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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:44 AM

Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/12/public-bus-audio-surveillance/



Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations
By Kim Zetter
12.10.12

Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.

The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.

The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.

It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.

34 replies, 2627 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations (Original post)
unhappycamper Dec 2012 OP
peacebird Dec 2012 #1
Sherman A1 Dec 2012 #2
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #6
Selatius Dec 2012 #7
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #9
-..__... Dec 2012 #24
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #25
DRS Dec 2012 #26
marmar Dec 2012 #3
woo me with science Dec 2012 #13
woo me with science Dec 2012 #18
PopeOxycontinI Dec 2012 #4
DCKit Dec 2012 #5
woo me with science Dec 2012 #14
Chemisse Dec 2012 #29
1monster Dec 2012 #8
PopeOxycontinI Dec 2012 #10
hootinholler Dec 2012 #11
1monster Dec 2012 #22
Historic NY Dec 2012 #12
woo me with science Dec 2012 #15
Robb Dec 2012 #16
FarCenter Dec 2012 #17
jberryhill Dec 2012 #28
woo me with science Dec 2012 #19
woo me with science Dec 2012 #20
woo me with science Dec 2012 #21
snagglepuss Dec 2012 #23
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #30
jberryhill Dec 2012 #27
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #31
Rex Dec 2012 #32
d_r Dec 2012 #33
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #34

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:46 AM

1. Why Isn't this illegal?

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Response to peacebird (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:51 AM

2. While I think this is a dumb idea

the question you raise on legality, I think would be answered by expectation of privacy. Sitting on a public bus, talking to someone else, just what would be your expectation of privacy?

I for one would not expect it to be very high.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:50 AM

6. I would expect a one on one conversation with anyone, anywhere....

to be private. If sitting on a bus, speaking in a low voice with another passenger, that is to be expected to be a private conversation. And certainly a conversation not intended to be eavesdropped on by the government. If you have to use sensitive microphones to pick up low sounds.....that is not a sound that is intended for the public.

This sounds much like a fascist dictatorship practice. The sort of thing in the book 1984. It's very scary. Even in public, it is scary to be videotaped and recorded everywhere you go, except your house. Even your car tracks you now.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:02 AM

7. In a technical sense, we're already in the world of Orwell's 1984.

Your cellphone likely can be used as a GPS tracker on you if you possess a smart phone. Internet habits can easily be followed nowadays. Traffic cameras can record the license plate number of your vehicle, establishing your location at a specific time at a specific intersection. The whole dust-up over the government granting immunity to telecom companies was over telephone companies tapping people's lines for the benefit of the government without a legal search warrant.

Adding audio to the mix will simply further complete a portrait of tyranny and total information surveillance that has been close to being complete for a very long time now.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:13 AM

9. I'm so upset by all this, when I think about it, that I actually had a nightmare about it.

I moved into a new apartment. It was being renovated, when I visited to see how things were going. They were pulling down all the sheetrock, and there in the walls was an extensive array of wiring for eavesdropping on me, put there by the government. I was very upset.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:39 PM

24. Ever watch "The Conversation" with Gene Hackman?

 

That's exactly what he did.

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Response to -..__... (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:52 PM

25. Yes! It was like that. Except it wasn't just MY apartment....

I got the impression in teh nightmare that it was the whole apt complex.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:01 PM

26. Cool

 

Was Obama in your dream....?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:53 AM

3. It's almost like they're preparing for massive civil unrest or something.....


..... the paranoid surveillance state here is getting Stalin-esque.


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Response to marmar (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:26 AM

13. Almost, huh.

It's "quietly" getting mighty dystopian out there...


Media?

Democratic President "constitutional scholar"?

Anyone?

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #13)


Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:01 AM

4. Watch the freeepers...

get all up in arms about this like they did the NDAA. It was okay when Bush did this shit, but it's not ok when it happens under Obama. Hypocrites. Just wait.

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Response to PopeOxycontinI (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:46 AM

5. Then it's up to us to ensure they know all about it.

 

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Response to PopeOxycontinI (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:37 AM

14. Wouldn't it be nice

if EVERYONE got up in arms about this.

Wouldn't it be nice if people stopped being lemmings and apologists for the "blue team" or the ""red team" and decided together that this authoritarian police state crap will no longer be tolerated by any of us.

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Response to PopeOxycontinI (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:42 PM

29. It's never okay, no matter who is president.

I think everybody should be upset about this, not just one side or the other.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:04 AM

8. Many years ago, when Chile was having its problems with a military junta, I read an

article in NEWSWEEK magazine about two women who were having a conversation on a public bus when one complained to the other about the high prices of groceries since the junta took over. The woman was removed from the bus at the next stop and not heard from again...

Fascism never rests.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:21 AM

10. I doubt...

that the secret police could have responded to a recording so fast. Someone must have been standing there listening. That could already be the case here. We must be very careful making even innocent comments in public, sad as that may be.

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Response to PopeOxycontinI (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:15 AM

11. Fuck that! I refuse to "be careful" about my comments.

Come and get me for my speech! Better come now and arrest me for what I'm about to say too.

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Response to PopeOxycontinI (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:15 PM

22. I wasn't suggesting that the conversation was tape recorded. Only that we could

expect similar things if tape recordings were ubiquitous. I'm pretty sure that someone on the bus was responsible for her arrest.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:59 AM

12. first taxi cab confessions...hey HBO bus's could be a whole new source..

of shocking reality cable.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:07 PM

16. Outrage over perhaps the LAST public space without cameras?

Nice timing.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:12 PM

17. These are probably installed on advice of counsel to protect against lawsuits - do they call 911?

So there is a record of what happened.

Also, it helps keep the driver safe from assault and battery.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:42 PM

28. It is for the protection of the driver

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:26 PM

19. "Department of Homeland Security"

Feel secure yet?

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:36 PM

20. Kick

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:55 PM

21. kick

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:34 PM

23. I can see a silver lining.

Perhaps eavesdropping will make people stop shouting into their cell phones.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

30. that is horrible isn't it? Road bus for 2 months early in 2012. OMG. One woman in particular

held nonstop shouted conversation every morning on otherwise crowded bus.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:41 PM

27. 152 Assaults On Philly Bus Drivers Since 2009

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/03/19/attacks-on-septa-bus-drivers-continue-to-grow/

Being a bus driver in any city has become a dangerous occupation, and video does not record what leads up to an attack and why or why not a driver may have acted a particular way.

Dozens of Philadelphia bus drivers are attacked each year.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:44 PM

31. Weird. Can't think of why this would be necessary.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:45 PM

32. Big Brother love all his children

but some he loves even more than normal!

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:46 PM

33. who's going to listen to that?

I try hard not to listen.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:06 AM

34. K&R

- How do you like your Police State, rare, medium, or well done? Ohhh, I'm sorry, rare is no longer possible. Neither is medium or well done. Burnt is all that's left......

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