The Tampa Police Department will deploy dozens of ‘behavior recognition’ surveillance cameras at the Republican National Convention later this month, with the cameras remaining in place and more being added after the event finishes.
“The police department in Tampa, FL, is deploying behavioral recognition software from BRS Labs on dozens of the video cameras that will provide round-the-clock surveillance at many of the venues where the GOP national convention will take place August 27-30,” reports Government Security News.
The cameras work by using a software program called AISight 3.0, which is pre-programmed to acknowledge what behaviors are considered “normal” and then report any “suspicious activity” if it is spotted to police headquarters.
Equipped with the ability to track up to 150 suspects at a time, the cameras build up a “memory” of suspicious behavior to determine what constitutes potential criminal activity.
Critics have labeled the surveillance system one step away from “pre-crime,” the technology inextricably linked with the 2002 science fiction film Minority Report starring Tom Cruise, based on the short story by Philip K. Dick. The movie depicts a ruthless police state that employs psychics called “precogs” to apprehend criminals before crimes occur.
However, instead of being removed after the RNC concludes, more behavior recognition cameras will be added to keep tabs on the general public. BRS Labs president John Frazzini told GSN that once the convention is over, Tampa police will continue to deploy the technology “in an expanded footprint.”
This again emphasizes how invasive surveillance technologies are justified under the pretext of “national security events” and yet once the event is over, another permanent lurch towards an Orwellian society has been accomplished.
Although Frazzini refused to confirm whether the cameras would also be used at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, “Frazzini did point out nonetheless that he was standing in a parking lot in Charlotte, NC, while conducting the telephone interview with GSN,” meaning the same system will almost certainly be in operation at the DNC.
Preparations for the RNC in Tampa as a “national security event” have been long in the making. As we reported back in July, garbage collectors have been trained to spot terrorists and other suspicious activity on their routes as part of a program dubbed ‘Waste Watch’.
Authorities are increasingly turning to pre-crime methods of surveillance in order to reduce the need for human intelligence and eliminate the requirement for camera footage to be watched by employees in real time.
BRS Labs recently announced that a total of 288 ‘pre-crime’ cameras will be installed across 12 transport hubs in San Francisco.
Law enforcement agencies in Washington D.C. are already using a software database developed by the University of Pennsylvania that they claim can predict when crimes will be committed and who will commit them, before they actually happen.
Other forms of pre-crime technology in use or under development include neurological brain scanners that can read people’s intentions before they act, thus detecting whether or not a person has “hostile intent”.
Pre-crime technology is also being rolled out in airports and other public venues in order to identify suspect travelers and single them out for interrogations. This face-scanning system “successfully discriminates between truth and lies in about two-thirds of cases,” which equates to little more accuracy than chance alone, making it even less reliable than the notorious polygraph test, which has been widely discredited and is habitually inaccurate.
As we have previously documented, the Department of Homeland Security’s FAST program is based around similar technology that professes to detect “malintent” by means of pre-crime interrogations and physiological scans.
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