The EYE is always watching

It seems we’re waltzing towards the “creepy” side of the dance floor.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

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.

The scanners would capture only the license plate, the GPS coordinates and the direction of travel, Newcomb said. If the DEA or another law enforcement agency has input a license plate number for a car to be stopped immediately, local police would be notified by email or a cell phone text message when that plate crossed the scanner.


For long-term investigations, including those tracking people who grow marijuana on public land in Utah, the digital data would be routed through the police dispatch centers in Beaver and Washington counties to a DEA facility in northern Virginia where it would be stored for two years.

The stored data could be used only to research the movements of suspected drug traffickers or to help other law enforcement agencies investigating serious crimes, Newcomb said. The DEA would track who is accessing the data and why, he said.

The stored data would not be cross-referenced with other databases such as those with names, drivers license or car make and model information, Newcomb said.

“I can assure you there is no private information stored in association with these plates,” Newcomb told lawmakers.

Ummm, sure.

I’m not breaking the law, and I don’t have anything to hide, so why does this bother me so much? And why do I keep having flashbacks to the movie Enemy of the State?

I think it has to do with the presumption of innocence, and various steps that our law enforcement is taking which run counter to that presumption. Each step of “help” seems to come at the expense of the law-abiding citizen. Whether it is fear of the IRS, being groped by the TSA, spied on by drones in the sky, or worse: having those drones armed, you can’t escape the feeling that the government wants to keep tabs on us more than we are willing to keep tabs on the government.

And I wonder: how much more of our freedom do we have to lose before people shout “Enough”!?

Because obviously, we’re not there yet.

10 responses to “The EYE is always watching

  1. With these eyes we shall rule this United States!

  2. “I’m made of metal, my circuits gleam, I am perpetual, I keep the country clean…”

  3. Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog and commented:
    Just gets weirder and weirder by the day

  4. An excellent and timely article. How much extra or temporary security does one gain by removing all barriers that assure some semblance of privacy? Add to all of the above government’s continual push to monitor and control the internet and the so called “Patriot” Act and the National Defense Authorization Act that allows citizens to be held without charge indefinitely.

    • I wasn’t a Patriot Act fan (amazingly, I agreed with the libs on that one), Rick, and the NDAA was just a logical progression.

      I’m gonna do some research on the number of video cameras and monitoring systems in the U.S over the weekend. I’m sure I will be very depressed at my findings.

      We have gone from a right to privacy, to a right to THINK we have privacy, to basically having our lack of privacy rubbed in our faces.
      I’m not a delusional guy or a conspiracy nut, but I don’t like Big Daddy peering over my shoulder every second of the day.

      And that’s EXACTLY where he wants to be.

  5. Not liking Big Daddy’s peering is what makes us Americans unique. Fighting to stop it or to at least limit it to only what is reasonable has been a key factor in what has made us great. Best to you! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Watching You « Two Heads are Better Than One

  7. Pingback: The EYE is always watching (Part 2) | Two Heads are Better Than One

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