London is known as the #1 spy camera city of the world. But New York City is working hard to catch up.
The police department has thousands of cameras installed across the city. But now the city has entered into an agreement with Microsoft to install a far more comprehensive system of surveillance. The details have not yet been released.
The program is called the Domestic Awareness System. It will involve massive data bases.
The system will track the moves of suspected terrorists.
And everyone else.
The public does not know about this. One document gives some information. It is old: 2009: a Public Security Privacy Guidelines memo.
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.”
How many closed-circuit TV cameras are there? About 3,000 in lower Manhattan.
The memo promises to reduce response time and “create a common technological infrastructure to support the integration of new security technology.”
The memo promises that there will be no profiling. It does not say what the criteria will be.
A recent scandal uncovered by the Associated Press has already revealed that the NYPD has been engaged in surveillance missions outside of their jurisdiction, however, going as far as New Orleans, New Jersey and abroad to stake out American Muslims, including college students. Both Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have defended this practice.