Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Napolitano likes high tech oversight


Surveillance cameras loom over 24th Street and Mission in San Francisco.

Obama's pick for "homeland security" honcho (replacing that Nazi nomenclature would be a change I could believe in!) likes getting folks on camera. As governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano apparently seldom met a technical "fix" she didn't like.

According to USA Today, she

  • Pushed state police to use cameras that scan license plates of moving cars to find vehicles that are stolen or linked to a criminal suspect.
and
  • Promoted "face-identification" technology that could help surveillance cameras find wanted people by comparing someone's face with a photo database of suspects.
The Arizona ACLU found her worrisome:

"She sees technology as the panacea of all our law enforcement problems and immigration issues," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, head of Arizona's American Civil Liberties Union chapter. "It's like she's embracing these technologies without taking the time to appreciate the privacy implications."

... "She's going to have a lot more money to play with" for technology, Meetze said.

I guess we can expect more sensors implanted along our borders. Are we fencing someone out -- or fencing ourselves in?


This sign accompanies the Mission district cameras. In this town, we remain ambivalent about surveillance.

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