Tag Archives: ALPR

Tonight on AxXiom For Liberty Live! Amanda Teegarden, Dan Feidt

Kaye Beach

Nov. 16, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Tonight on AxXiom For Liberty Live!  6-8 PM Central

 Howard and I will be covering a variety of topics including the latest on the Obamacare implementation and the resistance to the healthcare exchanges and medicaid expansion that are integral to the implementation of the health care reform law. Amanda Teegarden, Executive Director of OK-SAFE will join us to go over the Action Items for opposing Obamacare that were developed for the Rally for Oklahoma Healthcare Independence held last July following the mixed Supreme Court ruling on the federal health care reform law.

The roll out of Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) in the state of Oklahoma and the concerns that surround the use of these devices will also be covered.  ALPR can be a valuable tool for law enforcement or they can be mis-used to create a mass surveillance system that tracks our every move without a warrant or probable cause.  Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that they are being used in exactly this way.  Howard and I will explore what can be done to stop the unconstitutional uses of these license tag scanners.

We will also catch up with Dan Feidt, indy journalist and activist to find out what ever happened with the investigation into the wayward Drug Recognition Expert program in Minnesota that Dan helped uncover was giving drugs to Occupy protestors.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Chicago County sheriff’s deputy told state investigators he was “in shock” after he saw his training partner give two young men marijuana to smoke in the back of a squad car. Read more

 

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Are We being Tracked by ALPR Spy Cams? 38 State Law Enforcement Agencies to be Queried

Kaye Beach

July 30, 2012

It has recently been announced that 38 states (including Oklahoma) have joined with the ACLU of Maryland to find out how the information collected by ALPR camera license plate data is being handled.  This is very good news! (Click the map to find out state specifics)

Automatic License Plate Readers

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland joined with ACLU affiliates in 38 states to send requests to local police departments and state agencies to seek information on how they use automatic license plate readers to track and record Americans’ movements.  Here in Maryland, the state has reported that there are more than 320 ALPRs being used and many are linked to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, Maryland’s “fusion center,” where the data is potentially stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing database of our location and travel through the state.

ALPRs are cameras that cam be mounted on vehicles such as police patrol cars or in fixed locations like light poles. These cameras snap photographs of license plates and store the image along with the vehicle’s registration data plus the time date and location of every vehicle captured. The devices have the potential to track all vehicles even those who are registered to owners who have broken no law at all.  Without appropriate restrictions, the police can collect, share and retain the data indefinitely which enables our movements to be tracked and monitored, a concern I raised recently with the announcement that Shawnee police were using the devices and touting their potential to be used for investigative purposes.

“For investigating, it will be phenomenal,” Frantz said. Link

Read more;

Are Oklahoma Cops Using Spy Cams to Become Super Snoopers?

073012 Press Release: ACLU Seeks Details on Automatic License Plate Readers in Massive Nationwide Request; Information Sought on How Cameras are Used by Police Agencies and How Data is Stored

14 Incredibly Creepy Surveillance Technologies That Big Brother Will Soon Be Using To Spy On You

Kaye Beach

July 10, 2012

If we were making the technology conform to the laws intended to protect our rights rather than making the law conform to the capabilities of the technology, these things would not be such a concern.

1 “Pre-Crime” Surveillance Cameras

#2 Capturing Fingerprints From 20 Feet Away

#3 Mobile Backscatter Vans

#4 Hijacking Your Mind

#5 Unmanned Drones In U.S. Airspace

#6 Law Enforcement Using Your Own Cell Phone To Spy On You

#7 Biometric Databases

#8 RFID Microchips

#9 Automated License Plate Readers

#10 Face Reading Software

#11 Data Mining

#12 Street Lights Spying On Us?

#13 Automated ISP Monitoring Of Your Internet Activity

#14 Spying On Us Through Our Appliances

From Blacklisted News

Source: Michael Snyder, BLN Contributing Writer

Most of us don’t think much about it, but the truth is that people are being watched, tracked and monitored more today than at any other time in human history.  The explosive growth of technology in recent years has given governments, spy agencies and big corporations monitoring tools that the despots and dictators of the past could only dream of.  Previous generations never had to deal with “pre-crime” surveillance cameras that use body language to spot criminals or unmanned drones watching them from far above.  Previous generations would have never even dreamed that street lights and refrigerators might be spying on them.  Many of the incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that you are about to read about are likely to absolutely astound you.  We are rapidly heading toward a world where there will be no such thing as privacy anymore.  Big Brother is becoming all-pervasive, and thousands of new technologies are currently being developed that will make it even easier to spy on you.  The world is changing at a breathtaking pace, and a lot of the changes are definitely not for the better.

The following are 14 incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that Big Brother will soon be using to watch you….

Read on

Are Oklahoma Cops Using Spy Cams to Become Super Snoopers?

Kaye Beach

June 16, 2012

Two police agencies (to my knowledge) in Oklahoma are now using Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR).  The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department and the Shawnee Police Department.

LINK

These cameras snap photographs of license plates and store the image along with the vehicle’s registration data plus the time date and location of every vehicle captured. ALPR can be mounted on police vehicles or in a fixed location and they can capture thousands of license plates per hour.

Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz is very excited about his new surveillance technology for the same reason Oklahomans should be concerned.

“For investigating, it will be phenomenal,” Frantz said. Link

ALPR is great for spotting stolen vehicles or wanted criminals but they also capture the information of completely innocent drivers.  If the information captured on non-offending drivers was immediately discarded then the concern would not be so great but that is not what is happening.  Without proper rules in place, this potentially valuable tool becomes nothing less than a nationwide tracking system.

As I have written about recently, the information is being used by a private company, Vigilant Video, to build an enormous database, the National Vehicle Location Service (NLVS).   As a private corporation Vigilant Video is not bound to any privacy requirements which (somewhat) restrain governmental entities and yet police departments nationwide are both supplying and utilizing the NLVS database.

You can watch Vigilant Video’s ticker that reveals how many records have been consumed by their national database here.  At the moment of this writing the count was 669, 699,058.

If you follow the link to view the ticker, be sure to look at the other products this company is offering.

Line Up” certainly caught my attention.

LineUp collects face images, detection times and “entire human” (full body) images — then catalogs all human face events into a centralized database. Using the LineUp Event Search, you can enter a suspect image into the system — and instantly search through a time-based history of every possible match.

This isn’t an issue of lack of privacy in public. We cannot stop ourselves from being viewed or photographed once we enter the public sphere. ALPR collecting, storing and sharing of this data is more properly understood to be much more than a simple sighting in public-it’s an investigation. (More on that aspect here)

The Electronic Police State

An electronic police state is characterized by state use of electronic technologies to record, organize, search and distribute forensic evidence against its citizens.

The information gathered under an electronic police state is criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial. It is gathered universally (“preventively”) and only later organized for use in prosecutions.

In an Electronic Police State, every surveillance camera recording, every email sent, every Internet site surfed, every post made, every check written, every credit card swipe, every cell phone ping…are all criminal evidence, and all are held in searchable databases. The individual can be prosecuted whenever the government wishes.

Link

I consider it to be an assault on my autonomy as a free, independent and law abiding citizen to be entered into a tracking database.   It may surprise you to know that although I am a law abiding person, I still have plenty I would like to hide from the government.  I don’t want them to know where I go to church, who I associate with, what political events I attend or where I get my nails done.  Even though I am not doing anything wrong-they are- and it is none of their damn business! 

Lots of people have plenty to hide that is still no business whatsoever of the police or any of their cronies that they might be persuaded to share this info with.   If you happen to go to AA, have a sweetie on the side or are a politician (hello!)-you should be especially concerned and more than a little creeped out.

The only reason to track and monitor anything is for control so what does that tell you about the collection of this type of information on all of us?

I suggest that residents of Shawnee and Oklahoma County contact their Police Chief or Sheriff and ask a few questions about how this data is being used.

You have a right to receive from your chief law enforcement official;

  • A copy of their data policy and privacy policy governing ALPR’s
  • Any documents showing how the collected plate data is stored, shared and/or deleted
  • Any auditing requirements the department has to ensure appropriate data privacy, and to discover and punish any abuse of the system.

You should be able to get this information by simply requesting it.  I say “should.” It may not be that simple in which case you will want to structure your request to include reminders of Oklahoma’s Open Records Act.  Fortunately, there is an easy way to do this.  Use a template!

Oklahoma Open Records request template

http://journalism.okstate.edu/faculty/jsenat/requestletter.htm

About OK Open Records Act

http://andylester.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=3Yx2gpCgJBM%3D&tabid=81

Autonomy  is “The desire to avoid being manipulated or dominated wholly by others.

… Loss of autonomy means loss of our capacity to control our own  life

It also would be a good idea for anyone who is concerned about their privacy or autonomy to contact their local police or sheriff’s department and ask if they have or are considering using ALPR and let them know that you will cause a ruckus if they use this technology inappropriately.

Data should not be retained or shared on innocent motorists!

“Pettigrew was pitching the deal’ says former InsureNet lobbyist

Kaye Beach

April 19, 2012

In a new article published this week by the Claremore Daily Progress, Chad ALexander, former InsureNet Lobbyist comes forward with more information about District 2 congressional candidate, Wayne Pettigrew’s activities with the infamous “spy cam” insurance verification company, Insurenet.

Pettigrew acted as a lobbyist from 2009 to the middle of the 2010 Oklahoma Legislative Session, according to Alexander.

Pettigrew somehow still maintains that he was not a lobbyist for InsureNet despite his activities which can only be described as lobbying.

It started with the Governor’s office. They were getting the green light to move forward,” Alexander said.

As the reporter explained in the  first article, Lobbyist or not? Wayne Pettigrew’s InsureNet connection under scrutiny,

According to Oklahoma laws pertaining to lobbying, one can serve as a lobbyist by representing the interests of a client before government officials or enable such work as a “lobbyist principle,” that is a person who “employs or retains another person for financial or other compensation to conduct lobbying activities on behalf of the lobbyist principle.”

Pettigrew did both and admits that he was to receive a percentage amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, upon securing a contract with a state to use the InsureNet insurance verification system.

Incidentally, this is a system that would have had ALPR license tag scanning camera to capture every driver’s license plate along with the date, location and time when it was captured, to verify insurance status.  Pattigrew also maintains that this system in no way, would have been an invasion of privacy.

Mr. Alexander correctly sums up Pettigrew’s activities in this way;

Part of the problem with Pettigrew’s activities according to Alexander is that in Oklahoma lobbyists are not allowed to operate on a pay for play basis.

“The fact is that in Oklahoma you can not have a contingency based contract,” Alexander said, “Just because he did not get paid does not mean he was not attempting to get the system passed.”

Just because Pettigrew did not make a contract does not mean he was not breaking the rules for attempting to do so, according to Alexander.

But according to the article;

Pettigrew continues to maintain that his role was “that of a business consultant promoting a service that he believed was beneficial to the state of Oklahoma and other states and that the program provided greater privacy protections than the system in place currently.”

“This service was competitively bid by the state of Oklahoma and the company that I promoted was not chosen,” Pettigrew said.

However, the fact that InsureNet, the company that Pettigrew was “promoting” never secured a contract for it’s ‘spy cam’ based service didn’t stop him from testifying before Pennsylvania House members on March 2, 2010 that Oklahoma (and two other states) were “currently in the implementation process” (see the Pennsylvania House of Representatives transcript pg 30)

What does “currently implementing” mean to you?

I referred to Mr. Pettigrew in a recent post as being “truthy”  I think that I was being much too generous.

What do you think?

 

Read the entire article by Salesha Wilken,  Pettigrew disputes lobbyist claims

 

Wayne Pettigrew: It depends on what you mean by ‘lobbyist’

Kaye Beach

April 15, 2012

Wayne Pettigrew, District 2 candidate for Congress,  has maintained that he did not lobby in Oklahoma for InsureNet, that he only helped the company owner as a good citizen and a friend never receiving any payment for his efforts on behalf of InsureNet.

Truth or Truthiness?

I guess in Mr. Pettigrew’s mind, it depends on what you mean by “lobbyist”

He was not registered in Oklahoma as one but by any commonly accepted definition for what constitutes lobbying or being a lobbyist, Wayne Pettigrew was one for InsureNet.  He was registered in Nevada as a lobbyist and by Oklahoma’s definition for lobbyist, his work seems to fit the bill.

This article (linked below) published today in the Claremore Daily Progress reveals that;

1. Wayne Pettigrew was, in fact, a lobbyist for InsureNet.

2. Wayne Pettigrew had an agreement with InsureNet that stipulated that he would be paid a percentage upon securing a contract with a state to use InsureNet’s insurance verification system. (He estimated he would have received payment of  300, 000 dollars from InsureNet had he been successful in getting a contract with a state)

3.  Pettigrew received no compensation because he did not secure any contracts with any states for the company.

4. According to Wayne Pettigrew himself,  it is illegal to lobby on a percentage basis in the state of Oklahoma.

5.  Wayne Pettigrew appears to be more “truthy” than truthful.

Here is the story by Salesha Wilken for the Claremore Daily Progress;

Lobbyist or not? Wayne Pettigrew’s InsureNet connection under scrutiny

You are being tracked-the National Vehicle Location Service

Kaye Beach

April 1, 2012

You know what would really be disturbing?  If all of the ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) tag scanning cameras (both public and private) were taking all of the millions of tags that they were capturing indiscriminately and uploading them into a searchable,  central database.  Remember that ALPR systems not only collect the tag number of the vehicle but also the exact time and location of the vehicle.  Now THAT would be very disturbing!    We could effectively be tracked wherever we go.

As a Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Detectives explained, “the real value” of ALPR “comes from the long-term investigative uses of being able to track [all] vehicles—where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing.” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1956787

Well, they ARE doing it.  Want to see how many?

National LPR database counter

What is NVLS?

NVLS stands for National Vehicle Location Service and is a service delivered in conjunction with National Vehicle Service – NVS (http://www.nvsliens.org/) to LEA’s via the NLETS messaging system. The LPR data delivered as part of the NVLS web portal comes from a nationwide LPR data repository managed by Vigilant Video containing both private and publicly gathered LPR data.

Read more
Take a look at Vigilant Video’s PowerPoint;

NVLS_Tier_I_R1

Naturally, the first I heard of it was through the International Association of Chiefs of Police in their agenda for what I call The IACP’s Big Brother Fest 2010. (They have one every year)  If you are feeling brave,  take a look for yourself.   Forewarned is forearmed.

Here is a great article about Vigilant Video’s incredible new service.

Private company hoarding license-plate data on US drivers

January 12, 2012 | G.W. Schulz

Capitalizing on one of the fastest-growing trends in law enforcement, a private California-based company has compiled a database bulging with more than 550 million license-plate records on both innocent and criminal drivers that can be searched by police.

The technology has raised alarms among civil libertarians, who say it threatens the privacy of drivers. It’s also evidence that 21st-century technology may be evolving too quickly for the courts and public opinion to keep up.

. . .Meanwhile, police around the country have been affixing high-tech scanners to the exterior of their patrol cars, snapping a picture of every passing license plate and automatically comparing them to databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and wanted bank robbers.

The units work by sounding an in-car alert if the scanner comes across a license plate of interest to police, whereas before, patrol officers generally needed some reason to take an interest in the vehicle, like a traffic violation.

But when a license plate is scanned, the driver’s geographic location is also recorded and saved, along with the date and time, each of which amounts to a record or data point. Such data collection occurs regardless of whether the driver is a wanted criminal, and the vast majority are not.

While privacy rules restrict what police can do with their own databases, Vigilant Video, headquartered in Livermore, Calif., offers a loophole. It’s a private business not required to operate by those same rules.

Read More

England May Use Gas-Station Cameras to Snag Uninsured Motorists

Kaye Beach

March 15, 2012

Neato!  Another great use for the spy cams!

England May Use Gas-Station Cameras to Snag Uninsured Motorists

Cameras would check license plates against a government database before switching on the pump.

Whether we like it or not — and whether we realize it or not — surveillance cameras track much of our movements these days. Now, the British government is considering using these electronic eyes to spy on and snag uninsured motorists and unregistered vehicles at the gas pump and keep them from filling up.

British newspaper The Mirror reports that a government proposal would require that cameras at gas stations verify whether a vehicle is insured and registered before the fuel can flow. The infrastructure for automatic license-plate recognition is already in place at thousands of the country’s gas stations to curb driving off without paying. Under the proposed new measure, cameras would be connected to the national Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency databases to catch scofflaws.

Read more

Oklahoma Robo Cop Alert! Rep. Steve Martin’s HB 2525

Kaye Beach

**Update Feb 12, 2012-this bill passed the Public Safety Committee last Wed. Rep Martin says it has nothing to do with tag scanning cameras.  I’m placing bets (figuratively speaking) on how long it will be before insurance verification is added on to the ALPR cameras already on some of the police cars in the state.**

Feb, 4, 2011

And I thought I missed Groundhog Day.

I got this email alert  on HB 2525 by Rep Steve Martin from Oklahomans for Liberty tonight.

 HB 2525 will allow police to pull you over… Not because you are speeding, not because you are driving erratically, but to check and see if your auto insurance is expired.  Click here to read the bill.

In fact, it can be the PRIMARY reason you are pulled over

(pg 3, line 11)

Oklahomans for Liberty asks;

Rep. Martin, please explain how the police can determine my insurance isn’t current before they pull me over?  Do they have some newfangled x-ray device that can see through my car AND my wallet to read the date on my insurance card?

I can answer that.  No.  It’s not an x-ray device but it’s close and this where the ‘Robocop’ comes in.   It’s called ALPR-Automatic License Plate Reader, and these things are all the rage.

ALPRs are not ordinary cameras. Attached to police cruisers, or fixed on telephone poles or other stationary places, the cameras snap an image of nearly every license plate they encounter. The device produces a file for each image captured, which includes searchable text displaying the time, date and GPS location of the car when and where the plate was ‘read’. This information is fed into a database, where it can be shared with other agencies and databases, and “mined” or analyzed. Read more

ALPR, known not-so-affectionately in Oklahoma as Spy Cams, caused such an outrage across the state that one of only a handful of questions asked to gubernatorial candidates Jari Askins and Mary Fallin at their face off preceding the election was regarding their stance on the use of the devices.

And if this all smells vaguely familiar to you, it should because we have stepped in this pile before!

Back in 2010, HB 2331 by Steve Martin proposed to  amend Title 47 “to allow at-will random insurance verification via an online insurance verification system, without a traffic-stop or accident having occurred first; the bill further gives authority for law enforcement to then seize the vehicle if found to be uninsured.
Observation or verification can be conducted from a fixed location, i.e. from the roadside, or from a moving patrol car.  Oklahoma utilizes an online insurance verification system, which may or may not be accurate.” (from a 2010 OK-SAFE Action Alert)  Read more

HB 2331, the 2010 bill by Rep. Steve Martin, as introduced, required officers to seize the vehicle if a driver had not complied with the Compulsory Insurance law.

Upon issuing a citation under this paragraph, the law enforcement officer issuing the citation shall seize the vehicle being operated by the person

Confiscating property is a big deal and this bill took away the ability of an officer to use their good judgment.  I was outraged by Rep. Martins answer when he was asked if a woman and her children should be just left on the side of the road at night because of lack of insurance and he said absolutely-YES!

Martins 2010 bill, HB 2331 was  amended  and softened by replacing the word “shall” with “may.”   The bill passed both houses and was ultimately signed into law.

But back to Rep. Steve Martin’s current bill, HB2525.  Currently the insurance verification law reads;

Establishing compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law through the online verification system shall not be the primary cause for law enforcement to stop a motor vehicle

http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=82234

If Rep. Martin’s new bill HB 2525  passes law enforcement will be able to drive around with their little spy cams mounted on their cars and scan every plate they pass.  Every time the spy cam alerts that a motorist does not have insurance the officer can promptly issue a ticket.  These tag scanning cameras (ALPR) can scan hundreds of tags per hour.  I predict that the time it takes to stop you and actually issue you a citation will soon be seen as an obstacle to the efficient revenue enhancement of the state and they will just mass mail the tickets out automatically before long.

By the way, these tag scanning devices can do a LOT more than just check for your insurance status.

Oklahomans for Liberty recommends (and I agree!) that we might want to talk to our legislators who are on the Public Safety Committee pronto because the bill goes to that committee this Wednesday, Feb 8th (Room 512A at 10:30 AM)

This bill is being heard Tuesday Wednesday morning so we need to call the members of the Public Safety Committee and urge them to vote no on HB 2525.  Here is the list of the committee members.  I urge you to contact as many as you can before Tuesday morning.

Representative Sue Tibbs, Chair  (405) 557-7379
Representative Steve Martin, Vice Chair  (405) 557-7402
Members:
Representative Ed Cannaday  (405) 557-7375
Representative Josh Cockroft  (405) 557-7349
Representative Doug Cox  (405) 557-7415
Representative Tommy Hardin  (405) 557-7383
Representative Chuck Hoskin  (405) 557-7319
Representative Fred Jordan  (405) 557-7331
Representative Charlie Joyner  (405) 557-7314
Representative Al McAffrey  (405) 557-7396
Representative Pat Ownbey  (405) 557-7326
Representative Pam Peterson  (405) 557-7341
Representative Brian Renegar  (405) 557-7381
Representative Paul Roan  (405) 557-7308
Representative Todd Thomsen  (405) 557-7336
Representative Steve Vaughan  (405) 557-7355

Private company hoarding license-plate data on US drivers

Private company hoarding license-plate data on US drivers

January 12, 2012 | G.W. Schulz

Capitalizing on one of the fastest-growing trends in law enforcement, a private California-based company has compiled a database bulging with more than 550 million license-plate records on both innocent and criminal drivers that can be searched by police.

The technology has raised alarms among civil libertarians, who say it threatens the privacy of drivers. It’s also evidence that 21st-century technology may be evolving too quickly for the courts and public opinion to keep up. The U.S. Supreme Court is only now addressing whether investigators can secretly attach a GPS monitoring device to cars without a warrant.

A ruling in that case has yet to be handed down, but a telling exchange occurred during oral arguments. Chief Justice John Roberts asked lawyers for the government if even he and other members of the court could feasibly be tracked by GPS without a warrant. Yes, came the answer.

Meanwhile, police around the country have been affixing high-tech scanners to the exterior of their patrol cars, snapping a picture of every passing license plate and automatically comparing them to databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and wanted bank robbers.

The units work by sounding an in-car alert if the scanner comes across a license plate of interest to police, whereas before, patrol officers generally needed some reason to take an interest in the vehicle, like a traffic violation.

But when a license plate is scanned, the driver’s geographic location is also recorded and saved, along with the date and time, each of which amounts to a record or data point. Such data collection occurs regardless of whether the driver is a wanted criminal, and the vast majority are not.

Read more

http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/private-company-hoarding-license-plate-data-us-drivers-14379