Surveillance-Peddlers Push Bogus Studies

October 22, 2009


They're watching you... but who's watching them?

Companies on the forefront of invasive and liberty-threatening surveillance systems are on the attack, paying big bucks for studies to “prove” that everyone loves being watched.

American Traffic Solutions, a red light camera and photo radar profiteer, claims a whopping 77 percent of NY voters supposedly support their revenue generating scheme. The “poll” was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, known for using trick questions and “push polling” to get the results desired by the client:

“As our roots are in political campaign management, our research is focused on producing information that compels decisions – and then results and across both political and public affairs research, as our tag line suggests, we work with our clients “Turning Questions into Answers.

BRS Labs, a developer of technology which “reports unusual or suspicious behaviors based on memories it has acquired through [surveillance camera] observations,” paid Harris Interactive to conclude 96 percent of Americans “feel the federal government… should be able to use video surveillance in an effort to counteract terrorism” and “protect” people in public places.

The survey continues:

“Four out of five adults feel that in extreme cases, such as a terrorist attack, the government should be able to use any available means to protect citizens…”

BRS’ product, “AiSight,” is an advanced snooping tool which compiles and records human activities into patterns. Patterns deemed unusual or unacceptable can be flagged. Independent camera systems can be integrated together, easily allowing a person to be tracked from place to place.

“AiSight takes visual input from a camera, learns what activities and behaviors are typical, and generates real-time alerts when it identifies activities that are not normal… It takes in external visual input (computer vision), while its machine learning engine observes the scene, learns and recognizes behavioral patterns and responds accordingly. Surveillance is 24/7…”

Feeling safer yet?

ATS To Introduce Overweight Photo Scam Cams

November 16, 2008

No, we aren’t making this headline up.

In fact, the official press release headline from American Traffic Solutions is this discombobulated, almost incoherent wall of text: “American Traffic Solutions to Unveil Overweight and Overheight Vehicle Photo Enforcement Systems at World Congress on ITS in NY.”

Freakishly tall? Overweight? Our first thought was that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano was going to become the “Photo Enforcer,” a Godzilla-like monster attacking motorists and ripping wallets from back pockets as she desperately tries to balance the budget on the backs of the citizens. (Imagine the screams: “Ahh! Janzilla!”)

To our disappointment, it turns out ATS is instead pitching a new revenue scheme to photograph and cite vehicles that are too tall or heavy:

ATS’ Axsis(TM) WIM-300 (Weight-in-Motion) system uses a combination of quartz weight-sensitive sensors embedded in the road and a roadside system that automatically monitors and isolates heavy vehicles. The sensors “read” the weight of a vehicle and can detect an overweight vehicle. Similarly, the Axsis(TM) Overheight photo enforcement system uses a laser to measure the vehicle’s height and detect violations. Images and video clips of the offending vehicles are captured similar to red-light and speed camera images. Images and data are transmitted to an ATS Data Center for enforcement.

First ATS sues “rival” Redflex for a smooth $100 million, and now they want friggin lasers on the friggin freeways to “measure” you?

Dr. Evil would be proud.

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