Big Brother Cometh: Massive License Plate Database Exceeds 150 Million

Throwing legality and the Constitution aside, Technocrats lust after data on society. Collecting data in real-time is the holy grail of AI that is used for instant analysis and reporting of actionable offenses. ⁃ TN Editor

Our worst fears about automatic license plate readers (ALPR) are much worse than we could have imagined.

Two months ago, I warned everyone that police in Arizona were using ALPR’s to “grid” entire neighborhoods. But this story brings public surveillance to a whole new level.

Last month, Rekor Systems announced that they had launched the Rekor Public Safety Network (RPSN) which gives law enforcement real-time access to license plates.

“Any state or local law enforcement agency participating in the RPSN will be able to access real-time data from any part of the network at no cost. The Company is initially launching the network by aggregating vehicle data from customers in over 30 states. With thousands of automatic license plate reading cameras currently in service that capture approximately 150 million plate reads per month, the network is expected to be live by the first quarter of 2020.”

RPSN is a 30 state real-time law enforcement license plate database of more than 150 million people.

And the scary thing about it is; it is free.

“We don’t think our participants should be charged for accessing information from a network they contribute to, especially when it provides information that has proven its value in solving crimes and closing cases quickly,” said Robert A. Berman, President and CEO, Rekor.

Want to encourage law enforcement to spy on everyone? Give them free access to a massive license plate database.

RPSN’s AI software uses machine learning to predict when and where a hotlisted person or a person of interest will be.

“Rekor’s software, powered by artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning, can also be added to existing law enforcement security camera networks to search for law enforcement related hotlists as well as Amber Alerts and registered sex offender motor vehicles.”

Rekor admits that police in thirty states are probably spying on more than 150 million license plates each month.

The Westchester County New York Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center alone, collects “more than 25 million license plates each month.”

An article in Traffic Technology Today revealed that Rekor will go to great lengths to convince police departments to track millions of motorists. “In 2020, the RPSN will be fully compliant with the federal 2019 NDAA law, which bans the use of certain foreign manufactured cameras used in critical infrastructure.”

Rekor’s 2019 NDAA sales pitch, is both disturbing and despicable. It reveals just where they and law enforcement stand when it comes to using ALPR’s to spy on millions of motorists.

Police use license plate readers to track motorists in real-time

An article in The Newspaper revealed how police in Louisiana use license plate readers to track motorists in real-time.

Eric J. Richard had been driving his white Buick LaCrosse on Interstate 10, when he was stopped by Louisiana State Police Trooper Luke Leger for allegedly following a truck too closely. During the roadside interrogation, the trooper asked where Richard was coming from.

“I was coming from my job right there in Vinton,” Richard replied. The trooper had already looked up the travel records for Richard’s car and already knew it had crossed into Louisiana from Texas earlier in the day. Based on this “apparent lie,” the trooper extended the traffic stop by asking more questions and calling in a drug dog.

The article goes on to say that police had no reason to track Mr. Richard, but they did so because they could. And that should frighten everyone.

Rekor lets law enforcement know where your friends and family are, where your doctor’s office is, where you worship and where you buy groceries.

How is that for Orwellian?

It is time to face the facts: ALPR’s are not about public safety, they are a massive surveillance system designed to let Big Brother track our every movement.

Read full story here…




Ex-Google Engineer: ‘Killer Robots’ Could Start War

As governments ramp up the AI arms race to direct autonomous robots with a ‘licensed to kill’, the risk horrible mistakes rises as well, including the possibility of starting a robot war.  ⁃ TN Editor

A new generation of autonomous weapons or “killer robots” could accidentally start a war or cause mass atrocities, a former top Google software engineer has warned.

Laura Nolan, who resigned from Google last year in protest at being sent to work on a project to dramatically enhance US military drone technology, has called for all AI killing machines not operated by humans to be banned.

Nolan said killer robots not guided by human remote control should be outlawed by the same type of international treaty that bans chemical weapons.

Unlike drones, which are controlled by military teams often thousands of miles away from where the flying weapon is being deployed, Nolan said killer robots have the potential to do “calamitous things that they were not originally programmed for”.

There is no suggestion that Google is involved in the development of autonomous weapons systems. Last month a UN panel of government experts debated autonomous weapons and found Google to be eschewing AI for use in weapons systems and engaging in best practice.

Nolan, who has joined the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and has briefed UN diplomats in New York and Geneva over the dangers posed by autonomous weapons, said: “The likelihood of a disaster is in proportion to how many of these machines will be in a particular area at once. What you are looking at are possible atrocities and unlawful killings even under laws of warfare, especially if hundreds or thousands of these machines are deployed.

“There could be large-scale accidents because these things will start to behave in unexpected ways. Which is why any advanced weapons systems should be subject to meaningful human control, otherwise they have to be banned because they are far too unpredictable and dangerous.”

Google recruited Nolan, a computer science graduate from Trinity College Dublin, to work on Project Maven in 2017 after she had been employed by the tech giant for four years, becoming one of its top software engineers in Ireland.

She said she became “increasingly ethically concerned” over her role in the Maven programme, which was devised to help the US Department of Defense drastically speed up drone video recognition technology.

Instead of using large numbers of military operatives to spool through hours and hours of drone video footage of potential enemy targets, Nolan and others were asked to build a system where AI machines could differentiate people and objects at an infinitely faster rate.

Google allowed the Project Maven contract to lapse in March this year after more than 3,000 of its employees signed a petition in protest against the company’s involvement.

“As a site reliability engineer my expertise at Google was to ensure that our systems and infrastructures were kept running, and this is what I was supposed to help Maven with. Although I was not directly involved in speeding up the video footage recognition I realised that I was still part of the kill chain; that this would ultimately lead to more people being targeted and killed by the US military in places like Afghanistan.”

Although she resigned over Project Maven, Nolan has predicted that autonomous weapons being developed pose a far greater risk to the human race than remote-controlled drones.

She outlined how external forces ranging from changing weather systems to machines being unable to work out complex human behaviour might throw killer robots off course, with possibly fatal consequences.

“You could have a scenario where autonomous weapons that have been sent out to do a job confront unexpected radar signals in an area they are searching; there could be weather that was not factored into its software or they come across a group of armed men who appear to be insurgent enemies but in fact are out with guns hunting for food. The machine doesn’t have the discernment or common sense that the human touch has.

“The other scary thing about these autonomous war systems is that you can only really test them by deploying them in a real combat zone. Maybe that’s happening with the Russians at present in Syria, who knows? What we do know is that at the UN Russia has opposed any treaty let alone ban on these weapons by the way.

“If you are testing a machine that is making its own decisions about the world around it then it has to be in real time. Besides, how do you train a system that runs solely on software how to detect subtle human behaviour or discern the difference between hunters and insurgents? How does the killing machine out there on its own flying about distinguish between the 18-year-old combatant and the 18-year-old who is hunting for rabbits?”

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AOC: Do My Green New Deal Or Miami Will Vanish

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez levels a veiled threat against Miami, Florida if leaders don’t implement her Green New Deal; namely, that global warming will sink the city into oblivion. This is sounding more like a Marvel comic theme every day. ⁃ TN Editor

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” said Nazi propaganda master Joseph Goebbels. Such is the case with global warming hysterics who have recently begun to make headway among concerned citizens.

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came on the scene, she immediately began to make wild, hysterical predictions about the end of civilization. 

Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us, are looking up, and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?”

To be fair to AOC, she was quoting a UN report that claims in 12 years, we’ll reach a “point of no return” when it comes to climate change. That is, if we don’t do something in 12 years, warming will be out of control and we’ll be unable to avert catastrophe.

Anthony Watts performs the necessary lobotomy, quoting from a 1989 AP report:

 A senior U.N. environmental official says  entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels  if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.

Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.

He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

But don’t try and stop AOC. She’s on a roll.

At an NAACP forum yesterday, AOC predicted that the city of Miami would disappear in a few years unless her Green New Deal is enacted.

Washington Examiner:

“When it comes to climate change, what is not realistic is not responding with a solution on the scale of the crisis — because what’s not realistic is Miami not existing in a few years,” the New York Democrat said Wednesday at an NAACP forum. “So we need to be realistic about the problem.”

AOC has tried to make climate change a racial issue because, well, it’s easier to sell that way and apparently all those people who were going to die in 2000 if we didn’t do anything about global warming are mostly people of color.

Actually, her agenda is not hidden at all. The “Green New Deal” has little to do with climate change and everything to do with “economic justice.”

In July, then-Ocasio-Cortez chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti  revealed that the Green New Deal was not “originally a climate thing at all … we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Chakrabarti, 33, said the Green New Deal was about changing the economy to make it more equitable.

“I think … it’s dual. It is both rising to the challenge that is existential around climate and it is building an economy that contains more prosperity,” he said. “More sustainability in that prosperity — and more broadly shared prosperity, equitability, and justice throughout.”

Read full story here…