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Data-Fed Monitoring System Will Put New Yorkers Under Police Surveillance 259

Posted by timothy
from the if-this-isn't-creepy-you're-not-paying-attention dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes that New York City isn't just gathering data on citizens with cameras and other data sources for sifting through later to seek evidence in the event of violent acts; it's using some of that data in real-time in an attempt to reveal potential criminal activity. They've even picked a name for their system that echoes DARPA's Total Information Awareness, which I guess is more diplomatic than just calling it Precrime: "The Domain Awareness System will draw data from 911 calls, previous crime reports, license-plate readers, law-enforcement databases, environmental sensors, and roughly 3,000 closed-circuit cameras. It will rely on the New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN), a high-speed wireless broadband infrastructure that allows city agencies to rapidly transmit data, and used for everything from emergency response to reading meters. Mayor Bloomberg argued that the system isn't an example of Big Brother overstepping the line. 'What you're seeing is what the private sector has used for a long time,' he told Gothamist. 'If you walk around with a cell phone, the cell phone company knows where you are. We're not your mom and pop's police department anymore.'"
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Data-Fed Monitoring System Will Put New Yorkers Under Police Surveillance

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  • Unsubscribe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:11PM (#40933669)

    Mayor Bloomberg argued that the system isn't an example of Big Brother overstepping the line. 'What you're seeing is what the private sector has used for a long time,' he told Gothamist. 'If you walk around with a cell phone, the cell phone company knows where you are. We're not your mom and pop's police department anymore.'"

    The difference here is that I am not allowed to opt-out of the government's system. I am able to choose whether I want to allow the private sector to know where I am by not buying a cell phone. Big difference there, chief.

  • The Difference (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:13PM (#40933685)

    The difference, of course, is that only government holds the special "right" to employ physical force as a business model. Private business can only hurt you with the blessing of government. Government can hurt you at will, and with no recourse.

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:14PM (#40933707)

    If you walk around with a cell phone, the cell phone company knows where you are

    And if I have a bank account, then the bank knows how much money I have or what all my transactions are. That doesn't mean police gets to use that information indiscriminately/without a warrant.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:24PM (#40933873)

    That would be the response from my "friends" if I posted this on facebook. They just don't see anything wrong with this level of surveillance (or police ramming-down your door and shooting you).

  • Re:Unsubscribe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Artraze (600366) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:25PM (#40933901)

    And, more to the point, the cell phone company can't put people in jail. They aren't going to be searching that data to "discover" crimes. (Collect enough data and statistically you can 'prove' almost anything). If anything, their incentive is to ignore it as much as possible: Not only because it limits their liability in case something happens that they missed, but also because people is jail aren't buying cell phones.

  • Re:Unsubscribe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:27PM (#40933931)

    You can always replace the people who run it.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • Re:The problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:31PM (#40934013)

    The real problem is that there are now so many laws that everyone is a criminal, you can't even tell for certain whether what you're doing is illegal because it may be hidden in an obscure paragraph on page 10,799 of the 'Think Of The Children Act 2003' and if every law was enforced the entire economy would shut down.

  • Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mephistophocles (930357) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:31PM (#40934017) Homepage

    Mayor Bloomberg argued that the system isn't an example of Big Brother overstepping the line.

    That shouldn't even be up for debate here. If we're taking up that debate with the Mayor, then we've already fallen for his straw-man and are missing the point completely. Of COURSE it's overstepping the line; that's obvious and doesn't need debate. The real problem here is that New Yorkers aren't fighting stuff like this for all they're worth - non-violent whenever possible, violent when necessary. And yes, that's constitutionally protected free speech.

    For now, Bloomberg, you evil fiend, I hope this at least destroys whatever tourist traffic is left in the big apple. I, for one, will not ever be traveling to your city as long as this crap exists (and it's a shame, because there is much about New York that I love).

  • Re:Unsubscribe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:34PM (#40934065)

    Peoples' choice. There are no laws that restrict who you can vote for.

    If voting could make a difference, it would be banned. At best, if you dedicate months of your life to doing so, you can replace one guy at the top, who then has to deal with a huge entrenched bureaucracy that wants more money and power and will do whatever it can to get rid of them.

    Do you really think, for example, that if Americans were given a free choice of who should be candidates for President this year they would pick... Obama and Romney? There's no better choice in the country than those two?

  • Not reassuring. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eevee (535658) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:40PM (#40934161)

    We're not your mom and pop's police department anymore.'"

    Becoming the Stasi [wikipedia.org] isn't an improvement.

  • Re:Unsubscribe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) * on Thursday August 09, 2012 @01:45PM (#40934249)

    The difference here is that I am not allowed to opt-out of the government's system.

    Nor does AT&T have the power of arrest and detention.

    Standing up and saying its not Big Brother doesn't make it so.
    The sad part is New Yorkers will probably go for this in a heart beat. All you need to do is whisper World Trade Center, and all opposition voices will be drowned out. Take it from me, my sister lords it over me every time this type of issue comes up because she was 6 blocks away on 9/11.

  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@@@got...net> on Thursday August 09, 2012 @03:40PM (#40936647) Journal

    Are you kidding, there are 6 full volumes of "Bush"isms... and not just half conscious blathering performed at the end of 4, 22 hours days. Obama is well known for brilliantly reading speeches, he's an excellent orator. Even Reagan, a man who could handle a written speech with the best (there is no better training for public speaking than being an actor.) Opened his mouth and delivered unprepared howlers.Face it, The guys that run our country are forced to deal with topics outside their expertise, and if they're hard working SOBs, then in a tired moment stupid stuff will be said. If you have 4 years of public speaking, and in that time they can only hang a couple dozen faux paus on you, while having a body of public speaking that typically excellent. No biggie,

    You can't honestly compare that to a man (Dubyah) who couldn't open his mouth prepared or not, and reflexively not have something stupid fall out. That kind of nit picking is the sign of someone whose rectum is much too firmly clenched. Nobody denies that Ronny was "The Communicator", and that his comments about "catchup being a vegetable" or that "trees cause pollution" were aberrations in an otherwise pretty spectacular job of speaking to the masses.

    In short, if you wanna burn on Obama for caving in to Hollywood, or gutting our rights as citizen, I got some matches right here, and I can be back with some lighter fluid in about 5 minutes. You wanna make like he's Bush #2 the talking baboon, ah, not so much, in fact your hurting your own cause, because you just look like a childish hater pulling stuff outta your posterior to trump up as an issue... that ain't him looking stupid. Its you.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @04:18PM (#40937223)

    Appropriate, because it's not my mom and pop's country anymore.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @05:26PM (#40938219) Journal

    You've got some seriously dangerous animals who have no human compassion at all in them.

    Very true. Do you really want to give them the ability to track you every minute of every day?

    Here we see the simplemindedness of the authoritarian. He has no way to conceive that the bad people he is so afraid of might one day control the security apparatus of the city (if they do not do so already). We've already seen how brutally the NYPD has treated a peaceful movement for economic justice, while letting trillions of dollars worth of fraud go unpunished. What reason is there to believe the NYPD has your best interests at heart?

    You can't be against public surveillance then complain later when you or your loved ones get mugged/raped/killed.

    You can't be for universal surveillance and then complain later when the authorities use it to chill political dissent.

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