citizens, can do is to try to limit the amount of property the government takes ownership of, and exercises authority over. I believe we used to call those 'property rights'.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:28 pm

Image

Does anyone else think this is as creepy as I do? The poster has that "Big Brother/1984" feel from the movie.

Weird...and creepy
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:35 pm

You can be secure in the knowledge that they'll have video of the suicide bomber in the seconds before he blows you and the bus sky high. I know I would sleep better at night...
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:54 pm

:shock: You meant that's not a satire?
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:23 pm

BigJon@Work wrote::shock: You meant that's not a satire?



apparently not. But a search of reports on this reflect that it was sometime in 2002 so I don't know what the situation is now. I found this one blog thread discussing it then but no recent updates. Sorry, I didn't realize how dated it was.
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