"Concealed within his fortress, the lord of Mordor sees all. His gaze
pierces cloud, shadow, earth, and flesh. You know of what I speak,
Gandalf: a great Eye, lidless, wreathed in flame."
The Lord of the Rings
In some sick Death Wish we are
creating our own all seeing eye.
(San Diego Union Tribune) - Carlsbad is expanding its use of automated license plate readers into a system that aims to collect the registration information of every vehicle that enters the city.
The $1 million Police Department project — which will add stationary cameras at 14 key Carlsbad intersections, creating a virtual gateway at the city’s borders — was approved by the City Council last week, sparking outrage over privacy rights and government control from several residents and one council member.
Four council members, however, said they’re confident the information can be kept secure and that the system will increase safety for residents and police officers. They also said it may deter criminals from breaking the law in the city.
“To me, $1 million is a drop in the bucket when you are trying to protect 100,000 or more people, and everyone who comes into our city every day,” said Councilman Keith Blackburn, a retired police officer. “I don’t think this ... is going to violate privacy.”
“We need to look at this for what it is — mass surveillance,” said Noel Breen, a resident who waited through more than four hours of other matters at the council meeting to speak about the proposal.
“We live in dangerous times these days in terms of civil liberties,” Breen said, adding that statistics show that relatively few crimes are solved by license plate readers compared to the huge amount of data collected.
Councilwoman Cori Schumacher agreed with the residents and cast the only vote against the purchase.
“This would greatly affect the private lives of our citizens,” she said, and it would effectively create a “geofence” between the city and its neighbors.
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