Homeland Security money rolling into the coffers of local police buys a lot of toys and the expectation of loyalty when the feds may need a favor.
Although not new, they are being used in other states and in foreign countries, it is just now being reported that law enforcement departments across middle Tennessee "are using high-tech cameras to create a detailed picture of the whereabouts of thousands of cars, regardless of whether they are suspected of any link to criminal activity." "Police say that this ability to capture license plates is among the most powerful new crime-fighting tools at their disposal."
This surveillance is not only being done on public streets but in parking lots of apartments and condos and even on cars parked in one's own driveway. Police cruisers mounted with the cameras are just the beginning. Fixed locations are being added and unlike red light cameras, these record every vehicle going by. It's all in the name of catching the bad guys and of course protecting the children but if a few parking ticket offenders and yes, even tax dodgers are caught, so much the better. The locals and the feds need a return on investment.
The information goes into a database of time, date and place and sits there until someone takes action on it. The potential for hackers to use or manipulate data is real and mistakes are going to occur. A stolen license plate at a crime scene could result in a SWAT team knocking an innocent person's door down. It happens.
There are so many of these 'toys' in the pipeline that we can only guess what will come next. The effect is cumulative. Each technology builds on another and soon we will see drones added to the mix. I don't think I read in the constitution that "you are a suspect until you prove yourself innocent" but not everyone cares about an old piece of paper.
For the time being, in most places we still have the right to turn the other camera so to speak. A local man was likely saved from going to jail because of a recording of his close encounter with a bad lying cop. The cop was even charged with a crime in this case. Sometimes it happens.
"A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible."
"The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable'.... Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism?"
"In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."
"We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."