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U.S. Plan to Track Drivers Bigger Than Previously Thought

Posted on Jan 29, 2015

fontplaydotcom (CC BY 2.0)

New documents released by the ACLU reveal that federal agencies proposed that license plate readers be used to monitor the travel patterns of Americans who attended certain public meetings.

The documents showed for the first time the potential scale of a massive database containing information from millions of drivers, logged from automatic license plate readers around the country.

The Guardian reports:

Further documents released by the ACLU on Wednesday show that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials in Phoenix planned on “working closely” with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to monitor public gun shows with the automatic technology in 2009.

Although the DEA has said the proposal was not acted upon, the revelations raise questions about how much further the secret vehicle surveillance extends, which other federal bodies are involved and which other groups may have been targeted.

“The broad thrust of the DEA is to spread its program broadly and catch data and travel patterns on a massive scale,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with ACLU, told the Guardian. “This could be a really amazing level of surveillance that we’ve not seen before in this country.”

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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