Before long, every move we make may be tracked without our full knowledge. It just seems like we are headed towards that sort of "big brother" way of life. Paul Mulshine of the Star-Ledger recently wrote a blog about an infuriating experience he had with these automated license-plate readers at the Freehold Raceway Mall, one of the busiest shopping centers in the tri-state area.

A card was left on the windshield of his wife's car stating that the registration had expired and that she will be issued a summons. Upon further investigation, Mulshine said,

I got even more ticked off the next day when I called Dave Jones. Jones recently retired from the State Police, but for years he was the spokesman for the State Police Fraternal Association (not FOP, as a reader noted) unit. In that capacity, he often complained about policies that make the police "sing for their supper" — i.e., hand out enough tickets to cover their salaries.

I had to see this for myself, so I hung up and drove to Freehold. Sure enough, over every entrance to the mall were scanners that record the plate numbers of every car coming and going. The scan instantly shows whether the registration is current, Jones said. While the driver is shopping, the police are writing out a ticket. The project was funded with a $285,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office claims these license-plate readers are being used as a security measure against potential terrorist attacks.

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