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Canberra Police Want Drones To Track Cars 154

Posted by timothy
from the robotic-drones-in-addition-to-the-regular-ones dept.
garymortimer tips this story at the Canberra Times, which starts: "Police have suggested that Canberra's new point-to-point speed cameras be linked to unmanned aerial surveillance drones and used to track vehicles of interest to authorities. The first of the cameras, which use automated number plate recognition technology to calculate a car's average speed and whether it is within the legal limit, are due to be switched on by the end of the year." I wonder how much surveillance by drone is already being done in the U.S., especially considering that even an (admittedly high-end) home-built drone is capable of hijinks that seem to parallel the cell-phone tracking activities the FBI has been shown to employ.
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Canberra Police Want Drones To Track Cars

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  • Re:I Am Amazed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cimexus (1355033) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @06:18PM (#37486016)

    I think you might have taken a few exaggerated and inaccurate Slashdot headlines without the requisite grain of salt:

    - Your point about guns is true, but keep in mind the context you are talking about here. There was very, very little private ownership of guns in Australia from the start. Gun laws were indeed toughened up and a buy-back instituted during the late 90s but it wasn't a particularly controversial issue because we simply don't have the gun culture that countries like the US do. If you have a legitimate reason to own guns (sports shooter, farmer, security, etc etc.) and are appropriately licensed, you could, and still can, own a gun. But the rest of us don't care that we can't because 99.9% of us never did and have probably never thought about guns in our lives.

    - What non-opt out internet filtering? Please stop spreading this myth. That proposal never even made it to the "introduced into Parliament as a Bill" stage, let alone actually got through the House and Senate and enacted into law. It was shot down in flames by the public and by most of the political parties. Two ISPs did implement a very basic filter blocking a handful of sites using a trivial-to-overcome method (they were not forced to do so - they did it of their own accord). But there are literally dozens of choices of ISPs in almost every area and if you don't like it, you are free to move to on of the other 95% of ISPs who don't filter.

    - What P2P traffic monitoring? I honestly have no idea what you are talking about and I follow the Internet industry here pretty closely. Are you confusing something you've read about a ~particular~ ISP's policy, and applying that to the country as a whole?

    - Aussie cattle dogs as common as mud here - the stereotypical farmer's or tradesman's dog. They don't generally have the same temperament as a pit bull so I'm not sure why they would be legislated against? Particularly as they are considered a national icon in many ways.

    Look I understand where you're coming from, but please, please remember that Slashdot articles are often hyped up, inaccurate and filled with hyperbole. Doubly so for stories originating outside the US where readers might not be aware of the other relevant facts and overall context of the article. The net filtering thing is a good example - it was constantly reported on here as if it was a done deal and we were all going to be subject to mandatory filtering, whereas the reality on the ground is that it was politically untenable and most people could see it couldn't/wasn't going to happen. And it didn't. A proposal by a few senators does not equal an enacted law ... but to this day half of Slashdot seems to think there is some kind of mandatory government-forced filtering here.

    The Australian character has changed over the last few decades to be sure (although not so much once you move outside of the large cities). That is inevitable - we are still a young country that is still maturing in many ways. What has changed though is the degree to which every little idea, random thought and proposal is reported on (often in as inflammatory language as possible to get page views).

    There are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be levelled against Australia without having to make things up. And on the flip side there are plenty of areas in which we can say we have resisted some of the big brother stuff seen in other countries - we have nowhere near the level of CCTV coverage as Europe does, we still have decent warrant requirements and safeguards regarding wiretapping, we have strong privacy and consumer protection laws, and we can still get on a plane without being nudie scanned, without taking our shoes off, without having to package up our liquids into sandwich bags etc etc. Every country has its vices and I don't think anywhere can truly say it's resisted Big Brother completely, unfortunately.

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