OP's Reich adds License Plate Scanner To Tighten Citizen Surveillance

06/20/2012 10:05

by Allen Williams

Fox News reported yesterday that the City of Overland Park is adding new license plate scanners to the city's patrol cars to be financed from confiscated drug money grants.  The city spokesman made it clear during the interview that there was no public money available to purchase this system in the budget, so the grant was fortuitous.  But, who will pay to maintain it?

The new scanners are mounted on the city's patrol cars and when license plate images come into scanner view, they are fed into a computer on board the police cruiser. This operation occurs automatically and continuously for every vehicle the patrol car passes whether moving or parked.  Data is fed back to the main police computer to check for outstanding warrants, stolen vehicles, etc.  If found, the system initiates an alarm that appears on the patrol car's operator screen.

Interestingly enough, these texting devices do not pose a hazard to other motorists or pedestrians when in police vehicles, just when texting devices are found in the average citizen's car.  Even if the device should cause a police accident, rest assured, it will be covered up by local news outlets as well as city hall.

The new system is expected to be operational within the next 30 to 60 days.  The increased citizen surveillance capability will augment already existing camera monitoring at most city intersections.  Although, not specifically stated in the Fox News interview,  it is expected that the new scanners will identify potential property use violations as well.  The property citations will help pay for the scanner upkeep from the city's model police state systematic property inspection program.  This program along with red light camera surveillance enhances the city's ability to extort money from its residents.

The new license scanning system will further tighten the police grip on the general citizenry.  After all, city reasoning is that as long as some cop isn't standing behind your parked car and running its plates, then there's no violation of your rights. Using a drone to spy on you is perfectly O.K.  and OP's license scanner is a drone.  After all, unmanned drones are already used to spy on American citizens: "One North Carolina county is using a UAV equipped with low-light and infrared cameras to keep watch on its citizens. The aircraft has been dispatched to monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air--close enough to identify faces.."   You can bet, if someone is near the car being scanned, his or her image will be picked up right along with the license. After all, that person could be an escaped fugitive.  "But privacy advocates say drones help police snoop on citizens in ways that push current law to the breaking point. What you're not being told is that many of these drones have heat sensing devices that let them see right through the walls of your home.  You can bet the new license plate scanner has 'IR' imagery so that it can work in the dark.

Any time you have a tool like that in the hands of law enforcement that makes it easier to do surveillance, they will do more of it," said Ryan Calo, director for privacy and robotics at the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society."  'Domestic safety' is the ubiquitous umbrella under which surveillance in violation of the U.S. 4th and 6th amendments is permitted.  In most cases, purely 'business decisions' are being used to abrogate constitutional rights. 

So, how many outstanding warrants are there for other than illegal aliens to justify the use of such a system?  Surveillance has continued to increase in America despite low to non-existent external threats.  The conclusion is that surveillance isn't about public safety, it's about 'watching you.'  A government that distrusts its citizens seeks to intimidate and control.  All that's missing from the city's snoop programs now is for the patrol cars to be able to automatically scan an individual's driver's license when passing a police car or when that individual is simply out for a walk and the patrol car passes him.  You can bet the mayor and one or more city councilmen is already drooling over this possibility.   

But, why do we need a mayor? The local police commander should be in charge of Overland Park, setting goals for the city's population and verifying that they've been done properly. A mayor is simply an impediment to the model police state that the city has so effectively developed.

Punishment for citizen disobedience to the slightest whim of the city should be swift and brutal.