Sandusky: To spy or not to spy

Some residents outraged; city commissioners talk about police cruiser cameras that feed data to federal government
Andy Ouriel
Jul 24, 2013

 

A Register story on Sunday reported the federal spying program's ties to the city. Through two cameras mounted on a Sandusky police cruiser's trunk, the device logs license plate numbers and transmits the data to an organization affiliated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It has been in place since mid-November.

At a public meeting Monday, a contingent of local residents — led by city commissioner Diedre Cole — have harshly criticized use of the device.

Cole's comments centered on two points: The cameras are an invasion of privacy, and they provide no benefit to local residents or police officers.

"The public has a right to know that while you are sleeping, the police department is traversing the streets of Sandusky with a vehicle that captures your license plates and transmits that data to Homeland Security," Cole said. "Residents need to be made aware that this technology will allow a blueprint of your life to be accessed by officers scanning your license plate."

Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said the the device can might be useful to assist officers tracking down stolen vehicles.

Orzech said the data compiled from scanning license plates is indeed stored by Homeland Security, but he doesn't know how the data is used or maintained.

Among the other problems:

•The license late scanners haven't aided local officers in solving any crimes thus far. "We haven't really done anything with it," Orzech said. "It's really hit or miss."

•The devices don't perform certain functions that were promised.

Case in point: The devices don't connect to a state system that law enforcement officers use to look up crime and court records. The pitfalls of the technology actually convinced Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth to remove four similar cameras that were previously placed on cruisers at his department.

The sheriff's employees removed the mounted cameras and asked federal officials to pick up the equipment about a year ago.

"They're still here, in the boxes, waiting to be picked up," Sigsworth said.

The American Civil Liberties Union was first to address this issue of the federal government funding license plate readers. In a report issued earlier this month, "You are being tracked," the civil rights group called it a dangerous trend in American cities. 

“More and more cameras, longer retention periods, and widespread sharing allow law enforcement agents to assemble the individual puzzle pieces of where we have been over time into a single, high-resolution image of our lives,” the report states. “The knowledge that one is subject to constant monitoring can chill the exercise of our cherished rights to free speech and association.”

On Monday, after reading the Register story, local residents showed up at City Hall to lambast the federal government's monitoring program and its implications locally, too. 

"I am one of the community members who feel uncomfortable with this," Mills Street resident Dan Leavell said. "I feel that law enforcement has plenty of tools in their arsenal in order to apprehend someone who is breaking the law. I see this as another step in the invasion of an individual's privacy."

Orzech said he will remove the cameras if people don't want them.

"If you want them off the car, we'll take them off," Orzech said. "It doesn't make a difference to me."

Count Fifth Street resident Sharon Johnson among the people demanding officials remove the cameras.

"If Erie County dismantled their readers, I don't see why Sandusky can't dismantle them too," Johnson said. "We are getting too complacent about our privacy."

Helpful or harmful?

Commissioner Keith Grohe spoke in favor of the cameras.

"If you have a (smartphone), that same information goes all over the place," Grohe said. "Also with Twitter, Facebook, where you shop if you have a debit or credit card. You have to admit that in today's world we are tracked all over the place."

Cole slammed Grohe's opinion.

"That's all by choice," Cole said. "Whether I have a smartphone or use my Kroger Card is my choice. Whether (police) use a car and scan my tag is not my choice."

Smith then argued with Cole, pointing out that license plates and the streets people drive on are public.

Cole quickly countered the point.

"My concern is what information is public," Cole said. "If you visit a particular doctor and then go to Sunday school and then a political rally at night and then visit a particular bank or mosque, all of those data points can be collected and assembled into a virtual blueprint of your life. 

"I would like to know if there is a way that we can reasonably come up with an analysis of how valuable this technology is to us," Cole said. 

City commissioner Wes Poole said he's not overly worried about the cameras, but he's concerned that city officials — namely city manager Nicole Ard — failed to inform him of what the cameras can do.

"I do have some concerns about staff presenting information to us," Poole said. "You left me with the impression you would be obtaining a tool that was going to be a value to the city. When you don't have the information and I have to make a decision, I must then live with the unintended consequences."

City commissioners said they'll continue to discuss the status of the cameras at upcoming public meetings.

 

Friendly chatter

The Register asked some of its Facebook friends for their opinions on the two cameras mounted on a Sandusky police cruiser. The cameras are capable of scanning a license plate number and sending information on a motorist's whereabouts to the federal government:

• Sandee Micheletti: Not a criminal, so it's fine by me.

• Janice Rogers Parker: I don't feel they should.

• Connie Slaughter: I don't think it's right. What is the reason for this? I'm not a criminal.

• Josephine Horne: I think it's wrong. Just like the government listening to our calls.

• Mike Lugtig: They already have our address. That's good enough. I mean, let's just line up so they can put a GPS in all of us.

• Andy Bauman: Criminal or not, you are entitled to a level of privacy inherent in the Fourth Amendment. This isn't a matter of whether you or I are criminals but that those in authoritative positions are unashamedly committing criminal acts.

• Chuck Miller: We no longer live in a free country. Canada here I come.

• DeeJay Graves: Complete invasion of privacy and overstepping of boundaries.

• Brandi Jurek: It's wrong.

• Kelly Groves Scott: Doesn't bother me even the teeniest, tiniest bit.

• Kari Miller: No. Only if they were on the lookout for a specific person should this be enabled. For example, searching for a runway or escaped (person). But once that technology is there, I'm sure the government would use it.

• Matt Keegan: What does the federal government need to know about my whereabouts for? Why are public servants paid by my tax dollars given the OK to do this? This is not OK.

• Jason Lutz: I got nothing to hide, but I still don't think ti's right that the government knows what I'm doing all the time. They should have better things to do than know I'm at Walmart and going to smash on some Red Lobster for dinner.

• Joe Artino: Doesn't matter. Look at Google Earth. You think that's the only satellite photos or videos being taken of us? I don't think so. So (the cameras on) the back of an SPD car is minor compared to what else is going on we don't even know about.

• Tim Smith: I love my country but fear my government.

• Kelly Netherland Gillespie: It shouldn't matter if you have anything to hide or not. IT is a totally unnecessary invasion of privacy, and it' sonly going to get worse. Did we forget they are public officials meant to serve the public? Why are we so willing to give up our liberties?

Comments

Cowboy

I say put them on State Trooper's cars. Those are the ones that really matter. Catch them before they get into our city streets.

princedenny

I see more patrol cars on Perkins Ave, 250, Columbus Ave, Cleveland Rd, and other city streets than I do on the highway.

FlyBoy86

I'm more for this than wasting local police resources.

zachfromsandusky2

Okay I'm just Houghton clear this crap up now for everyone! The cameras mounted on the cruiser read multiple license plates and run the plate through local state and nationwide law enforcement information databases that immediately tell the officer If the vehicle has been stolen, Is wanted by an agency regarding a criminal investigation, If the registered owner has active warrants or If the vehicle has been linked to an amber alert. All of this information was already accessible and has been since agencies began using mobile data terminals (mdt's) or in layman's term laptops in cruisers. Ever seen an officer using the CPU while stopped at a red light and wondered what he is doing? He is running a license plate into leads to find out the above listed information. The mounted cameras are simply running license plates at an astonishing pace, something an officer can't do while entering plates manually by typing them. These cameras are much more efficient and much safer as the officer can focus on driving instead of typing with one hand and driving with the other. These cameras are doing anything that wasn't already being done already other than working much faster than a human can!

CAPNTIM50

Ohio Highway Patrol do have these. I think it could have been spent on something better, but if it was earmarked for these devices, for the local police, than nothing can be done.

SamAdams

Okay, Chief, let's see just how honest YOU are: You say you'll take the equipment off the cars if the people don't want it. WE DON'T.

As for installing the equipment without much thought (not to mention failing to discuss it publicly and with the Commission beforehand) just makes me more certain it shouldn't have been done at all! Tell me, Ms. Ard, etc., if you don't have anything to hide, why was it so long 'til we heard about this, eh?

As for those few of you who don't care how much you're tracked because YOU don't have anything to hide, just remember this: Such information, while rarely useful, is much more often MISused. You may choose to give up your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. I DON'T. And for the record, I don't have anything to hide, either. I do, however, apparently have principles that you don't!

nonconformist

Well said, Sam.

senioritis

Agree!!

twosenseworth

@SamAdams
This issue was discussed publicly at a commission meeting (November 26, 2012) by (then) police chief Jim Lang. I recall him advising that the plate readers were available through a grant, and at no cost to the city. It was reported at that time that these camera's had a value of $17,000 and they would be helpful in identifying people driving under suspension (although that aspect wasn't working properly) and recognizing stolen license plates. It was brought up prior to acquiring them. See page 7 of the minutes.

Nemesis

Did he mention at that time that they would be feeding the database of J.Edgar Hoover's wet dreams?

zachfromsandusky2

Okay I'm just Houghton clear this crap up now for everyone! The cameras mounted on the cruiser read multiple license plates and run the plate through local state and nationwide law enforcement information databases that immediately tell the officer If the vehicle has been stolen, Is wanted by an agency regarding a criminal investigation, If the registered owner has active warrants or If the vehicle has been linked to an amber alert. All of this information was already accessible and has been since agencies began using mobile data terminals (mdt's) or in layman's term laptops in cruisers. Ever seen an officer using the CPU while stopped at a red light and wondered what he is doing? He is running a license plate into leads to find out the above listed information. The mounted cameras are simply running license plates at an astonishing pace, something an officer can't do while entering plates manually by typing them. These cameras are much more efficient and much safer as the officer can focus on driving instead of typing with one hand and driving with the other. These cameras are doing anything that wasn't already being done already other than working much faster than a human can! And please don't speak for the entire community saying we don't want the equipment because If yourc child were abducted , when the amber alert goes out on them and the vehicle information is entered to this database you will be glad these camera are on cruisers because the camera read every single license plate that is within It's range and would alert the officer of the amber alert. Why don't you do some research or have practical knowledge about the equipment before you condemn it and speak for the whole city!

SamAdams

Zach, the issue isn't running the plates. The issue — which WASN'T being done already — is the amount and kind of data being funneled into a federal database and kept forever and ever, amen.

gramafun

Since no one seems to know WHAT the information will be used for there seeems to be a great deal of speculation on what the information WILL be used for...including mapping out what we do with our lives. I am really surprised at Ms Coles paranoid attitude and outrage without a shred of evidence. Lets not jump to conclusions. Would it not be better to REMOVE the cameras and ASK some questions FIRST before jumping to all these conclusions? I would think so. If the cameras aren't doing what they were told they would do to the police...remove them and call the Feds. Don't put them back on until you get the right answers. Pardon the pun but lets not make a federal case out of this until we get some facts.

zachfromsandusky2

2013 - 6:34PM
Okay I'm just Houghton clear this crap up now for everyone! The cameras mounted on the cruiser read multiple license plates and run the plate through local state and nationwide law enforcement information databases that immediately tell the officer If the vehicle has been stolen, Is wanted by an agency regarding a criminal investigation, If the registered owner has active warrants or If the vehicle has been linked to an amber alert. All of this information was already accessible and has been since agencies began using mobile data terminals (mdt's) or in layman's term laptops in cruisers. Ever seen an officer using the CPU while stopped at a red light and wondered what he is doing? He is running a license plate into leads to find out the above listed information. The mounted cameras are simply running license plates at an astonishing pace, something an officer can't do while entering plates manually by typing them. These cameras are much more efficient and much safer as the officer can focus on driving instead of typing with one hand and driving with the other. These cameras are doing anything that wasn't already being done already other than working much faster than a human can!

itypedformiles

If you live in Sandusky, and are being scanned in Sandusky I am not sure what the problem is. Do you think the government isn't aware that you already live in Sandusky? Also if you are taking the time to post comments I am fairly confident you aren't doing anything that would be of any importance to the feds.

Mystery_Cheese

It's an old saying, but when you sacrifice liberty for safety, you lose both.

shucks

If you sacrifice safety for whatever screwed up ideas you have about liberty -- You die.

This is how Ben Franklin originally wrote it :

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Nemesis

"If you sacrifice safety for whatever screwed up ideas you have about liberty -- You die."

Only in your mathematically illiterate conception of risk.

shucks

"Only in your mathematically illiterate conception of risk."

......................Explain your illiterate concept of "liberty".

reporter54

Thank you SamAdams. You said it for me. Ottawa County plans not to use them either. Tell the government and Homeland Security we won't stand for this invasion of privacy.

zachfromsandusky2

You do know the information that is accessed by these cameras has been available for many many years already by the officer manually entering your license plate into his laptop in the cruiser right? Of course you don't or u wouldn't make asinine comments like this (I would hope)!

looking around

You mentioned before that it is used also to determine if a suspended driver is on the road? No wonder my bud who was serving out his suspension for DUI he has yet to be found guilty of had his car followed and pulled over with his licensed driver whom is providing him with chauffeur service was at the wheel. Just another reason to randomly pull over cars.

Mr. D

According to the News herald yesterday, Ottawa County Sheriff is removing theirs. Homeland apparently never told them information was being fed to a super data base.

FlyBoy86

If you saw Kiefer Sutherland at Cedar Point, would you run away screaming?

arnmcrmn

The problem is.....nobody knows but those high up in the government what this data collecting is being used for.

I for one am against it.

shucks

Don't you people (the paranoids) want to be protected from terrorists and criminals?

Roger15

Don't you GET it?

WE ARE THE CRIMINALS !

shucks

No, I DON'T get it. Speak for yourself.

2cents's picture
2cents

To be a terrorist you first need to be interviewed by the FBI because you are thought to be a high risk. Then you go to another country to train how to make bombs to kill Americans. Next you come back to America and begin building these bombs but the FBI does not track you because they are tracking grandma driving her car to the grocery. Now that you have made your bombs and feel comfortable because the FBI has cleared you, you find Americans to kill. See how simple, just be a real terrorist and you can get away with it.

Now back in the 50's and 60's if you were a agent on a mission from the other side things would be different. There would be surveillance and after you were identified you were treated with all the respect you deserved. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6...

shucks

(USA PATRIOT) stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

I live here too's picture
I live here too

Actually, they can arrest anyone for any reason and hold them indefinitely without charge forever if they so choose. It doesn't violate any laws either. Hooray for unconstitutional laws!

Fromthe419

What defines terrorists and criminals? I post negative things about the government as well as you. Are we enemies of the State? With the damn Patriot Act by Bush and Obama's extension of it and his executive orders we all can be deemed enemies of the State and be detained indefinitely and without trial. The Constitution is being eroded daily by both parties who neither represent us and definitely are not acting in our best interests.

shucks

@ Fromthe419

Go back to sleep.

Fromthe419

You are an idiot, I try to add to something what you say and debate and all you ever do is attack the message. From now on when I see you commenting I'll stay away, you are a f'ing douche.

Darwin's choice

No, not douche, he is an azzhat.

shucks

I've got another picture of you Darwin's reject.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_AbbheF...

Darwin's choice

MRI of whats in your head? Chit for brains!

shucks

That was my second choice for you.

shucks

@ Fromthe419

Believe me, it took at least 6 changes to tone down what I had originally wrote.
Ok, I will answer you in my way :
What defines terrorists and criminals?
.............................................What the hell is the matter with you , don't you know the difference ???!!!

I post negative things about the government as well as you.
..............................................I talk about the dumb Republicans , you talk against the President , right?

Are we enemies of the State?
................................................Maybe you are.

With the damn Patriot Act by Bush and Obama's extension of it and his executive orders we all can be deemed enemies of the State and be detained indefinitely and without trial.
................................... The Patriot Act has foiled terrorist attacks and have saved American lives.

The Constitution is being eroded daily by both parties who neither represent us and definitely are not acting in our best interests.
......................................Then WHO IS ACTING IN OUR BEST INTERESTS ???!!!

AVOID ME !!!
I DON'T CARE !!!
There's something wrong with you !!!
There is no debating with a person who says such idiotic things.

Fromthe419

Go back to sleep

shucks

I have little to no patience with frightened little idiots like you.

SamAdams

No, you're not an "enemy of the state." According to the Department of Homeland Security, you ARE, however, a domestic terrorist suspect. According to the feds, the hallmarks of a domestic terrorist (or potential domestic terrorist) include

• Criticism of the government
• Being religious
• Quoting, or honoring, the Constitution
• Military veteran
• Having a "Ron Paul" or similar bumper sticker (no kidding, that's a real published criteria)

There are, of course, more "signs" that you are a potential domestic terrorist, but it seems to me that those things alone are enough to scare the crap out of anybody who's paying any attention at all!

SamAdams

Don't I want to be protected from terrorists and criminals? Not if it costs me my freedom, no.

If all you want is to be protected and cared for by somebody else, let's go back to the days of slavery. Slaves got free medical care, free food, free clothes, free job training, a free roof over their heads... But what WASN'T free? THEY weren't.

So thanks, but no thanks.

shucks

"Don't I want to be protected from terrorists and criminals? Not if it costs me my freedom, no."

.................What freedoms have you lost?
You still have the freedom to make pretty dumb statements for one.

I've got an idea.
Let's get rid of police departments , THEN I want to hear your noble - sounding little speech.

SamAdams

You suggesting I'd support getting rid of all police departments is no different than me suggesting you'd truly prefer slavery. Both are exaggerations (at least I HOPE both are!).

I support law enforcement. I also support CONTROLS on law enforcement. Or along with getting rid of police departments, do you suppose we get rid of the Constitution, too?

As for what I've lost: The First Amendment has seen substantial curbs on it thanks to political correctness, "hate" crimes, Obamacare's forced birth control/abortifacients coverage, gay marriage, and the like. The Second Amendment? Don't even GO there. The Third Amendment? There's a case out west right now involving homeowners FORCED to open their home as a staging grounds for a SWAT team. The Fourth Amendment? Do you READ the news? The Fifth Amendment? Eminent domain misuse is rampant; the seizure of cash by law enforcement, even from those who are innocent, is endemic. The Sixth? Given the media's (and the mob's) bent toward convicting people before the trial (and insisting they be convicted even when the trial ends in an acquittal), the Sixth is on thin ice! The Seventh seems safe for now, but the Eighth has been seriously eroded thanks to over-the-top awards for punitive damages. The Tenth? WHAT Tenth?

How much more do you need before you see that the last 75 years or so has seen dramatic curbs on unalienable rights. (You know, the ones you were BORN with? That government is PROHIBITED from infringing?).

P.S. Might as well get rid of police departments, at least in some places. Did you hear on the news yesterday that the average response time to a 9-1-1 call in Detroit is 58 minutes? Have you read the reports of busy signals when you call 9-1-1 in LA? Delays in response time in NYC and DC? We're on our own anyway. The police are just the "lucky" guys who all too often get to clean up the mess. That's not THEIR fault. It's all too often OURS for failing to take precautions — and some personal responsibility — of our own.

The Big Dog's back

Step away from the computer sam.

shucks

Sham Adams--

Did you read a lot of "super hero" comic books as a kid , or recently?

(USA PATRIOT) stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

Mystery_Cheese

I had hoped that when Obama was elected, he'd repeal the Patriot Act, as he stated he would. He was all about limiting its reach, and wanted to require warrants for cellphone tapping, not just landlines. What happened? He definitely let me down on that one.

The Big Dog's back

Everything has to go thru the FISA court.

Nemesis

AKA rubber stamp

deertracker

Sam is awesome at making dumb posts!

shucks

You ain't kidding.
I've just recently started reading his/her comments after he/she gave me some dumb crap.

AEversole

Our government is trampeling and pissing on the constitution and amendments that were put in place to protect our freedoms and rights that made this country unique and special..now we are living in a police state which is slowly invading on our liberties and freedoms. The government wants us to live in fear terror so that we will sacrifice our liberties for safety. I feel safe and am plenty capable of thinking and protecting myself. I don't want to lose anymore rights or freedoms to this corrupt artificial democracy that is destroying our economy, workforce, and middle class across this great land...

AEversole

The blind leading the blind or the dumb leading the Sumner?

AEversole

Dumb leading the dumber

AEversole

Stupid auto correct

Justme...

Sorry, but I don't get all the uproar. How is taking a picture of your license plate while you are in public an invasion of privacy? I can stand on a street corner and take picture of license plates all day long. How can you stop me, or the government from doing that? And someone needs to give me a "for instance" as to how this could be mis used. I'm open to changing my mind!

abigbear

they get this and this you dont care well wait till they do something you do care about then it is to late the more control and power they have the more they will take then it is tooooooo late dont let them start FOOL

Justme...

Are we going to make it illegal for anyone to photograph a license plate, or just the government? Of course they can take pictures of license plates!

SamAdams

You're right. You COULD take pics all day long. And you know what? I don't know that I'd care all that much if you did!

The issue here is really two-fold: First, the GOVERNMENT is engaging in surveillance — effectively searches — without a warrant, which it is prohibited from doing by the Fourth Amendment (bone up on your American History if you honestly can't think of an reasons for that). And second, I'm pretty sure YOU don't have the wherewithal to take your data, aggregate it with trillions of other records, use it to establish a complete profile of citizens, and then use it against them (again) without suspicion let alone a warrant!

EXAMPLES:

You're being treated by a psychiatrist (doesn't matter why). Photos like the ones talked about here place you there, including frequency. Thanks to Obamacare, your medical records are also part and parcel of the electronic data collected on you (which, by the way, can be LEGALLY provided to a host of personnel, both in- and outside government. At a minumum, your Second Amendment rights are now seriously jeopardized (and that's whether it's justified or not — maybe you're just being treated to get over your fear of flying before you go on vacation).

You go to a friend's apartment for an evening of cards and conversation. Your vehicle is recorded as being there. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to you, renters in another apartment are dealing drugs. You now stand a VERY good chance of being caught up in that investigation. (Google "no knock warrant" and read some of the horror stories, and you'll see why it's a big deal even if you're innocent.)

Oh, and one more thing: People HAVE been stopped from taking photos in public. The police have, on occasion, just about had kittens when photographed or video taped. Innocent tourists have been harassed, and even arrested, because something they were taking a picture of had something considered "sensitive" in the background ("sensitive" includes such top secret facilities as power dams, power plants, and certain government offices).

Justme...

Harassing citizens for taking pictures is certainly wrong, but that doesn't make the government taking pictures wrong. One has nothing to do with the other. I do get your point, sort of. But the issue is not the taking of pictures in your example, or the piecing together of pictures, neither of which can deemed illegal. The issue becomes jumping to an incorrect conclusion. So citizens can take pictures of license plates the the government can't. It doesn't makes sense.

The Big Dog's back

sam is all for private entities getting her info.

SamAdams

You can stop saying that any time now. I've REPEATEDLY gone on record as stating I don't support private entities (in other words, corporations) collecting personal data either. I've ALSO repeatedly said that I take precautions (and undergo a certain amount of inconvenience) to minimize that collection.

It is NOT okay with me for corporations to collect my private data without my knowledge and consent. It is ALSO not okay with me for the government do collect my private data without a warrant.

You and I disagree on plenty of things without you making crap up, you know...

Nemesis

Justme...How is taking a picture of your license plate while you are in public an invasion of privacy?

In and of itself, it's not. However, they drive around, all day long, scanning every plate within sight, then all those scans, with time and location, go into a huge federal database. It effectively becomes a map of your movements. They can tell what meetings you attend, who you visit, etc. Ever hear of Senator Joe McCarthy, or the House Committee for Unamerican Activities? Most of the people they subpoenaed were chosen on the basis of having attended political meetings while in college. Ever hear of J. Edgar Hoover's files, and their role in his maintenance of a power base built on blackmail? Those files contained a lot of this sort of metadata. For those who say "this is the USA, that sort of stuff won't happen here," note that the two examples given are instances where it ALREADY happened here. A historian used an analysis of this sort of metadata from over 200 years ago to find out who were the REAL key players in the buildup to the American Revolution, i.e. who the British could have prevented the revolution by arresting.

Justme...

Following people and determining where they go is not illegal, nor should it be. I can do it, you can do it, the government can do it. Its a free country, remember? Making incorrect judgements about people based on the legally collected information is where the problem lies. So are you saying it will be legal for me to photograph license plates - as many as as I want all day long, however I want, but not the government?? Or should it be illegal for me as well? What should have been illegal to prevent the McMarthy hearings? Following people around? How can you make that illegal?

Nemesis

The Constitution is a document which constrains only what government may do, so yes, there are many things you can do which the government may not. I can place a GPS tracking device on my teenager's car, but the government may not without a warrant.

No one is objecting to the scanning per se, but rather to the assembly of Hoover-style dossiers of our movements and associations. The 4th Amendment gives us the right to keep the government out of our business.

Justme...

First of all, you can place a GPS tracking device on your teenager's car because you are his/her parent. You certainly can't place a GPS tracking device on your neighbor's teenager's car. So that's an invalid analagy. You have the right to keep the government out of your business, but when you are in public, the government has the right to photograph your license plate, and yes, assemble your movements. A private PI has the right to do the same thing, doesn't he? How is it different? The government is US and "it" has the same rights as us. You cannot be serious in that it is against the constitution for the government to know what our public movements are.

Nemesis

A private PI is not, in legal terms, what is known as a "state actor." That is why PI's can gather evidence in ways that, if a state actor did so, would violate the 4th Amendment. There are many differences between private and state actors with regard to Constitutional rights. The Register can censor our comments, and the First Amendment is not implicated, because it is a private entity. The Boy Scouts can refuse to admit atheists, because they are a private entity. Private entities are not bound by the First Amendment. The Sandusky Mall can prohibit carrying weapons on their property because private entities are not bound by the 2nd Amendment. Private entities can also track and follow you because they are not bound by the Fourth Amendment or the precedential right to privacy established in Roe v. Wade.

Actually, I probably can legally place a GPS tracker on my neighbor's teenager's car, if I do so without trespassing. I can follow my neighbor - note that numerous legal experts have pointed out that George Zimmerman broke no laws by following Trayvon.

Your Constitutional rights are restrictions on what government may do, not on what private actors may do.

Roe v. Wade is premised entirely on the right to privacy, i.e., it's none of the government's business if someone gets an abortion. Now, if the government has a dossier on a person's comings and goings showing that they made two visits to an abortion clinic, how is that right honored? We also have a federal Privacy Act which limits the information the government can gather and retain about you.

tk

If the Feds are passing out this equipment then obviously the Feds have a use for it. Somebody wasn't thinking when they accepted this if they didn't expect it to be used. It doesn't bother me. If I am driving on public roads, I expect to be seen by numerous people.

Justme...

EXACTLY.

Peninsula Pundit

It is much like in the book, 'Atlas Shrugged'.
More things we do are being criminalized.
If you jump off the local bridge, like we used to when we were kids, it is now 'Inducing Panic'.
Maybe LE thinks that's an open beer in your boat?
Well, they'll hop on over and rouse you up a bit.
A Canadian swam across the Dertoit River and was halfway back to Canada before the CG/Border Patrol/Homeland Security/Immigration Service/Luftwaffe, et al, caught up with him.
Now, he didn't call for help, but since the 'authorities' found him, he's now up for fines and patriotic folks calling for him to pay for keeping helicopters in the air.
Well, these cameras are part of the big boys game.
If I as an American Citizen can tell them to get lost, I will.
I really do prefer to live the Liberty my forebears fought for.
Not this police-state version being made so popular these days.

shucks

Ayn Rand was a sociopath

S w Rand 2016

I wouldn't know. I have not extensively researched her. I wonder if you have.

The book is, nevertheless, an adventure and also inspiring.

shucks

I wouldn't know. I have not extensively researched her.
............You have or you haven't ?

I wonder if you have.
............I know enough. Should I look for a loophole?

The book is, nevertheless, an adventure and also inspiring.
.............for people who admire sociopaths.

S w Rand 2016

Have or haven't what? I am saying that I would not know enough about the woman to make the sweeping allegations that you are making.
In fact, I haven't even read the book yet. I saw Part 1 and Part 2 of the movie. Eagerly awaiting the final part of the trilogy.

Contango

"Atlas Shrugged" is history - we are living it.

"Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them" - "Atlas Shrugged."

Ms. Rand was educated in the Soviet Union.

She understood totalitarianism; American useful idiots do not and will pay greatly for the consequences of their ignorance.

The Big Dog's back

She's still a sociopath.

Nemesis

1. On what basis? That's a medical diagnosis - are you a qualified to make it? I doubt it.

2. So what? In this country, one has the right to be a sociopath, as long as one does not violate the rights of others. Most sociopaths are brilliant. Your assertion says nothing about the value of her work. Are you familiar with the term ad hominem?

milemarkerzero

I can't understand the big hoopla over these cameras. They have been used by LE for years, especially on state and US routes. Unless that camera crawls up a ladder and takes a picture of you in your bedroom, it is legal. If your a law abiding citizen, you need not worry. I say put them on all the cars.

FlyBoy86

Now I know how my grandparents felt when police officers were outfitted with radios instead of having to go to gamewells. We survived then, we'll survive now.

Justme...

Yep, I agree! Technology will always help law enforcement, and sometimes it will be misused. But let's focus on the misuse rather than the use.

Minuteman

There are so many things keeping track of us over the past 10 years. It won't make much difference if they all were turned off tomorrow, the database on each person is already well populated. Only those who have found a way to stay under the radar will garner attention. So, the regular person has nothing to worry about, there are 300 million just like you. It's the oddballs that will be scrutinized.

shucks

"There are so many things keeping track of us over the past 10 years. "

................Very true! Take for example satellite photography.
I'm sure that a satellite could discern fly poop from a period on your newspaper.

OH-IO

Watch him. Watch this SamAdams. His paranoia will cause him to do something very foolish one day. If you don't have anything to hide then don't worry about it. Unless you have child porn, planning a murder or embezzling activities. In that case I want them to catch you. I have nothing to hide.

S w Rand 2016

I'd think it a better use of resources to watch people like you, OH-IO. People who are always ready to point a finger at a neighbor. People who end up getting so nervous that they start talking like you, to others, about their neighbor in order to get people to attack their neighbor.

Your comment (to which I am replying) reminded me of that Twilight Zone episode, "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street." I was thinking of the original black and white version but YouTube doesn't seem to have it. I found a link for the more recent re-make, tho. So far, it seems like it will illustrate my point much better.

S w Rand 2016

"The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" (the more recent version)
Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

The Big Dog's back

Easy rand. Put the lithium down.

Centauri

"The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street." I was thinking of the original black and white version but YouTube doesn't seem to have it."

Try these:
http://www.hulu.com/#!watch/440892

http://vimeo.com/63670863

Centauri

Those who want the government to take over our freedoms will soon be "obsolete" as the Chancellor (Fritz Weaver)found out toward the end of the movie.

http://vimeo.com/15365268
The Obsolete Man

SamAdams

Maybe you should apply for a job with Homeland Security. They, too, think that anybody who supports the Constitution and/or criticizes the government is a threat. Given that that's the ONLY thing I'm guilty of, I'll accept the blame for that much with pride.

Contango

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." -Bob Dylan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-...

"I'm looking for the treason that I knew in '65." - David Bowie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a...

2cents's picture
2cents

Makes you want to research this a little. Now I know how the State Patrol knows who to stop on the Ohio turnpike, I wonder because most of the cars and people look normal but they have all their gear laying out on the side they are reading your plate at every gate.

...................................................................

APR technology uses small, black and white infrared cameras that have the ability to read reflective license plates. The infrared cameras illuminate and take pictures of the front or rear license plates. The images of the vehicle including the license plate characters and pixel information is read by image processing hardware. The pictures are analyzed with different software algorithms that enhance the image, detect the plate position, extract the plate string, and identify the fonts using special artificial intelligence methods. Information obtained from the license plates is compared to entries in an integrated database consisting of stolen vehicles, stolen license plates, wanted felons, etc. APR technology can be used in all lighting, including nighttime, and during most weather conditions (excluding thick fog and heavy falling rain or snow that may block visibility of the license plate). In order to obtain the best recognition performance, the maximum speed between APR cameras and target vehicles is 30 to 35 mph. Beyond this speed limit, APR technology has a progressive degradation of performance, but still maintains some recognition capability up to 65 mph difference between objects. Although the most common use of APR systems for law enforcement agencies is the identification of stolen vehicles, the technology can potentially be used in Homeland Security initiatives or to identify vehicles involved in child abduction cases.
In mid-2004, OSHP began a four-month evaluation (August 1, 2004 to November 30, 2004)

Webster

zachfromsandusky2, thanks for the great information, the only problem is facts tend to confuse the critics and I am sure won't be well received by the newspaper management. Both Norwalk PD and Tiffin PD along with numerous other Ohio law enforcement agencies use this same technology with no conspiracy involved.

beepx22

willful violation the 4th Amendment, by a police force who's been known to say the Constitution doesn't count in Erie County... nothing to see here

Webster

You do realize that driving is a privilege granted by the states and not a right, or did you miss that in 8th grade social studies.

looking around

Your passport has a chip in it that allows authorities to scan you even if you passport is in your pocket, approaching a customs station the officer likely already knows everything about you. Similarly your credit cards can be scanned by unscrupulous characters. Drivers licensees may soon contain chips as well. Their is technology now that some would like to have where a chip is inserted in your body that would allow you to make purchases such as drinks or dinner simply by allowing the server to scan your arm.

I see in many travel magazines pouches to place your credit cards etc. in to prevent unwanted scanning, also in motor trend advertisements for license plate covers that prevent scanning. How long before laws are enacted making these illegal as many states have with radar detectors or mobile radios on police frequency's.

Centauri

"Similarly your credit cards can be scanned by unscrupulous characters."

http://www.wthr.com/story/140015...
"Millions of credit cards now have a built-in device designed to make them more convenient. But is it also making your credit cards more vulnerable to fraud? 13 Investigates shows how credit card information can be stolen from your wallet while it's still inside your pocket."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1...
"The risk inside your credit card; Electronic Pickpocketing"

http://www.liveleak.com/browse?q...

Recall Operation Fast And Furious.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8...
"The 5 Biggest Differences Between Operation Fast and Furious and Operation Wide Receiver"

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/...
"On Sunday night, the Spanish-language Univision News aired a “bombshell” hour-long report on their investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, revealing brand new evidence of international weapons smuggling by the U.S. government.

In other words, Univision News took on the job that the mainstream media in the U.S. has failed to do thus far. They also displayed extremely disturbing images of the bloody carnage that occurred as a result of the misguided program."

No RFID chips in those guns? Why not?

If the State of Ohio wants to collect information about license plates, fine. But why give Big Brother the information? Big Brother needs to go after those who are destroying this nation from within.
Put a RFID chip in all of the FBI and CIA agents and keep track of them. Ditto for Obama, Holder, the Senate and the House Reps.

Don S

Invasion of privacy ??? The plates are on your registered car on a public street. Does that mean that anyone reading your plate is invading your privacy? If you want to protect your privacy, then sell your car and don't drive, simple as that !!!! Your plates are there to IDENTIFY you !!! I think it is a good move for the city. So, just don't do anything wrong and you won't have any problems. Invasion of privacy, bull crap......

shucks

Good point Don S,

Yes, they are paranoid idiots.

shucks

You love that Fox News propaganda.
You've never experienced a dictatorship.
You don't know what bad is.

Contango

"House Fails to Repeal NSA’s Dragnet Phone Surveillance Authority"

"The Obama administration lobbied hard to stop the amendment’s passage."

It's not hard to spot the TRUE sociopaths and lovers of oppression.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." - Bob Dylan

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel...

meowmix

Maybe the paranoid polly's commenting here are afraid the technology is coming soon that will allow the mean old government to see inside of the plain brown packages they get delivered to their home..... :}

Really are you ...

What is next? Face recognition cameras on every city light pole? With night vision capabilities, fed into the federal database for our safety?