• The Justice Department Is Building A Database To Track Your Vehicle In Real Time

    Turns out, local and state law enforcement agencies have been compiling your personal information for years. Your privacy is apparently being violated whenever you pass a camera that can capture your license plate. And to make matters worse, the Justice Department is building a database to track your vehicle in real-time.

    Fox News has more:

    The program, whose existence was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is primarily overseen by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to combat drug trafficking near the U.S.-Mexico border. However, government emails indicate that the agency has been working to expand the database throughout the United States over the past several years.

    A Justice Department spokesman told Fox News that the tracking program is compliant with federal law, claiming it “includes protocols that limit who can access the database and all of the license plate information is deleted after 90 days.” In 2012, a DEA agent testified before a House subcommittee that the program was inaugurated in December 2008 and information gathered by it was available to federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations.

    It is not clear whether the tracking is overseen or approved by any court.

    According to the Journal, the DEA program uses high-tech cameras placed on major highways to collect information on vehicle movements, including location and direction. Many of the devices are able to record images of drivers and passengers, some of which are clear enough identify individuals. Documents seen by the Journal also show that the DEA uses information from federal, state, and local license plate readers to burnish their own program.

    As always, the government never met a small-scale policy it didn’t want to expand or nationalize.

    Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, says this program “raises significant privacy concerns,” thehill.com reports.

    “The fact that this intrusive technology is potentially being used to expand the reach of the government’s asset-forfeiture efforts is of even greater concern,” he said.

    A January 2014 Pew Research poll found that by a 70 percent to 26 percent margin, Americans say they don’t want to give up privacy and freedom in order to be safe.

    Jerome Hudson

    Managing Editor

    Jerome Hudson has written for numerous national outlets, including The Hill, National Review, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was recognized as one of Florida’s emerging stars, having been included in the list “25 Under 30: Florida’s Rising Young Political Class.” Hudson is a Savannah, Ga. native who currently resides in Florida.

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