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NYPD to Launch Expansive For-Profit Surveillance System

Common Dreams staff

Michael Bloomberg walks past a display of surveillance video feed at press conference (Photo: Justin Lane/EPA)

The NYPD launched a new citywide surveillance system on Wednesday that officials say will "revolutionize law enforcement." The system will also be packaged and sold across the country for a profit.

The Domain Awareness System, developed with Microsoft, will centralize information in a massive information network, including live video feed from public and private cameras and sensors, maps, city records, arrest records, license plate readers, 911 calls, "and other existing tools and technology."

The expansive system will display information in real time, both visually and chronologically, in a centralized information pool, exhibiting events as they happen or are reported. "It is a one-stop shop for law enforcement," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a City Hall press conference unveiling the new technology.

"All the information is presented visually and geographically and in chronological context," said police commissioner Ray Kelly.

About 3,000 preexisting cameras have been connected to the system, the majority in the financial districts of Manhattan, but new cameras will be expanding to other parts of New York.

As the system is perfected and repackaged, both Microsoft and the City of New York will be looking to profit off of the unprecedented technology. In a deal cut with Microsoft, the city of New York will take a 30% cut of any profits that the computer firm gets from selling the technology.

"Maybe we can make a few bucks," Bloomberg said.

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