Monday, July 20, 2009

Big Brother Proposal In California Town

Sea may be the only way to approach Tiburon undetected

Pretty soon if you drive into the upscale town of Tiburon, California on the San Francisco Bay you'll have your photo taken along with that of your license plate.

Talk about Big Brother on guard!

The idea is to have a record of everyone who enters town in case a crime is later committed. It also, undoubtedly, will act as a deterrent to crime. Only the stupidest of criminals will pull a job in Tiburon, it's figured, if they know they've been caught on camera. And if they are that dumb, well, heck, a) it shouldn't be that hard to capture them and b) the deserve to be caught.

Of course, there are those who consider this new plan an amazing intrusion into privacy. Shouldn't we be permitted to travel without this kind of government intrusion? What's next? Will we need the permission of some government agency to travel from one town to another? It's not beyond the realm of possibility - not with the direction these technological invasions into our everyday lives are taking.

I work in lower Manhattan so I'm used to being on cam virtually anytime I leave the office. I'm sure I'm on cam as I ride the elevator. I'm probably on cam in the lobby of my building. And I know I'm on cam as I walk through the financial district. They NYPD has lenses pointed at virtually everyone who traverses the sidewalks and streets of lower Manhattan. It's a counterrorism program, though, I doubt that a suicide bomber would be deterred - he's not going to be around to be caught after-the-fact.

But the Tiburon plan goes even a step further. Photographing every single car that enters town. While the intent of the program may be reached, the way they get to that goal seems a bit excessive.

I'm sure the program will someday face a court challenge. When it does, both civil libertarians and other communities who might want to follow Tiburon's lead, will be watching closely.


Photo credit:


Anonymous said...

A bit creepy, but fundamentally, I don't think there would be any issue with Tiburon having a city employee sit at the entrance to town and write down plate #s, so I doubt there's a legal issue with this proposal.

Bob Jones

Anonymous said...

plate #s, so I doubt there's a legal issue with this proposal.
Bob Jones
July 20, 2009 08:57 AM
"Shouldn't we be permitted to travel without this kind of government intrusion?"

I am a civil libertarian to the core, and this is the kind of thing that makes people like me look bad. There are clear -- and even marginal -- governmental intrusions happening as I write this that make my blood boil. That a city government is taking pictures of peoples' license plates as they drive on public roads isn't one of them. Pitching a fit over this program only serves to make civil libertarians look nutty.

Take a look at US v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276 (1983). The court held that "[a] person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements." That isn't to say the cameras in Tiburon, on some level, are intrusive. Rather, I would submit that the intrusion on Tiburon isn't worth pitching a fit over.

There are more important battles to fight.

Eric Hudson

Anonymous said...

Ok, this kind of post just makes you look suspicious, sir. Step out of the car please. Where are you going? Where have you been?

noah tall

Jannhere said...

Welcome to bigger gov. You have no issues with the gov wanting to handle your health records and check into your banking accounts. You have no problem with them telling you what kind of car to drive and how to live yet you are upset over this. This is the wonderful change you idiots voted for under Obama. I just have one question. Where is this town getting the money for this?

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is appalling. It's an entire town trying to make itself into a gated community. By degrees, we have entirely lost the expectation--or desire, it seems--to be anonymous, to be able to come and go without our activity being tracked at every step. This appease those who are fearful of crime, but this will lead inevitably to the requirement that we show papers to be stamped as we enter and exit new states, new towns and localities. We have willingly become that which we deplored for so long: a surveillance society, a policed--if not yet "police"--state.

Robert Cook

Anonymous said...

Just another example of how progressives are dictators inside. This goes against every liberty we've fought for. It's like entering the Matrix. Hey, what about that right to privacy Tiburon?

Deborah Young