A different perspective on traffic cameras
This was sent in by longtime reader Alfred. It certainly speaks to the argument that traffic cameras are the first step on a slippery slope towards constant surveillance. There's plenty of room for debate on this one.
For you people who are 1) exuberant about the city's spy cams, 2) tolerant of them because they do bring in money, 3) nonchalant about them because you "never" speed so why should you worry about them, or 4) just don't care one way or the other, this article ought to warm your little law-n-order hearts.
Alfred sent me the entire text of the article, but I'll just post a quick excerpt. Links to the full text can be found below.
The technology would be integrated with the Australian company's existing red light camera and speed camera systems. It allows officials to keep full video records of passing motorists and their passengers, limited only by available hard drive space and the types of cameras installed. To gain public acceptance, the surveillance program is being initially sold as an aid for police looking to solve Amber Alert cases and locate stolen cars.
"Imagine if you had 1500 or 2000 cameras out there that could look out for the partial plate or full plate number across the 21 states where we do business today," Elsadek said. "This is the next step for our technology."
ATS likewise is promoting motorist tracking technologies. In a recent proposal to operate 200 speed cameras for the Arizona state police, the company explained that its ticketing cameras could be integrated into a national vehicle tracking database. This would allow a police officer to simply enter a license plate number into a laptop computer and receive an email as soon as a speed camera anywhere in the state recognized that plate.
Here's a link he sent me to a blurb on the subject from John C Dvorak's blog, who is a bit of a legend in the computer/nerd world.
Here's a link to the full article.