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Privacy The Almighty Buck

Oakland Is Building a Big Data Center For Police Surveillance 92

rjmarvin writes "$7 million in federal grant money originally tasked with terrorism prevention is now being used to fund construction of a new data center in Oakland to electronically gather and analyze data around the clock from a variety of sensors and databases, displaying selected info on a bank of giant monitors. The center will mine massive data streams, helping the police department tap into 911 calls, port and traffic cameras, license plate readers, gunshot sensors, social media posts and commuters' electronic toll payments."
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Oakland Is Building a Big Data Center For Police Surveillance

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  • by Bob_Who ( 926234 ) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @05:06AM (#45150771) Homepage Journal

    Since when does $7m get you a large data center, more like a single rack...

    Good point. Nevertheless, its being used as budgeted. The only subtle distinction is that the terror that we need to worry about are increasingly of the domestic variety. That may always have been the case, but this spending is being done more conspicuously on the municipal scene. I credit the government for being more transparent in this regard. I just wish they would focus the money on jobs for humans and not cash for import data centers... One day at a time a guess.

  • Re:Get used to it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @06:16AM (#45150945)
    It's always been about technology to do stuff and the surplus of wealth necessary to pay for that. In the 1850s, the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy was trying to curb "undesirable writings", so they employed censors to take care of things. But since the quill was the most advanced IT tool by then, and because they could employ something like fifty people, not much was accomplished. Reading letters en masse was just a pipe dream, so they didn't even try. Ditto for the secret police - it sucked by today's standards. By the 1950s, the secret police organizations of the assorted socialist countries were enjoying steam envelope openers (what with seals on letters having fallen out of use) and could read millions of letters every year. Also, the economy, despite still being lousy, improved to the point that the police machinery could have been funded much more generously. And now? With the computational power at hand, immense disk arrays, and with most stuff being electronic, they can store and analyze volumes of letters that the socialist agents of our past could only dream of. It's never been about "will we do that?" for the governments - it's always been about "can we afford that?".

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling