This article was originally published by Mass Private I at Activist Post.
Gone are the days when cities used streetlamps to simply illuminate sidewalks and streets. Today’s streetlamps are being used to form an interconnected web of surveillance devices.
A recent San Diego Union-Tribune article revealed how San Diego police officers have used streetlamp video surveillance in at least 140 cases and sometimes as frequently as 20 times a month.
Let that sink in for a moment; spying streetlamps are real and police have already requested video footage from more than 140 streetlamps.
Lt. Jeffery Jordon called spying streetlamps “game-changing” and that is exactly how they should be viewed. Streetlamps that are designed to spy on the public really is a game-changer.
San Diego’s street lamps are also equipped with ShotSpotter microphones that police claim are not being used to listen to public conversations.
Should we believe them?
Could police use ShotSpotter to listen to public conversations? Nearly a decade ago, the East Bay Times revealed how the Oakland Police used ShotSpotter to record public conversations.
It was only three years ago when the NJ Transit secretly used DriveCam’s LTYX cameras equipped with microphones to listen to public conversations.
So just what is law enforcement using these streetlamps for?
No one knows for sure, but a spokesperson for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said that a citywide policy to regulate the use of the microphones and cameras in streetlamps is “under development.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune claims that 100 police officers have direct access to streetlamp surveillance and said that nearly every one of the department’s 1,800 police officers can request access.
Just how concerned is the City Council that law enforcement is using streetlamps as surveillance devices?
Apparently not very much, as City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery admitted, by saying that she’s “open to exploring” oversight of the program.
In what dystopian nightmare are we living in, where listening and watching everything we do in public is “under development” or “open to oversight”?
Over the past few years, I have written numerous stories about smart streetlamp/streetlight surveillance.
Police are also using street lamps equipped with things like Smart Nodes and secret facial recognition cameras to identify Bluetooth devices and people. More recently, I warned everyone that law enforcement is using GE’s CityIQ street lights and Intellistreets to identify people. (Click here to learn more about SKYEYE streetlamps.)
But this story is far more disturbing than those because as the San Diego Union-Tribune points out, politicians and police think nothing of using streetlamps to track people in real-time.
Streetlamp cameras allowed Detective Carlos Muñoz to track the attacker to a 7-11, where in-store cameras and a credit card purchase helped identify him.
How could police track an alleged attacker to a 7-11 unless they have real-time access to streetlamp videos?
Instead of sending off warning bells in City Hall, the city council plans on adding more spying streetlamps. And that should disturb everyone.
The city currently has rolled out about 3,200 streetlamp cameras and expects to have about 4,200 by next summer. General Electric and government officials have promoted the system as the “world’s largest smart city platform.”
Turning San Diego into the “world’s largest smart city platform” takes on a whole new meaning when you realize that the city has at least 40,000 streetlamps.
Can you imagine an entire city covered with 40,000 spying streetlamps? Can you imagine America being blanketed with more than 26 million spying streetlamps?
The prospect of having that many surveillance devices in one city is unnerving, to say the least. But the prospect of having 26 million spying streetlamps operating across the country is terrifying.
still believe the police are your friend. did you see the video of people pouring water on the police. fox news was saying that that was assaulting the police. how is water inflicting bodily harm on the police. if that is the case people are hurting themselves when they shower. its not assault dammit. its demoralizing but that is all. the police beat people but somehow that is justified. police dont protect and serve the taxpayer they protect and serve the aristocracy. you will get screamed at by the police to stop resisting while three of them pin you down and beat you.
I was right despite being banned from everywhere.
Diversity destroys societies.
Do you think a republican mayor could fix Detroit, Baltimore, and Chicago?
Appoint me, as mayor, and I will use the Dixiecrat– I mean Democrat — social model, to clean the city. Democrat.
The antidote? Don’t walk and/or talk on urban streets. Works for me. And as long as it is being used as a tool against the urban miscreants, that works for me too.
Pick your terrain. Pick your battles.
Welcome to the digital gulag.
Firstly, the situation is exploitable, because you can feed it tips, and many programs let you look through the camera, at political opposition. hipwiki.com/Dry+Snitching Radicals will be exploiting the system, first; conservatives are too modest.
Secondly, it will eventually fail, due to abuse of the system. There are only so many times you can “suspiciously” be minding your own business, before it gets swamped with false tips, and info overload. Crimes are always eventually committed within plain and open view of the camera.
Didn’t America fight wars against communist and NAZI’s, who loved this type of thing?