Thursday, May 07, 2015

License plate readers disguised as saguaro cacti.

You can always tell which town in Arizona have the most liberals in them by the stuff they spend their money on. Town of Paradise Valley decided they needed to have license plate readers all over the place.

The City of Paradise Valley has added cactus with cameras in them over the past few days, but residents have no idea why, and the city doesn't want to talk about them.

About two dozen fake cactus already serve as cover for cell towers, but some people were alarmed to see cameras being place in cactus around town.

Fake cacti, obviously. However the town apparatchiki did not answer questions regarding these stealth cameras. So the journalists DID THEIR JOBS for a change and found out.

FOX 10 asked Paradise Valley Police about the cameras, but they said they were not prepared to make a statement at this time. At City Hall people were also hesitant to talk with FOX 10 about the cameras, saying they wanted to wait until all the cameras were installed, but eventually the Town Manager answered some of the questions.

"The town is embarking on the installation of license plate readers," said Kevin Burke, Paradise Valley Town Manager.

Burke says the cameras run license plates of cars against a hot list database. If the car is stolen, or the subject of an amber alert, the police will be notified.

FOX 10 did a story in February about the same technology being installed on traffic lights, the city also declined to talk publicly then too.

Now, the city manager spun some nice sounding BS about why this thing was all done sub rosa, but the truth of the matter is they wanted the thing in place before they told anybody what it was. I expect they'd very much like to have their system up and fully functional with all the money already spent before they share with the peons what all that money was for.

Mr. Burke is also being less than fully forthcoming when he says " the cameras run license plates of cars against a hot list database". Its true that the system does do that. Eventually.

What it actually does is photograph the entire intersection. Usually every time a car is  in its field of view, plus I'm sure at other times. Then it stores the pictures. Potentially forever because as I've said many times, storage is cheap. Then a computer somewhere, possibly in the camera itself or possibly somewhere else, scans the photo of your car and identifies the license plate, making note of the day and time, which camera it came from etc. Then it stores this information, now associated with your license plate. Again, potentially forever. THEN it runs your plate against the hot list.

So really what they've got is a virtual real-time record of every car that goes by those cameras. Given enough cameras they can track who goes where and when. They may not end up doing that, but they -can- do it.

Time to start asking yourself, is it your town/state/federal government's business where you are at any moment of the day? Is it in your best interests that they know that?

And please, don't forget that these town police/road safety people SUCK AT SECURITY. Those cameras are begging to be hijacked, probably completely insecure. Who else might want to know your exact whereabouts that shouldn't be allowed to know that?

The Phantom

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