Source – The NYPD is demanding Google yank a feature from its Waze traffic app that tips off drivers to police checkpoints — claiming such warnings could be considered “criminal conduct.”
The crowd-sourced app allows motorists to pinpoint “visible” or “hidden” police activity, and cops say the function makes their jobs harder.
“The posting of such information for public consumption is irresponsible since it only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourage reckless driving,” wrote Acting Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters Ann Prunty in a letter obtained by StreetsBlog.
The letter, sent over the weekend, threatened that the NYPD would “pursue all legal remedies” against the tech giant if it didn’t comply.
First of all, good luck trying to sue Google. They’re worth $110 billion. The entire operating budget for the NYPD for is $5.6 billion. (Way more than I thought btw.) The CEO barely showed up when Congress asked him to testify, so I don’t know why they think he’s going to cooperate with them. Second, it’s people’s right to communicate. If you want to catch more drunk drivers, be better at your job. Here’s what they had to say.
“Individuals who post the locations of DWI checkpoints may be engaging in criminal conduct since such actions could be intentional attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws,” Prunty wrote.
The NYPD did not say in the letter exactly how it is “criminal” to post checkpoint locations, which the American Civil Liberties Union has insisted is perfectly legal.
“Much as the police may not like it, the public has a First Amendment right to warn others about police activity,” the ACLU said.
‘May be engaging’ and ‘are engaging’ are very different, they said ‘may be’ because they know they don’t have a case. They’re just frustrated that Waze has essentially created a way to bypass the police. It’s genius. You can tell where a cop’s sitting, if he’s hidden or not, where the red light/speeding cameras are.
“The cease-and-desist letter may also pertain to the app’s new “speed cam” function, which lets drivers notify others about speed and red-light cameras.”
It’s awesome. The only negative is that sometimes there are too many warnings. The screen can get cluttered, which is nothing compared to a speeding ticket. If I had used Waze on my way to Saratoga I’d have an extra four-hundred-bucks in my pocket right now. To be clear, I’m very pro-cop and very anti-DUI, it’s just funny that police are getting so frustrated with an app that they’re threatening to sue one of the largest corporations in the world .
PS: Has anyone ever actually drunk drove in New York City? I thought everyone either takes the subway or cabs. Don’t answer that.