The All-Seeing Eye of the State: Scanners Leave No Place to Hide

John W. Whitehead
Lew Rockwell

“The only person who is still a private individual in Germany is somebody who is asleep.” ~ Robert Ley, a member of the Nazi hierarchy

As the surveillance state expands around us, entangling us in a web from which there is no escape, what we used to call “privacy” is fast becoming a thing of the past. In fact, the very latest governmental assaults on our privacy rights take the form of two portable high-tech scanners that are little more than thinly disguised data collection systems aimed at turning unsuspecting Americans into permanent suspects.

The first device, a license-plate recognition scanner that can sweep a parking lot full of cars in under a minute, uses infrared cameras mounted on police cars to constantly scan nearby license plates and check them against police databases. “Police like the devices for their speed and efficiency but mostly for their ability to record thousands of plates and their locations each day,” writes journalist Christine Vendel. “The information is loaded wirelessly into a police database and archived for possible searches later.” With such a tool at its disposal, the government can retroactively pinpoint exactly where you were on any given day. And if you had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the burden of proving your innocence will rest with you.

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