License to Spy: License Plate Data Collection Program Cancelled

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security

(Washington, DC) – Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) seems to keep finding ways to further levy taxes on the citizens of Maryland. And, just like the never-ending sources of filling Maryland’s coffers, the Federal government is apparently coming up with new ways to invade the privacy of average, ordinary, everyday Americans.

White House officials have concluded it wasn’t enough to have the National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdrop on – and collect and store – the phone records of law-abiding average, ordinary, everyday Americans. But it should be no surprise that their latest plan – data collection on license plates – went over like a lead balloon.

The plans for the program, whose main focus was to help track illegal immigrants, have been scrapped.

“Collecting information like that is racial profiling,” said a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), speaking on condition of anonymity. “And that’s wrong.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) had begun soliciting bids from companies to collect, compile, and store license plate data when it got the call today to pull the plug on the project.

“Obviously we were very disappointed,” said an ICE spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I mean, it would have been a treasure trove of new data mining. And it’s not like all 50 states already have motor vehicle departments that are computerized and store all that information in the first place. No, we were soliciting multi-billion dollar contracts, and as it is, we’ll probably lose about $100 million by ending the program prematurely. No biggie.”

It has also come to light that the tracking system would also have scanned the bumper stickers found on millions of American cars. This facet brings up the possibility of tracking down and harassing drivers displaying political bumper stickers.

“It’s entirely possible for a state to track cars with ‘undesirable’ political statement bumper stickers and, well, put the car out of commission,” said another ACLU spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It brings a whole new possibility of political payback, and it would all depend which state or county or city you were using.”

“We are determined to protect the homeland,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We’ll just have to continue to use the GPS units found in phones and cars until we find something else to throw money at. That’s how the USA PATRIOT Act works!”

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