DHS helping public transit to record audio of private passenger conversations

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Mike, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    SF MUNI is incredibly crowded, expensive, unreliable, and unpleasant. As if SF'ns needed another reason to walk instead of ride MUNI across the seven mile-wide City.
    No, but MUNI adspace isn't that expensive. :D
  2. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    When I travel Muni, I tend to use the rail and streetcars, not the buses. Rail and streetcar are ok. can't speak to the expense. Cheaper than BART.
  3. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    "Cheaper than BART" is of course saying very little. What is it? $12 to get from SFO to downtown?

    The historic trolleys on Market/waterfront are lovely. The older the stock, the louder (except from some near-deafening BART tube rides I've taken), so miking the cars to pick up even soft conversations seems pretty difficult to filter through were that even warranted (pun intended).

    My favorite trolleys are the orange ones from Milan with their original "No Spitting" signs in Italian. It seems easy to add/replace the cardboard advertisements with ones that make the riders aware of the Stazi-state recording, in the many languages of the international riders.:D
  4. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    Ermm, huh?
  5. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    These types of tactics and behaviors strike at the fabric of civil liberty. You shouldn't need a SCOTUS pronouncement to help you perceive that. I'm disappointed that the only objection to bugging the public was on pragmatic grounds of poor results.
    Doober and DeafBlonde like this.
  6. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I have (until now) not commented on how I feel about this other than it is a waste of time IMHO. Things like the increased surveillance in public sectors is something that has been steadily increasing over the last 30 years worldwide. I personally dislike the process, it is getting to the point that you will be excoriated for having an opinion counter to the generalized (read published "public") opinion of something, and that is simply wrong. We are a diverse population with as many opinions as there are people. I dislike this addition of more surveillance equipment in the public transit sector - that being said, the powers that be are going to use the "no expectation" clause to justify these programs, and technically speaking, they are right. Until more specific legislation prevents things like this, more and more sources of this type of open mic/live feed surveillance will continue to pop up all over the place. Sometimes questioning the ability of the system to provide useful information is better than protesting it based on something that has already been legally decided. Of course, the first time one of these systems yields in a big drug bust or results in some form of prevention of loss of life or limb, all bets are off.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I think we have an expectation of not having government monitoring us every second of every day but your department, DHS, seems to think differently. There comes a point when people should know that some things are just wrong. Things like TSA terrorizing a disabled 12 year old girl.
  8. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    And this, of course, will pull back the veil over the true problem - political opportunism.

    "But look at all that EEEEEVIL METH they confiscated (erm, sorry, that the dealers "voluntarily surrendered")! They never would have gotten it if it weren't for those clever recording devices!"

    "But look at how many LIVES were saved! Saving lives is always more important than saving the inalienable rights that make life worth living! Safety is more important than freedom! After all, where do you think we are, some nation of freedom-loving, life-hating principle like the United States?"

    I think humans are hardwired to look for and support "good thing" justifications. Fighting against that in the name of rights and individual liberty is always among our hardest battles.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Quite the opposite -- criminal cases are the most clear-cut opportunities to reinforce these boundaries.
  10. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Rugape, I think you're making this more difficult than it deserves and over analyzing it. First, does it matter what the rest of the world is doing in this regard? America used to lead the world in a new experience of liberty, not follow the worn patterns of enslavement and servitude found in the old world. Second, forget about what has been "legally" decided by some quislings in black. It's a simple exercise to envision what this kind of world looks like, with video and audio feeds of your conversations taken and stored as you travel by bus, or by train or by cab or as you walk on the street or sit in a public park: wherever you go or are. Maybe, maybe, within the narrow walls of your own house, there alone can you talk freely. Think about what that does to free speech. If you know everything you say is being monitored, it immediately destroys free speech and free association with others. You become very guarded in what you say at all times because at all times you are aware of being monitored.

    Seriously, is this the world we want to live in? Would you want your kids and grandkids living like this? I don't. That's an awful legacy to leave behind, isn't it?
  11. Rugape

    Rugape Original Member

    I can't argue with what you are saying, I dislike the process just as much as you do. It used to be ok to have an opinion on something that was counterculture (remember the 60s and 70s when the whole direction of moralism and life style changed because of an increase in rejection of older social mores?), it seems that more and more, that is simply not the case. It used to be "I disagree with what you are saying, but will defend to the death your right to say it", now it is a public lambasting for not toeing the socially acceptable version (read politically correct) of things. I was simply pointing out that sometimes there is more than one way to skin a buck, and attacking the effectiveness works better in the public eye than fighting things on legal grounds.

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