12:27 GMT28 October 2020
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    It is yet not clear whether any American court has supervised or approved of the collection of information on US drivers.

    MOSCOW, January 27 (Sputnik) — The US Justice Department has been gathering data on US drivers for a national vehicle movement tracking database, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Data on US motorists is obtained under the existing "license plate tracking program." The program is used by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to seize cars, money and other assets, the newspaper said Monday.

    According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, building a national automobile database will allow for the prevention of a wide range of the crimes, "from kidnappings to killings to rape […]." Federal and local law enforcement agencies are currently able to track down cars and other vehicles linked to possible crimes by using the license plate tracking program.

    The creation of the database arrives amid rising concerns over the scale of US government spying on its own citizens, especially following the disclosure of NSA mass surveillance programs by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

    It is yet not clear whether any American court has supervised or approved of the collection of information on US drivers.

    The license plate tracking program run by DEA includes installation of license plate recognition devices and scanning of plates. The program has been in operation since 2008.


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    surveillance, crime, database, US Justice Department, US
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