This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 17, 2013 10:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was A little ahead of themselves. The next post in this blog is Ain't that the truth. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another public input charade

The city of Seattle has installed 30 surveillance cameras along its waterfront to augment security, but Mayor Mike McGinn says the cameras won’t be turned on until the public has a say.

Good Lord, what a strange and awful place our country has become.

Comments (23)

And in the not-too-distant future, they'll know the identity of every person in those surveillance videos. For more see here:
And here:

Actually, forget the not-so-distant future. How about now?

Last year when I had to get my driver's license renewed, things were different.
The camera had to come in very close and the person working there told me that they no longer had the same system, that these images are sent to somewhere else and pictures taken now were done differently!!
I felt very uncomfortable and realized later that day that I also then felt violated. Nothing was said about this until the end process when the picture was taken.
I was quite upset about it all, and yet what could one do? Not drive? drive without a license? It was a feeling of being overwhelmed realizing and as Jack said:
Good Lord, what a strange and awful place our country has become.

You should all know that it's far easier to ask forgiveness than permission...

What would be interesting to know is who paid for the cameras, and what they cost. It'd be one thing if a company put them in on their dime, hoping for a contract to monitor / service them. I'm sure they wouldn't spend taxpayer dollars without approval, right...??..;-)

"what a strange and awful place our country has become" I remember walking about a mile to school. I wouldn't advise that in most neighborhoods today.

welcome to the Brave New World and 1984.
Could we have a revolution now and get back to the country we used to live in?

I hate to say this, but in a country this size with such porous borders, the most cost effective way to implement law enforcement in order to protect us from terrorists, from each other, from ourselves, and to implement climate-saving behavioral change is going to be increasingly invasive electronic surveillance.

Prior to 9/11, public opinion, social conscience, the US Constitution and related limitations on government power, and the cost of the technology kept these kind of ideas largely in check. But in the 12 years since 9/11, all of that has changed and continues to.

Take for example Oregon officials' plan to require GPS monitoring on all motor vehicles. Not only would government know where you are at all times, they will know at what speed you're moving in that location. Highly reliable speeding citations could then be sent out automatically without any police involvement, a huge money saver. The monitoring system could even generate automatic police APBs or public alerts when it detected severe violators. Position tracking could eventually be extended to bicycles and even individuals in the name of cost-effective public safety, since it also reveals your altitude, essentially providing 3 dimensional positioning at all times. In an urban environment law enforcement would consider this useful crime solving information. The system could even automatically summon EMT services by detecting when someone was changing altitude or velocity at an excessive rate and came to an abrupt stop.

And that's just GPS and what I can come with!

There's even an economic argument. Because increased surveillance would create huge opportunities for target marketing, the government could auction off access to information to raise revenue, similar to how the FCC currently auctions off access to the public RF spectrum to raise cash.

I know I sound like I'm ranting from under a tin-foil hat, but I'm not talking about UFOs and mind control here, just what's currently or increasingly possible. All it takes is an argument in favor and the politicians to pursue it.

Stationary camera surveillance and artificial intelligence are so passe.  Do you mean to say that mobile license plate scanners haven't made it to the West Coast yet?

"Mayor Mike McGinn says the cameras won’t be turned on until the public has a say."

What I hear is say what you want, but the cameras are being turned on after you talk.

Welcome to 1984, I dare you to tell me it doen'r exist now.

The Anarchist children have started a program to destroy and disable the cameras. In Berlin small groups in black hoodies are scouring the trains, and streets and tearing down the cameras late at night.

What "... our country has become." We built that. Just by paying our taxes,
and then sitting on our butts figuring random and arbitrary gyrations of The System,
happens however things happen, and leaving it to others, someone, somewhere,
we don't know, to get involved.

a program to destroy and disable the cameras

I'd say right now Randy Leonard, with his spray paint restrictions, is looking like a visionary.


It's funny you mention the DMV picture system because I had the exact same experience. I had to get my license renewed last minute because I was leaving the country, had been really busy getting everything sorted, and frankly, was looking a little grizzled----longer hair and a graying beard. When they took the picture, the new one was an extreme closeup---totally unlike the last one, and the jerk behind the counter at the 82nd DMV cackled---"damn, you got old!" which provoked fits of derisive laughter from the rest of the crew in earshot. Very humiliating.

Mobile license plate scanners have made it to Portland.

The new DMV photos (mega close ups) are high resolution facial/retina recognition technology in motion. Your tax money at work, but of course we can't afford teachers!!!


The alarm part was when the person taking the DMV photos said they would be sent "somewhere else" . . . and the permanent card would be sent to me later.

I didn't know about the facial recognition photo technology being used by the DMV. I have to get a new icense this week. Looks like there's no getting around it. I hate what is happening to us. I say this as I am considering putting up security cameras around my business to dissuade some after hours loiterers. But if anyone at the DMV remarks about my age or is rude in any way, II will make sure they learn some manners the hard way before I depart. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2003802073_webfaces23m.html

The alarm part was when the person taking the DMV photos said they would be sent "somewhere else" . . . and the permanent card would be sent to me later.

The cards are printed in Salem at DMV Headquarters. Used to be that any DMV office had a card printer (and before that, the paper cardstock, the photo printer and laminator) to generate the cards themselves. The claim was to "improve security"...

It used to be that if I needed a replacement credit/debit card I had to wait two weeks. Not too long ago my debit card number was compromised and I had to get a new card issued. Walked into my credit union and five minutes later had my new card. Now if you need an replacement driver's license all you get is a printed copy on slightly thicker than ordinary paper that's valid for a month.

Why didn't the person that took the photo simply say, we now send them to Salem,
I got the message that they were sent now to "somewhere else" like not being able to really tell me about some data base/facial recognition. . .
We citizens are all suspects?

Back in the 1980s I read in a Heinlein novel about people wearing face masks and yashmaks in public to avoid being identified. I guess it's time to start!

SALEM, Ore. — In an effort to curtail identity theft, the 2005 Legislature directed the state Department of Transportation to use facial recognition software before issuing driver's licenses.

From link above Nolo provided.

What else is our "trusty" legislature doing this session regarding our privacy?
Looks like we need another "blog" to watch them every day when they are in session!

Let us not forget that our city has lobbyists down there!

In the late 1950s, Bradbury observed that the novel touches on the alienation of people by media:

In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.[9]

We have come a long way!
Only now, where are the enclaves for those who want to escape such as in the film? Wonder what Bradbury would think now since he was absolutely stunned then?

Clineman is so very right. While Metro is an obnoxious, expensive and superfluous entity that should be dissolved, our state legislature is there in the background making up tons of hideous laws, rules, and ways to control us that we don't know about until we start looking for the source of our pain.

A lot of the incentive for new programs and rules comes from federal money available for, say, multimodal, mixed-use development. Voila! Metro and the state now have dollars for hungry, empire-growing planners to play with. So who is behind the facial recognition stuff? I think I read that about 17 states are now doing this. Is this an accident? Is there a plan to extend this to all the states? Of course states can say no, but few do when threatened with loss of all federal funding. In my dreams I would like to life in a state that had the will to say no.

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