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View Diary: "Papers, Please!" Declared Unconstitutional on NYC Transit. (55 comments)

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  •  I really don't understand where (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar

    the incurision of civil liberties is, especially in the case of license plate readers. That's nothing more then what police can do now physically

    The same thing with asking for a valid photo id, shouldn't the police be able to know who they are interacting with?

    I realize that my stance on civil liberties isn't the same but I would welcome a more detailed explaination of why either is an infringement of civil liberties.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:07:49 PM PDT

    •  In America (0+ / 0-)

      We are supposed to have the right to live our lives freely and without constant surveillance.  (See the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments, to begin with).

      The police are not supposed to have a demand right to interact with us unless they have probable cause to believe that we may have committed a crime.  Courts have provided exceptions (unduly broad exceptions in my opinion) when a compelling public safety interest is shown.  Thus the regulation to allow searching of backpacks when entering the subway, for instance because subways have been bombed and gassed in terrorist attacks elsewhere with devices that could be carried in a backpack.

      However, using public transit is not a crime.  Walking along the street is not a crime.  Talking with someone on a street corner, or giving a speech in a public space, is not a crime.  Therefore, the police have no business "interacting" with you while you are engaged in those activities.  Therefore, no business asking for your ID.

      It was not long ago that we Americans routinely held ourselves up as better than the Soviets and Eastern European regimes because of their extensive surveillance systems and insistence that every person be able to produce their ID on demand from the authorities.  We are becoming them.  

      The OP is about one small victory for freedom when we have constantly seen the attempt to normalize police activity that a generation ago would more likely have been compared to expectations in the Soviet Union or East Germany and condemned.

      It is the ACLU and other organizations standing up for the right of Americans to be free to go on with their ordinary lives free of hassle from the police.  

      •  License Plate Readers (0+ / 0-)

        I realize I got a little off-topic in replying to the specific comment about license plate readers.

        The objection to automated license plate readers is the ability it gives the authorities to track the automobile's movement.  As in the above reference to surveillance, ordinarily, Americans should be free to live their lives without constant monitoring of the authorities.  Otherwise, I question what sort of freedom we actually are talking about when we say Americans are free.

        Automatic plate readers feed into the total information awareness system of universal surveillance.  That is the objection.

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