The Panopticon Expands: Distracted Driving Cams+

Precedent always becomes practice.

Having established as legitimate the use of cameras to robotically ticket people for “speeding” and “running” red lights — timed to go red quickly, to ensnare as many drivers as possible — it was only a matter of time before the principle to include automatically ticketing people for using their cell phones while driving.

But it’s more than just cameras now, and it will be more than just cell phone use that’s targeted for confiscation (of your money, that is).

Because why shouldn’t it be?

If it is okay to steal people’s money (which is what we’re talking about here, shorn of the euphemistic language about “fines”) for those things, why not this thing?

Why not anything the government and its corporate “partners” who profit from it decide is ungood?

Buckle-up laws, for instance? How about breaking traction?

In Australia, the same place that is the first place to use the AI cameras to “catch” cell phone “violators” who will be fined to the tune of $344-$457 for not harming anyone.

In the past, police had to witness the infraction, but now, cameras can witness everything everywhere.

All the time.

Control freaks and busybodies will erect a network to make it impossible to “get away” with ignoring any regulation. Pre-Panopticon, the myriad tyrannical laws on the books, had the upside of being to a great extent ignorable.

Have a look around and up the next time you’re out driving. In most parts of the country, these creepy cams can be seen perched on top of every traffic signal arm, or curbside.

Also tied to the Panopticon, police vehicles are now equipped with mobile cameras: automated license plate readers, speed cameras and dashboard cams. Now officials want to replace parking meters with “smart” meters with cameras in them—also tied into the same panopticon.

Soon, wherever you drive and park, you will be seen. Anything and everything that is not in order will be noticed. Not by a human, but by an artificial intelligence overlord. Here’s a quote from an eerily predictive line of the original Terminator movie, way back in 1984, “…cannot be reasoned with or bargained with . . . literally.”

Another precedent that was allowed to pass into practice with the adoption of camera enforcement was the vitiation of the government’s obligation to establish guilt before fleecing.

Elected officials and paid government bureaucrats shifted traffic offenses from court-adjudicated to civil administrative actions. Civil court is the domain where the obligation of the presumed guilty to will have to fight for rights to reverse the camera’s verdict.

The rules of court procedure and due process do not apply. The presumed guilty verdict is subject to reversal not by evidence or its lack but rather according to the whim of whomever or whatever the government-corporate nexus.

You can sometimes send in an “explanation” and whatever else you like, but it’s perfunctory, like the practice in Elizabethan times of permitting the condemned to say a few words before the executioner lopped off his head. The head-lopping was never in doubt.

Today, if the government wants your money, they’ll take your money (to borrow a turn of phrase from another eerily prescient movie).

There is one upside to all of this, though.

When it becomes impossible to leave your driveway (and maybe not even that) without being observed and subsequently fleeced, people might begin to object. Try to imagine what it would be like if you had to obey every speed limit to the letter. Or making full stops and waiting a three second count at every stop sign. Never dare a right-on-red, an HOV “violation” or an unbuckled ride.

No “aggressive” acceleration, either.

Your papers, all of them, must always be in order, too.

That’s what’s coming, unless we decide to reject the principle and establish a new precedent. There’s still time.

The clock, however, is ticking — and midnight approaches.


Photo by: Melissa Buchanan |  VIRIN: 130604-F-LI904-002.JPG

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