Government Surveillance: Those Signs Showing Your Speed May Be SPYING On You

by | Oct 1, 2018 | Headline News | 16 comments

Those signs that show you how fast you are traveling may be a part of a United States government surveillance program. That sign might not only be there to remind you what the speed limit is but a part of a dystopian “Big Brother” spy network.

“There used to be an old police saying, ‘If you robbed a bank, please drive carefully,’” former NYPD Detective Sergeant and Bronx Cold Case Squad commander Joseph Giacalone told Quartz. Giacalone that if a getaway driver didn’t do anything to attract the attention of police and get pulled over, they usually had a half-decent chance of fleeing. “But that’s no longer in effect because you can drive slow, you can stop at every red light, but these license plate readers and surveillance cameras track your every movement.”

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.  But that’s not all.  Two other related contracts have been found, as reported by Quartz.

The two contracts show that the DEA has hired a small machine shop in California, and another in Virginia, to conceal the readers within the signs. An RU2 representative said the company providing the LPR devices themselves is a Canadian firm called Genetec. The DEA’s most recent budget describes the program as “a federation of independent federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement license plate readers linked into a cooperative system, designed to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to interdict drug traffickers, money launderers or other criminal activities on high drug and money trafficking corridors and other public roadways throughout the U.S.” But focuses primarily along the southwest border region, and the country’s northeast and southeast corridors.

The problem, however, is a big one. What is, on the one hand, a game-changing crime-fighting tool, is also, on the other hand, a privacy overreach of near-existential proportion to innocents. License plate readers, which can capture around 2,000 plates a minute, cast a privacy-trampling wide net that has made it far easier for cops to catch serious criminals. But that requires the real-time collection, along with the storage of the data of innocents by authorities for later data mining and is highly alarming to privacy advocates.

“License plate readers are inherently a form of mass surveillance,” investigative researcher Dave Maass of the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation told Quartz. “You look at something like a wiretap and most of the time it’s looking for a specific person and capturing specific conversations with that person. But here they are collecting information on everybody, not all of whom have been accused of a crime, in case they may one day commit a crime. This is un-American.”

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    1. NunyaBidness

      ” a privacy overreach of near-existential proportion to innocents. ”

      Nobody will be innocent. You can be cited for driving on a road line. This will be like printing money for the state. This is another reason why you should have SERIOUS issues with the mission of law enforcement – to raise money for the state.

      • Infidel

        Innocent? Innocent of what?

      • Norrak

        Cops in my state and town seem to have no inclination to write tickets to speeders. The speeders just zip on down the road right past the cops.?????


      If they want to pick me up they will find me on the toilet.

    3. Tpat

      I notice they are now stationed at the NYS Thruway tollbooths, which some are set at 20mph, others set at 5 mph. They flash your speed 50 yards away, but can’t measure your spees going through the EZ Pass booth. Seems like a set up to me. Gonna take the back roads until they ditch these entrapment devices.

    4. Him

      Sheesh! It’s not about speeding. It’s about total state surveillance of you. In the name of law enforcement. The kind of government that would want this, is not the kind of government that should be allowed to survive.

    5. Him

      There are ads running on the right column here selling license plate recognition cameras. You gotta love it.

    6. Archivist

      Can’t they read the licenses from all the traffic light cameras?

    7. Bob

      I have good intel that those tire rebates are to get your information. Every tire has an ID code and a secret chip inside it. They are matched to your name from the rebates. Those smart meter stations on the sides of roads double as tire chip readers. This is another form of mass surveillance. Best get a bike!

      • Yeah okay

        Sure thing, grandpa. Sure thing. Now, come on back and eat your soup before it gets cold. Don’t worry, it’s not from a can so you aren’t being poisoned by the government with chemicals. No, grandpa, remember, these are your very own organic veggies that you picked out yourself, so you know they’re safe. No grandpa, I didn’t watch TV or have my cell phone near them so they didn’t beam poison and cameras into your soup. That’s a good, grandpa.

    8. Dan

      Funny thing…..England does the same thing. Speed cameras etc. etc. And they find they are spending a LOT OF MONEY replacing all these devices that magically get trashed in the middle of the night.

      • awed bawl

        good, replacing the devices creates jobs and strengthens the economy

    9. arizona

      In this state they were forced to remove all the red light cameras. But go through a b.p. check point got 6 cameras shooting you, and others in the car, and your license plate. But only from one side of the vehicle. Block your face, they still got your plate.

    10. Him

      It’s not about traffic enforcement. It’s not about you getting a ticket. We’re talking about totalitarian control of the general population. If it was about catching rapists, how are there any rapists still on the street with all the cameras, etc.? It’s not about crime. It’s about you.

    11. Him

      Not many posters these days.

      • awed bawl


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