DEA has been scanning millions of license plates so it can confiscate people's assets


The Drug Enforcement Administration has been collecting information about millions of people in the US with a semi-secret networks of automated license plate-readers. Its main purpose is for enabling law enforcement to take people's money without charging them of any crime:

The program was started to assist the controversial civil asset forfeiture program which allows law enforcement to seize a suspected criminal’s property without the suspect ever being convicted of the alleged crime.

But it is also useful for police and politicians to stalk and spy on people they hold a personal grudge against:

Backchannel reported in December that police have used their access to license plate readers to stalk former colleagues, and IB Times revealed earlier this month that Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) used location data to smear a political rival.