Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Satellite Tracking Road Toll Plan For UK, another Big Brother surveillance system.

Drivers could pay up to £1.34 a mile in "pay-as-you go" road charges under new government plans. The transport secretary said the charges, aimed at cutting congestion, would replace road tax and petrol duty.

Alistair Darling said change was needed if the UK was to avoid the possibility of "LA-style gridlock" within 20 years. Every vehicle would have a black box to allow a satellite system to track their journey, with prices starting from as little as 2p per mile in rural areas. Read Full Story.

Unproven technology is yet again a magic fix for social problems.
Recap: Bigbrother CCTV....Does it have any use?
Recap: "Alistair Darling's satellite tracking road toll plans - another Big Brother surveillance system" July

The Road Pricing Feasibility Study is available on the Department of Transport's website.

Where are the privacy safeguards with this plan ? Where is the consultation with the people ? Where are the alternative plans and solutions to traffic congestion ?

The media has only ever reported this plan from a transport or environmental viewpoint, and not from the very obvious dangers to privacy and civil liberties of the vast majority of law abiding motorists.

Nobody can be trusted with such a powerful mass surveillance infrastructure.

The Germans have had huge difficulties with their lorries only, motorways only, toll scheme using a combination of GPS and roadside radio beacons.

The London Congestion Charge shows the incompetence of the privatised back end payment and enforcement operators - over a million unpaid penalty tickets for a tiny area of central London !

GPS signals certainly do not cover all of the road network, there are lots of "black spots" where the direct view to 4 satellites is blocked by buildings or trees.

The media have also consistently given the misleading impression that the "satellite tracking" somehow involves sending a signal up to a satellite in orbit, when the only signals are beamed down from orbit. The GPS satellite knows nothing of your GPS receiver's actual position.

Any "offline" In-Car-Unit which decrements the amount of pre-paid road toll according to GPS signals will:

1. be defrauded by simple devices which re-broadcast much stronger spoof GPS location signals, pretending to be stationary or in a low charge zone. These are much simpler devices than the ones people already pay money for to get pirate satellite or cable TV programs, so a new black market will be created.

2. be vulnerable to rogue transmitters sending out spoofing signals which fool the In-Car-Unit into assuming that it is in a high toll charge zone - how are most people ever going to be able to dispute such false toll charges ?

Any "online" combined GPS/Mobile phone type In-Car-Unit is directly equivalent to the technology of Electronic Tagging of Criminals, which does seem to be the attitude of the Government to the public.
From Spy Blog

Peak oil is a scam to create artificial scarcity and drive oil prices up. Meanwhile, alternative fuel technologies which have been around for decades are intentionally suppressed. As these alternative fuel technologies begin to emerge governments will try to obtain tax by any means necessary. - jasonF.


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