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This EU road pricing system is more intrusive than what they want to forbid, right?

Patrick Crozier of Transport Blog links to this piece from last August at Tollroadnews about the EU banning one kind of road pricing technology, in order to make things easier for its own preferred sort of technology.

Here’s what the EU wants to ban:

No new DSRC systems would be permitted in Europe after 2008, and existing ones would be banned in 2012. This radical anti-DSRC move is an attempt to force adoption of what is seen as a modern technology (GPS) regardless of cost or difficulty by forcing out the existing short range wireless technologies.

And they want to replace it with their own pet satellite based system.

I always want to believe the worst of the EU, and unimpeded by any facts, I do. In this instance, I assume that the technology that the EU is engaged in banning is better from the civil liberties point of view than the technology it favours, and that this is part of why it is banning what it is banning. It doesn’t supply as much in the way of incidental snooping and central surveillance as the kit it wants to use.

Tollroadnews assert that it’s a bodge of the worst sort, because the new kit will work worse than the old kit. But if it could be made to work, would the system the EU wants be more centralised and Big Brotherish, or from this particular point of view is there no great difference? Obviously, comments welcome.

2 comments to This EU road pricing system is more intrusive than what they want to forbid, right?

  • ernest young

    I offer you the following, for your edification and comment.

    The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has joined Nobel prize winners and Ivy League professors on a list of leading scientific thinkers.

    He was named by America’s best known science journal as one of the top 50 visionaries building a better world this year because he championed the congestion charge in London


  • Guy Herbert

    Though I don’t wish to seem unnecessarily blasé about the spying possibilities, I sincerely doubt this is the EU’s principle motivation in this case. They’ve put up a satnav system to duplicate/rival the American one that anyone can use for free, and desperately need paying customers to justify it. First big customer: EU member states. That proves it wasn’t a piece of slightly silly quasi-military rivalry–or a waste of VATpayer’s money.