Friday, May 13, 2016

 

The US government disguise spy vehicles cars #Google

On the rear window of an SUV parked in the tunnel of the Philadelphia Convention Center, there are unambiguously the Google Maps logo; rooftop, we see two big cameras designed to read license plates. For a passing lambda, the vehicle has the air of being part of the car fleet loaded by Google from taking photos for Street View.

But others such as Matt Blaze, professor of computer science at the University of Pennsylvania, do not let themselves be fooled and immediately denounced the deception: it is actually a surveillance vehicle belonging to the government. Blaze tweeted a photo of the vehicle accompanied by adequate caption: " WTF? ".

Astonishment Blaze is legitimate. Why would a government agency so she need to disguise a surveillance vehicle? And what agency is it?

"A sticker on the dashboard indicates that the SUV is registered with the Philadelphia Office of Fleet"

Management , which manages the 6316 vehicle belonging to the municipality, which means it is used by a local agency.

Christopher Cocci, which manages the vehicle fleet of the city and whose signature appears on the document ensures that the vehicle does not belong to the police of the state of Pennsylvania, who is known for using automatic recognition techniques of license plates (ALPR) nor the Philadephia Parking Authority , a local agency which also uses this technology. So who owns this truck monitoring?

" All municipal vehicles, both assigned to the police, firefighters, cleaning etc. are registered with the city , "said Christopher Cocci us via email after seeing the photos. He also thinks that the vehicle has to do with police activity.

Unless Philadelphia firefighters are using ALPR, so there is good reason to think that the city police walks the streets posing as Google while taking thousands of photographs of license plates per minute. This is somewhat surprising because since 2011 Philly police deploy at least 10 units equipped with mobile cameras and did is never hidden.

The use of ALPR is controversial because of its ability to photograph thousands of license plates per minute, which means the way that technology allows to track the whereabouts of anyone. In Philadelphia, the police can retain data for a year, while the vast majority of the population is not the subject of an investigation. As for the data that directly relate to ongoing investigations, they can be stored indefinitely, according to an inspector .

Therefore, why this subterfuge? Local police spokesman did not want to answer our questions.

" We can confirm that this vehicle has nothing to do with Google Maps, and we are currently conducting the investigation ," said Susan Cadrecha, spokesman for Google. She however declined to say whether Google was worried or annoyed a government agency uses vehicles equipped with such powerful surveillance systems as controversial by passing for Street Cars.

Cadrecha simply stated that the company would communicate more on the subject as soon as clarification has been made.

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