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What were they thinking? | Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Many  police departments around the nation already use license-plate readers that track cars as they pass traffic signals or pole-mounted cameras. Specially equipped police cars even track cars parked on streets and in driveways. The lame idea that someone high up at the DHS or ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) suddenly realized that calling for bids on a nationwide surveillance system while the current nationwide surveillance systems are being hotly debated, was probably not in their best interest, nor that of the country.

How programs like these suddenly appear on the horizon, may seem a bit of a mystery to many. FCC Commissioner  Ajit Pai claimed the plan to monitor news rooms had never been put to an FCC vote; it was just sort of announced. Plans like these don’t just come out of nowhere. They are floated for a reason and you can be sure there is always someone, somewhere cooking up something that is behind these hare brain concepts.

We can only hope someday technology will provide the technical resources that might address these and many other issues that threaten the liberties we now enjoy. Wouldn’t it be perfectly fitting if every government and elected official were fitted for a “Pinocchio Nose” when they took office. Much like an ankle bracelet that monitors confined offenders under house arrest, the “Pinocchio Nose” would clearly tell the American public when we are being told bold faced lies and convenient non-truths not in our best long term interest.

If we continued to be lied to, tricked, and taken advantage of by the very people who are in office to serve our needs then, much like government wishes to monitor the civilian population, we deserve a system that monitors the waste, deception and foolishness of those who choose to take advantage of the trust we’ve given in the past but can longer afford to do in the future. What’s fair is fair and if anyone needs closer scrutiny it is our government.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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