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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Microsoft Will Set up City-Wide Surveillance Network

Microsoft has cooperated with the New York Police Department in a bid to create a city-wide surveillance network that will then be offered to the cops further afield.

Michael Bloomberg, NYC Mayor, announced the introduction of a cutting-edge surveillance system that would be able to analyze a range of data input including smart cameras, license plate readers and radiation detectors to deliver a real-time security overview.

Microsoft and the New York Police Department believe that the Domain Awareness System (DAS) will really help to fight crime on the city streets. Their network, combining a variety of advanced surveillance methods, will be able to alert investigators in cases when, for instance, suspect packages or vehicles might present a security threat. Michael Bloomberg claimed that the network would utilize existing surveillance technologies and unify them through the new system.

The project will capitalize on new powerful policing software allowing the authorities to quickly access relevant material gathered from existing technology and help them respond more efficiently. While claiming that the new system would be developed for preventing terrorism, the Mayor elaborated that it could be used for other purposes, like fighting everyday crime.

Although the City has largely resolved its troubles with street crime when its former mayor Rudy Giuliani started his time in office, recently the New York City Police has been reacting to enormous social protests from the Occupy movement, which included mass arrests.

Both Republicans and Democrats responded in a rare show of agreement and passed through the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, dubbed an “anti-Occupy” law that would end America’s right to protest. Although New York is regarded as a prime terrorist target, such real-time security system might also be seen as a response to the US largest social movement in decades.

Microsoft announced that the joint development would be sold to other police departments, with New York being just an experiment for the system. In case Redmond and the NYPD generate any further sales, New York receives a 30% cut of the profit. As for the New York Mayor, he also confirmed that the NYPD and Microsoft will now be trying to expand the system across world.

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