Many people have said that the legacy of this year’s London Olympics will be related to surveillance, yet with recent announcement of Domain Awareness System in New York, it definitely looks like security expansion of big cities will be the overall legacy of 2012. The notorious surveillance bureau called Britain is a current home to more than 4.2 million of CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras, and that is 1 CCTV camera for every 14 citizens. By comparison, there are 1.3 billion of people live in China, and this country has only 2.75 million of CCTV cameras, and that is 1 camera for every 472 000 citizens.
And if strict numbers were not enough for you, due to huge security concerns related to the massive influx of international population during London 2012 Olympics, the system of CCTV cameras of the city has been interconnected and expanded drastically. The system called DYVINE allows all of the London CCTV camera networks to be monitored and controlled by one central control room of the police. Wherever the potential criminal is, his current location and moving trajectory can be tracked and plotted on a map with all the details and 3D image. Moreover, many of those CCTV cameras in different locations of London have been significantly upgraded so now they include thermal vision, thus even in bad weather conditions suspects can be easily pinpointed and effectively tracked.
Oh, and don’t forget about the drones. To enhance security level for the Olympic Games, London authorities have deployed unmanned surveillance drones (or simply surveillance UAVs) to have many eyes in the skies looking for potential terrorists and possible attacks. If you live in the USA, you probably already questioning yourself: how all that can affect you? But I can answer this question, and you will probably not like what I will say. Across the Atlantic such kind of surveillance may also become a norm, or maybe it already did. New York City has expanded the surveillance network that is mentioned in many newspapers and at many internet pages as Domain Awareness System, and was recently described by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
This system will operate the existing network of CCTV cameras in the New York City, which is also paired with hi-tech developments from Microsoft Corporation that is meant to create a common tech infrastructure, which will support the full integration of advanced security technologies. The Police Department of New York currently works with more than 3 000 of CCTV cameras, and that is only in lower Manhattan, so with this expansion of security measures, those cameras may end up upgraded with license plate readers and facial recognition software, to create much more intelligent and integrated surveillance system of the city.
Both London and New York surveillance programs were designed and installed to counter any possible terrorist activity, though as the threat of terrorist attacks lowers somewhat in London after the Olympic Games, whole security infrastructure has been left behind. All Londoners may feel much safer with this expanded CCTV camera network operating around the city, yet I expect privacy rights advocates to have pretty much to say regarding the permanent and ever-growing Big Brother surveillance state. Until then as the citizen of any of those two cities the only thing you can do to protect your privacy is to use CCTV camera jammer that will help you to avoid being spotted by those cameras.
What are your thoughts on all those security measures in New York and London? Write them down to the comments!