Posted tagged ‘Spying’

But Why Do You Need to Know Where I Am and When?

5 March 2014

A variety of governmental entities in the state spy on the public by noting the location and movements of vehicles.  In 2011, the Gazette reports, there were 295 license plate scanners operating around the state.  That has increased by 39%.  All that data is being fed into the shady and suspicious “Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.”  The director of the center insists that information in the database “…can only be accessed by a legitimate law enforcement officer for a legitimate reason.”

He’s missing the point.  People aren’t only concerned about other  entities using that data.  People don’t trust the state – the Coordination and Analysis Center — to hold it, either.  What are they doing with that information? Why do they need it?  Why are they spying on us?

They’re Making a List, and not Checking it Even Once

20 August 2008

To the outrage and indignation over the revelations that Maryland State Police have been spying on peaceful protest groups, the police have responding by insisting that they never infringed on anyone’s rights to free speech or assembly.

Granted – perhaps.  When the State is looking over your shoulder, taking notes and naming names, it may not be blocking anyone’s rights, but it sure is intimidating peaceful protest and assembly.

Furthermore, the covert surveillance is only the beginning.  By notifying the feds (including the Transportation Security Administration and the National Security Agency), the state police have placed markers for these people in the feds’ files.  Now people can be put on the terrorism watch list, which no one is allowed to see.  If you’re on the list, though (and there may be about a million people on the list at this point), it means additional hassles and grilling by TSA goons every time you fly.

CNN carried a story about a commercial airline pilot, ironically, whose name is on the terrorism watch list.  James Robinson is certified to carry a gun into the cockpit, but he’s held back and interviewed each time he boards a plane.  Of course, so is James Robinson of Michigan (a former assistant US Attorney General) and James Robinson, a third-grader from California.

Grumbles the airline pilot, “There’s going to come a point in time where everybody’s on the list”.

I’m still waiting for the governor (whose Baltimore Police participated in the spying)  or the former governor (whose State Police carried out the spying) or the State Police Superintendent (Terrence Sheridan) to offer the words we want to hear from our children: “It was wrong, I’m sorry, and I’ll never do it again.”