Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sadly believeable

Recently an email went around claiming that the FBI had created a list of "potential motorcycle gang members".  Who was on that list?  Anyone who had ever owned a motorcycle or obtained a motorcycle license endorsement in the past thirty years or so.

The email is false.

The sad thing is that this story is totally believable, to the extent that even I, Mr Skeptical when it comes to email rumors, fell for it.

There are plenty of stories that are verifiable along the same vein, and anecdotes abound.

The DEA has planned to monitor gun show attendees using license plate readers according to the ACLU.

State police have been observed video recording license plates at pro-gun rallies in Olympia, Washington.

The police in Auburn, Washington were taking pictures of all the motorcycle riders arriving for the Veteran's Day Parade a few years ago.

Neither of these last two observed events were ever adequately explained.

So when a news article appears claiming that the government is targeting Americans based on the prejudices of the ruling class, it is sadly believable.


Anonymous said...

The obvious defect of such large data bases and "lists" is that they don't create any useful information that an agency can act on, for good or ill. The only thing they can do with such a list is let insurance companies cross reference it to see if your bike is insured also.

Huge piles of data do not lead to better intelligence or wisdom. Without a mechanism that quickly identifies the important pieces and routes them to the right eyeballs, they all are just trivia.

heresolong said...

True. Unfortunately the larger the bureaucracy, the larger the need to justify their existence and expand their authority. Bikers are criminals is an easy sell.