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New York police department is working on setting up license plate readers and cameras throughout Lower Manhattan

New York will soon follow in the footsteps of London’s “ring of steel” by implementing its own Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, reported CNET.  The security initiative will have more than 100 cameras that will monitor cars through Lower Manhattan. 

London's ring of steel entails a network of cameras and roadblocks that are designed to track and deter terrorists.  The images captured by officials have aided in the tracking of suspects of previous threats.

New York's police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, stated last week that department has obtained $25 million toward the project, yet the estimated cost of the plan reaches a hefty $90 million.  Roughly $15 million came from Homeland Security grants and another $10 million came from the city.  At this point, Kelly states that there are enough funds to install roughly 116 license plate readers in fixed and mobile locations over the next few months.

"This area is very critical to the economic lifeblood of this nation," said Kelly in an interview last week with CNET. "We want to make it less vulnerable."

If fully financed, the project will include license plate readers and 3,000 public and private cameras below Canal Street.  There will also be a center staffed by police and private security officers, and roadblocks.

As of now, the license plate readers have been ordered, and the program is still waiting on more funding, hopefully from federal grants.  The entire operation is expected to be in place and running by 2010.

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By knipfty on 7/10/2007 1:49:34 PM , Rating: 1
The cameras can be mounted on police cars or on poles and can read about 30 car plates a minute. When a car is suspect (no insurance, no registration, warrent on the owner, reported stolen, etc), alarms go off and the possible offender gets pulled over. I have no problem with this type of enforcement as it makes traffic enforcement more efficient. There is a problem though...

Each car that is identified, is logged (location, date and time) even if nothing is wrong at that time. The police however save this data forever. They can go back and look up all cars observed in a particular area to help solve crimes later on. And use it for other purposes as they see fit. This I do not like.

RE: Capabililities...
By OrSin on 7/10/2007 2:05:17 PM , Rating: 1
I will get beat up for this but I thing if I'm in public The government has every right to view my actions. Do i think they should be able to sell footage of me kiss my girlfriend the park. NO, but if i did somthing wrong and a camera got me, then its ok. I'm far from a good 2 shoes but really dont monitoring the city streets is not big deal to me. In fact they should add more camera. The number of open air drug markets in the DC area is crazy. Add some carmera and Police that are willing to arrest criminal and I well fell much better.

RE: Capabililities...
By VooDooAddict on 7/10/2007 6:47:24 PM , Rating: 2
And use it for other purposes as they see fit.

What other purposes?

Better traffic flow monitoring?

Depending on the structure of the data this could give some very powerful numbers on traffic flow and work hours while still keeping anonymity for any use other then law enforcement.

If you are concerned that someone will get the data and do something nasty with it ... then you might want to stop using the internet all together. My concern with such a system is that I don't want it to become a automated validation system for licenses/fines/parking tickets. I feel that fines for such offenses are base on the fact that the system only catches people a small % of the time and the likely hood is that when someone is caught they have done the moving or parking violation numerous times. Otherwise people who otherwise never would have gotten tickets will be getting loads of tickets.

This will raise everyone's car insurance premiums even more ... even though the algorithms the insurance company used to raise rates for tickets were based off manual ticket writing.

... I could go on ...

RE: Capabililities...
By 91TTZ on 7/11/2007 12:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
My concern with such a system is that I don't want it to become a automated validation system for licenses/fines/parking tickets.

Now why would the government ever do something like that? I mean it would be low risk and very easy to implement, and would also generate a ton of revenue pleasing the people that oversee the system, but...

Oh come on, you know that this is what it'll really be used for.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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