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1setter

Security Issue: Are we terrorist's pawns

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When posting pictures and coordinates of water towers, schools, hospitals are we helping out the evil doers?

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Why?

If you can find it, so can they.

 

They aren't going to connect a GPSr to an autopilot. Recent examples show they use suicide pilots/drivers.....no electronics.

 

DustyJacket

Not all those that wander are lost. But in my case... icon_biggrin.gif

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I'd have to agree with DustyJacket - We're not giving out any info that can't be found on a standard quad map, or from one of the many other places on the internet.

 

Besides... some of the old (and abandoned) water tanks I've found really wouldn't be much of a target. They probably wouldn't be missed much either. Let the 'evil-doers' have at them.

 

Keep on Caching!

- Kewaneh

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I agree, coordinates are of no value to terrorists, since they have no way of using them. They choose their targets based on economics and politics. Our control system is of no significance to them. The only way it could ever be used against us is if a foreign power actually invaded our country and took over part of the country. They could then use the coordinates for strategic movement planning purposes. After all, coordinates are really nothing more than a means of mapping.

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Even if they do have the Technology to try and use it against us, we have more.The ability(SA)and others to set them into a trap.Just like GPS detectors,we saw that we had a GPSR Detector,Detector and took them out immediately.Never Fear Fellow Americans for We all have a Big Brother,and Big Sister here.

 

THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE FOREST DOES NOT EVEN LIVE THERE*********WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS*GEOTRYAGAIN **1803-2003 "LOUSIANA PURCHASE" 200TH ANNIVERSARY AND THE "LEWIS AND CLARK EXPADITION" http://www.lapurchase.org http://www.msnusers.com/MissouriTrails

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Saying that a terrorist is not able to buy a computer and GPSr or is too dumb to use the above equipment seems to be a bit elitist.

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quote:
Originally posted by 1setter:

too dumb


 

It appears that we're more likely to attract trolls than terrorists. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Personally I have a problem with being polite and considerate to terrorists. I don't think anyone is undervalueing their capabilities from what they have already shown us...

 

texasgeocaching_sm.gif

The Department of Redundancy Department

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Cholo, I'd have to agree with you. =)

 

Thinking that a terrorist is not able to obtain pictures or coordinates as easily as any of us seems to be a bit too naive.

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Of course terrorists are capable of using a computer and getting the coordinates, but they have no way of using them unless they possess, and understand how to use, guided missile technology, and there is no evidence of that. If they had missiles and were capable of launching them, they would not be blowing themselves up in their attacks. The coordinates are of no use to anyone outside our country unless they intend to use them for missile targeting purposes.

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I was visiting a benchmark in a rural part of New Jersey a few days ago. The station was on a small highway bridge, at the dammed end of a very small artificial lake. As I was about to drive away, an elderly couple in a car stopped me and asked what I was up to. I showed them the datasheet on a clipboard and explained I was verifying information about survey markers to update the database. The gentleman, who I would guess to be about 80, seemed satisfied, and after a bit more conversation he drove off.

 

I wonder what he might have done if he had considered me threatening....

 

I'm glad ordinary citizens are becoming more alert to their surroundings. It might not be important in Salem County, NJ, but elsewhere it could be vital.

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Anyone without a GPS can still use a computer to get the exact coords for the WHITE HOUSE, the PENTAGON, CONGRESS, etc..so I wouldn't worry much about what we do here.

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My feelings are that if we know about something they sure have looked at how it can be used against us. Remember that they are trying to inflict the feeling of terror. That is why they are called terrorist.

I think it is good to see people stopping and asking what we are doing. It shows that at least a few fellow Americans are concerned about our countries well being.

Over the weekend I went out to find a BM at the local courthouse. It is located in the center of town. I had to climb into the flower bed in the front of the courthouse. I had my gps, a compass and a copy of the BM info printed off of Geocaching.com just in case someone stopped me, but no one did.

My feelings is don't let them get to you or they won. If you see something not quite right stop and ask or call someone with some authority.

My 2 cents.

mustanglx

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But remember, not all terrorists are overseas, and not all their goals are mass destruction. Our police chief is concerned about having caches placed on the grounds of public facilities, because someone could place something inside that could be detonated, or could replace an entire cache with something that could be detonated. He's also concerned that a well-intended citizen may call a cache in as a suspicious package, taking his officers away from needed patrols. His concerns are preventing caches from being placed. Any ideas how to answer those concerns?

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But remember, not all terrorists are overseas, and not all their goals are mass destruction. Our police chief is concerned about having caches placed on the grounds of public facilities, because someone could place something inside that could be detonated, or could replace an entire cache with something that could be detonated. He's also concerned that a well-intended citizen may call a cache in as a suspicious package, taking his officers away from needed patrols. His concerns are preventing caches from being placed. Any ideas how to answer those concerns?

 

How does this apply to benchmark hunting or the precision of the GPS coordinates for adjusted benchmarks?

 

John

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1setter:

Have you looked at Google Earth or Google Map? You do know those are available and open to anyone in the world, right?

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With heightened security in this country, I am apprehensive about being seen photographing structures and even benchmarks. Take for example JU3038, Haddon Heights East Standpipe, with that warning sign to report suspicious activity. Like going around taking photographs of water towers isn't suspicious activity. Sure, that's my hobby. Tromping through swamp to photograph the concrete base of high voltage towers (AA8551 and AA8552)? Just for fun. Because it's there. I just wanted to see if there's a brass benchmark disk on the concrete base.

 

Wait until I try to take a photograph of the Philadelphia International Airport traffic control tower. "Yes, officer. I was just taking a picture of the airport control tower. Why? Well you see, I'm a member of this group that goes around taking pictures of brass disks, water towers, airport control towers. No, I haven't been drinking. And I'm not on a work release program. Hey, give me back my camera. Where are you taking me? Help!!!!!"

 

Fortunately I drive around with survey equipment, safety vest and a business card. It gives me a false sense of being legitimate.

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With heightened security in this country, I am apprehensive about being seen photographing structures and even benchmarks.

 

If I am on public property I have the right to photograph any object that I would like to. That I why I carry a copy of The Photographer Right with me wherever I go.

Our activities are not going to assist terrorists in the least.

 

If the government was truly concerned about this the NGS should/would be required to remove all available coordinates from its web site, many of which are spot on accurate and available to anyone with a computer.

 

As has been pointed out there are other resources available for exploitation that are more available and likely to be used by terrorist groups.

 

For those who have a sky is falling attitude there is a lesson for the rest of us to be learned from Henny Penny.

 

It is usually the associates of Henny Penny who wind up having their liberties and life interrupted while Henny runs away home. :blink:

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The boss just signed a contract to have the 'old building' torn down. It dates to the 1860's I think, and was probably the Lackawanna repair facility. Unfortunately, the old stacks were never benchmarks. :blink: At 80,000 square feet, it's going to cost $215,000 to demolish. No wonder these old factories never get torn down! The terrorists would be doing everyone a favor!

 

See related thread in The Hunt/The Unusual concerning the Secret Service at the Zero MIlestone (HV1847) marker in DC: Secret Service

 

The police in Summit, N..J. told us that they would question anyone wandering about taking photos in their city. Sounds like a good place to stay away from. (An erratic drive reported us for walking on a narrow road, near a railroad bridge. Personally, I think the driver should have been arrested for his lack of driving skills.)

 

But, the troll is just tring to wreak havoc, and we shouldn't humor him.

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The boss just signed a contract to have the 'old building' torn down. It dates to the 1860's I think, and was probably the Lackawanna repair facility. Unfortunately, the old stacks were never benchmarks. :anitongue: At 80,000 square feet, it's going to cost $215,000 to demolish. No wonder these old factories never get torn down! The terrorists would be doing everyone a favor!

 

See related thread in The Hunt/The Unusual concerning the Secret Service at the Zero MIlestone (HV1847) marker in DC: Secret Service

 

The police in Summit, N..J. told us that they would question anyone wandering about taking photos in their city. Sounds like a good place to stay away from. (An erratic drive reported us for walking on a narrow road, near a railroad bridge. Personally, I think the driver should have been arrested for his lack of driving skills.)

 

But, the troll is just tring to wreak havoc, and we shouldn't humor him.

 

Makes me want to visit Summit, NJ just to punch their buttons.

This is America, dammit, and (as a citizen thereof) I'll wander and photograph to my heart's content.

They are succumbing to the 'terrorist threat', and need to be taught a lesson.

This is exactly what those F*****g Bastard Terrorists WANT to have happen!

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I was looking for a intersection benchmark at the Illinois State Capital, a smokestack, last winter and asked a parking lot attendant where the stack might be. Five minutes later as I got in my car two police cruisers from the Illinois Secretary of State Police Force, didn't even know he had a police force, stopped me, looked over my GPS, checked my driver's license, and after I showed them the GC.com printout on the benchmark I think they looked up the geocaching web page and chatted among themselves a couple minutes before giving my stuff back to me and saying I had scared the parking lot attendant and he'd reported me.

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... and after I showed them the GC.com printout on the benchmark ...
The danger of 'going paperless' in these irritating times. :anitongue:

 

I guess an idea for those who go paperless is to carry at least one paper printout anyway. :lol:

 

I wonder which would be the better kind of printout to bring - a GC.com printout (obviously fun 'n games) or an NGS printout (official - looking). Maybe even the main Geocaching page (even more obviously fun 'n games), which has the "Find a Benchmark" menu item. It may be that the type to bring should fit the way you look and act.

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BDT, I thought a lot about what you said, being a paperless cacher now. I think you are right, probably a good idea to have a copy of each maybe. With condensed versions of NGS Datasheets on a palm, there is really nothing legitimate looking about it. But I am a firm believer that a positive attitude and honesty will get you through any visits from the authorities.

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From time to time I think about how I look when I am walking around looking for something on the ground, or taking pictures of what must seem to be random objects. And then I dismiss it totally, because that is part of being an American and being free. Unless I am in a restricted area, nobody can stop me from taking pictures of anything. NJ Transit attempted this a couple of years ago--banning all photography of their trains, even from public property. They were quickly attacked by a powerful and well connected group of railfans and were forced not only to back down from this absurd view, but to issue a public retraction of it, and to say that they were just fine with people taking pictures of their trains.

 

Railfan photographers have been very active and very successful in fighting various photography bans. It was my impression that the Photographer's Right document was written by a railfan or due to the problems a railfan had, although I can't find any proof of it (I do know it was bandied about the railfan community soon after 9/11.

 

wbf pls, if I get to the Philadelphia Airport, I will feel free to take pictures of the control tower and anything else there that I can photograph, from public property. That includes any place that the public is invited to be, including parking garages, terminal buildings, and roadways. If I wanted any special access to restricted areas I would be sure to request it. I am quite certain that I would also be denied it at such a large airport (I have been led to believe that I will have access to the runways at my local, yet still "international" airport, if I ask the right person at the right time). This raises the issue of permission vs forgiveness. Asking permission to do something legal at a high security facility runs the risk of being denied, which means if you go ahead and do it you will be scrutinized and possibly questioned about it.

 

I have been stopped by police a couple of times, but only in the basic "are you ok?" sort of helpful way, as it was obvious I was looking for something. I quickly said I was just "looking for something" and each time the cop went off happy. Once I was stopped by an MP on an active military base when photographing at the base of a water tower. My bad, and I was lucky they just told me to check in with the base security office next time. (I later returned to this base and got full permission to look for every mark on it that was not in a restricted area).

 

wvhillbilly59, When you are stopped by police you have certain rights. You need not present an ID unless you are being charged (unless you are in a car or bar). They may question you but you do not have to answer. They may not detain you unless they charge you with something. Having someone report you because they were "scared" does not make you a criminal. It was obviously a slow day at the Illinois State Capitol since two cruisers showed up. In a similar situation I would probably also have surrendered my ID, but then I would have walked back with them to the car and "hovered" while they did whatever they do, just to keep them on their toes and to prevent them from sitting there talking about random stuff and making me wait just for kicks. The question comes to mind about whether they were even a legitimate police force, or were just glorified security. (I am pretty sure they ARE legit, but I know the question would have rolled around in my mind if I was stopped by them. I certainly wouldn't have vocalized it though!)

 

There are numerous guides to this sort of thing on the internet. I didn't post one because none jumped out as a definitive guide to being stopped by police, but I urge anyone hunting benchmarks to take a look through a few of them. I searched for "detained by police" and got hundreds of hits. As Americans we all have rights and responsibilities. It is each of our jobs to balance the two. Know your rights but respect your responsibilities. Is it better to talk cooperate with the officer, or to take a stand? Each situation is different and only the person in that situation can know what to do. But always know your rights going in.

 

BDT, going paperless has been an ongoing issue for me, partly because of the problem of showing people what I do. I am not concerned with the police as much as I am property owners. It is difficult to show them the small screen on my PDA phone, but very easy to hold up my clipboard with the NGS datasheet on it. As for what to carry, for me it is always the NGS datasheets. The GC.com sheets are missing too much info, and are poorly formatted for descriptions with longer text.

 

How do I look and act? Like me. Not like a surveyor, not like anything but a guy who enjoys doing this on his days off. I never misrepresent myself, never promise anything and never confront anyone. I think monkeykat got it right--a positive attitude and honesty go a long way in this hobby.

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Think that police force at the Illinois capital were pretty legit. Of course there is obviously some activity going on out there that is dangerous to the public and the police have the job of not overlooking a dangerous situation. (If I remember correctly there was a guy shot there a while back who entered the capital building with a handgun and didn't stop when told.) They weren't harassing at all and I don't see any sense refusing to show a license if they request it since I was doing nothing wrong. Another reason I figured they were legit was that they "ran" my license on their computer and apparently I had no APBs or warrants (always nice to know.)

 

The disappointing thing of it was neither of the two officers nor the parking lot attendant were from in town and neither of the three could tell me where the smokestack attached to the capital power plant was. The cords given in the database were way off as it turns out and the GPSr was showing it to next to the parking lot where I inquired.

Edited by wvhillbilly59

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I looked them up on the web and they seemed legit. I would have turned my license over too, but I think I might have been a bit peeved if they took too long looking it up.

 

Your smokestack coords should be right on the money though--that would have been an intersection station and as such would have extremely accurate coordinates. If you are talking about KB1489, the NGS report for 1958 says "THIS STATION NOT PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED. THE STATION COULD NOT BE FOUND AND IS PRESUMED TO HAVE BEEN DESTROYED." The text on GC.com is incorrect (as are many intersection station recoveries on here). The coords put it on top of a building across E Monroe Street from the capital.

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That's the one and since there were conflicting logs on GC.com and even though the Survey database said it has been removed I looked anyway since I was in the area and because I've found a few that were listed as DNF or Destroyed. The officers looked pretty legit. Packing major, cars, laptop pc, radio and gear just like "real" ones. Probably just a slow - or a high alert - day. OH, and the guy I asked about it was standing not 50 feet from where the adjusted cords put the stack. And, I agree with you after seeing the area that the logger on the GC.com database was probably logging the new power plant and stack which was down the street.

Edited by wvhillbilly59

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Oh I wasn't meaning to bring a paper datasheet to actually use in benchmark hunting, when one is really using datasheets on a PDA. :rolleyes: The paper datasheet would be just to help in explaining what's going on and could even be for a benchmark in another county or state. The question I raised was - which kind of datasheet is more effective in this kind of situation, not which was better for use in benchmark hunting.

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I was referring to the difference between the descriptions from GC.com, which says NO DESCRIPTIVE TEXT AVAILABLE, and the one from the NGS, but I understand your point about the previous logger. Unless I know the person I don't take the previous log into account when I decide to hunt for a mark, and I will still hunt for a mark that a previous logger (GC or NGS) has claimed is gone or destroyed. Only in 2 instances have I used the previous GC logger's information or photos to help me find a station. Both times I was completely embarrassed at how stupid I had been in looking for the mark and not finding it without help.

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BDT,

 

I would say paper. It is big, it is readable, it is familiar. I have often let people read my datasheet when I hunt on their property. I wouldn't even try to do that with my Motorola Q. It is just too tiny to share easily.

 

Continuing on that note, after hunting both ways I think that paper is the best way to hunt also. When I hunt electronically I do it one of two ways--directly accessing the NGS page through the web or with a huge file of all benchmarks in the county that I edit on my PDA. The direct access way is easy, but I can't take notes. The second way is cumbersome when I try to find a mark in the file, but I can add comments. Still, it isn't as easy to add new descriptive information on my tiny keyboard as it is to just write it on the datasheet, and then when I get home I have to find it (I still haven't standardized on a way to mark the benchmarks I have looked for in my editing) and then decipher my shorthand.

 

Being "paperfull" (Papermore? What IS that the opposite of paperless?) means I have a car full of paper though--7 full counties in my area totaling about 1,500 sheets I would think.

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BDT,

 

I would say paper. It is big, it is readable, it is familiar. I have often let people read my datasheet when I hunt on their property. I wouldn't even try to do that with my Motorola Q. It is just too tiny to share easily.

 

Continuing on that note, after hunting both ways I think that paper is the best way to hunt also. When I hunt electronically I do it one of two ways--directly accessing the NGS page through the web or with a huge file of all benchmarks in the county that I edit on my PDA. The direct access way is easy, but I can't take notes. The second way is cumbersome when I try to find a mark in the file, but I can add comments. Still, it isn't as easy to add new descriptive information on my tiny keyboard as it is to just write it on the datasheet, and then when I get home I have to find it (I still haven't standardized on a way to mark the benchmarks I have looked for in my editing) and then decipher my shorthand.

 

Being "paperfull" (Papermore? What IS that the opposite of paperless?) means I have a car full of paper though--7 full counties in my area totaling about 1,500 sheets I would think.

 

There have been a couple times that I've given the owner of the property my copy of the datasheet. They seem happy to get some kind of documentation of "that thing over there in the lawn".

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I'm a paper waster. :rolleyes: I print out whatever I plan on searching for that day. Plus I have a stack of pages of what I call the plausible benchmarks for seven counties. I'll search for most anything plausible. I've found a few that NJGS listed as "Not Found. Presumed missing."

In addition to being stopped by the Summit Police, I was also stopped by the Brigantine Beach Police for 'hanging out' on the Brigantine Bridge in Atlantic City. Yes, Brigantine has Beach Police! Wrong jurisdiction. I was in Atlantic City, across from Harrah's Marina. It must have been a very boring day. But we did find one Reference Mark. The main station was missing.

NYNJPA does prohibit taking pictures on any of their bridges, or in any of their tunnels. But they cannot prohibit you from taking pictures of their bridges! (I have a very nice collection of photos from under most of the Port Authority bridges!)

wvhillbilly, anything that goes on in any state capitol building is usually dangerous. :lol:

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Mloser: Papery (?) Paperish (?)

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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StripeMark,

 

I have also given owners datasheets, but they seem to want them only rarely. I think I have handed out about 3, but I have offered them quite often. I know if a mark was on my property I would want to know about it.

 

Papery? That brings a mental image that isn't complimentary! Paperish is similar, sort of waspish or something. I guess that is one of the downfalls of playing word games! How about "paper waster"?

 

Harry, I print out EVERYTHING for a county. To me they are all plausible, sooner or later. You must look sneaky or something. Or, more likely, it is just NJ cops. Most of my hunting is done in rural Pennsylvania and the folks are pretty laid back, including the police. Or maybe I just look trustworthy!

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Or maybe I just look trustworthy!

 

! ! ......? :(

 

..speaking of paperless - I go papervoluminous - I'll often take the NGS sheet AND CG sheet AND a topo printout (mostly if the mark is in someone's yard). I'll give away the NGS sheet and topo & write notes on the GC sheet to keep. Definitely like to have 'paper in hand' if I knock on a door or am approached by police car..

Edited by Ernmark

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