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posted by martyb on Wednesday October 05 2016, @08:37AM   Printer-friendly
from the use-virtual-reality,-instead? dept.

Federal agents have persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor constitutionally protected activity.

Emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers—devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars—at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, not far from the Mexican border.

Agents then compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation.

First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Muslim.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05 2016, @02:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05 2016, @02:16PM (#410601)

    > Perhaps the answer is to separate the gathering of information from searching or using it.

    That's a modern sword of Damocles for ordinary citizens. If the information is there, it will eventually be abused because that's human nature. We've seen exactly that scenario play out where anti-terrorism investigative powers are constantly being expanded for non-terrorist investigations to the point of frivolity even, like getting involved in protecting a Harry Potter book from leaking before release. []

    There are only two ways to stop abuse of information: (1) don't collect it or, less effectively (2) make searching it a high-effort task, e.g. all security cameras only store their records locally on-site with the camera and are not networked, so if you want footage you have to hoof to each camera and manually copy the recording. Laws of mean can be changed and violated at will, laws of physics can not.