Thursday, June 6, 2013

(Related Update): We could use a lot more of this...

Related Update:  Well, good!
The Illinois Department of Transportation's attempt to keep information about its red light camera program secret by locking an Excel spreadsheet has backfired. The state's second-highest court last week ruled the move violated the state's freedom of information laws and ordered the agency pay an anti-camera activist $12,561 in compensation.
Original Post:  The folks in Iowa City, Iowa appear to have had their fill of intrusive police monitoring.  A report yesterday explains that lawmakers in Iowa City have taken the first steps towards a ban on drones, red lights cameras, and license plate readers.  A spokesperson for one of the primary local advocates of the ban, Stop Big Brother, nails the situation directly on the head with this excellent assessment:
"Surveillance technology, and in particular traffic surveillance technology, is increasingly being pushed by technology vendors and device manufacturers to municipalities across the country under the banner of increased public safety," writes on its website. "At its core, though, traffic surveillance has little to do with safety and everything to do with revenue. Worse yet, our liberties, constitutional rights, and this country's founding principles all end up being the collateral damage." [Emphasis Marc Street]
Standard political speak: tell us something is for our safety, etc. and use it as a smoke screen to empower themselves and those private entities playing the cronyism game.  Disgusting.