Traffic Cameras - 1984 - George Orwell

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Southern Dad, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #1
    Over the years, I've noticed the number of cameras along the roads. Some at intersections mounted on traffic lights and many just on poles. Many of these cameras take video as well as shoot still photos. The cameras that I've screen shot are owned and maintained by Georgia DOT.

    There was an accident at the intersection where the cement truck is turning a few months ago. The DOT was able to provide video for the investigation. The still photos on these are updated several times an hour. In one camera picture, I can see the parking lot of Subway. The store owner could see what time his employees really arrive. What if the wife of the owner wants to see if he's really at work? Burglars casing the electronics store watch to see what time the employees leave each day.

    Are we heading toward a 1984 type scenario where all of our moves can be watched and tracked by the government? Are we okay with that?


    NOTES:
    The camera on top of the pole shot the photo that has the cement truck in it. The map is a little piece of Lawrenceville, GA which is the county seat for Gwinnett County.
     

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  2. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #2

    Traffic cameras are use here for more than a decade.


    Cameras work



    Traffic cameras are a great way of regulating traffic, and enforcing traffic laws effectively, and cheaply.

    They are super useful in the event of accidents, especially if more than one angle is given.


    Now you only have to get cameras on the weakest link in the chain the police personal.
     
  3. DonJudgeMe macrumors regular

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    #3
    That little camera is just the beginning. They are ALL over Arizona roads. People routinely receive traffic citations in the mail. I, for one, think that it is just a pathetic waste of resources and another step towards the violation of citizens' privacy.
     
  4. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    The difference between what you are describing, and the nightmare scenario of Orwell's 1984 is that there aren't Government-controlled cameras in our homes.

    We might not necessarily like the idea of the Government watching our streets and highways. But the reality is that on the public street one has no reasonable expectation of privacy. Thats why most of us wear clothes when we leave the house.

    Every time I try and find a reasonable rationale to wish to outlaw or restrict the use of traffic and highway cameras, I weirdly find myself imagining how I could commit some crime and avoid being filmed while traveling to and from the crime scene. Takeaway: traffic cameras are there to prevent people committing crimes and getting away with them.

    The fear that the Government will use traffic data to nefariously spy upon innocent people is overblown. Most people's daily lives are simply not interesting enough to go to the trouble. No one at the Government cares if you visit your Grandmother at the nursing home or are having an affair with a married lady from the office. But someone is committing a string of serial murderers - it sure would be useful for the cops to see who drove up and down the streets where they lived.

    Cameras in the home, where they can watch you take a shower or making love to your wife? Absolutely not. Cameras on the freeway overpasses and drive-thru ATM lanes? Absolutely yes.
     
  5. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    Actually longer than that. I got my first Dutch traffic ticket in the mail with a great photo of my vehicle and the speed that I was traveling in 1988.

    These aren't traffic cameras for enforcement of traffic laws. We have those, too. Those are at stop lights and take a still photo. These cameras are specifically for monitoring.

    Like I said above these aren't for mailing out tickets. These cameras are just surveillance.

    ----------

    If one of the two buildings on that street that we lease were burglarized would the police use these to determine what vehicles were in the area at that time? Would they catch someone going to his/her illicit lover? Who's car is in the mayor's driveway?
     
  6. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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  7. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #7
    A police investigator reviewing the tapes might draw certain conclusions. But they could just as easily draw the same conclusions walking by the house.

    The other thing people overlook about surveillance tapes: They can be tremendously powerful evidence to support innocent people's alibis. If my sworn enemy was murdered last night in Chicago, and the cops came to me to ask about it - I can tell them to check the surveillance tape at the gas station where I filled up at 10 PM - the same time Rufus was being gunned down a hundred miles away.
     
  8. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    There are privacy concerns, but there are some things that also help.

    Like catching police in lies when they roll up and execute a 12 year old kid for no reason.

    Or hit and runs.

    Or evidence in crimes.

    The roads are public space as well, which makes surveillance concerning but not unexpected since the same logic is used and supported by people who film cops in public spaces.
     
  9. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #9
    Very true. They could also contact the NSA or whomever to just track where my iPhone was at the time, I guess.

    ----------

    Oddly, I find myself thinking the same thing. I know where all the surveillance cameras are in all of our buildings, parking lots, etc. I've often thought about how I'd do something and try not to be scene. There is no way to drive to my office at the corner of Old Norcross Road and Hurricane Shoals Road without being on a camera at least once.

    At my home I have surveillance cameras and used that thinking to position them. I am confident that a person could not get into my home and out without being recorded.
     
  10. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    But now they can through computers, shut down highway lanes, increase or decrease speed limits, change the timing of traffic lights. This can be done from one central point.
     
  11. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    daughter is reading the book in HS, I think I want to borrow it:D
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    The thing is everyone has a camera in public anyway. It's called a smartphone.
     
  13. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #13
    My first speeding ticket was between Steenwijk and Zwolle. I was at 180 kmh, the speed limit was 130 kmh. There was no traffic, the road was beautiful and clear and I was driving a 1982 Chevrolet Corvette. I didn't know about the traffic cams on A28 and A32 until I got the photo. It was a crystal clear photo that showed me driving the car and my plate.

    I didn't really slow down a lot but I did figure out exactly where that camera was mounted then always passed it at a slower clip.

    ----------

    Just don't try and download it from Piratebay.
     
  14. iBlazed macrumors 68000

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    I agree. There are some very obvious benefits to it. It's something that's a bit unsettling, but we may just have to get used to it if the good outweighs the bad.
     
  15. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Ummm ... no.


    Who could possibly be okay with that?
     
  16. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    What if the police don't have enough to get a warrant on someone. Rather than follow them, they can just use cameras like this to watch them from a distance or assist with following them.

    Of course, if they follow me, they are going to be very, very bored.
     
  17. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    I make a point of leaving my smartphone at home when I'm out committing felonies. I figure if the cops arrest me, they'll let me use a payphone to call my lawyer.

    Smartphone tracking can be useful to aid in tracking down fugitives, and establishing patterns of movement. But because it can be so easily separated from the person, its not really very useful in establishing an alibi.
     
  18. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    There are zero benefits to having cameras everywhere.

    The problem is thinking that having cameras provide a benefit and that comes from failing as a society. When you build a society with good character then the people watch out for each other and care for one another. Right now nobody cares for anyone, it's all for one mentality. And so, we need cameras everywhere to police people and make sure everyone is following the letter of the law because we are unable to do it ourselves.
     
  19. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Sounds like good policing.


    Why would they care?


    Probably the Mayor's.
     
  20. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mental note to self, leave iPhone at home when committing felonies. Got it.

    Actually, private cameras helped identify the Boston Marathon Bombers so quickly and aided in their eventual capture.
     
  21. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    Thats simply not true.

    The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people are essentially honest. But, being fallible human beings, more than a few of us might be tempted to do bad things if we thought no one was watching.

    Video surveillance cameras remove that temptation in public. If I vandalize a convenience store or help myself to a parked bicycle - chances are pretty good my crime is going to be caught on video. It might be caught by the camera of a store across the street. But such establishments cooperate because doing so helps reduce overall crime. Making the neighborhood more desirable for customers and businesses alike.

    Expecting 100% of human beings to behave properly in public 100% of the time is simply unrealistic. I'd far rather they had surveillance cameras up to remove temptations - rather than brainwashing me. Which would be the only alternative.
     
  22. Southern Dad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

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    #22
    [​IMG]

    I once installed a new time clock at one of our properties. A week later, there was a union grievance that the time clock was in clear view of a camera. A couple of union members were arguing that it was saying that I didn't trust them. During the grievance meeting I told them the real reason that I picked that location… It was where there was a plug. But their argument against the clock being located where it could be seen by the door camera made me wonder what they were afraid of us seeing.
     
  23. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    The fact that the company had a time clock to begin with showed that they didn't trust the workers.

    Why did the Union file a grievance? Because thats what unions do. Companies that insist on subjecting their employees to chickensxXX sorta got it coming.

    Yeah: Character is doing the right thing when no one is watching. And I'll trust my girlfriend and my brother, my best friend, maybe my co-worker. And I guess I trust the President and other elected leaders to not be complete jerks.

    But random people passing a convenience store late at night? When some of them have been drinking? Or simply a bunch of dudes looking to test their youthful limits? Thanks - but I'll take a handy surveillance camera to keep them in line.
     
  24. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Cameras on public streets, in private parking lots, or in store security aren't a violation of privacy at all at least in my opinion. Those concerned with it could wear a burka.

    I use the public video feed every day to check the freeway traffic condition to determine if I should take an alternate route.
     
  25. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #25
    Nassau County (Long Island) started a revenue camera, I mean, school safety camera speeding program several months ago. Cameras were issuing tickets for hours the lower speed limits were not in force. Bunch of other problems. So much so that many tickets were invalidated. The people spoke out loud and louder. The county legislature will be voting to eliminate the program next week. Talk about a waste of taxpayers money.
     

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