Advertisement
Tech by VICE

The Private Surveillance System That Tracks Cars Nationwide

It’s not just the NSA with all of the surveillance power in America, there's a booming corporate-owned surveillance industry used by private investigators.

by Motherboard Staff
Sep 19 2019, 5:58pm

Image: Getty Images

In just a few taps and clicks, a secret surveillance infrastructure created by a private company can show any user on its interface where a car has been seen throughout the U.S.

With an private investigator industry source, Joseph Cox showed how a powerful system called the ‘Digital Recognition Network’ (DRN) and made by an American company of the same name, is used by repossession agents, private investigators, and insurance companies to track cars in the U.S.

Armed with just a car's license plate number, the tool—fed by a network of private cameras spread across the country, snapping photos of vehicles and plate numbers—provides users a list of all the times that car has been spotted all on an easily usable Google-Maps style interface.

On this week’s CYBER we sit down with Joseph to discuss how it’s not just the NSA with all of the surveillance power in America, companies like DRN are yet another example of the booming private-spy infrastructure spreading across the country.

Follow Ben Makuch and Joseph Cox on Twitter.