Law enforcement officials often act on the basis of the phrase "the end justifies the means." This applies not only to the CIS, but also to other countries. The other day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there was an interesting case: the state police disguised their surveillance van as a Google Street View car. It was discovered by accident, thanks to the vigilance of a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Matt Blaze noticed the SUV with Google Maps Street View stickers.
Scientist pointed out to the fact that there were two specialized cameras on the roof of the SUV designed to read license plates. In Blaze’s opinion, this meant that there was no way the SUV belonged to Google. The professor concluded that it was a government vehicle masquerading as a Google Street View project car. It is clear that Twitter and other social networks immediately sent photos of the strange car.
WTF? Pennsylvania State Police license plate reader SUV camouflaged as Google Street View vehicle. pic.twitter.com/0z4yo2rVoR
— matt blaze (@mattblaze) May 11, 2016
The good citizens of the state bombarded the Philadelphia police with a hail of inquiries about what had happened. The police even had to make an official statement: "We knew the vehicle belonged to the police department, but the placement of any stickers on the vehicle had not been approved by management, nor had any command been given to do so. As soon as we became aware of this, an order was immediately given to remove the stickers."
It’s interesting that ALPR system installed in this vehicle is capable of imaging and recognizing thousands of license plates per hour. The coordinates of the cars with these license plates are automatically detected, and the owner is also automatically identified.
Google Corporation has already reported that in some cases it cooperates with the authorities, but in this case it is not about working together with the police. Also, the company reported that the car in question does not belong to it.
"We confirm that this is not a Google Maps machine, and we are now looking into the matter, " said company spokeswoman Susan Cadrecha.