Thursday, May 6, 2010

Police cameras to flood Manhattan to prevent attacks

Never let a good "crisis" go to waste. Pretty much everything this guy did was on camera, but we still need more of them. Welcome to New York, the new London.

    AFP -

    New York officials say they could stop attacks like the attempted Times Square car bomb by expanding a controversial surveillance system so sensitive that it will pick up even suspicious behavior.

    New York is already a heavily policed city, with 35,000 officers and a counterterrorism bureau -- the first of its kind in the country -- partnering the FBI.

    But Saturday's failed terrorist bomb in the Times Square tourist hot spot has provided the authorities with a new argument for expanding a sometimes controversial security blanket of cameras, sensors and analytical software.

    The system "will greatly enhance our ability and the ability of the police to detect suspicious activity in real time, and disrupt possible attacks," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.

    The high-tech system, modeled on the "ring of steel" in London's financial district, is already in service in lower Manhattan, where Wall Street and the World Trade Center reconstruction site are located.

    Headquartered at 55 Broadway, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative goes far beyond the traditional hodgepodge of police cameras, such as the 82 devices installed around Times Square.

    Instead, an integrated system maintains an unblinking eye, not just watching, but constantly collecting license plate numbers and video of pedestrians and drivers, as well as detecting explosives and other weapons.

One nation, under surveillance... Read it all.