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National License Plate Data Base: They’ve Got Your Number

Written by Gary North on January 19, 2012

It is amazing what private enterprise can do. A profit-seeking company in California has compiled over half a billion license plate records. These include information on criminal convictions.

It rents this information to police departments.

Couple this with video scanners that monitor each vehicle, and you have the makings of a police state.

The courts cannot keep up with the new technologies. “The U.S. Supreme Court is only now addressing whether investigators can secretly attach a GPS monitoring device to cars without a warrant.”

A ruling in that case has yet to be handed down, but a telling exchange occurred during oral arguments. Chief Justice John Roberts asked lawyers for the government if even he and other members of the court could feasibly be tracked by GPS without a warrant. Yes, came the answer.

Here is step 2.

Meanwhile, police around the country have been affixing high-tech scanners to the exterior of their patrol cars, snapping a picture of every passing license plate and automatically comparing them to databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and wanted bank robbers.

The units work by sounding an in-car alert if the scanner comes across a license plate of interest to police, whereas before, patrol officers generally needed some reason to take an interest in the vehicle, like a traffic violation.

But when a license plate is scanned, the driver’s geographic location is also recorded and saved, along with the date and time, each of which amounts to a record or data point. Such data collection occurs regardless of whether the driver is a wanted criminal, and the vast majority are not.

It gets better . . . or worse.

A West Coast sales manager for the company, Randy Robinson, said the scanners — as well as data from them compiled in the location system — do far more than simply help identify stolen vehicles. Stories abound of the technology also being used by police to stop wanted killers, bank robbers and drug suspects. Kidnappers could be intercepted, too.

“I just sit back and think, ‘Who would want to thwart officers from doing their jobs more effectively, faster, more efficiently?’ If it was your son or daughter (missing), what would you say?”

Robinson isn’t troubled by the thought of his own data being compiled, and he said others shouldn’t worry either if they haven’t violated the law. After all, he said, police could even track him down if necessary. He also pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with Vigilant taking what amounts to public photographs.

But wait! There’s more!

Just one patrol officer can log information for thousands of cars in a single shift. Multiply that by an ever-growing number of police departments adopting the technology — often with help from homeland security grants and funds from President Barack Obama’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — and the result is an extraordinary volume of data on motorists.

With enough scans, a portrait of your habits begins to emerge, making it a valuable intelligence tool police can use to determine where and when cars were scanned.

For more horror stories, click the link.

Continue Reading on californiawatch.org

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11 thoughts on “National License Plate Data Base: They’ve Got Your Number

  1. Wait a minute, PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHS. Aren't the police arresting people for filming things they don't want made public.
    Dumocrats, need I say more

  2. Perhaps the 35 jihadd woods camps brought this on, someone has to stop them, and it is the state, like colorado did. the federal fbi won't i read on computer in the past month.

  3. I've been a cop, and I find this to be a little bit over the top. As we all know, there always has been, and always will be certain individuals in law enforcement, who will use technology to their own advantage in ways that don't relate to their jobs.
    Not a nice thought, but who ever said that life, even here in the USA, is 100% nice. Well OK, maybe some of the most gullible of the 'bleeding hearts' believe that crapola. But anyone with any good sense at all, knows better. This needs to be nipped in the bud, before we are turned into the 4th Riech.

  4. Honestly I know they have always ran plates randomly just going down the road. I was with my father in a van, when one day we were pulled over on the express way. My Dad asked what the problem was and he said the plate was registered to a truck not a Van. My dad gave him the information and then went back to the cruiser. When he came back he handed my father the license and registration and he said he mistyped the plate into the computer and we went on our way… This was about 20 years ago too…

    This is much more efficient. It is definitely scary to think that this might be "Legal"

    John

  5. Would not be for the goverment having this "much more" control. Eventually this high tech knowledge will grow and be added to even more high technical knowledge over the years. America already is in a stew with govement control over there lives. The leaders in the White House are not to be given any more control .They are trying now to abolish the 2nd Amendment for us Americans!

  6. Look at the National Security Agency – created in the 1950's to intercept communications of foreign enemies and spy on FOREIGNERS in OVERSEAS COUNTRIES ONLY . Since 9/11 they have been pushing to spy on American citizens WITHIN the United States. NSA analysts tried desperately to be allowed to warn the country for two years that Muslims were plotting to fly airliners into US public buildings but NSA managers censored and silenced those analysts- even firing those who insisted the danger was real and immanent. Now they have increased their Security force to harass and persecute anyone who speaks out about this. Can anyone doubt that they knowingly allowed 9/11 to happen as a power grab for domestic expansion? General Hayden (under whom this crime occurred) and General Keith Alexander, who is the present Director of NSA (DIRNSA), should both be arrested and prosecuted as traitors.

  7. Over twenty years I got pull over in Washington state. I was driving a 300ZX. I had my headlights on and one head light was out. The officer never said but I believe he wanted to run the plates. At the time t he 300ZX was the most stolen car in the nation. That system worked fine.

  8. WILLIAM HARPER says:

    HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW THAT YOUR PHONE CONVERSATION IS RECORDE IF YOU SAY CERTAIN WORDS? THAY A SOUND TRUCK CAN DRIVE DOWN YOUR STREET AND LISTEN TO CONVERSATION GOING ON INSIDE YOUR FOUR WALLS. THAT INSTANT ON TV'S HAD MINI TRANSMITTER BUILT INTO THEM? GO RINT THE MOVIE
    ENEMY (OR ENEMIES) OF THE STATE"
    THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOT FORTY YEARS

  9. I have no problem with them scanning the plates to see if it is a wanted person or a stolen car. I so have a problem with them saving the info. It should be discarded if it is not needed to capture a criminal!

  10. They Keep Removing Our Constitutional Rights! Next They will outlaw all gun sales!
    If We Don’ WAKE UP AMERICA Now!!!
    This Is Our Future Now! http://www.infowars.com/government-censors-docume….
    This Future is already here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6nchQl9JDg&fe….
    America is on the precipice of demise! http://www.inflation.us/videos.html
    Help WAKE UP AMERICA Now!!!
    Info @ http://www.wakeupamerica.com/constitutionalbeliev…. just as many conservative groups have, along with thousands of other people have joined WAKE UP AMERICA! I believe thousands more, hundreds of thousands, or millions more will help take back our republic with Wake Up America! So The POTENTIAL IS HUGE!
    Take Care and GOD BLESS!
    Sincerely
    Mr. Harris
    ConstitutionalBelievers@hot.rr.com

  11. I have a relative who worked for Robinson at one time. Not exactly the kiknd of person one could have a trusting relationship with in my opinion. I only hope that He will get caught in his own trap one day. All he thinks of is the almighty dollar and he doesn't care who get hurt by his unthinking actions.