Aug 12, 2010

OK: Pirate Party Objects to Expansion of the Surveillance State

A press release from the Pirate Party of Oklahoma, sent via email:
Oklahoma City, OK - August 11th, 2010 - The recent obstacles in implementing a state-wide camera system to monitor Oklahomans should bring a sigh of relief to residents of the Sooner State says the Pirate Party of Oklahoma.  "We are very happy that the delay in implementing this technology has surfaced," states Marcus Kesler, state administrator of the Pirate Party of Oklahoma.  "But we remain disappointed that the reason for the delay is purely logistical and does not take into account the legal and ethical implications of monitoring every driver in Oklahoma."

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) is pursuing a contract with a private for-profit company that would require the monitoring of all motor vehicles on Oklahoma roads, even if no laws are being violated.  The contract would also require the retention of all data collected using this automated system.  This system would allow DPS to maintain records that would document the date, time, and location of each vehicle that drives past a particular camera or bar code reader. "You may drive the posted speed limit, wear your seatbelt, have valid insurance, and be in full compliance with all Oklahoma statutes; yet DPS want to maintain a database tracking your lawful activities.", states Marcus Kesler.  "How does operating a car in Oklahoma give DPS the right to maintain these records without any reasonable cause of an actual crime?"
An additional concern regarding this system is its aim to collect revenue for the state. Governor Henry and state legislators want the fines collected by DPS to be placed in the state's general fund, after the private company collect their share of the profits.  "If Governor Henry and our legislators are truly concerned about the effects of uninsured motorists in Oklahoma they would appropriate any fines collected under this system to assist the victims of accidents involving these drivers.  Instead of taking responsibility for their failure to maintain a balanced budget, our legislators are implementing a system of blanket surveillance of Oklahoma drivers to raise revenue."

About the Pirate Party of Oklahoma

The Pirate Party of Oklahoma is a political party fighting for government transparency; the privacy rights of all Oklahomans; copyright and patent reform; as well as ballot access reform in Oklahoma.  The Pirate Party of Oklahoma is a recognized state party of the United States Pirate Party, and was formed in January of 2010.

For more information contact:
Pirate Party of Oklahoma
(405) 585-6577

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