Justin Rohrlich warns that those mobile trailer-mounted signs displaying your MPH are also recording number plates and taking photos of the driver and passengers. The cameras are being retrofitted to existing models.
According to recently released US federal contracting data, the Drug Enforcement Administration will be expanding the footprint of its nationwide surveillance network with the purchase of “multiple” trailer-mounted speed displays “to be retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms.” The DEA is buying them from RU2 Systems Inc., a private Mesa, Arizona company. How much it’s spending on the signs has been redacted.
Two other, apparently related contracts, show that the DEA has hired a small machine shop in California, and another in Virginia, to conceal the readers within the signs
Be under no illusions about the extent of what the cameras are recording.
Some LPR cameras can capture “contextual photos,” which include shots of the driver and passengers. Companies like Palantir Technologies, which was co-founded by controversial venture capitalist Peter Thiel in 2003, are incorporating facial recognition technology into license plate reader software; officers can access Vigilant’s “Intelligence-Led Policing Package” on their mobile phones.
Photo: Paul Velgos / Shutterstock.
University of Washington engineers developed a tiny, wireless, and steerable videocamera that can be worn by insects or minuscule micro-robots to stream live video. The device weighs just 248 milligrams. Evan Ackerman writes in IEEE Spectrum: The system was successfully tested on a pair of darkling beetles that were allowed to roam freely outdoors, and […]
Technology writer Faine Greenwood has a great piece in Slate about the expansion of police drone surveillance fleets. While there are still many, many reasons to worry about abuses of drone technology and mass surveillance in general, Greenwood takes a look at the legal, technical, and practical limitations of these policing methods. Greenwood essentially argues that, as […]
The United States Internal Revenue Service says it purchased access to a marketing database that offers location data for millions of US cellphones, so the IRS can identify and track persons suspected of tax-related crimes.
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