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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 

Article: One World Government
 

A SMALL private firm in the US has developed a surveillance system of Orwellian proportions that could very well be the future of big brother. 
              
Thirty kilometres above a chosen city, a plane hangs out of sight of the thousands of people scurrying below — continuously circling the metropolis underneath. Every second, the plane takes a photo of the entire city and all the happenings within a 64sq km radius. The images are beamed down to a control centre where they create what is akin to a real-time Google map of everything taking place.
 
When a crime occurs, teams of analysts simply scroll back in time to the scene of the incident and identify those involved. From that point, they can follow the target by clicking forward through the images to the present moment and pinpoint their location. Ostensibly, surveillance is about preventing and prosecuting crimes — and while it’s only been used in a handful of cities, Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) are designed to do just that. The times it has been used on US soil, the tool has allowed authorities to solve crimes in a matter of minutes.
 
According to the National Institute of Justice, Dayton Ohio has 27,000 reported crimes per year, 70 to 80 per day and nearly 10,000 serious crimes, such as rape, murder and assault, which amount to a cost of $US3400 per person each year. “PSS believes we will contribute to reducing the crime in Dayton by 20 per cent to 30 per cent,” Mr McNutt said. He said this would amount to a yearly saving of $US96 million to $US144 million.
After a five-day trial in June of 2012, the results proved exciting to law enforcement and the police chief recommended a permanent expansion of the services.
 
However the city decided to hold a public forum to debate the idea and only about 75 people turned up. Due to the high rates of crime, many were supportive of having the surveillance plane overhead. But others, a slightly smaller but very vocal group, were opposed and ultimately dissuaded the city from adopting the service. At least for the time being.
 
The company says it has about $US150 million in proposals and is waiting to hear if its services will be enlisted. It has negotiated with the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia, Moscow and London.
The company has also carried out a contract for a classified client to combat cartel violence in Mexico.
 
As with all forms of surveillance, PSS ignites a debate about the trade off between civil freedoms and the lengths we should be willing to go to prevent crime. But Mr McNutt said they had made assurances to allay such concerns.
 
And with companies like Persistent Surveillance Systems, those questions of what we should do are becoming increasingly pertinent. 

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