DHS Seeks Technology to Create Huge License Plate Database
Catherine Herridge is reporting today on privacy concerns over the federal government's apparent push to track license plates as a way to find fugitive undocumented immigrants.
Here's more from Fox News Latino:
The federal agency tasked with arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, put out an official request last week for contractors to submit bids for commercial technology that would help the agency its law enforcement officers tap into the National License Plate Recognition Database, or NLPR.
“The database should track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) and uploaded to share with law enforcement," the request for proposals stated ."NLPR information will be used by DHS/ICE to assist in the location and arrest of absconders and criminal aliens.”
The technology that ICE wants developed for the agency would allow agents to use smart phones to quickly snap a photo of a license plate and quickly determine the plate is on a "hot list" of "target vehicles."
License plate readers, however, would automatically record information on all vehicles that cross their paths instead of just suspect vehicles.
"This system is supposed to be for the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement branch of DHS, for the tracking of illegal immigrants," said J.J. Green, a national security correspondent in Washington D.C. for WTOP radio.
The ACLU is asking what privacy protections are being put into place, and accusing DHS of working on this program in secret.
Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in on Herridge's report on America's News HQ this afternoon. He joked that if you feel like you've missed the great congressional debate about this plan, don't feel bad because there was none!
He called out the Obama administration for once again overreaching, comparing this to what the government is doing with the NSA.
"The same president who directed the NSA to engage in all spying, all the time, has now directed the Department of Homeland Security to take pictures of every license plate in the United States of America in certain select cities. They don't have the technology to put it everywhere yet. No matter who you are and no matter how innocent your driving may be," said Napolitano.
Napolitano said he agrees with the ACLU's assessment that "license plate reader databases open the door to abusive tracking, enabling anyone with access to pry into the lives of his boss, his ex-wife, or his romantic, political or workplace rival."
Watch the full report and analysis in the video above.