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Does America Need a DHS – National License Plate and is Your Privacy Compromised

Department of Homeland Security national license plate recognition database
Department of Homeland Security national license plate recognition database
photo credit - West Coast Fiya

How much lack of privacy and Big Brother NSA spy in the sky are you concerned about when it comes to what your rights are? Well there is a plan according to Fox News that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) want to initiate a national license-plate recognition database. Not a big deal some might say, because the police do it routinely when they pull you over for a traffic stop and run your plates through their database.

Well, folks there is a new twist on this DHS plan, because they want to collect information from both law enforcement and commercial license tag readers which will enable to “track vehicle license plate numbers that pass cameras that read tags of passing cars,” reported Fox News.

The DHS officials are putting this system out for bid in order to find a firm that will have the capability to build a national tracking system to allegedly, “help track down and arrest fugitive illegal immigrants,” suggests Fox News.

But should the average American really be buying the rationale being offered by the DHS, especially since the secret information gathering revelations Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA in 2013?

There are quite a few civil liberties advocates who not quite so certain that the Obama administration’s intentions should be trusted. These groups are concerned about, “what privacy safeguards would be implemented, would allow government agencies to scrutinize the travel habits of ordinary citizens who are not suspected of wrongdoing,” according to Fox News.

These are important questions that Americans are going to want to know if and when the national license plate system is launched. There are a plethora of federal cases that have focused on fourth amendment rights being violated by law enforcement that place invasive spying devices on cars as a means of tracking where the cars have been or where they are headed.

Catherine Crump who is a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project commented to the Associated Press that the license plate readers actually, “ poses the possibility of charting people’s movements in great detail over time,” according to Fox News. A driver’s specific driving destinations, contacts, and associations could be cross-checked by this system to in-effect develop a profile of the person or his family’s life, yet no crime has been committed

Imagine if a national license plate system’s tracking information were to be used for political purposes as a way to track political opponent groups of a president. It use could have a chilling impact upon the political process in America. Then what is next…drones?

Copyright © 2014 Kevin Fobbs. If you like this article you can subscribe above to receive email updates whenever Kevin Fobbs publishes on

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