Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Baltimore Police Respond To Report Of Secret Aerial Surveillance Program"

“I was recently made aware of the Persistent Surveillance Systems Inc. work with our city,” Rawlings-Blake wrote.

“The pilot program, funded by an anonymous donor, is cutting edge technology aimed at making Baltimore safer. My top priority, which I have continuously communicated to Commissioner Davis, has been to keep our city safe. His team sought opportunities to find new technology that works hand in hand with our robust Citiwatch program. This technology is about public safety. This isn’t surveilling or tracking anyone. It’s about catching those who choose to do harm to citizens in our city.”

The program is “not an unmanned drone or a secret surveillance program,” Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith began the Wednesday press conference by saying.

“Years ago, when we embarked on our CitiWatch program, there were similar anxieties and that’s understandable,” Smith said. “We expect this technology to be used for other public safety concerns, like Silver Alerts, Amber Alerts, floods, sinkholes, fires, terrorist attacks, and more. It adheres to our CCTV policies. We currently know that there are existing technologies that are out there in the world and in place, like red light cameras, speed cameras, license plate readers, other CCTV and facial recognition. All of those programs received the same level of scrutiny. This is a 21st century technology that other large cities across the country are also testing.”

Smith ended his initial remarks by saying “the only people that should be concerned in the city of Baltimore are criminals.” (Video at the link)


bagoh20 said...

I almost never hear about theses system actually catching criminals, but they send summons, fines, court dates and general harassment to average Americans 24/7. They are overwhelmingly used to suck money from normal citizens and deliver it to private companies, politicians and government employees whose main contribution is harassment of citizens as an industry. Just because it might catch a bad guy once in awhile is not a justification. The real and much larger criminal enterprises are these government systems themselves. The government does not love you - they want you for dinner.

edutcher said...

I do believe Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is no longer Mayor of the Charm city, having rightly figured her misfeasance in office made any further career in electoral politics moot.

Methadras said...

I stopped reading after I got to the phrase public safety. Know why? Because government can do anything under the auspices of public safety, so it really doesn't fucking matter what the excuse is. The instant any government official or agency invokes public safety for their unconstitutional invasions of privacy or any other types of surveillance, then it's almost impossible to even bother fighting or arguing with them.