8/9/2005Australian Court Questions Integrity of Speed Camera Photos
A NSW, Australian court calls into question the authenticity of every speed issued in the state.
Sydney, Australia magistrate Lawrence Lawson ruled Tuesday that the integrity and authenticity of speed camera photos in New South Wales was unproven. The Hornsby Local Court judge tossed out a speeding case and ordered the government to pay the defendant's $3300 legal bill after it failed to produce a witness who could prove the photo (shown) was not manipulated.
Each speed camera photo has an MD5 algorithm printed at the top that is supposed to establish authenticity, but the government failed after two months to find anyone who could explain how it does so. The defense argued that research from Shandong University in China has exposed flaws in MD5 that would allow the speed displayed in the camera photograph to be manipulated without changing the 128-bit sequence that is supposed to act as an electronic seal to establish that no tampering has occurred.
The case could call into question the validity of fifteen years worth of state photo tickets that have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The case also revealed Sydney Harbour Tunnel toll cameras are turned off and have not issued a ticket in three years.
"The integrity of all speed camera offences has been thrown into serious doubt and it appears that the RTA is unable to prove any contested speed camera matter because of a lack of admissible evidence," [Lawyer Dennis] Miralis said.Source: Speed camera fiasco (Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), 8/10/2005)
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