Sunday, May 22, 2011


Big Brotha really is watching you in Honolulu

by Larry Geller

Cameras have been installed, one per lane, on the H-1 freeway. The system to which they are connected is capable of reading, recognizing, and storing the license plates of cars passing by.

According to this newspaper article, we are not supposed to be concerned about this surveillance:

“Rear license plate images will be taken, truncated, encrypted, and travel times between the camera locations will be calculated,” the spokesman said.

For those concerned about privacy or “Big Brother watching,” he said the cameras will detect only license plates, and the images will be deleted once calculations are completed: “No data will be stored, and the system will not be used to issue speeding citations.”

[Star-Advertiser, Cameras trained on freeways will measure the flow of traffic, 5/17/2011]

The system is supposed to help motorists plan their commutes. I wonder how many motorists requested that their license plates be snapped for that purpose? Or what rules permit the state to gather and record this data?

Allowing these cameras to operate normalizes and legitimizes the unwarranted surveillance of ordinary citizens. There is nothing saying that the state cannot or will not, at some point, use the license plate data for some purpose other than helping us commute.

Did Homeland Security have anything to do with this? Are there administrative rules permitting this kind of surveillance?

Inquiring minds want to know. Stay tuned.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.


What "expectation of privacy" exists to in-plain-sight license plates or even car passengers when on public roads?

I'm all for installing more CCTV cameras than all US cities.

It's amazing what the privacy "entitlements" people assume exist. They should only exist to inside the walls of your home and inside the pockets of the clothes you're wearing...unless the police find "just cause" to search.

I happen to like more of a police state.

You're getting your wish. Enjoy.

The expectation of the bill of rights to use the roadway we pay taxes, and the pursuit of happiness which cannot happen in a police state. Think you have rights at all? Not when this espionage on your life is taking place.

When they start "Qualifying" the data, like only the rear plate, that is a clear sign of a lie being put forth.

Why don't we just trash the US Constitution. Oops, we're already doing it.

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