Tag Archives: presumption of innocense

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!

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Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon

Kaye Beach

Jan 12, 2011

Part I

This is part one of a long dissertation on fusion centers.   This segment mostly deals with the ideology of intelligence led policing and the beginnings of fusion centers which I think is critical to understanding the threats to our freedoms posed by them.

Fusion Centers and Intelligence Led Policing –A New Paradigm

Fusion Centers are DATA FUSION CENTERS.

Fusion centers are really data fusion centers. The physical centers aren’t much to see because the real work happens in the computer networks.  Since 9 11, the US government has enthusiastically embraced the idea that by collecting, collating and sharing massive amounts information about all of us, criminals and terrorists can be identified preemptively.

The principal role of the fusion center is to compile, analyze, and disseminate criminal/terrorist information and intelligence and other information (including, but not limited to, threat, public safety, law enforcement, public health, social services, and public works) to support efforts to anticipate, identify, prevent, and/or monitor criminal/terrorist activity.   Source http://www.scribd.com/doc/19251638/Fusion-Center-Guidelines-Law-Enforcement

Would you be surprised to know that public schools are one of the data sources for fusion center? How about health and medical information?

This is what fusion centers do, they collect and share information.  This is supposed to help us to catch terrorists or criminals but it is also a darn good method to control the masses.  Think about it-large data sets are prerequisite for any effective social control.  That is true no matter whether it was 100 years ago or today.

Fusion centers were largely funded by the federal government and they took off beginning in the mid 2000’s.  As of 2011, there are officially 73 fusion centers in the US and each state has at least one.  http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1301685827335.shtm

The International Association of Chiefs of Police

The not-so-fabulous idea of fusion centers has been driven, hell-bent-for-leather by the International Association of Chiefs of Police or IACP for short. They can’t take all the credit for them but if you start poking around you will find the same thing I have, that the IACP gets lots of the credit.  Why is this important?  Number one, The IACP is a non-governmental organization.  Want to know more about them?  Try filing a Freedom of Information Act request.  You won’t get anything because as a non-governmental organization they aren’t accountable for squat.  Problem number two, the IACP is an international organization. And if there is not enough wrong with a non-governmental, international organization driving policy that represents a marked departure from long established American ideals (such as the presumption of innocence) this NGO was granted Consultative Status by the United Nations in 1974 (pg. 71). link  As I have said many times before, I am sure the UN is a swell organization but policy that is otherwise accepted internationally often run afoul of cherished precepts established by the US Constitution.

“. . .unprecedented initiatives have been undertaken to reengineer the law enforcement intelligence function.” 2004   link

And if you still don’t see a problem, wait till you see what the IACP thinks about the Second Amendment.

In March 2002, a year before the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the International Association of Chiefs of Police called for a national plan for sharing intelligence.  The recommendations of the IACP led to the drafting of a National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan in October 2003. This policy institutionalized Intelligence Led Policing nationwide.

The National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, developed by Global in partnership with the IACP, is the first of its kind in this country — and promises to bring us closer to achieving the goal, expressed at your 2002 Summit, of “intelligence-led policing.” From The Police Chief, vol. 74, no. 4, April 2007

According to the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan, criminal intelligence is “information compiled, analyzed, and/or disseminated in an effort to anticipate, prevent, or monitor criminal activity.”

I will be accused of being an incorrigible libertarian (as if this is a bad thing!) but I have to say it.  Here is where we really crossed the Rubicon. This national intelligence policy along with many others that have followed, have turned traditional policing on its head. If I didn’t feel so bad for us first, I’d really pity the cops. Civilian policing has necessarily been fairly tightly limited to reacting or responding to crimes.  The reason is that pesky constitution of ours and the presumption of innocence that is foundational to the sort of justice system the US claims to aspire to.

A quick rundown on the policy development of fusion centers from the Electronic Privacy Information Center–  In May 2004, the Department of Justice announced its progress in implementing the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan. The announcement made public the decision to create a Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC) that would be managed by Global. By December 2004, the push for a national Fusion Center initiative received a boost when the Department of Justice sponsored Global Infrastructure/Standards Working Group published A Framework for Justice Information Sharing: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). States using local, state, and federal funds created information Fusion Centers. In August 2005, Global published the Fusion Center Guidelines.

All of the above named organizations are seeded with IACP members or are heavily influenced by the IACP or both.   For example;  “Global represents the IACP . . .This influential group works to address the many policy, privacy, connectivity, and jurisdictional issues that hamper effective justice information sharing.” –THE HONORABLE DEBORAH J. DANIELS, 2007

Intelligence Led Policing: A Turning Point in Policing in the US

Intelligence Led Policing is based on the UK’s National Intelligence Model.  The US and UK, while similar in many respects, nonetheless have one major difference that makes the implementation of Intelligence Led Policing in the US fraught with difficulty.  The US Constitution guarantees certain rights to the citizens of this nation that are not recognized by government of the UK.  Americans have a justified expectation that the government instituted to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will always afford due respect for the autonomy and privacy  of law abiding individuals.

Intelligence-Led Policing in the United States
Biot Report #474: November 02, 2007
United States domestic law enforcement authorities, like their counterparts in Great Britain, have moved to an ―intelligence-led policing paradigm, as described elsewhere. (1) The terrorist events of September 11, 2001 prompted a March 7-8, 2002, Summit in Alexandria, Virginia, of over 120 criminal intelligence experts from across the U.S., titled Criminal Intelligence Sharing: Overcoming Barriers to Enhance Domestic Security. Funded by the US government and organized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Summit became a turning point in policing in the U.S. (2)

The 2002 IACP sponsored Summit participants examined closely the United Kingdom’s National Intelligence Model.  Read more or access document here; IACP Intelligence-Led-Policing-the-New-Paradigm 2007 111

Criminal Intelligence Sharing: Overcoming Barriers to Enhance Domestic Security

Intelligence-led policing is part of a larger trend of blurring the distinction between national security and domestic policing, or the state’s military and police functions.  This ‘blurring” is purposeful and deliberate.  Many policy watchers have been tracking the fast disintegration of boundaries separating government functions since 9 11 with dismay.  Most recently the issue has gained some attention with the passage of the NDAA which would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens, without charge or trial.

Intelligence Led Policing is based on Utilitarian philosophy

The Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP) mission is to gather, analyze, and disseminate intelligence data, in an effort to thwart the next terrorist attack or prevent the commission of a major felony. In applying a utilitarian philosophy to prevention efforts, the “greatest good for the greatest number,” is to detect preoperational terrorist acts and prevent another 9/11.  –Thomas J. Martinelli, International Association of Chiefs of Police LINK

We often remind ourselves that it is better to let ten guilty men go free than to put one innocent in jail.  The Utilitarian’s think it is the other way around and now we are all guilty until proven otherwise.

Utilitarianism-Natural rights?  Nonsense on stilts!

Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism, where punishment is forward-looking.  Justified by the ability to achieve future social benefits resulting in crime reduction, the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice

In other words-The Ends Justifies the Means

Jeremy Bentham is one example of a famous Utilitarian philosopher.  Bentham lauded state power over citizens and referred to the idea of natural rights as “nonsense on stilts”

Bentham was  also the designer of the Panopticon which was an institutional total surveillance structure that was described by Bentham as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example” Link The Panopticon was designed to induce a perception of permanent visibility in its subjects for the purpose of social control. “What matters” according the Jeremy Bentham, “is that he knows himself to be observed”

Intelligence Led Policing is based upon collecting, sharing and analysis of information.   High tech surveillance devices and information sharing across all levels of government without regard to jurisdiction are two key features of Intelligence Led Policing and this school of thought is central to the functioning of state fusion centers.

The Panopticon and Intelligence Led Policing have a lot in common;

Intelligence-led policing is future focus in Rochester, 2010

“You’re less likely to do something (wrong) if you think somebody’s watching,” McAleer said. Or even, maybe , foreseeing. Computerized analysis of crime data might give officers a lead on where to be to prevent crimes.. . . “This is the direction of policing in this country,” he said. Read more

Welcome to “The New Paradigm”

The IACP has been the tip of the spear in ushering in “The New Paradigm” (as Intelligence Led Policing is often referred to) in policing and national security.  Fusion Centers are part and parcel of this New Paradigm.

The New Paradigm according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police;

“. . . means that all the physical and conceptual walls associated with the modern, sovereign state—the walls that divide domestic from international, the police from the military, intelligence from law enforcement, war from peace, and crime from war—are coming down.” Source-THE NEW PARADIGM—MERGING LAW ENFORCEMENT AND COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGIES Secure Cities 2006 http://www.scribd.com/doc/21970726/IACP-Intelligence-Led-Policing-2006-New-Paradigm

Intelligence Led Policing represents a profound philosophical shift in American policing.  The United States police have operated under individual rights oriented and evidence based form of policing for 200 years.  The New Paradigm requires collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data, not limited to criminals or suspects but about all us.   It is preemptive rather than reactive.  The New Paradigm wants our police forces to be part of the ever expanding intelligence apparatus.

If some subversive organization wanted to eradicate those infernal, constitutional sticking points that make harmonizing the USA into an internationalized system so awkward, it couldn’t do better than to set into motion a standardized, nationalized domestic surveillance and control construct based on preemptive, preventive, risk based, rather than rights based,  policing.