Jan 12, 2013

Representative Ron Kind
Longworth House Office Building, Room 1502
Independence and New Jersey Avenues, SE
Washington, DC 20515-4903

Dear Representative Kind,

I am writing to ask that you take immediate action to convene oversight
hearings on the use of Automatic License Plate Readers (also known as
tag readers) by federal and local law enforcement around the country
and the covert creation of a federally coordinated network of mass
surveillance. Tag readers are physical cameras that capture thousands
of plates per minute, tracking law-abiding motorists day or night and
recording the date, time, photos, and immediate area and GPS

Critical questions have not been answered by the authorities using this
technology:  what data is being collected, what happens to it, how long
it is kept, is it shared or given to other agencies, how is it
cross-referenced with other personal information?

The fusion of license plate reader data with commercial and other
databases gives the government virtually unlimited knowledge of our
activities and associations. As the investigation conducted by the
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is uncovering, this forms a system
of mass surveillance and data warehousing that allows millions of
citizens and residents to be routinely tracked, over years, without
probable cause, without a warrant and without even a suspicion that any
crime has been committed.

In nearly all instances, federally funded agencies, like the Department
of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, who are using this
technology, have proceeded without public disclosure, debate or
oversight in establishing the system of surveillance on the movements
and activities of the American public.

It is essential there be disclosure, accountability, and that Congress
and the public inform and determine what restrictions and permission of
such intrusive technology are lawful. And as an initial measure, for
oversight hearings to secure disclosure of just how vast and intrusive
the existing network, deployed without oversight, has become.


John Loeffler

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