web analytics

Digital speed cameras & mass surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, June 6th, 2014 - 30 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, democracy under attack, Spying, sustainability, telecommunications, transport - Tags: ,

The main NZ news outlets are reporting on the new digital speed cameras about to be progressively installed around the country.  They report it as an improvement that will enable more accurate and efficient recording of people who drive above the speed limit.  They fail to make any mention of the extra capabilities of digital cameras, which could be used for mass surveillance of the population.

One_Nation_Under_CCTV_Newman_Street_22nd_April_2008

Reported on Stuff:

The $10 million project will see 56 digital cameras in place across the country by the end of next year.

[…]

Assistant road policing commissioner Dave Cliff said the initial rollout in Auckland and Wellington was a milestone after police announced plans last July to modernise and expand its fixed speed camera network. The current network is almost 20 years old and uses outdated wet-film technology.

The article is all about how this will improve road safety.

Reported on the NZ Herald site:

The 12 sites announced today were a mix of existing and new locations.

“We have consulted with people in those communities directly affected by placement of the cameras, who were all resoundingly supportive of having them in their neighbourhoods to improve road safety,” Mr Cliff said.

Neither of these articles, nor the 3 News, nor the RNZ reports explain exactly how the technologies differ in practice.

An earlier report on Stuff (April 2014) does explain something of the new capabilities.

They will be able to monitor traffic in both directions across as many as six lanes, and to distinguish between vehicles allowed to travel at 100kmh and those, such as trucks, or cars towing trailers, which can travel at only 90kmh.

Images from the digital cameras can be sent by wire over a secure network, unlike traditional cameras, in which the film has to be changed manually.

The new ones use infrared light and have no visible flash. They have two radars – one to identify speeding cars by measuring speed three times in quick succession, and taking the middle speed, and the other to identify the lane the car is in. The radars double-check the speed reading before the camera takes a picture.

As I recall, when the planned use of these digital cameras were first reported on, some Standardistas were concerned that they could be used for mass surveillance.  This is in the context of concerns about the increasing use of invasive mass surveillance technologies by state authorities, for spying on citizens.

Whats wrong with ANPR

What’s wrong with ANPR (Oct 2013) – UK: Privacy Report Blasts Use Of License Plate Cameras.

As in the UK, in the US in February 2014, The Atlantic reported on concerns about being able to digitally record the movement of cars using license plate recognition software.  This is not what will be done with the new digital speed cameras, which will only photograph speeding vehicles.  Nevertheless, it is a step in the direction of increased digitised surveillance of the public.

Firstly the Atlantic article argues that road safety would be better approached by enticing people out of using their cars so much. Then it focused on technologies already in use in many states to track suspicious or criminal activities:

“All of this information is being placed into databases, and is sometimes pooled into regional sharing systems […] All too frequently, these data are retained permanently and shared widely with few or no restrictions on how they can be used.”

The potential for abuse was obvious.

[…]

A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson told Ars Technica that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “is exploring the ability to obtain access to a National License Plate Recognition database—allowing officers and agents to identify subjects of ongoing criminal investigations.”

The Washington Post got an official response too. “It is important to note that this database would be run by a commercial enterprise,” ICE said, “and the data would be collected and stored by the commercial enterprise, not the government.” […] A database of our movements that is privately held and accessible to the government is the worst possible combination.

At the very least, the MSM should be reporting on all the implications of the introduction of new digital technologies, and not just repeating the police press releases.  The current context is of increasing digital surveillance of citizens, often as much in the interests of international corporates as in the protection from foreign threats to our physical security.  In such a context, there should be widespread public discussion about the increasing use of digital surveillance of citizens as they go about their daily activities.

 

30 comments on “Digital speed cameras & mass surveillance ”

  1. minarch 2

    Cool, i just bought a new slingshot……

  2. Colonial Viper 3

    Beyond the privacy/surveillance aspects.

    These cameras will all be connected to number plate character recognition systems and the country’s vehicle database.

    If your warrant or rego is out of date when you drive past one of these cameras you will now be automatically fined $200 (or whatever it is) on each count. The infringement notice goes out into the mail to you without having to pass through any human hands.

    • Crashcart 3.1

      That was my primary concern CV. Not so much the rego but whether or not this camera only recorded the details if you are speeding. The fact that it always registers the number plate means there is the ability to use this equipemnt to track peoples movement.

    • karol 3.2

      Do you have any sources that show in NZ, the digital speed cameras will also check for vehicles without a current WOF or registration?

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Just my contacts in Dunedin who have seen the system being set up down here. I don’t know if it is part of the system’s initial capabilities, but it is part of the roll out plan.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        Most likely to be illegal same as at present it’s illegal to put on plastic covers that prevent cameras from taking an accurate picture of your number plate. Especially considering that the only purpose of such things is to help you break the law.

    • Dumrse 3.4

      Conspiracy, the theory to use when all else fails.

      • felix 3.4.1

        Eh? What conspiracy?

      • Murray Olsen 3.4.2

        This is not theory, though. These things are being rolled out. They will have the capability of taking photos of every car, even if that isn’t used in the beginning. Years of experience tell us that a government enforcement agency does not let technical capabilities sit unused.

        Your pseudonym is very apt.

  3. vto 4

    only deal is to log off.

    no fancy phone

    only use cash (its quicker and easier anyway).

    In fact the promotion of phones as some betterment is a joke (who wants work arriving on their plate at all hours of the day and night and in all locations? Eh?). And similarly with paymet with cards – always always slower.

    but, you know, if you want to have your life recorded for the future fascists to trawl through before they knock on your door in their jackboots then go right ahead ……

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      only deal is to log off.

      Yep…going off grid…or as the intel services call it…going dark.

      • Richard Christie 4.1.1

        only deal is to log off.
        going dark.

        hmm, soon, I suspect, in their mind that in itself will be very suspicious, justifiable cause for Her Majesty’s services to mark you for special attention.

        They appear to have an insatiable desire for total surveillance.

    • weka 4.2

      “but, you know, if you want to have your life recorded for the future fascists to trawl through before they knock on your door in their jackboots then go right ahead ……”

      Better get off the internet too 😉

  4. Naki man 5

    This is great news for law abiding citizens, more tracking of criminal activity. Less criminal scum on the streets. Bring it on.

    • Richard Christie 5.1

      Yes, I expect it’ll be heaven for the grammatically challenged as well.

      The term is fewer, not less.

  5. “Less criminal scum on the streets.”

    You must have posted in the wrong thread, this is about speeders, not Banksy.

    • Naki man 6.1

      “Less criminal scum on the streets.”
      You must have posted in the wrong thread, this is about speeders, not Banksy.
      No Meat head the post is about speed cameras and surveillance you need some of labours night classes on reading and comprehension.

  6. Daveosaurus 7

    Quite aside from all the rights and wrongs of what they’re doing – do you mean to say they’ve still been using film while most of the rest of the world has long gone digital? That’s at about the same level as if their police cars were still rolling around on cross-ply tyres.

    Anyway, even the current Government (when in opposition) acknowledged that all that speed cameras are about is revenue-gathering.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Anyway, even the current Government (when in opposition) acknowledged that all that speed cameras are about is revenue-gathering.

      Well, that’s what they called it – probably because them and their rich mates were getting caught speeding by them. Of course, if no one was breaking the law by speeding they wouldn’t be able to generate any revenue.

  7. Hi,

    We wrote to the Police asking them if they were going to use these new red light and speed cameras to do automated number plate recognition. They replied and, as of 1st August 2013, denied it. Check out our questions and their response here: https://fyi.org.nz/request/1007-do-the-new-red-light-and-speed-cameras-support-anpr

    There’s also some more background about Police use of ANPR in NZ here: http://techliberty.org.nz/police-confirm-theyre-not-keeping-anpr-data/

    About time we sent an update question to make sure those answers are still valid!

    Cheers,

    Thomas Beagle
    Tech Liberty NZ

    • karol 8.1

      Thanks, Thomas. I’d be very interested in their answer.

      3 News tonight reported that the digital speed cameras wouldn’t be used for the kind of things done in Perth: to identify people talking on mobiles while driving, etc.

      • Naki man 8.1.1

        Yes I saw that karol they said our camera’s are not capable of focusing on mobiles and seatbelts.

  8. RedBaronCV 9

    Funny how the Dunedin city council which has huge bills from the Stadium can afford one of these surveillance systems.
    Funny how the cops can afford these surveillance systems and 72 people to raid Dotcom and a big presence outside NACT functions but can’t be bovvered with the roast busters or enforcing protection orders (in dunedin).
    Funny how it seems that at least a part of our road toll is from right hand driving countries. Are these cameras going to shout at anyone on the wrong side of the road.
    And our forestry which kills how many? Some surveillance cameras on the bosses might be a good idea.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      Given the foreign criminals that National ministers associate with, surveillance cameras at Cabinet Club events would be a great idea. After all, if they’ve got nothing to hide……..

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bill to transform drinking water safety passes
    The Government today passed legislation that will transform drinking water safety and improve environmental outcomes for our wastewater and stormwater networks. “The Water Services Act gives Taumata Arowai the legal authority to carry out its duties as New Zealand’s dedicated water regulator. This represents a major transformational advance for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor to travel to Europe and US to support economic re...
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Europe and the United States on Thursday this week to advance New Zealand’s trade and economic interests with key partners, including representing New Zealand at the G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Italy. It follows recent engagement between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Asia New Zealand Foundation Chair and Board members announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Dame Fran Wilde, DNZM, QSO, as the new Chair to the Board of the Asia New Zealand Foundation – Te Whītau Tūhono. “Dame Fran Wilde has been a trustee since 2019 and I am confident that her experience and deep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Latest KiwiSaver Annual Report shows promising benefits for members
    The latest KiwiSaver Annual Report from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), highlights how Government’s recent policy tweaks have positively benefitted New Zealanders, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said today. “Fourteen people so far have withdrawn their funds early thanks to a rule modification made in March this year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Reasons for permitted travel across Alert Level boundary expanded
    From 11:59pm tonight additional reasons for permitted travel will be introduced for movement across the Auckland boundary, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “As this outbreak has shown Delta is highly transmissible, and in order to be confident of controlling its spread, restrictions at the Alert Level boundary have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Tenancy measures introduced to further support COVID-19 impacted businesses and tenants
    The Government has introduced changes to help ease the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on both commercial and residential tenancies. As part of the COVID-19 Response Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament, measures are being taken to help businesses resolve disputes over commercial rent, as well as provide greater certainty for landlords ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Details of interest deductibility rules released
    The Government has released the draft legislation outlining the details of the policy limiting the deductibility of interest costs on residential property investments. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the interest limitation proposals, announced in March, aim to stem investor demand for existing residential properties. They do not affect the main ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • GPS sets long-term direction for housing, urban development
    The Government has today laid out its long-term vision for housing and urban development in Aotearoa New Zealand, ensuring we have the infrastructure and homes needed to nurture thriving communities in the decades to come. The Housing Minister Megan Woods says the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government welcomes collaboration between Vector and X
    A move by Vector to form a strategic collaboration with X, (formerly Google X) to work together on the virtualisation of the Auckland electricity grid highlights the type of innovation that can help decarbonise and decentralise the electricity system, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The visualisation of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • PM farewells Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy
    The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy completes her five year term as Governor-General of New Zealand today. “Today marks the end of an eventful term of office for Dame Patsy and I want to acknowledge and thank her for her tireless service to New Zealand over the last five years,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government delivers on improving health and equity outcomes for women
    ACC cover for maternal childbirth injuries Government working to improve and strengthen maternity services The Government is laying the foundations for a better future by improving equity and health outcomes for women through amending ACC legislation and an updated Maternity Action Plan. “Amongst a suite of changes, we’re proposing to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech at launch of the Dementia Economic Impact Report
    E nga mana E nga reo E nga iwi Tēna kotou katoa Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. No reira tēna koutou katoa Acknowledgements Thank you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Backing world-class innovation in New Zealand
    $12 million Government investment to support cutting-edge R&D in New Zealand by international businesses Dawn Aerospace and Merlin Labs join Innovative Partnership’s Airspace Integration Trials programme MOU signed with Air New Zealand to conduct a nationwide feasibility study into sustainable aviation fuels The Government is propelling cutting-edge innovation through a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • One-way quarantine free travel dates confirmed for RSE scheme
    From 4 October RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand From 12 October RSE workers Samoa and Tonga from can begin arriving into New Zealand As part of a programme of work to reopen our borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced quarantine free ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More community grants to support youth mental wellbeing
    The Government continues to make more mental health and wellbeing supports available to young people to ensure services are there when and where they need them, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “More than twenty community-led projects have now received a funding boost through The Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Self-isolation pilot to start with 150 people
    The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Poroporoaki: Waka Joseph Nathan
    E Waka e, kei hea ra koe, kua ngaro nei i te iwi e, E kawe nei i ngā rongo, i ngā mahara mōu, i ngā wawata i hua mai i a koe. E Waka e, haere ra, kei te tuahu koe o te ati a toa, Kei poho tonu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Canterbury school students get hands-on with food and fibre careers
    Secondary school students in Canterbury will have the breadth of food and fibre careers showcased to them thanks to a new initiative launched today, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Canterbury is a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries and SmartNZ, a charitable trust that connects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthened reporting will improve abortion and sterilisation services
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced new data and reporting regulations which will help improve abortion and sterilisation services in New Zealand, by painting a clearer picture of the need in our communities. “The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who needs to access abortion services can, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government invests in restoring iconic South Canterbury river valleys
    The Government is investing up to $18.4 million over four years to create jobs and help restore braided river valleys, alpine and pastoral lands in the South Island as part of its Jobs for Nature programme Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor announced. Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago