They are watching

An interesting report spurred on by the ACLU is hitting the news today.  It seems that your local police department may be using cameras and computers to store your license plate information… including the location of where and when your car is located.  According to the USA Today report:

The digital dragnet mostly collects data that are unrelated to any suspected lawbreaking or known activity of interest to law enforcement. It is a fast-growing trend ripe for misuse and abuse, the ACLU says.

We know the ACLU has nothing to worry about if it has nothing to hide.  What’s a little license plate data collections among friends, really?  Maybe the ACLU just doesn’t want you to know it’s shopping at Costco instead of Freshmarket?

Thankfully some of the cops are telling us that these are actually good.  After all, when your ’94 Chevy Malibu gets stolen from the church parking lot they’ve been monitoring, you’ll be happy they’ve also been scanning the license plates of all the cars pulling in and out of the Dog ‘n Suds up the street, right?  That way they cops will be able to know what the thief who “borrowed” it had for lunch on the way to the chop shop.

Wait.  They’d never go to a place of worship to record who is coming and going and where people practice their religion, would they? Of course they would:

In perhaps the most high-profile case, police in New York City used the readers to record license plates of congregants as they arrived to pray at a mosque in Queens.

And Rockwell thought it was the mailman and I.R.S. who were watching him. So silly.


Matt Haiduk is an uncooperative Criminal Defense Lawyer with offices in Kane County and McHenry County, Illinois.  Feel free to follow him on twitter or add him on Google+.