New York Failed Bomb Exposes Weakness in Surveillance Cameras Crime Fighting

After the failed car bombing in Times Square last month, grainy video images were broadcast across the country of the vehicle and a man next to it changing his shirt. The video was likely poured over for days in an attempt to find some clue at who was responsible for the offense. Ultimately, however, it did nothing to help. Continue reading “New York Failed Bomb Exposes Weakness in Surveillance Cameras Crime Fighting”

Pervasive Monitoring Watch: Licence Plate Scanning at the Mall?

Here’s another facinating article on possible (and likely) future uses for license plate scanners, this time by retail outlets. This kind of tracking, as people enter retail parking lots will almost surely happen as the technology becomes cheap enough and the information valuable enough.

One of the obvious questions this raises for anyone concerned with civil rights and privacy is: who owns, shares, and protects this data? Will the local mall be sharing this data directly with law enforcement agencies? Continue reading “Pervasive Monitoring Watch: Licence Plate Scanning at the Mall?”

More New York License Plate Scanner Police Stops

A Brewster man was flagged by a license plate scanner by Carmel, NY police for having a suspended license. The local police officer had on-board data that instantly identified the suspect’s car as having a license plate associated with a license under suspension.

These license plate scanners are matched with databases from courts and the DMV to identify stolen cars, and suspended licenses.

Interestingly, the police officer did not immediately have the driver’s vehicle associated with what he quickly found out to be an outstanding criminal arrest warrant.

Increasingly, license plate scanner technology also has current information on outstanding warrants, at least when the names can be matched with license plate data from the DMV.

We will keep watching for stories of license plate scanners leading to passive location of suspended licenses and criminal warrants in New York.

With this technology spreading everyday, you can’t expect to get away with these offense for long. If you have criminal legal problems, please contact us today for our advice. Find out what we can do to help you, with no obligation.

Charged with driving on a suspended license, or other criminal offenses in New York State? Contact our defense attorneys for a free consultation.

License Plate Scanner in Poughkeepsie to Track Parking Ticket Scofflaws

Six traffic tickets will get your car towed in Poughkeepsie, according to a new initiative to track down unpaid fines. An amnesty program will be in effect until November 1st which will waive late fees and fines, but after that point, you are at risk of much more serious fees if your car is towed and impounded.

A new city ordinance was passed to enable the towing and impounding of a person’s car who has 6 or more unpaid tickets. The city is said to have over $1 million in unpaid tickets that has yet to be collected, and with this aggressive action, they hope to collect 80% of that amount.

Of particular interest is that the Poughkeepie police will be using mobile license plate scanners to quickly identify any vehicles that have outstanding parking tickets. These devices can check at least several hundred plates an hour, just by driving by a parked vehicle. The video camera scans the plate, and matches the tag number using optical character recognition to a database of outstanding ticket violators.

Reason enough to get any traffic or parking citations resolved quickly, but it also should suggest that they will be using this technology for other law enforcement purposes. One these license plate scanners are in place and online, they can be used to match data from the DMV, and any law enforcement agency and court database. Common uses for these tag scanners are in locating stolen vehicles, and drivers with outstanding criminal warrants or suspended driver’s licenses.

This technology is becoming widespread across New York police departments and nationwide. Earlier, we mentioned that stationary plate scanners may be used to identify every driver entering New York City/Manhattan under efforts by homeland security agencies.

All NYC Cars to be Scanned and Recorded Under Operation Sentinel

One of the goals New York’s police commissioner is to scan and record all license plates of vehicles entering Manhattan. The implications of this are significant for anyone who might be driving on a suspended license, or have an outstanding criminal court warrant. It is quickly becoming nearly impossible to get away with these offenses.

The effort is part of a larger counterterrorism plan to track potential terrorists, and tie radiation signals to cars or trucks. But the technology for scanning license plates and cross-checking vehicle owner records with warrants, and other New York DMV database driver flags is already in place.

The fact is that you can be stopped anytime for driving down the road if you have any of these known issues. Currently, these scanners are video cameras mounted to police cruisers. They passively scan thousands of license plates an hour by simply driving down the road, or sitting by the side of the highway. If a license plate is flagged by the DMV, the courts, or any other law enforcement database, the police officer is instantly alerted to pull you over.

But now that technology is proposed to be mounted by the side of the road. It is easy to imagine how this ability could be abused by the government. They will have logs of where you’ve driving, and potentially be able to access this data historically, from years past.

And there is no legal way to opt out of this constant monitoring. At least with EZ-Pass technology, you can choose not to participate in tracking your use of toll roads by paying cash.

If you are facing any criminal charge in the State of New York, please contact us for a consultation.