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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default License Plate Readers

    I read about this about a year ago, and I guess nothing had changed. Eff.org make a good argument against it:

    This argument is completely counter to our criminal justice system, in which we assume law enforcement will not conduct an investigation unless there are some indicia of criminal activity. In fact, the Fourth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution exactly to prevent law enforcement from conducting mass, suspicionless investigations under general warrants that targeted no specific person or place and never expired.
    LAPD: All cars are under investigation | Al Jazeera America
  2. #2  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Ugh, don't remind me. I saw some toolbag driving around in a piece of garbage Cobalt the other day with dual scanners on his hood scanning license plates. My guess is that he was reporting back to a company for repossession purposes on the vehicles. Kind of slimy IMO. Someone's out at a mall and they come back to their car being gone. Granted, if they are behind on payments, maybe they should stay away from the mall....

    It being used in law enforcement is probably just a bit more intrusive of our rights from illegal searches. Granted, our rights have slowly been eroding for quite some time.
    palandri and msndrstood like this.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    I'm against these things as well. Right now states are in a battle over allowing these readers to be used by law enforcement. Some are going for, some against, and some putting in restrictions on how long data being collected is kept. Some groups want data kept for years regardless of any hits or not. Some only want to allow it kept a few minutes (basically the length of time to process a plate to determine if it's a hit on anything) unless needed for use in an ongoing investigation with a certain target.

    I haven't been keeping track of this issue much lately because I'm on leave from work and not listening to my normal news source for stuff like this, but safe to say it's turning into a hot button issue around the country.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Right now most of the current systems being used by law enforcement is plate scanning and getting huts for stolen vehicles, warrants and no insurance.

    The scanning I have no issues with. The holding onto the data is another issue. I feel it should be nothing more than long enough to process it. If no hit dump it.
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
    Until proven otherwise the so called "Google Update Alliances" is dead and was just empty promises and words. One has to look no father than the pathetic and slow update process of ICS on all the manufactures and carriers. We should all be asking the question about updates and the so called Update Alliances ever chance we get.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Timelessblur View Post
    The scanning I have no issues with. The holding onto the data is another issue. I feel it should be nothing more than long enough to process it. If no hit dump it.
    Look at it another way. Would you be ok with the cops coming into your home without a warrant, looking around, and then leaving without retaining any info/evidence as long as they don't find anything illegal? That's about what's going on with these scanners. They take your plate and run it through whatever systems they have to see if they find any dirt on you, circumventing standard investigative methods. I think what gets people upset with the scanners is two fold. 1) They are running your info without probable cause. I think there may even be some laws against running plates manualy like if they're pacing you down the road and radio'ing it in with no probable cause, but I could be mistaken. 2) The shear number of scans they can do in a short time is pretty alarming.
  6. #6  
    Darth Spock's Avatar

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    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    This is a great reason to consider not having license plates externally visible on cars. From a pure search/seizure philosophy standpoint, the general "rule of thumb" is that anything that is clearly visible in the normal course of legal business is fair game. However, while the license plate is clearly visible, the information tied to it via the DMV or DOT or whatever other body is connected with them, etc is NOT clearly visible and even though they are technically government agencies, an argument could be made that the request for information should come based on suspicion on a case-by-case (in this case, plate by plate) basis - ie, if your car is doing something suspicious, the police ought to make a request for information to the state for your license plate only - and not have access to that information without external probable cause.
    msndrstood likes this.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Spock View Post
    This is a great reason to consider not having license plates externally visible on cars. From a pure search/seizure philosophy standpoint, the general "rule of thumb" is that anything that is clearly visible in the normal course of legal business is fair game. However, while the license plate is clearly visible, the information tied to it via the DMV or DOT or whatever other body is connected with them, etc is NOT clearly visible and even though they are technically government agencies, an argument could be made that the request for information should come based on suspicion on a case-by-case (in this case, plate by plate) basis - ie, if your car is doing something suspicious, the police ought to make a request for information to the state for your license plate only - and not have access to that information without external probable cause.
    Just going to point out they are not hitting any databases that are not public records. The only one in Texas that they might be hitting is no insurance database but Texas has a rather large issue of uninsured motorist.

    The scans take LP, get the owner (public record) and then run it against warrants(public record), and stolen car list (public record). If you want the PD to stop they will just employ private companies hitting the same DBs and feeding the info back to the cops. At least with the cops we can require them to not hold onto it any longer than it takes to scan the records.

    Public record is PD defense is. Heck I even think in Texas the no auto insurance list is public record.
    Now you will also see parking enforcement in cities running scanners as well. Their scanners tend to hit stolen car list and to many parking fines list. Those are linked just to the LP.
    Until proven otherwise the so called "Google Update Alliances" is dead and was just empty promises and words. One has to look no father than the pathetic and slow update process of ICS on all the manufactures and carriers. We should all be asking the question about updates and the so called Update Alliances ever chance we get.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mooncatt View Post
    Look at it another way. Would you be ok with the cops coming into your home without a warrant, looking around, and then leaving without retaining any info/evidence as long as they don't find anything illegal? That's about what's going on with these scanners. They take your plate and run it through whatever systems they have to see if they find any dirt on you, circumventing standard investigative methods. I think what gets people upset with the scanners is two fold. 1) They are running your info without probable cause. I think there may even be some laws against running plates manualy like if they're pacing you down the road and radio'ing it in with no probable cause, but I could be mistaken. 2) The shear number of scans they can do in a short time is pretty alarming.
    No that is difference. For the cop to come into my home requires them getting into a place not accessible to the public and I expect privacy there. To look inside my car requires at the very least probable cause and more than likely a warrant.
    Until proven otherwise the so called "Google Update Alliances" is dead and was just empty promises and words. One has to look no father than the pathetic and slow update process of ICS on all the manufactures and carriers. We should all be asking the question about updates and the so called Update Alliances ever chance we get.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Timelessblur View Post
    Just going to point out they are not hitting any databases that are not public records. The only one in Texas that they might be hitting is no insurance database but Texas has a rather large issue of uninsured motorist.

    The scans take LP, get the owner (public record) and then run it against warrants(public record), and stolen car list (public record). If you want the PD to stop they will just employ private companies hitting the same DBs and feeding the info back to the cops. At least with the cops we can require them to not hold onto it any longer than it takes to scan the records.

    Public record is PD defense is. Heck I even think in Texas the no auto insurance list is public record.
    Now you will also see parking enforcement in cities running scanners as well. Their scanners tend to hit stolen car list and to many parking fines list. Those are linked just to the LP.
    This stuff might be public record, but using it they can track your movements around town or even in and out of town by setting the scanners up at city limits. That goes beyond public information and into surveillance territory to me.

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  10. #10  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Is this really any worse than the police setting up road blocks looking for drunk drivers and expired licenses?
  11. #11  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by toober View Post
    Is this really any worse than the police setting up road blocks looking for drunk drivers and expired licenses?
    Yes. While I have a problem with those too, they are more obvious and easy to avoid and sometimes even know about beforehand. Not so with the scanners which could track your movements around town, visiting a certain strip bar, getting together with certain people at a certain location, etc....the potential for abuse is quite high.

    Posted via Android Central App
    If I wanted limits on what I could do with a device, I would have an iPhone!
    palandri likes this.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetGator View Post
    Yes. While I have a problem with those too, they are more obvious and easy to avoid and sometimes even know about beforehand. Not so with the scanners which could track your movements around town, visiting a certain strip bar, getting together with certain people at a certain location, etc....the potential for abuse is quite high.

    Posted via Android Central App
    I would think liberals would love this then. Think of all the tea baggers that can be tracked. Set up the scanners outside the gun shop and we can find out who is armed. We need to know when theses gun toting nuts are meeting so we can be ready when they snap.
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by toober View Post
    I would think liberals would love this then. Think of all the tea baggers that can be tracked. Set up the scanners outside the gun shop and we can find out who is armed. We need to know when theses gun toting nuts are meeting so we can be ready when they snap.
    I think you're confusing liberals with the imaginary globalist that fly around in unmarked black helicopters that Alex Jones talks about on his infowars radio show.
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  14. #14  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Just as a quick note, they make plate holders with polarized covers, making plates plainly visible to anyone looking at the plate from behind and to the side, but black to higher, surveillance-mounted ones.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tall Mike 2145 View Post
    Just as a quick note, they make plate holders with polarized covers, making plates plainly visible to anyone looking at the plate from behind and to the side, but black to higher, surveillance-mounted ones.
    So the answer is, instead of working to change a system you don't like, is to find ways to subvert it?
  16. #16  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tall Mike 2145 View Post
    Just as a quick note, they make plate holders with polarized covers, making plates plainly visible to anyone looking at the plate from behind and to the side, but black to higher, surveillance-mounted ones.
    Going to point out that that filter is illegal in almost all 50 States and has been for a while. You are now allowed to do anything that effects the reflect quality of the plate. That filter effects that.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
    Until proven otherwise the so called "Google Update Alliances" is dead and was just empty promises and words. One has to look no father than the pathetic and slow update process of ICS on all the manufactures and carriers. We should all be asking the question about updates and the so called Update Alliances ever chance we get.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    One does what one must; and in a country such as this one (in particular) with relatively little solidarity, sometimes there are no good options. *shrugs*
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Just like with the NSA scandal, no one will care. Privacy is one step away from dead in this country. It will be long dead by the time anyone cares. By then it will be too late. Enjoy non constant surveillance while you can folks. Soon everything you do will be on a hard drive somewhere ready to be abused. Just like everything you do on the internet is now...
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  19. #19  
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    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by Timelessblur View Post
    Going to point out that that filter is illegal in almost all 50 States and has been for a while. You are now allowed to do anything that effects the reflect quality of the plate. That filter effects that.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
    Last time i checked(2 years ago), spraying reflective film on you plate was legal. The law says nothing about how photogenic your plate is.

    Filters that go over it were not.
    Galaxy S3(unlocked on whatever I feel like flashing) ---- Asus Tf300(unlocked on CROMI)
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  20. #20  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    Quote Originally Posted by NoYankees44 View Post
    Last time i checked(2 years ago), spraying reflective film on you plate was legal. The law says nothing about how photogenic your plate is.

    Filters that go over it were not.
    no in most states that is illegal. The law states you can not do anything to change the reflective properties of your plate. That means more OR less reflective.

    So yes it is illegal. It has been for a long long time. Most people think that they go after making it less reflective but making it more reflective gets you as well. Basically you are not allow to do anything to your plates. Putting them behind something or putting a spray on them is illegal.
    Top it off making them more reflective does not work very well as many places use continues recording so the one frame that is over exposes they will just get you before or after. The readers on cars do not use flashes as well.
    Until proven otherwise the so called "Google Update Alliances" is dead and was just empty promises and words. One has to look no father than the pathetic and slow update process of ICS on all the manufactures and carriers. We should all be asking the question about updates and the so called Update Alliances ever chance we get.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: License Plate Readers

    We've had these ANPR dedicated police vans for a few years. Now I think most traffic police cars have them as standard.
    They read moving vehicle plates without needing to be requested.
    Also local government, Borough Councils, have camera vehicles for parking/stopping offences and am fairly sure they have access to the full database.

    Recently we had newspaper pages taken by 'Transport for London' / TfL (overseen by the Mayor for London) which governs public transport including our travelcard / Oystercard system, licensed vehicles e.g. taxis/ limos/private-hire and also administers the pay to enter daily Congestion Charge Zone and larger High Emissions Zone (older heavy goods vehicles get penalised), Anyway they have been asking to poll our "Opinion" on using the City's myriad camera covered entry points for the Congestion Charge Zone (9-10 per car) to be allowed to be used as ANPR cameras as well. On past experience when they ask our opinion, the Mayor and his cronies have decided to do it anyway. I already thought these cameras had access to full ANPR data.

    ANPR's (automatic number plate recognition) cameras automatically flag if a vehicle is; a) insured, b) taxed/Road Fund License paid, c) if the car has failed or is overdue its annual check - M.O.T. (Ministry of Transport) Test which is compulsory once a vehicle is 3 years old. They can also request details and description of who the vehicle is insured to, if the police think it's stolen or taken for a joyride by someone a lot younger than the insured.
    So it's quite stupid to drive an unsafe, uninsured or untaxed vehicle here, but apparently the offense figures are still quite high.
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