Editorial by Nick Rosen
High-tech surveillance systems become more intricate with each passing year. The latest such system, recently unveiled by the NYPD, appears to be the crown jewel of surveillance technology. The “Domain Awareness System,” developed in partnership with Microsoft, integrates a number of already-existing technologies into a super-system capable of keeping a close eye on residents and visitors across the city.
Certainly such a system can have positive effects, like the reduction of crime or the neutralization of terrorists. However, this assumes the technology and the enormous power that comes with it will always be operated by benevolent forces.
The Bible foresees a day when human government will unite into a single entity and turn on God and God’s people. It isn’t hard to imagine how this kind of technology will make their efforts easier.
The NYPD says it will launch an all-seeing “Domain Awareness System” that combines several streams of information to track both criminals and potential terrorists.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says the city developed the software with Microsoft. The program combines city-wide video surveillance with law enforcement databases, according to Kelly.
The Domain Awareness System will include technology deployed in public spaces as part of the counterterrorism program of the NYPD counterterrorism bureau, including: NYPD-owned closed circuit television cameras, license plate readers, and other undisclosed domain awareness devices.
Kelly said the system will be officially unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg sometime this week. Commissioner Kelly announced the program before an audience at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo. over the weekend.
The NYPD has been heavily criticized for using surveillance in Muslim communities and partnering with the Central Intelligence Agency to track potential terror suspects.
Muslim groups have protested and sued to stop the NYPD programs.
Kelly says the policies were essential to halting 14 terrorism plots against the city since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
According to previous information released about the software system:
The Domain Awareness System is a counterterrorism tool designed to:
• Facilitate the observation of pre-operational activity by terrorist organizations or their agents
• Aid in the detection of preparations to conduct terrorist attacks
• Deter terrorist attacks
• Provide a degree of common domain awareness for all Stakeholders
• Reduce incident response times
• Create a common technological infrastructure to support the integration of new security technology
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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