New York has not only developed a state-of-the-art police state, it’s selling it:
NYPD, Microsoft Launch All-Seeing “Domain Awareness System” With Real-Time CCTV, License Plate Monitoring
The New York Police Department is embracing online surveillance in a wide-eyed way. Representatives from Microsoft and the NYPD announced the launch of their new Domain Awareness System (DAS) at a lower Manhattan press conference today. Using DAS, police are able to monitor thousands of CCTV cameras around the five boroughs, scan license plates, find out the kind of radiation cars are emitting, and extrapolate info on criminal and terrorism suspects from dozens of criminal databases … all in near-real time.
The City of New York and Microsoft will be licensing DAS out to other cities; according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s government will take a 30% cut of any profits. “Citizens do not like higher taxes, so we will (find other revenue outlets),” said Bloomberg.
Perhaps citizens do not like higher taxes when they lack basic health care and social services, and instead pay for endless imperial wars, invasive surveillance, and police state infrastructure?
Bloomberg continued that “I hope Microsoft sells a lot of copies of this system, because 30% of the profits will go to us.”
Hey! Maybe then we can have our hospital back!
According to publicly available documents, the system will collect and archive data from thousands of NYPD- and private-operated CCTV cameras in New York City, integrate license plate readers, and instantly compare data from multiple non-NYPD intelligence databases. Facial recognition technology is not utilized and only public areas will be monitored, officials say. Monitoring will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a specialized location in Lower Manhattan. Video will be held for 30 days and then deleted unless the NYPD chooses to archive it. Metadata and license plate info collected by DAS will be retained for five years, and unspecified “environmental data” will be stored indefinitely.
Although NYPD documents indicate that the system is specifically designed for anti-terrorism operations, any incidental data it collects “for a legitimate law enforcement or public safety purpose” by DAS can be utilized by the police department. The NYPD will also share data and video with third parties not limited to law enforcement if either a subpoena or memorandum of understanding exists.
Maybe the Palace can get a memorandum of understanding. How hard can it be?
The DAS system is headquartered in a lower Manhattan office tower in a command-and-control center staffed around the clock by both New York police and “private stakeholders.” When this reporter visited, seats were clearly designated with signs for organizations such as the Federal Reserve, the Bank of New York, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, and CitiGroup.
Oh, good. All of our overlords appear to be well-represented. If there is any lingering doubt in your mind as to whom this surveillance system is intended to benefit, please re-read the above paragraph.
Kelly praised DAS as a next-generation law enforcement tool. Civil libertarians, however, are concerned.
In response to a question about civil liberties at the press conference, Bloomberg and Kelly noted that similar systems have been used in the private sector for years–and that mobile phone companies track the intimate, granular details of users’ locations.
Jeezus. Do the mayor and the police commissioner really believe that there is no meaningful distinction between mobile phone companies tracking the intimate, granular details of their customers locations, and the police doing so?
Yes, that is a rhetorical question.