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ICE to Deploy License-plate Recognition Software.

Technology news website The Verge reported on January 26, "The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking."

According to the General Services Administration website, ICE has awarded a contract "to obtain query based access to a commercially available License Plate Reader (LPR) database." While the recipient of the contract is not identified on the website, the story published by The Verge indicates that Vigilant Solutions will be providing the license plate readers to ICE.

Vigilant Solutions, an LPR manufacturer that's been the recipient of numerous government contracts, boasts of being a "trusted provider to tens of thousands of law enforcement professionals." The Vigilant Solutions database reportedly "contains 2 billion entries," with "70 million additional license plate photographs being added each month."

The Verge asserts: "ICE agents would be able to query that database in two ways. A historical search would turn up every place a given license plate has been spotted in the last five years, a detailed record of the target's movements. 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."

Simplicity is the selling point of this technology, according to information provided by Vigilant on its website. "Plate capture is simple," they boast. And, "Facial Recognition is made incredibly simple and convenient on the Mobile Companion [smartphone app]. Simply take a picture, or upload an image from a file or from social media, and match against the available gallery. Vigilant prepopulates the gallery with mugshot data, CrimeStopper data, and registered sex offender data. Agency Managers may upload additional images into their gallery (using the web interface) for better matching against local known individuals."

The expansion of the surveillance state is creating a country where there isn't an unmonitored place in the real or cyber world.

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Title Annotation:Inside Track
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 19, 2018
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