Thursday, May 7, 2015

Keep Yer Eye on the Cacti!

According to Paul Joseph Watson of, "The town of Paradise Valley in Arizona has installed license plate scanning cameras in fake cactuses with no public consultation whatsoever, just days after the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] announced its intention to revive a nationwide version of the program. Residents were alarmed to see the cactus cameras popping up throughout the town over the last few days with no indication of what they were being used for as city officials refused to explain their purpose until all the cameras were installed."  

Watson's 5-7-15 article, entitled "Town Installs License Plate Scanning Cameras in Cactuses," goes on to report that town leaders "initially declined to even talk to local station Fox 10 about the cameras, with Paradise Valley Police saying they were 'not prepared to make a statement at this time.' The network was similarly rebuffed when they attempted to get answers on license plate scanners that were being installed in traffic lights back in February.
"Fox 10’s Jill Monier was eventually able to speak to Town Manager Kevin Burke, who admitted that the cameras were being used to 'run license plates of cars against a hotlist database.'
"When asked why officials had been secretive about the cameras, which are being placed on the perimeter of the town, Burke asserted that there was 'nothing to hide' and that the cameras wouldn’t be activated until privacy concerns had been addressed.
"'Shouldn’t that have been vetted before they even went up?' asked Monier, to which Burke responded, 'It probably is fair.'
"The cameras are part of a $2 million 'technology upgrade' passed by the council last year. It is not known whether the Department of Homeland Security contributed to this figure, although the DHS has funded the introduction of license plate scanners in other cities."
In the decided opinion of, these camouflaged cameras would have been far more aesthetically pleasing if the state of Arizona had hired world famous Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman to design the cacti.  Alas, this idea did not occur to them.
To read Watson's entire article (and watch the aforementioned Fox 10 news report), simply click HERE.

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