Wholesale Surveillance

Wholesale Surveillance.

I had an op-ed published in the Arizona Star today:

Technology is fundamentally changing the nature of surveillance. Years ago, surveillance meant trench-coated detectives following people down streets. It was laborious and expensive and was used only when there was reasonable suspicion of a crime. Modern surveillance is the policeman with a license-plate scanner, or even a remote license-plate scanner mounted on a traffic light and a policeman sitting at a computer in the station.

It's the same, but it's completely different. It's wholesale surveillance. And it disrupts the balance between the powers of the police and the rights of the people.

The news hook I used was this article, about the police testing a vehicle-mounted automatic license plate scanner. Unfortunately, I got the police department wrong. It's the Arizona State Police, not the Tucson Police.  [Schneier on Security]

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