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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Government is Spying on Us in Our Cars


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
Government spying police photo
 For years, people with tinfoil hats have been saying the government is spying on us. Crazy, right? Actually, not so crazy — at least when it comes to our cars. And webcams. And cell phones.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, “The Justice Department has been secretly gathering and storing hundreds of millions of records about motorists in an effort to build a national database that tracks the movement of vehicles across the country.”

Dodge Charger Pursuit photo
 The program started out with the DEA scanning license plates. It was looking for ill-gotten gains and the like so it could seize assets. After all, the government makes lots of money off asset seizures.
But then government officials decided to expand beyond the money grab.

The article reports, “ … the use of the database had expanded to include hunting for vehicles linked to other possible crimes, including kidnapping, killings and rape suspects, the paper said, citing current and former officials and government documents.”

Corvette police Stingray photo
 OK, so what’s the big deal if government spying captures a few rapists and murderers? Well, there’s the whole unlawful search and seizure issue to consider. You’re not supposed to be targeted by the police just for driving down the street.

The Journal quoted Senator Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, as saying the use of license plate readers “raises significant privacy concerns.” Yes it does.