Police chief slams iPhone-driven speeders

Washington, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says using iPhone apps and other GPS devices to avoid speed cameras is a "cowardly tactic."

Oh, what lack of 'appiness have the iPhone app-ers caused now?

Well, the police chief of Washington, D.C., Cathy Lanier, is rather upset that wicked, venal humans have been downloading an iPhone app that enjoys the peculiar talent of telling you where speed cameras are.

She told the Washington Examiner that this was a "cowardly tactic."

"It's designed to circumvent law enforcement--law enforcement that is designed specifically to save lives," she said.

Could anyone possibly argue? Well, perhaps.

Speed cameras can be a source of some frustration. CC 91RS/Flickr

Morality is a slope with many slips these days. Technology is moving at a pace far beyond most people's speed limits, so that we're all a little confused as to what is right and what slightly less right.

Oddly, D.C. has embraced technology rather more lovingly than many parts of the U.S.

The Examiner report cites a database called POI Factory, whose estimate is that 10 percent of all red-light and speed cameras in the U.S. are in the D.C. area. That's 290 of them, in case you were thinking of driving there.

And they seem to be something of a revenue-earner as well as a lifesaver. In 2009, the expectation is that Montgomery County (Maryland) will earn $29 million from its cameras.

Some might see a certain irony in the idea that, while these cameras are used to enforce the law, the police chief believes it would not be able to enforce the law to ban the iPhone apps .

"With the Internet and all the new technology, it's almost impossible to stop the flow of information," she said.

And so we enter a new era of technological hide-and-seek between heroes and villains. The snoopers are snooped upon. The police is policed.

Well, it is the land of the free, right?

 

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