Tim Cushing reports:
Lee Fang of The Intercept has dug into the cache of internal license plate reader manufacturer documents dumped on the web earlier this year. In addition to hundreds of images of drivers and their vehicles passing through border checkpoints, the files also contained emails from Perceptics (the LPR manufacturer targeted by hackers) to Congressional reps, reminding them to hit their marks at the next Congressional hearing.
In April 2018, during an appropriations committee hearing, the Tennessee Republican took a more subdued and technical approach to immigration issues when quizzing then-Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin McAleenan. [Rep. Chuck] Fleischmann, looking down to read from a paper in front of him, wanted to know if McAleenan was on schedule to implement an upgrade of license plate reader technology at the border, as mandated by a previous appropriations bill.
McAleenan thanked the committee for its support and pledged continued work to upgrade LPR technology along the border.
A few days after the exchange, a lobbyist representing Perceptics, a tech company that sold state-of-the-art LPR cameras and technology to the government, emailed her team to confirm that Fleischmann had “asked about CBP’s plan to modernize its LPRs as we asked his office to do,” along with a link to a video clip of the hearing.
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