Millions of cars have been spotted by license plate scanners, and logged into massive government databases for several years now. Also, they make the information available to any law enforcement agency that makes a request. Details are limited, and its unclear how many detentions, arrests, or convictions have resulted from the program.
Lee County has its own license plate scanning program, as we discussed in Big Brother post a while back. I suspect Collier County does as well, due to the nature of some police stops I have seen, but I haven’t seen any public information about it: that remains my suspicion. Meanwhile, only a small percentage of deputies have cameras in their cars.
The government is amassing massive amounts of data on public movements, according to a report released by the ACLU. This is the logical expectation of the growing use of these license plate scanners by law enforcement, as we have previously covered here on Crimcourts. Big brother is watching, recording, and compiling.
Lee County is adding more scanners that scan and record all license plates that drive by. I had not even heard of these until last night’s story, but apparently they are already in use up and down the SW Florida coast; Lee County just happens to be adding more of them. Perfectly legal, your license plate must be visible and the roads are public… but it’s another way for the government to track its citizens. I’m sure the data collected from these operations will be added to the NSA’s warehouse of information that is being build right now.
Oh, after I wrote the paragraph above, I ran across this article on Drudge today. The license plate scanning, and recording, is already far more extensive than I had imagined. I had never even heard of these until this week, and they have apparently been in heavy use for several years now. It makes you wonder in what other ways the government is watching and tracking without us even knowing about it. Satellites? Cell tower and GPS information? The breadth of possibilities is frightening.