The expansion of the surveillance and police state are taking hold of many cities around the United States and Lebanon, Tennessee is it’s next victim. The government now gets to keep a closer eye on you and your city is probably helping.
This new bit of technology picks up license plate numbers and instantly sends the information to Homeland Security with the ability to track you coast to coast.
Of course these cities aren’t helping without a few “perks” from the United States government.
We are now one step closer to tyranny and the Constitution being set on fire, all in the name of “safety”
The New American reports:
The latest annexation involves the Nashville suburb of Lebanon, Tennessee. Just prior to the county fair held annually in the town, the police department announced its acquisition of a license plate reader that would “pick up the alpha-numeric sequence of each tag that comes by within its range,” according to P.J. Hardy, Lebanon police public information officer.
The local paper published the details of the town’s purpose for the plate trackers:
The numbers are then put into a computer system, which alerts the department if there’s information with that sequence of letters and numbers that shows the vehicle is stolen, has a stolen tag or if the registered owner is wanted for warrants, according to Hardy.
“Anytime there is an alert from where something has been entered from anywhere across the U.S. with that combination of letters and numbers, it’ll send an alert to wherever we want that to go. In our case it’ll go to our dispatch center,” he said.
The data is shared instantly with the Department of Homeland Security so that the federal surveillance agency can have an eye on everyone driving anywhere, from the Beltway to the Bible Belt.
An article in the Wall Street Journal indicates that this expensive equipment is being bought with money given by the federal Department of Justice to increase the size of the surveillance net it is trying to throw around the entire country.
“The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists,” the paper reports.
And an investigation of the devices conducted by the ACLU reveals that the system in use by the Lebanon Police Department and others nationwide has the ability to store “up to 10 photos per vehicle transaction including 4 occupant photos.”
As is the case with every expansion of the surveillance state, Hardy declared the license plate readers to be “just another tool that we have to make sure our community stays safe.”
Crowing about the super-human capacity of these devices, Hardy described how the scanners were mounted and how useful they would be.
The system features “four individual cameras in one unit, mountable on a patrol car’s rooftop, rear deck or rear trunk deck or could be mounted on a stationary item such as wood.”
What’s more, the installation of the device in a squad car “is like having four officers in a car looking in each corner in each direction looking out for tags.”
This roll-out of mobile and fixed tracking tools raises questions about the proper job of law enforcement. More and more, it seems, police are being trained and equipped to behave like soldiers rather than peace officers. Rather than protecting and defending, cops are injuring and falsely accusing. All of this unfortunate transformation is aided by a federal government all too willing to give billions in grant money and used military equipment to local law enforcement agencies in exchange for additional federal-local “cooperation.”
Not to mention that the expansion of the surveillance state — as chronicled for years by The New American — is creating a country where there isn’t an unmonitored place in the real or cyber world. From Trapwire to Prism, from XKeyscore to the monitoring of snail mail, the federal government and the law enforcement that is regularly the beneficiary of its legal plunder of citizens are always watching us.
One picture of a car and its passengers, one unwarranted wiretap, one unwarranted seizure of a phone record, one search of records of an individual’s digital communications is too many. If we are a republic of laws, then the supreme constitutional law of the land must be obeyed.
The standard is not whether the spies or their bosses think the deprivations are necessary. The standard is the Constitution — for every issue, on every occasion, with no exceptions and no excuses. Anything less than that is a step toward tyranny.