Sometimes, the confluences of events and influences are merely coincidental. On the other hand, I have a budget for dramatic italics that I have to spend by the end of the year, so here it goes:
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.
Sadly, though, in many cases the confluent events and impulses of governmental and government-supporting people all tend to run a direction that is remarkably similar to a totalitarian conspiracy, ainna?
They want to put microphones in mass transit, and they want to make more people take mass transit. Because that’s where the microphones are.
Good thing they don’t do that sort of thing with cars. Or will they?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to finalize a long-awaited proposal to make event data recorders standard on all new vehicles.
In a notice posted Thursday, the White House Office of Management Budget said it has completed a review of the proposal to make so-called vehicle “black boxes” mandatory in all cars and trucks, clearing the way for NHTSA to publish its final regulation.
The rule deals with Event Data Recorders, which have the built in safety protocols of government regulation regarding their use. You know, the same kinds of regulations that say that individual government employees should not access government databases for their own personal interest or to leak to the media, and the same government regulations that say private data shouldn’t get loaded onto IT contractor’s laptops and get left behind on the (hot mic) subway. You know, government regulations that are etched in graphite.
At any rate, most media accounts equate these Event Data Recorders with the black boxes in airplanes. But the black boxes in airplanes have voice recorders, too, don’t they?
It’s almost enough to make a man with a little bit of an imagination and a bunch of slanty letters feel a touch paranoid. Or prophetic.
(First link via Instapundit, and you know what that means. Nothing, essentially, but I had more italics to use up.)