DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

A national database of vehicles is quietly being created by the Department of Justice to help track drivers in the United States. The program has been tipped by both government documents and US officials, and is said to be done in secret with the DEA running the matter. The database is being put to use for numerous reasons, according to the sources, though it was originally created for seizing cars and other possessions in relation to the trafficking of drugs.

The information comes from the Wall Street Journal, which is reporting that "people familiar with the matter" and documents point toward the program being used to track down cars used for or related with potential crimes of various sorts: murder, kidnapping, and more.

Though the DEA runs the database, it is being used by law enforcement from the local level on up, according to the sources. Through it, authorities can track cars in real time on what are said to be "major roadways", though what exactly that refers to isn't detailed. This database is said to be the by-product of years of work.

License plate readers are being used as part of this system, as well as traffic cameras, and as can be imagined, privacy advocates and others have raised concerns about privacy violations that may be resulting from this. Beyond this, Senator Patrick Leahy has raised some concerns of his own as well, saying, "The fact that this intrusive technology is potentially being used to expand the reach of the government's asset-forfeiture efforts is of even greater concern."

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal