In Washington, D.C., where there are plenty of powerful people and precious places to protect, the cops have lots of high-tech tools at their disposal. But one tool, automatic license plate readers, could become much more than a crime-prevention device. D.C. police maintain the country's densest network of plate readers, and keep a three-year database of license plate locations — meaning they can track where everyone's car is, all the time, whether at the grocery store, an ammunition shop or Planned Parenthood.
Social media can be problematic for professionals who don't want their bosses to see unflattering college party photos. But it’s even worse for people whose livelihood literally depends on anonymity, like undercover cops. What happens if the gang you’ve infiltrated finds your grinning mug in Facebook photos from the police union annual picnic?
If the RoboCop saga has any lasting lessons, maybe it's that politicians shouldn't mess around with Twitter.
What started out as a joke on the social media site has mushroomed into a nationwide effort to build a statue of RoboCop in the beleaguered city of Detroit. Earlier this week, someone in Massachusetts sent a tweet to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, suggesting RoboCop would be a great mascot for the city. Philadelphia has a Rocky statue, and RoboCop would "kick Rocky's butt," he pointed out.