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The Next Step in Federal Surveillance

We have seen the continuing growth of warrantless surveillance systems in the United States, and the Federal Government is starting to role out the next phase -- the collection and analysis of vehicle traffic on highways. That means the identification of everyone traveling on highways.

Early versions of this sophisticated equipment, called Automatic Number Plate Recognition (or ANPR), is already in use in local jurisdictions for traffic control, mostly monitoring for traffic violations. More advanced systems are being developed for massive data collection.


As with all the Federal Programs, they are rolling this out slowly, in isolated spots for now. This serves a dual purpose of public acclimation, with help from the friendly media, and for testing the equipment and data collection systems.

One of the first places to receive such Brotherly assistance from the Feds is the State of Utah. Every car traveling on I-15 in southwestern Utah would have its license plate scanned under a proposal by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The DEA would send the data to Washington for storage and analysis.

The DEA uses the technology along the U.S. border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Moving into the country's interior along known drug trafficking routes is the second phase of a three-phase project that would end with scanners being placed along the country's northern border.

A less technical version of this has already been in effect for years in major cities, such as New York and London.

The Police State - Controlling Manhattan (part 2)

Now the full scale of the program is coming into view. For several years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. military (undefined, though most likely NSA) have been giving grants to local and state law enforcement equipment for the warrantless surveillance of everyday traffic, as well as monitoring traffic offenders, on local and state roads, using onboard and stationary readers.

As mentioned in the Privacy SOS article, the local and state agencies are already collecting and analyzing the data, using the nationwide network of data and communication sharing built by the Federal Government specifically to collect, store, analyze, share data between all layers and agencies of local, state, and federal government. As more local and state agencies, as well as the Feds on major highways, collect this data, there will be terabytes, if not petabytes, of data to store and crunch for analysis when the entire grid is complete.

Which brings us back to Utah and that remote pilot project along I-15. Just up the road in Riverton is a much larger Federal construction project underway at Camp William, adjacent to I-15 -- the largest Data Storage Center ever to be constructed, to be run by the NSA, whose director vehemently denied any involvement in domestic spying on U.S. citizens to Congress recently.

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Added: May-19-2012 Occurred On: May-19-2012
By: joe prole
Tags: Traffic surveillance, Automatic number plate recognition, ANPR, Big brother, DEA, NSA, DHS
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 1381 | Comments: 15 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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