ICE improves its game and will begin to track license plates
ICE has signed a contract with a database system for the recognition of vehicle licenses, earning access to "billions" of records.
The Trump Administration has a new strategy to harass and persecute immigrants.
According to The Verge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has signed a contract with the data agency Vigilant Solutions, which will provide the records of license plates nationwide. “Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations,” spokesperson Dani Bennett said in a statement. “ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract.”
This new mechanism aims to track the movements of up to one billion cars that have been spotted in the last five years, through track record. As the report continues, “that data could be used to find a given subject’s residence or even identify associates if a given car is regularly spotted in a specific parking lot.”
Immigration agents would then have at their disposal a surveillance infrastructure that allows them to receive alerts via email each time the registration data is updated, receiving up to 2,500 new license plates in each update.
After what we’ve seen in recent months - raids, deportations without criminal records and threats to the sanctuary cities - this new mechanism will only make ICE a more aggressive force.
This is corroborated by civil liberties groups, who fear that this is not only a tool to track undocumented citizens, but a surveillance strategy for the entire nation, warns ACLU policy analyst Jay Stanley.
However, ICE will only be able to access the database, but not collaborate with it, which avoids falling into technical privacy violations that would need to be approved by Congress.