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Microsoft, NYC Marketing Vast Surveillance System To Other Cities

timothy posted 1 year,15 days | from the they're-so-very-scrupulous-you-needn't-worry dept.

Government 60

Presto Vivace writes with this snippet from the New York Times: "'In the six months since the Domain Awareness System was unveiled, officials of Microsoft, which designed the system with the New York Police Department, said they have been surprised by the response and are actively negotiating with a number of prospective buyers, whom Microsoft declined to identify.' Don't want this in your city? You might want to let your local leadership know how you feel."

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60 comments

fuck you (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357451)

Raymond Kelly stop watching me pee!

Re:fuck you (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357661)

Stop peeing in the streets!

Re:fuck you (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358325)

I agree. I do all my peeing off of tall buildings.

Re:fuck you (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43363511)

More like Steve Ballmer watching you squirt.

Microsoft invested heavily in social media manipulation software so they could influence opinion on discussion sites and forums.

Being able to track so much community activity both on the web. and more directly via Windows telemetry, isn't just useful for their marketing sockpuppets. The information gathered on so many people becomes a product that can be sold as well. Now we see it's being traded, not just to other marketing organizations, but also to "law" enforcement types as well.

Herr Bloomberg... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357489)

"As a user-object within the Domain Awareness System you have the permissions to set 'read deny' on your access control list. Any of your attributes can and may be used against you."

Re: Herr Bloomberg... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358681)

In the Domain Awareness System the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the fascists who try to control everything, and the technologists who supports them.

But who watches the watchers? (5, Insightful)

FreekyGeek (19819) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357537)

As usual, no information about oversight, abuse detection, or anything similar. It's the same old "just trust us, we won't use our powerful new toy for anything bad, we promise." Puh-lease. The same people who claim that law abiding citizens with nothing to hide shouldn't care about privacy-invading constant surveillance are also the peopel who do their utmost to make darn sure no one can oobserve *their* activities or punish *them* for any infractions. "We don't trust you at all, but we expect you to just trust us." I'm so filled with confidence.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357647)

"Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Jim Pasco was quite straightforward about it.

Police officers, he told NPR, “need to move quickly, in split seconds, without giving a lot of thought to what the adverse consequences for them might be.” He added that law enforcement authorities believe “that anything that’s going to have a chilling effect on an officer moving — an apprehension that he’s being videotaped and may be made to look bad — could cost him or some citizen their life.”"

Re:But who watches the watchers? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357757)

And not watching the police can cost lives, too.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357885)

He shouldn't worry. Here's how the London Metropolitan Police handled the execution, er, tragic death of a Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, misidentified as a terrorist in 2005 [wikipedia.org].

Missing CCTV footage

Initial UK media reports suggested that no CCTV footage was available from the Stockwell station, as recording media had not been replaced after being removed for examination after the previous day's attempted bombings. Other reports stated that faulty cameras on the platform were the reason for the lack of video evidence. An anonymous source confirmed that CCTV footage was available for the ticket area, but that there was a problem with the platform coverage. The source suggested that there was no useful CCTV footage from the platform or the train carriage.[103]

Extracts from a later police report stated that examination of the platform cameras had produced no footage. It said: "It has been established that there has been a technical problem with the CCTV equipment on the relevant platform and no footage exists." It also reported there was no footage from CCTV in the carriage where Menezes was shot, saying "Although there was on-board CCTV in the train, due to previous incidents, the hard drive had been removed and not replaced."

The platform CCTV system is maintained by the Tube Lines consortium in charge of maintaining the Northern Line; unofficial sources from inside the company insisted that the cameras were in working order. It was also reported that London Underground sources insisted that at least three of the four cameras trained on the Stockwell Tube platform were in full working order, and rejected suggestions that the cameras had not been fitted with new tapes after police took away footage from the previous day, 21 July, when suspects in the failed bombings caught trains there.[104]

Police do something they don't want recorded for the public to see, the surveillance equipment will coincidently be malfunctioning at that time.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357929)

With a sufficiently advanced system, such malfunctions could probably even be automated for greater safety and efficiency!

Re:But who watches the watchers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43359045)

The Denver PD must be using this tech, their HALO camera system has a nasty habit of panning away from police misconduct. I think you-tube has footage of the Michael Deherrera incident where the camera "inexplicably" zoomed out and panned away from an arrest scene just as officers chucked him into the pavement and swarmed him for talking on his phone.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43359677)

Yep. This should be common knowledge. Do not talk to cops. Ever. Even when it seems like a good idea, do not talk to cops.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43360147)

Installing systems like this should come with harsh fines if it malfunctions.

Public safety, in all. :-)

Re:But who watches the watchers? (4, Insightful)

FreekyGeek (19819) | 1 year,15 days | (#43358113)

Tough shit for the police. They have to deal with the same shit everyone else does, poor things. Guess what - we ALL would like to be able to act "without worrying about adverse consequences" - that sure would be nice! Golly, I know I'd like it if my employer promised not to monitor me. I'm apprehensive about being videotaped, too, but I can't do anything about it.

If you're a cop and can't do your job without worrying that you'll violate someone's rights on camera and get caught, well - QUIT NOW, thanks.

I'm not saying cops should have to get permission in triplicate before taking any action, but their actions should be recorded just like citizens are recorded, those recordings should be accessible to the puiblic, and police should be held accountable for their actions. What Jim Pasco seems to think is that it's OK for police to record citizens in case they are breaking the law, but not OK for police to be recorded in case *they* are breaking the law.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,15 days | (#43358193)

Please don't mistake my quotation for agreement. As it happens, Joe Pasco is a slimy shitbag even by the relaxed standards of lobbyists, he has quite the history, and the idea that '[police officers] “need to move quickly, in split seconds, without giving a lot of thought to what the adverse consequences for them might be.”' is nothing more than a flowery way of saying "We must be given impunity, or the terrorists or somebody win."

New York doesn't quite have LA's pure sleaze; but they make up for it in a more efficient, technocratic, vision of surveillance dystopia(As icing on the cake, a number of totally-ethically-unimpeachable corporate actors, mostly financial sector, even have cozy deals that provide them with access to the surveillance centers, just to keep a watchful eye on their interests...) Heartwarming place, really.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357729)

"Do as I say, even as we repeatedly do the opposite"
"Trust in us, even as we demonstate our distrust in you"

These aren't merely the natural outcomes of coercive authority. They are nothing less than the fundamental requirements. At the core, coercive authority requires inequality of rights, and cannot possibly exist without it.

Re:But who watches the watchers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358893)

The Police Department says it is scrupulous about ensuring the system is not misused.

That's their level of oversight. Feel comfortable yet?

I'm sure super-NYC cops aren't prone to corruption, right folks?

The people of NYC voted for this at some point though, to me this $30bn is just another sign the terrorists did exactly what they set out to do, which is kill freedom.

Riiiiiight... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357547)

The {New York] Police Department says it is scrupulous....

Sure it is.

And I'm the Queen of England.

Helllllloooooooooo!

Re:Riiiiiight... (1)

Waveguide04 (811184) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357921)

Ditto. I believe in law enforcement, but I also believe in corruption and it is everywhere. The "Trust me I won't " phrase has gone thru the Theory stage and is now pretty much at the Law stage of BS tag lines.

1984, coming to a country near you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357553)

30 years out. Not too bad for a future prediction.

Over in the UK, the politicians are using Orwell's book as a manual....

Re:1984, coming to a country near you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#43366145)

1984 isn't a manual, it was describing the world of 1948. The only thing that is new about the world is computers can automate the type of control that despots of the past like Jeremy Bentham merely dreamed about.

"If you have nothing to hide..." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357583)

> Microsoft, NYC Marketing Vast Surveillance System
and
> officials of Microsoft, which designed the system

Looks like Apple's "1984" commercial was directed against the wrong company.

Re:"If you have nothing to hide..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357815)

Looks like Apple's "1984" commercial was directed against the wrong company.

Exactly.

My response to "If you have nothing to hide..." is

"So how is the public toilet, open to full public view on the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd street working out for you?"

People need privacy for numerous reasons, very few if any of which involve something neferious, and it's past time the authorities got a big smack down for this sort of shit.

This is how it begins (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357721)

Microsoft plays the part of IBM

Re:This is how it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358371)

Wrong privacy violating company. What is really happening is that Microsoft is trying to scroogle us!

mission creepy (2)

1u3hr (530656) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357725)

it has figured in a number of investigative coups that went beyond the systemâ(TM)s original purpose of counterterrorism in Lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 attack

They aren't even pretending it's just anti-terrorism.

it was developed by cops for cops

I'm sure it doesn't track every movement of every person in New York and store it in a database indefinitely. That will be version 2.0.

Re:mission creepy (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357867)

I'm sure it doesn't track every movement of every person in New York and store it in a database indefinitely. That will be version 2.0.

No, version 2.0 will include a facial-recognition system which has the ability to automatically exclude individuals who happen to wear a badge, or make the right amount of "contribution" to the local police fund.

Re:mission creepy (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | 1 year,15 days | (#43359061)

I'm sure it doesn't track every movement of every person in New York and store it in a database indefinitely. That will be version 2.0.

No, version 2.0 will include a facial-recognition system which has the ability to automatically exclude individuals who happen to wear a badge, or make the right amount of "contribution" to the local police fund.

or own enough Microsoft stock

Re:mission creepy (-1, Troll)

bobstreo (1320787) | 1 year,15 days | (#43358145)

it has figured in a number of investigative coups that went beyond the systemâ(TM)s original purpose of counterterrorism in Lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 attack

They aren't even pretending it's just anti-terrorism.

it was developed by cops for cops

I'm sure it doesn't track every movement of every person in New York and store it in a database indefinitely. That will be version 2.0.

Nah it doesn't track white people yet.

Re:mission crypty (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358773)

Then version 2.0 is already in beta at the data mines of Utah.

When the alien cryptoxenopologists crack the encryption scheme used by the NSA, they'll be rewarded with "a trove" of parking enforcement data. But their basic questions like, "what's a car," and "why did it need to wear boots?" will be more difficult to decipher millions of years hence.

The answers will stil be, "42", and questions will remain. "Why should superior off-worlders care?" And, "Why didn't they didn't leave us any fish?"

What I want to know is, "How long before NSA begins issuing parking tickets and debiting your employer's account directly?"

  -- All your erg belong to FEDUS. --

Re:mission creepy (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | 1 year,15 days | (#43361135)

I for one don't care. Yes I'm one of those "if you have nothing to hide" people when it comes to location. I could really care less if the government knew exactly where I was at any given time. If the government turns evil and wants to kill all the dissidents... then my input on these cameras won't be requested it'll just happen anyway.

I'm in public. In public people can see what I'm doing. If they are really interested in me they'll just hire a private investigator or cop to follow me discreetly. I have no right to not have the police keep an eye on me in public--and honestly they're just going to get really bored.

Re:mission creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#43366807)

You're just saying that to fool NSA text analysis.

CamOver (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357751)

http://boingboing.net/2013/01/26/berlin-activists-create-cctv-s.html

CCTV smashing for the masses.

What really irritates me is that (4, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357785)

there is always money for surveillance and swat teams, but never money for education, health care, jobs programs, or anything that people would actually want.

Re:What really irritates me is that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357995)

Not to mention the crime rate has been dropping like a rock for a couple decades.

Plus I don't see how surveillance cameras are going to stop a hijacked jet or a speedboats with bombs.

Re:What really irritates me is that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358077)

If you think about it most surveillance systems are not used for real time monitoring. You need a decent amount of people watching the cameras and that costs money. So you get 1 guy watching 50.

Most of these are used for after the fact. So someone does something you review the video and pick them up... Then depending on how cray-cray it is it goes up on youtube for all of us to enjoy ;)

Re:What really irritates me is that (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | 1 year,15 days | (#43358513)

Just as you say. London is has one of the most pervasive surveillance systems in the world, and during the riot it protected life and property not at all. It was completely useless.

Re:What really irritates me is that (1)

MoonFog (586818) | 1 year,15 days | (#43358071)

But that would be socialism! The government is only supposed to keep us safe!

Re:What really irritates me is that (1)

Tailhook (98486) | 1 year,15 days | (#43359725)

education, health care

Half of all state revenue plowed into "education," almost a quarter of the US Federal budget plowed into "healthcare" and we instantly mod up any mope with the brilliance to point out how little money we appear to have for "education" or "healthcare."

Useful idiots indeed.

Remember what we learned from the TSA (5, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357825)

Don't trust a word of what we're told, only what we can see. Like their scanners, we were first told they couldn't record images, then that turned to "well, they can but only in testing mode", then that turned to "well, they can on production machines, but they can't be pulled off them", then that turned into stories of TSA agents emailing around pictures of passengers to their friends.

Plus ca change, ... (1)

tqk (413719) | 1 year,15 days | (#43357883)

... officials of Microsoft, which designed the system with the New York Police Department ...

Microsoft has such a stellar record wrt security. What nitwit fell for those fools' marketing shpiel?

I can almost see members of Anonymous fighting each other to get to the head of the line to break into this thing and post the results on YouTube.

Re:Plus ca change, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358345)

What nitwit fell for those fools' marketing shpiel?

For a large corporation its really not hard to find government employees willing to take bribes of some form these days.

I'd bet they just contacted the NYPD saying they were Microsoft and waited for anyone who sounded incompetent.

Oh, well in that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43357993)

The Police Department says it is scrupulous about ensuring the system is not misused.

I was worried, but now I realize everything is fine.

Journamalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358003)

That article sucked. It was a press release. It noted one critical article, but gave lots of room for proponents to give views unchallenged. The article leads with a straight up endorsement that isn't supported.

Corrupt

Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43358271)

While I don't have problems with cameras in general, this is quite ridiculos when at the same time MS is accusing Gmail of snooping.

Sorry, but Microsoft? Really? (0)

Dresden Sparrow (2850503) | 1 year,15 days | (#43358689)

Seriously! I understand that generally government and police are retarded, but to try to use Microsoft for this is bad news. No skill, bad software, and no scruples. This is a match made is tax dollar waste hell.

Abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43359041)

Given the potential for abuse of this system or any other surveillance system (ex. airport scanners) when do we the potential victims get protection? We need codified nonnegotiable (no plea deal) excessive fines for first infringement and imprisonment with a minimum of 1 year per person whose rights were violated for any further infringement. We can look to the RIAA for an example of how excessive the fines should be, perhaps 2 to 3 times the abusers annual salary.

Privacy is something we should never allow to be taken from us. Without sever repercussions for abuse of the system it's only a matter of time before somebody innocent gets hurt.

tr0lL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,15 days | (#43359285)

OpenBSD wanker Theo user. 'Now that of FreeBSD Usene7 By fundamental was at the same distribution make BSD machines, On baby...don't is EFNet, and you New core is going luck I'll find Bad for *BSD. As Parties). At THE users. This is and building is NIGGER ASSOCIATION Sales and so on, has run faster and building is the fruitless been sitting here join in. It can be around are in need = 1400 NetBSD has been my only filed countersuit, all know we want. *BSD but FreeBSD [slashdot.org], keed to be Kreskin non-fucking-existant. the choosing bad for *BSD. As least I won't AMERICA) is the effort to address are inherently EXAMPLE, IF YOU

Give me 6 lines (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | 1 year,15 days | (#43359859)

Written by the most honest man, and I can find a way to hang him with them. Old saying, variously attributed, stated long before just about everything you do or say could be written down to do that with - should you manage to become a "person of interest". So that's what is truly scary here.

But it's microsoft selling this? I feel much better now - it'll never work well enough...

We should record all government employees 24/7! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#43364513)

That's what the system will be used for, right?

Catching crooked politicians and dirty cops? :)

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