The New York Police Department already has thousands of cameras aimed all over the island of Manhattan, but this literal surveillance state is about to be brought up a notch. The NYPD is teaming up with Microsoft to track action across the city.
Later this week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to come forth with more details about a new surveillance project the head of the NYPD hinted at last week. In conjunction with engineers at Microsoft, the NYPD will unleash an advanced “domestic awareness system” that will combine its already extensive city-wide surveillance system with law enforcement’s established databases in order to track the moves of suspected terrorists.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly first commented on the program over the weekend at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, but those close to the project have failed to extrapolate much further other than on the basics. So far little is known about the Domain Awareness System, but an unearthed Public Security Privacy Guidelines memo dated back to 2009 details some of what is to be expected.
According to the memorandum, the Domain Awareness System is designed to implement “technology deployed in public spaces as part of the counterterrorism program” of the NYPD, and will work in tandem with the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) already used by the force, as well as license plate readers “and other domain awareness devices, as appropriate.”
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