Monday, April 18, 2005

Another Unneeded Security Technology

Schneier post on an invention in the UK that allows license plates to be read by a helicopter doing 160 MPH at 2,000 feet. The worst part is this Quote from the original article.

Essex Police Inspector Paul Moor told the Daily Star newspaper: "This is all about denying criminals the use of the road. Using a number plate recognition camera from the air means crooks will have nowhere to hide."
I don't understand how he thinks this will deny criminals the use of the road. Can't the criminal cover the license plate, or simpler yet just use a stolen car?

What will be next? Placing these things at traffic lights and collecting information on where cars are when? Privacy issue? You bet. Do we trust governments to mine such data? I don't.

It's basic. Information is power. Allowing any group, government or business, the right to collect and tabulate information that this type of device can collect will be abused. And worse it will not stop all but the most moronic criminals out there.

Oh, and if you don't think it exists here in the US, think again. Look up "Bootfinder." You'll find out that it's being used in New Haven, CT right now for the collection of delinquent taxes. Probably a good use, but this technology can easily go out of control. Don't take my word for it, read Schneier's linked article on "wholesale surveillance."

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