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DEA Wants To Install License Plate Scanners and Retain Data for Two Years 295

An anonymous reader writes with news that might make privacy advocates a bit uneasy. From the article: "Everyone driving on Interstate 15 in southwest Utah may soon have their license plate scanned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA and two sheriffs are asking permission to install stationary license plate scanners on the freeway in Beaver and Washington counties. The primary purpose would be to catch or build cases against drug traffickers, but at a Utah Legislature committee meeting Wednesday, the sheriffs and a DEA representative described how the scanners also could be used to catch kidnappers and violent criminals. That, however, wasn't the concern of skeptical legislators on the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. They were worried about the DEA storing the data for two years and who would be able to access it."
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DEA Wants To Install License Plate Scanners and Retain Data for Two Years

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  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @01:41AM (#40073457)

    I'm a resident of Utah. The DEA has been talking about stuff like this literally since the technology came about. I'm not surprised they are trying to get the Legislature to authorize it, they just had to get a county to buy in on it. But I am surprised it took them this long to find a county willing. Frankly the counties do a LOT of seizures and probably make a tidy profit on it but these cameras are going to make the DEA more interested in letting people pass so they can track them later so that's probably why it took this long to get a county to buy in on the plan.

    I-15 through Utah carries something like 60% of the drugs coming out of LA destined for the rest of the country. You might not be familiar with the geography but unless you are willing to drive on 300+ miles of dirt roads I-15 and I-10 are the only reasonable transit corridors out of LA to the rest of the country (unless you wanna drive from LA to Sacramento and come out on I-80). There just aren't that many roads across the Sierra's and as a result I-15 before it reaches I-70 becomes an ideal candidate for scanning and data collection. All you'd need is another camera in Arizona before it reaches Phoenix and you could cover almost 100% of the drug traffic out of southern California.

    As I said, there's been articles every few months in the local papers talking about it for the last couple decades with a big focus on tracking repeat users of the highway the last few years. As soon as I saw the report it wasn't hard to put it together.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM