Saturday, December 03, 2005

Canada's anti-speeding system and shrinking surveillance-free space

These are the kind of stories that make me cringe.

Report: Canada testing device that alerts drivers whenever the exceed speed limits.
"The system being tested by Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation, uses a global positioning satellite device installed in the car to monitor the car's speed and position. If the car begins to significantly exceed the speed limit for the road on which it's travelling the system responds by making it harder to depress the gas pedal..."

On the surface it looks like a bunch of do-gooders trying to protect people from themselves. Bad enough. Below the surface lurks Big Brother.

If Transport Canada knows how fast you're going and where you're going, what's to stop them from issuing speeding tickets, compiling a dossier on where and when you travel, and otherwise tracking the whereabouts of ordinary people who aren't breaking any laws including the speed limits, etc. ?

The problem is one of practicality. Once a system is built no matter it's original purpose human beings will want to use it for anything it's capable of doing.

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