Wednesday, July 17, 2013


If you think a world in which the government can continuously track every vehicle  is just something out of a grim sci-fi story, think again. Yet another law created by special corporate interests has been introduced in the California state senate (by a democrat), as a result of the lobbying efforts of the corporation that will profit handsomely if their license plates with built-in tracking chips are adopted statewide. In other words, government is the instrument being used by a private industry to force the public to be consumers of its products - with no chance of opting out. And that's aside from all those pesky privacy and constitutional rights issues.

From McClatchy:
"....Privacy advocates say the approach could leave motorists vulnerable to government surveillance by undoing a Supreme Court ruling that required authorities to obtain search warrants before using vehicle tracking devices.

"It means everyone driving in California will have their location accessible to the government at any time," said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2010, the Legislature considered a similar bill supported by Smart Plate Mobile, with the noted addition of allowing for scrolling advertisements when a vehicle comes to a stop for four seconds or longer.

Sen. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, carried both bills, although Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, took over this year's version after Price moved to the Los Angeles City Council. Price billed the 2010 legislation, which died in committee, as a potential revenue generator for the cash-starved state because the DMV would have been able to sell ad space on the plates.

Advertisements are not envisioned under the current bill being considered, which cleared the Senate and is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Jim Lites, a lobbyist hired by Smart Plate Mobile, said the pilot program created under the current bill will focus on vehicle registration efficiencies that can be created, not advertisement revenue....."   More here.


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