[Politech] Mixed feelings about Californians ratting out neighbors' cars [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 27 2004 - 21:02:00 PDT

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Cops ask Californians to rat on their 
    neighbors'	cars [priv]
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 14:32:15 -0500
    From: Craig S. Cottingham <craig@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <408E8A0D.3000205@private>
    
    On Tue, 2004-04-27 at 11:27, Declan McCullagh wrote:
     > -------- Original Message --------
     > Subject: For Politech: CA CHP asks motorists to rat on their neighbors...
     > Under the project, the public is being urged to use a CHP website to
     > anonymously report possible violations,
     > http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/cheaters.html.
    
    I don't see anything on that page that certifies that (a) I am a citizen
    of the state of California and (b) the information I'm submitting is to
    my knowledge true. (Maybe if you submit information, you get such a
    statement to acknowledge before continuing; I haven't tried it.)
    
    In other words, I can sit here in my house in the Midwest and enter fake
    license plate sightings until my fingers are sore, and there's nothing
    legally wrong with that.
    
    If I *really* wanted to cause trouble, I'd make note of license plates
    and the make/model/color the cars they're attached to as I pass them on
    the road or at the shopping mall. A check with the appropriate state
    database would confirm that yes, that plate really *is* registered to a
    car of that make/model/color, and a CHP officer would have to spend time
    finding out that the owner isn't actually a resident of California.
    
    Then again, maybe they'll just take the easy way out, assume guilt until
    innocence is proven, send a bill and a threatening letter, and leave it
    up to the plate registrant to prove that he or she *isn't* a resident of
    California.
    
    -- 
    Craig S. Cottingham
    craig@private
    
    
    
    
    
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Cops ask Californians to rat on their 
    neighbors' cars [priv]
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 12:52:02 -0700
    From: Christopher Buja <cbuja@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    
    of course, the same subject heading could read "CHP asks for help in
    getting everyone to pull their own weight"  Hard not to get tired of the
    number of Texas and Idaho plates, one sees.   And this from someone who
    grew up in a very central-government-leery state of Montana.
    
    
    just my 2,
    
    
    
    
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Cops ask Californians to rat on their neighbors' 
    cars [priv]
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 13:20:43 -0400
    From: Billy Harvey <Billy.Harvey@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <408E8A0D.3000205@private>
    
    Declan McCullagh wrote:
    
     > [What, no cash award for turning in your next-door neighbor? --Declan]
    
    
    There oughta be - say $1000.  Around here I see half a dozen Tennessee
    plates a days sitting in the drop-off line as I take my kid to school.
    I pay nearly $1000 a year in property taxes on my two vehicles, half of
    which goes to the schools, to receive a license plate.  People that have
    friends/family in Tenn to use as their registration address to get
    plates pay around $50.  Tell me why I should feel guilt if they get
    hammered - I'm not only paying for my kid's education but I'm paying for
    their's too.
    
    Billy
    
    
    
    
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Cops ask Californians to rat on their neighbors' 
    cars 	[priv]
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 14:00:18 -0500
    From: Parks <parks@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>, hclp@private
    
    
    In Houston we have several RAT programs. Cars which smoke can be
    anonymously turned in and the police issue a ticket that "violators" have
    to fix the car and get it tested. Another is after hours clubs. The new
    Mayor decided he didn't want to keep cops working late so he tried to shut
    those places down, claiming they are a hotbed of illegal activity. Baring
    him assuming dictatorial powers to close legitimate businesses, he is
    targeting management and raiding the places with anonymous "tips."
    
    My BILL OF RIGHTS says that we have the "RIGHT... to be confronted with the
    witnesses against..." us, and the right to subpoena those favorable to our
    case. IMHO - ALL anonymous rat programs are UN-American and
    unconstitutional.
    
    
    
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Cops ask Californians to rat on their neighbors' 
    cars [priv]
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 13:54:30 -0400
    From: Dan Barrett <dbx@private>
    Reply-To: dbx@private
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <408E8A0D.3000205@private>
    
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    On Tuesday 27 April 2004 12:27, you wrote:
     > [What, no cash award for turning in your next-door neighbor? --Declan]
    
    Massachusetts has been doing this forever:
    
    How do I report someone who has vehicles registered in another state but 
    who
    lives here?
    
    Report this by calling the "I PAY TAX" hotline at 1-800-472-9829
    
    
    (from http://www.state.ma.us/rmv/faq/index.htm)
    
    I invite you and your readers to call the number and listen to the message
    (don't worry, a real human does NOT answer).  I should also note that the
    Commonwealth's Department of Revenue is actively pursuing a long-term 
    plan to
    collect sales tax on items purchased out of the Commonwealth and shipped 
    in,
    by collecting shipment records from UPS and FedEx (cf. your earlier 
    story re.
    online cigarette sales).  According to a recent interview with the Revenue
    Commissioner, the Department of Revenue is shooting for a system wherein 
    your
    tax due is calculated annually by the DOR, "and if you disagree, you can 
    call
    us."
    
    Best,
    d.
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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Cops ask Californians to rat on their neighbors' 
    cars [priv]
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 22:07:37 -0500
    From: Matthew Platte <plattem@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <408E8A0D.3000205@private>
    
    I'm having a little trouble understanding two positions, squaring two
    circles.  I get the impression that among the Politech Community
    (that's lame but I don't know what else to call it) it's commendable to
    rat out a spammer.  For one who releases spam and/or computer viruses,
    security through obscurity is not an acceptable refuge from the law
    whether that law is created by Jon Postal (RIP) or U.S. Congress, etc.
    ISP's who refuse to rat out their subscribers are vilified, blocked and
    taken to task for aiding a spammer however passively.  Bands of
    Internet mercenaries are generally cheered for creating blackholes, to
    which the Bad Guys are sent.  Even the chronic troubles with SpamCop
    are not related to the activity per se, but to SpamCop's ham-fisted
    methods.
    
    On the other hand, all over America we have these two-ton killing
    machines threatening bicyclists, armadillos, farmers' markets and
    everything else that finds itself on or near an asphalt trail.  The
    body count is still something like thirty thousand per year in the
    U.S.A.  In a weird death machine parallel, that works out to one dead
    human per nuclear-tipped missile per year according to some outdated
    and probably inadequate estimates of the American arsenal.
    
    We have nearly a century of laws regulating the operation of these
    aptly named suburban assault vehicles.  Never mind the environmental
    laws, I'm just talking about state and local laws directly related to
    the automobile.  Why does privacy trump the common good when it comes
    to transportation?  These devices kill and maim far more people than a
    paltry 600 per annum that Nightline is set to memorialize yet where is
    the backlash? Where is the outrage?
    
    Not amongst the PC.
    
    Apparently if one breaks a law, or breaks many laws, regarding the
    ownership, registration and operation of these wheeled juggernauts it's
    okay -- unless the perpetrator happens to be caught red-handed by a
    uniformed officer of the government.  If the perp can zoom home and
    park the mobile crime lab in the garage, then no laws were broken, no
    crimes were committed, nobody saw nothing.
    
    Do ya wonder why some folks thinks we is selfish?
    
    I'll be glad when gasoline hits eight bucks per gallon.
    
    Yeah, I know: I'm over the top.  Thanks for the rant.  ;)
    
    Oh, one more thing:  In my driveway is a '72 Winnebago, a '51 Hudson,
    and a '92 Nissan ZX300.  On the street an '85 Ford 4x4, a '75 VW
    Microbus and a 1970 VW Beetle.  No granola or Birkenstocks.  A couple
    of bikes, the ones that haven't been stolen by the teenagers who, when
    they have gained more experience, take car stereos and/or the entire
    vehicle.
    
    --
    -------^.^--
    Matthew Platte
    Lincoln Nebraska
    
    
    On Apr 27, 2004, at 11:27 AM, Declan McCullagh wrote:
    
    > [What, no cash award for turning in your next-door neighbor? --Declan]
    >
    >
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