MARK BOWES dailyprogress.com RICHMOND -- Virginia State Police recorded the license plates of every vehicle arriving from Virginia to attend President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in Washington in 2009, as well as those at campaign rallies three months earlier in Leesburg for then-candidate Obama and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The U.S. Secret Service requested that state police use one of its automated license plate readers at the entrance to the Pentagon to capture and store the plate images as an extra level of security for the inauguration, which was attended by an estimated 1.8 million people. The same was requested for the political rallies. The state police license plate readers have been used statewide since 2006, mostly by on-the-road troopers to detect stolen cars and fugitives. But the data collected were also used to solve other crimes after the fact by being able to track a person to a specific place at a certain time. The news of the Virginia data collection effort comes amid revelations that the National Security Agency has been collecting telephone and cellphone records on millions of Americans and a lively debate over the propriety of government record-keeping on private citizens outside of criminal investigations. to read more click here:dailyprogress.com
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