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New York Turns Into a High-Tech Police Fortress

New York Turns Into a High-Tech Police Fortress

Antifascist
August 14, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YII-lDn0E8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P9lmZSRDr0

Operation Sentinel, a new program unveiled by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), would encircle Manhattan with thousands of surveillance cameras that photograph every car or truck entering and exiting the city across its network of bridges and tunnels.

Information captured by this intrusive project would be stored in a huge database for an undisclosed period of time. Additionally, a network of sensors installed at toll plazas would allegedly be able to capable detect radiological materials that could be used in potential terror plots, the New York Times reports.

However, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has denounced the proposal as “an attack on New Yorkers’ right to privacy.” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman lambasted this outrageous proposal saying,

“The NYPD’s latest plan to track and monitor the movements of millions of law-abiding people is an assault on this country’s historical respect for the right to privacy and the freedom to be left alone. That this is happening without public debate, and that elected officials have had no opportunity to study this program is even more alarming.” (“NYCLU: NYPD Plan to Track Millions of Law-Abiding People is an Assault on Privacy Rights,” New York Civil Liberties Union, August 12, 2008)

Last month I reported on a high-tech surveillance system under development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) called “Combat Zones That See” (CTS).
The 2003 program was predicated on the notion that once thousands of digital CCTV networks were installed across occupied or “homeland” cities, CTS would provide occupying troops–or police–with “motion-pattern analysis across whole city scales.” Based on complex algorithms linked to the numeric recognition of license plate numbers and scanned-in human profiles, CTS would furnish troops–or cops–real-time, “situational awareness” of the “battlespace.”

Despite repeated attempts by NYCLU to obtain information on Operation Sentinel, NYPD and DHS have refused to provide any information about their mega-surveillance system. While all traces of CTS disappeared from DARPA’s website, portions of the program have resurfaced with a vengeance, courtesy of the NYPD and DHS.

According to New York Times reporter Al Baker,

Data on each vehicle–its time-stamped image, license plate imprint and radiological signature–would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan, where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month as part of a broad security plan that emphasizes protecting the city’s financial district, the spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said. If it were not linked to a suspicious vehicle or a law enforcement investigation, it would be eliminated, he said. (“City Would Photograph Every Vehicle Entering Manhattan and Sniff Out Radiation,” The New York Times, August 12, 2008)

Data on each vehicle–its time-stamped image, license plate imprint and radiological signature–would be sent to a command center in Lower Manhattan, where it would be indexed and stored for at least a month as part of a broad security plan that emphasizes protecting the city’s financial district, the spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said. If it were not linked to a suspicious vehicle or a law enforcement investigation, it would be eliminated, he said. (“City Would Photograph Every Vehicle Entering Manhattan and Sniff Out Radiation,” The New York Times, August 12, 2008)

“It is one tool of ensuring that if there is somebody on a terrorist watch list or someone driving erratically, or if a pattern develops that raises suspicions, it gives them an opportunity to investigate further and–if need be–track down the drivers or the passengers,” he said. “The bottom line is they can’t frisk everybody coming into Manhattan; they cannot wand everyone, as they do at airports. This is a passive collection of data that is not as personally invasive as what they do at airports.”

“It is one tool of ensuring that if there is somebody on a terrorist watch list or someone driving erratically, or if a pattern develops that raises suspicions, it gives them an opportunity to investigate further and–if need be–track down the drivers or the passengers,” he said. “The bottom line is they can’t frisk everybody coming into Manhattan; they cannot wand everyone, as they do at airports. This is a passive collection of data that is not as personally invasive as what they do at airports.”

NYPD Monitors Ring Of Steel Plan
http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/56882

 


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