Apr 042012
 

Shaun Dakin just pointed me to this op-ed by Dana Milbank:

You can find just about anything at the annual homeland security expo: X-ray machines, infrared cameras, a police cruiser with heat-sensing capability, a hovering “gyroplane” — and a GPS device that can spy on your spouse.

The salesman for Blackline GPS Corp., maker of “professional grade covert tracking” equipment, explained that his devices, in the shape of a legal envelope ($700) or an electric razor ($300), can be tucked behind seat cushions, under floor mats or into backpacks.

“We’re getting more requests from husbands and wives,” he explained. “I’ve seen guys throw it in their wives’ car and cover it with a hat. It keeps honest people honest.”

Read more on Washington Post, where Dana names some of the companies whose devices are now being used not for Homeland Security, but for domestic surveillance by schools, businesses, and private individuals.

Shaun tweeted he wishes the post were an April Fool’s joke.  I’m wondering whether we need to create our own FUD campaign about how these devices can be used to spy on or track police officers or government officials to get the sale of these devices regulated.

Yes, we can prosecute those who misuse surveillance technology.  But it would help if it wasn’t so freely and legally available.

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