NYC Is Watching, 24 Hours

At the recent Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly spoke about the city’s new Domain Awareness System. The system will work in tandem with the city’s currently-existing 3,000+ closed-circuit television cameras and license plate readers to provide city-wide surveillance.

Microsoft developed the software program. The program combines several streams of information, which may or may not include GPS tracking, and works with already established law enforcement databases, tracking the movements of suspected criminals and terrorists.

According to a 2009 Public Security Privacy Guidelines memo, the Domain Awareness System technology is designed to observe terrorist activity, deter and detect potential attacks, reduce response time and “create a common technological infrastructure to support the integration of new security technology.”

The memo continues, stating that the plan is for the tracking System to operate 24 hours a day, every day.

Despite some religious groups’ public outcries about the cameras being used to target specific populations, both Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have defended the use of public surveillance. Commissioner Kelly credits the cameras for thwarting 14 terror plots since 9/11.

Sources: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/07/28/nypd-plans-to-launch-new-criminal-and-terrorist-tracking-system and http://rt.com/usa/news/nypdsurveillance-awareness-cameras-433. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images