The NYPD recently announced that it plans to launch a “Domain Awareness System”, which is a software program that will combine streams of information in order to track criminals and terrorists.
The software program combines city-wide surveillance video with the databases of law enforcement officials. It was developed by Microsoft. The surveillance videos used will include license plate readers, closed circuit TV cameras that are owned by the NYPD, and other undisclosed devices. The system will be officially unveiled shortly.
Many Muslim groups are protesting the new technology, claiming it unfairly targets the Muslim community. The NYPD Commissioner, Ray Kelly, says that these policies are essential to stopping terrorist plots that have occurred against New York since the September 11 attacks. Since those attacks in 2001, 14 terrorist plots have been thwarted.
Although the NYPD plans seem to help police track criminals, they also make it easier for police to locate and harass non-criminals, as well as violate the civil liberties of New Yorkers. By combining several forms of technology, this new software will make it easier for police to follow the every move of an individual who is in their crosshairs.