Thursday, September 27, 2007

The City of Broad Shoulders is getting eyes in the back of its head.

Big Brother has found his way to Chi-Town and while I am concerned about national security and the threat of terrorism, I can't help but be a bit paranoid that officials are using this as an excuse to spy on all of us, all of the time. I don't have anything to hide, and nothing to worry about because I am an honest, law-abiding citizen, however, I don't like the feeling of being constantly watched everywhere I go.

Chicago started installing these video cameras on street corners stating that it will help control gang problems and deter them from committing crimes and lessen drug trafficking. (So far, it hasn't helped much since by the time someone sees the video tapes, and realizes something bad happened, it's too damn late...the perpetrators and criminals are long-gone.) But they can get people for running stop signs and other minor traffic violations which will most likely increase city revenue for those misdemeanors that would otherwise never be found out.

Chicago video surveillance gets smarter

CHICAGO - A car circles a high-rise three times. Someone leaves a backpack in a park.

uch things go unnoticed in big cities every day. But that could change in Chicago with a new video surveillance system that would recognize such anomalies and alert authorities to take a closer look.

On Thursday, the city and IBM Corp. are announcing the initial phase of what officials say could be the most advanced video security network in any U.S. city. The City of Broad Shoulders is getting eyes in the back of its head.

"Chicago is really light years ahead of any metropolitan area in the U.S. now," said Sam Docknevich, who heads video-surveillance consulting for IBM.

Chicago already has thousands of security cameras in use by businesses and police — including some equipped with devices that recognize the sound of a gunshot, turn the cameras toward the source and place a 911 call. But the new system would let cameras analyze images in real time 24 hours a day.


Some critics question whether such systems are effective and whether they could lead to an unwarranted invasion of privacy.


Am I just being paranoid, or is this the delayed start of George Orwell's fictional "prophecy" becoming reality?

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