Monday, December 31, 2012

License-plate readers in place in south metro |

License-plate readers in place in south metro |

Police in South St. Paul, West St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights have joined a rising number of police departments using automatic license-plate readers to find stolen vehicles.
Using a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the departments each purchased one reader, which ranges in cost from $15,000 to $20,000, South St. Paul Police Chief Bill Messerich said.
West St. Paul Chief Bud Shaver also expects the reader to be useful in finding drivers with suspended or expired licenses.
The readers are mounted on the roof of a squad car on the bar that holds the emergency lights. The camera-like technology automatically reads license plates as the officers drive, and if a stolen vehicle is detected, it alerts the officer. It also displays expired plates or license revocations.
The readers record the time, date and location of every car they detect. Privacy advocates have called for standards to govern the use of such data. South St. Paul will delete the information after two weeks, Messerich said.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Congress Approves Warrantless Wiretapping Program « CBS DC

Congress Approves Warrantless Wiretapping Program « CBS DC:

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) – Congress has voted to renew the government’s authority to monitor electronic communications of foreigners abroad.
The Senate on Friday approved a five-year extension by a 73-23 vote and sent the bill to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it.
This comes after delaying the final vote on whether or not to add oversight and privacy safeguards to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) amendments that allows federal agencies to conduct warrantless wiretapping.
The program began shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks under the Bush administration, and without congressional authorization. Many critics and whistle-blowers have alleged that the law has enabled many law-abiding Americans’ communications to be included in the international electronic dragnet.
The CIA and National Security Agency use the program to collect intelligence on Americans who are communicating abroad with foreign “targets.”
“Everyone becomes suspect when big brother is listening,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said recently while arguing against renewing the FAA in the House of Representatives.
Should the Senate not re-new the FAA before Dec. 31, the bill will expire and the warrantless wiretapping provisions will be erased. On Thursday, members of the Senate met in Washington to begin discussing the act, but the final vote was moved to Friday.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was introduced and created in 1978 by Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., to authorize surveillance to protect national security. To get a warrant from this court, the Justice Department would ordinarily submit an application to show that the target is an “agent of a foreign power,” essentially a suspected spy or terrorist.
At the time of legislation, President Bush said, “If al-Qaeda or their associates are making calls into the United States or out of the United States, we want to know what they’re saying,” NPR reports.
Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told Wired Magazine that, “If no one will even estimate how many Americans have had their communications collected under this law then it is all the more important that Congress act to close the ‘back door searches’ loophole, to keep the government from searching for Americans’ phone calls and emails without a warrant.”
Civil liberties critics argue that the lack of judicial oversight means the program is open to abuse, and could be used to monitor everything from protest groups to private conversations. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights have filed suit against the government on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who fear their communications have been monitored, because they regularly are in contact with people who could be under suspicion.
In 2004, FISA was amended to include a “lone wolf” provision. A “lone wolf” is a non-US person who engages in or prepares for international terrorism. The provision amended the definition of “foreign power” to permit the FISA courts to issue surveillance and physical search orders without having to find a connection between the “lone wolf” and a foreign government or terrorist group.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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License plate data: business opportunity or public safety risk? | Minnesota Public Radio News

License plate data: business opportunity or public safety risk? | Minnesota Public Radio News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Academics and entrepreneurs nationwide have received copies of a massive database that the Minneapolis police department uses to track the location of cars. Where some see business or research opportunities, the city sees a public safety risk.
The data come from the city's network of automatic license plate readers — cameras that record the locations of hundreds of thousands of cars every month.
Minneapolis has received at least 100 requests for data from its license plate scanners over the last five months, ever since the Star Tribune first reported on the existence of the data. Most requests came from people who wanted to know where the scanners had spotted an individual license plate. More than a third came from one man, Alex Peterson, who repossesses cars for a living.
"I see a license plate hit in this neighborhood, and I do work on the Internet and find out they have a relative who lives in that neighborhood and find it at that address," Peterson said. "There's a lot of different ways I can use the information."
Minnesota law makes all data collected by the government public, unless it is specifically classified otherwise. Minneapolis dutifully turns over the information to anyone who asks.
"It became clear to us that this was creating a real risk to public safety."
- Susan Segal, attorney for city of Minneapolis
But earlier in December, the city abruptly changed its approach and asked the state to issue an order rendering the data private for the next two years while it lobbies the Legislature to change the law.
"It became clear to us that this was creating a real risk to public safety," said Susan Segal, city attorney.
Segal said the license plate readers are designed to help police find criminals and stolen cars. In the wrong hands, the data they collect could be used to commit crimes.
"Victims of domestic abuse, for example, don't want their batterers to know where they're living or where they may be working," Segal said.
The city is also concerned about the increasing amounts of data being requested.
In addition to inquiries about specific license plates, Minneapolis also received numerous requests for the entire database. Earlier this month, it released a file containing some 2.1 million records covering a three month period.
Nine people received the database. One of them was Mark Pitts of Rogers, Minn., who is finishing up a master's degree in statistics.
"And so I thought it would be an interesting data set for my master's project, and it turned about to be a very interesting dataset as you know," Pitts said.
Eight of the license plate scanners are attached to police cars. Pitts said the scanners don't just record the locations of nearby vehicles; they also record the movements of the police. (Read from Pitts' blog about the analysis)
"And so you can literally see everywhere they went. I can tell you when they stopped for lunch. I can tell you when they met at the hospital," Pitts said. "There's a lot more information about their activities and movements in this data then there are about any single individual."
That's why Pitts supports making the data private. But some of the other people who have examined the data disagree.
Arthur D'Antonio, 25, is a California-based Web developer who has requested similar data from other cities around the country. He is exploring whether the data have commercial applications.
"I personally believe that the data shouldn't be being stored on innocent people at all. But I also believe that if it is, we're paying for that," D'Antonio said. "And so anybody should be able to use it for whatever legal purpose they want to use it for."
D'Antonio hasn't figured out exactly how to make money using the data, but the fact that automobile repossession companies have been using it, suggests one possibility, he said.
"Is there any way that we could have made it so that that guy could have obtained that data, quicker, more efficiently, maybe even on the go?" D'Antonio said. "That makes his business that much more successful. He can maybe hire more people. If there's opportunity, I think everybody should be looking to seize it."
But researchers and entrepreneurs looking for opportunities in the license plate scanner databases may have missed their chance, at least for now. A recently-issued administrative order classifies the data as private for at least the next three months. It applies to Minneapolis and any other Minnesota cities that collect this data. And the Legislature will likely consider whether to make the data private permanently.

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4th Amendment Warrantless Search & Seizure Issues - Technology & Privacy - Privacy - United States

4th Amendment Warrantless Search & Seizure Issues - Technology & Privacy - Privacy - United States:

Almost all of usrely on technology to carry out our day-to-day activities.  We carry one, if not two devices such as a smart phone or tablet with us at all times.  Courts continue to struggle to figure out how our use of these devices fit within notions of privacy and the 4th Amendment.

Previously, we discussed the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Jones, a case addressing the use of GPS tracking devices to trace criminal suspects.  There, the Court held that GPS monitoring constitutes a search, although not one always requiring a warrant.  The Court suggested that a warrant is required where long-term monitoring occurs, but is not necessary where monitoring only takes place for one to two days.  Not surprisingly, this decision raised numerous questions regarding the interplay between technology and privacy. 
Since then, numerous lower courts have been faced with similar challenges.  
In a recent case in Colorado, law enforcement officers were able to locate the whereabouts of a bank robber through a GPS device that was buried in the cash he was accused of stealing.  After the robbery occurred, police activated the GPS device, which lead them to an intersection nearby.  There, police blockaded approximately twenty cars at gunpoint, searching each car until the missing money was discovered in the suspect's vehicle and the suspect was arrested.  

The suspect's attorney argued that the evidence seized from his client's vehicle was inadmissible because the roadblock was unconstitutional.  The District Court for the District of Colorado disagreed.  Judge William J. Martinez held that the evidence was, in fact, admissible.  Noting that he was troubled by the invasive tactics used by police, he determined that the detention of the other motorists in the intersection was justified, given that a potentially dangerous criminal was on the run. 

A similar decision was recently reached by the Sixth Circuit.  There, law enforcement agents, without a warrant, used GPS information acquired from a suspect's cell phone to track the suspect over a three-day trip in a motor home.  The agents then used this information to conduct a search of the motor home, where they found incriminating drug evidence.  The suspect was later convicted on drug charges.  The Sixth Circuit upheld the conviction, holding that there was no constitutional violation of the defendant's rights because he had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the data obtained from his cell phone.  The court distinguished their decision from the Supreme Court's decision in Jones on the grounds that the search did not involve a physical trespass on the subject's private property.  Thus, a warrant was not necessary, regardless of the period of time of the monitoring.    

These cases demonstrate that courts are permitting law enforcement more latitude to use technology without the need for a search warrant.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Assault Weapons - Issues - United States Senator Dianne Feinstein

Assault Weapons - Issues - United States Senator Dianne Feinstein:

Stopping the spread of deadly assault weapons

Stay informed

In January, Senator Feinstein will introduce a bill to stop the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
To receive updates on this legislation, click here.

Press releases

Summary of 2013 legislation

Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:
  • Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
    • 120 specifically-named firearms;
    • Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
    • Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
  • Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
    • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test;
    • Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test; and
    • Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to address attempts to “work around” prior bans.
  • Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. 
  • Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
    • Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
    • Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
    • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
  • Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms Act, to include:
    • Background check of owner and any transferee;
    • Type and serial number of the firearm;
    • Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
    • Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
    • Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.

Effectiveness of 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban

Following are studies that have been conducted on the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban:

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How a Simple Smartphone Can Turn Your Car, Home, or Medical Device into a Deadly Weapon | Vanity Fair

How a Simple Smartphone Can Turn Your Car, Home, or Medical Device into a Deadly Weapon | Vanity Fair:

Examples from the long article
medical devices: pacemakers, defibrillators, cochlear implants, insulin pumps, cardiovascular monitors, artificial pancreases, and all the other electronic marvels doctors now are inserting into human bodies.

Major power and telephone grids have long been controlled by computer networks, but now similar systems are embedded in such mundane objects as electric meters, alarm clocks, home refrigerators and thermostats, video cameras, bathroom scales, and Christmas-tree lights—all of which are, or soon will be, accessible remotely. 

Since 2007, every new car in the United States has been equipped with a tire-pressure-monitoring system, or T.P.M.S. Electronic sensors in the wheels report tire problems to an onboard computer, which flashes a warning icon on the dashboard. In 2010, researchers from Rutgers and the University of South Carolina discovered that they could read a tire’s ID from as far away as 130 feet. This means that every car tire is, in effect, a homing device and that people 130 feet from an automobile can talk to it through its tires. The car drives by, you call the transmitter with your smartphone, it sends the initiation code—bang! The car locks up at 70 miles per hour. You’ve crashed their car without touching it.”

I didn’t know. The contractor didn’t know, either. Nor did the cable guy or the house-alarm guy. After a few phone calls, I learned that our electric company had installed the mystery box to monitor the new solar panels on the roof. Our house—or at least our roof—was part of the Internet of Things.

Because smart meters register every tiny up and down in energy use, they are, in effect, monitoring every activity in the home. By studying three homes’ smart-meter records, researchers at the University of Massachusetts were able to deduce not only how many people were in each dwelling at any given time but also when they were using their computers, coffee machines, and toasters. Incredibly, Kohno’s group at the University of Washington was able to use tiny fluctuations in power usage to figure out exactly what movies people were watching on their TVs. (The play of imagery on the monitor creates a unique fingerprint of electromagnetic interference that can be matched to a database of such fingerprints.)

In the rush to put computers into everything, neither manufacturers nor consumers think about the possible threats. “I would be shocked if a random parent at Toys R Us picked up a toy with a wireless connection and thought, I wonder if there are any security problems here.” Kohno said to me. As he has himself demonstrated, children’s Erector Sets with Web cams can be taken over remotely and used for surveillance. 


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Judge OKs Warrantless Cell-Site Data in Landmark Privacy Case | Threat Level |

Judge OKs Warrantless Cell-Site Data in Landmark Privacy Case | Threat Level |

Federal prosecutors may introduce cell-site data obtained without a warrant in the retrial of a District of Columbia drug dealer who was the subject of one of the Supreme Court’s biggest electronic privacy decisions in decades.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the District of Columbia is a victory for prosecutors who are shifting their focus to warrantless cell-tower locational tracking of suspects in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement should acquire probable-cause warrants from judges to affix GPS devices to vehicles. (.pdf) Just after the high court’s January decision, the FBI pulled the plug on 3,000 GPS tracking devices.
read more at the link

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans | Threat Level |

Attorney General Secretly Granted Gov. Ability to Develop and Store Dossiers on Innocent Americans | Threat Level |

In a secret government agreement granted without approval or debate from lawmakers, the U.S. attorney general recently gave the National Counterterrorism Center sweeping new powers to store dossiers on U.S. citizens, even if they are not suspected of a crime, according to a news report.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder granted the center the ability to copy entire government databases holding information on flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and other data, and to store it for up to five years, even without suspicion that someone in the database has committed a crime, according to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.
Whereas previously the law prohibited the center from storing data compilations on U.S. citizens unless they were suspected of terrorist activity or were relevant to an ongoing terrorism investigation, the new powers give the center the ability to not only collect and store vast databases of information but also to trawl through and analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior in order to uncover activity that could launch an investigation.
The changes granted by Holder would also allow databases containing information about U.S. citizens to be shared with foreign governments for their own analysis.
A former senior White House official told the Journal that the new changes were “breathtaking in scope.”
But counterterrorism officials tried to downplay the move by telling the Journal that the changes come with strict guidelines about how the data can be used.
“The guidelines provide rigorous oversight to protect the information that we have, for authorized and narrow purposes,” Alexander Joel, Civil Liberties Protection Officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the paper.
The NCTC currently maintains the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database, or TIDE, which holds data on more than 500,000 identities suspected of terror activity or terrorism links, including friends and families of suspects, and is the basis for the FBI’s terrorist watchlist.
Under the new rules issued in March, the NCTC can now obtain almost any other government database that it claims is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information.” This could conceivably include collections of financial forms submitted by people seeking federally backed mortgages or even the health records of anyone who sought mental or physical treatment at government-run hospitals, such as Veterans Administration facilities, the paper notes.
The Obama administration’s new rules come after previous surveillance proposals were struck down during the Bush administration, following widespread condemnation.
In 2002, the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program proposed to scrutinize both government and private databases, but public outrage killed the program in essence, though not in spirit. Although Congress de-funded the program in 2003, the NSA continued to collect and sift through immense amounts of data about who Americans spoke with, where they traveled and how they spent their money.
The Federal Privacy Act prohibits government agencies from sharing data for any purpose other than the reason for which the data was initially collected, in order to prevent the creation of dossiers, but agencies can do an end-run around this restriction by posting a notice in the Federal Register, providing justification for the data request. Such notices are rarely seen or contested, however.
The changes to the rules for the NCTC were sought in large part after authorities failed to catch Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab before he boarded a plane on Christmas Day in 2009 with explosives sewn into his underwear. Abdulmutallab wasn’t on the FBI watchlist, but the NCTC had received tips about him, and yet failed to search other government databases to connect dots that might have helped prevent him from boarding the plane.
As the NCTC tried to remedy that situation for later suspects, legal obstacles emerged, the Journal reports, since the center was only allowed to query federal databases for a specific name or a specific passenger list. “They couldn’t look through the databases trolling for general ‘patterns,’” the paper notes.
But the request to expand the center’s powers led to a heated debate at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, with Mary Ellen Callahan, then-chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, leading the charge to defend civil liberties. Callahan argued that the new rules represented a “sea change” and that every interaction a citizen would have with the government in the future would be ruled by the underlying question, is that person a terrorist?
Callahan lost her battle, however, and subsequently left her job, though it’s not known if her struggle over the NCTC debate played a role in her decision to leave.

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AOL On - Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Police Don't Want You To Know About

AOL On - Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking Police Don't Want You To Know About:

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jersey City Unveils ‘Eye In The Sky’ Surveillance Tower To Fight Crime « CBS New York

Jersey City Unveils ‘Eye In The Sky’ Surveillance Tower To Fight Crime « CBS New York:

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A warning to criminals in Jersey City: Every step you take, every move you make, police are watching.
As part of a stepped-up effort to deter and detect criminal activity, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healyand Police Chief Tom Comey announced new initiatives Tuesday that they hope will be effective.
Among the initiatives is the “Eye in the Sky,” a three-story high, mobile tower equipped with 360-degree views and streaming surveillance cameras to give police a bird’s-eye view of high-crime areas.
It makes us smarter. It makes us better and once again, it’s another step we have to take as we embrace technology and do policing,” Comey told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
With budget cuts and mass retirements in his police force, Chief Comey is still dealing with a significant police shortage. So he said he is looking for ways to do the job smarter and better.
“Is it the most effective way? At what we have right now. Yes,” he said. “Would it be better if we had more man power? Probably. That’s not something I have right now.”
The $100,000 “Eye in the Sky” was acquired by Jersey City’s Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security through the state’s Urban Area Security Initiative program.
Officials said the technology is used by police departments across the country, including the New York Police Department.
Mayor Healy also announced the hiring of 22 new beat cops to help beef up the department’s dwindling ranks.
In July, the U.S. Justice Department awarded Jersey City $1.85 million through a hiring program that allowed it to bring on 15 new officers. The other seven cops will be paid through the municipal budget, officials said.
The police department will now have a total of 806 officers.

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Council to hear CMPD plans for wireless cameras, plate readers | Charlotte

Council to hear CMPD plans for wireless cameras, plate readers | Charlotte:

cameras, plate readers
Council to hear CMPD plans for wireless cameras, plate readers
by CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR. / Charlotte Observer
Posted on December 10, 2012 at 5:48 AM
Updated Monday, Dec 10 at 6:00 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe plans to
tell the Charlotte City Council on Monday about his department’s plans to use
technology that has the potential to affect how the department fights crime.
The equipment – more than 500 wireless cameras, automatic license-plate readers
and a network of sensitive, gunshot-detecting microphones known as ShotSpotter –
were all bolstered by or put into place before the Democratic National Convention. The
city received a $50 million security grant from the federal government to pay for new
equipment and upgrades.
The Police Department did not comment in advance of Monroe’s statements to City
Council. But in the past, Deputy Chief Harold Medlock called the cameras effective
crime-prevention and crime-fighting tools.

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Speak Out: Lilburn Police License Plate Readers - Lilburn-Mountain Park, GA Patch

Speak Out: Lilburn Police License Plate Readers - Lilburn-Mountain Park, GA Patch:

Like some other municipalities, the city of Lilburn employs the use of license plate readers to capture the bad guys.
Bad guys include those who are driving around in stolen cars, people wanted for previous crimes, those who have abducted babies, and more.
In August, for example, the city used the special devices to alert them to a stolen car, which led them to eventually find a suspect hiding in the freezer of an Ingles grocery store.
-- Do you think the use of these license plate readers is justified, even if the plates of law-abiding citizens are also capture? Let us know in the comment section below. --
Typically, three automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) are mounted to patrol cars, and cansnap pictures of thousands of plates each day. Police are then able to quickly check the the plate's numbers against policy agency databases.
There is an alarm when a match is found, and the police officer's computer displays who the car is registered to and if the car is suspected in a crime, among other things.
The city of Lilburn has one, and the police department has used it for several years. Gwinnett County Police Department, which patrols unincorporated Lilburn, using them, as well.
But, while police departments are busily capturing the plates of could-be bady guys, they are also collecting information on anyone else who happens to drive by or be parked in the vicinity of the plate readers.
Like other police departments, Capt. Ben Haynes agrees that Lilburn Police Department sees the readers as a benefit -- one that outweighs public angst.
However, the ACLU worries that this could be a violation of privacy for law-abiding citizens. In July, the organization sent 587 requests to local police departments across the nation, including some in Georgia.
"When used in a narrow and carefully regulated way, ALPRs can help police recover stolen cars and arrest people with outstanding warrants, " the ACLU said on its website.
Still, the ACLU added that "police departments nationwide are using ALPR to quietly accumulate millions of plate records, storing them in backend databases. While we don’t know the full extent of this problem, we know that responsible deletion of data is the exception, not the norm."
So, what do you think Lilburn, is the automatic license plate reader used in the local police department an invasion of your privacy? Do you think the law enforcement tool is well worth it if criminal can be swooped off the streets? Let us know in the comment section.
See some of our other "Speak Out" stories, and comment on them, as well:
  • Speak Out: Vacant Properties Got You Vexed?: Story highlights vacany information on several Lilburn shopping centers. Also, mentions the Main Street shopping area, with a comment from the mayor, Johnny Crist.
  • Speak Out: Future of Old Blue Rooster Site: Story summarizes recent happenings with the Main Street property formerly the home of the Blue Rooster Cafe.
  • Speak Out: Safety at Wells Fargo Banks: Following a robbery at the Lilburn Wells Fargo on Lawrenceville Highway, Patch asked readers what they thought of the security at local bank branches. This includes the lack of armed guards at Wells Fargo banks.
Related Topics: ACLUAutomatic License Plate ReadersLicense Plate Readers, and Lilburn Police Department

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns - SFGate

Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns - SFGate
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday proposed long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders — better known as "black boxes" — in all new cars and light trucks beginning Sept. 1, 2014. But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle's sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That's usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on.

Read more: