Friday, September 15, 2006

Big Brother really is watching

This is just outrageous. A California company provided $250,000 worth of hidden-camera, night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment used by police throughout the Wakarusa festival grounds as a free demonstration for marketing purposes.
The company estimated that they were able to cover 85 percent of the festival grounds with about a half dozen hidden cameras. ...Four of its cameras were “consistently deployed” throughout the festival, and at least two others were there to be used as needed, according to the company. The cameras were controlled by a computerized command center in a 21-foot trailer that was parked atop a hill in the middle of a Frisbee golf course inside the park.

“Nobody knew,” said Kevin Danciak, the company’s Midwestern sales representative. “It just looked like parabolic dishes on top of a trailer.”
Well nobody except the police and allegedly the promoter.
At least a month before the festival began, Schecher said, promoter Brett Mosiman was notified of the plan for security cameras. Mosiman did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.
Unfortunately, he didn't think to warn the festival goers. They should have had signs at the gate. But this is the most telling fact of the whole scheme.
Police seized more than $11,000 in suspected drug money, but some of that came outside the festival grounds in a Kansas Highway Patrol checkpoint.
That's those forfeiture laws again. Anybody who got busted by those cameras lost all the cash in their pocket and the cops get to keep that money. But they can't use it to pay for man hours, they can only buy equipment with it. Like secret surveillance systems that could be deployed anywhere.

Think about it.

[hat tip JackL]


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