New York’s Idiotic Ban on Geiger Counters

by on January 12, 2008 · 6 comments

Steve Bellovin points out a silly proposal to require licenses for Geiger counters. Like Bellovin, I’m at a loss as to why anyone would think this was a good idea. The police department says the legislation would “prevent false alarms and unnecessary public concern,” but it’s not clear either that false alarms are a major problem, or that this registration requirement would prevent them. Strangely enough, the article doesn’t cite a single example in which “false alarms” created serious problems for anybody.

A couple of other problems with the legislation spring to mind. First, it’s likely to be totally unenforceable. Geiger counters are widely available for a few hundred dollars. Any New Yorker who wants one will have little trouble going to New Jersey and buying one.

Second, I got to play around with a Geiger counter in my high school physics class. Does this legislation have an exception for instructional use? If not, this seems like a serious burden on education for now good reason.

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Hmmm..seems really silly, but note also the efforts that the present administration is making, along similar lines, to control dissemination of information of results from syndromic surveillance systems.

    Interesting that the CIA VC front is purchasing shares in firms developing syndromic surveillance systems–shouldn’t it be the CDC not the CIA?

    http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2006/12/23/t

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/ enigma_foundry

    Hmmm..seems really silly, but note also the efforts that the present administration is making, along similar lines, to control dissemination of information of results from syndromic surveillance systems.

    Interesting that the CIA VC front is purchasing shares in firms developing syndromic surveillance systems–shouldn’t it be the CDC not the CIA?

    http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/2006/12/23/the-free-press-famines-and-disease-outbreaks/

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com eee_eff

    Sorry, here’s the clickable link:

    Free Press, Famines and Disease Outbreaks

  • http://enigmafoundry.wordpress.com/ enigma_foundry

    Sorry, here’s the clickable link:

    Free Press, Famines and Disease Outbreaks

  • Henri Ayre

    If one broadens his panorama it all makes sense. The Twin Towers had mini-nukes at their bases. The radioactive dust is scattered all over lower Manhattan, perhaps further. The perps have been using THEIR geiger counters and have been alarmed by the persistence of this radioactive dust in myriad building crooks and crannies. The perps don’t want the average New Yorker to be nosing around with HIS geiger counter.

  • Henri Ayre

    If one broadens his panorama it all makes sense. The Twin Towers had mini-nukes at their bases. The radioactive dust is scattered all over lower Manhattan, perhaps further. The perps have been using THEIR geiger counters and have been alarmed by the persistence of this radioactive dust in myriad building crooks and crannies. The perps don’t want the average New Yorker to be nosing around with HIS geiger counter.

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