August 9, 2011
The Department of Homeland Security will fund an effort by San Francisco to install real-time video cameras on 358 city buses, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The existing system, installed a decade ago, stores footage on tape located on each vehicle.
The new surveillance system will use a wireless network “that will enable SFMTA personnel to view, download and store the captured video images wirelessly and view them in real-time or through the Internet.”
According to city documents, “the new system will provide real-time viewing of images, inside and outside the bus, by law enforcement officers, emergency responders and other authorized personnel on a real-time basis from a distance of about 500 yards in case the bus is hijacked and used for terrorism activities.”
In March, it was reported the DHS planned to introduce new mobile surveillance technology at train stations, stadiums and streets.
The new technology allows the government to “track your eye movements, capture and record your facial dimensions for face-recognition processing, bathe you in X-rays to look under your clothes, and even image your naked body using whole-body infrared images that were banned from consumer video cameras because they allowed the camera owners to take ‘nude’ videos of people at the beach,” Mike Adams writes for Natural News.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Documents discussing the technology were obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
“EPIC calls these vans ‘mobile strip search devices’ because they give the federal government technology to look under your clothes without your permission or consent,” Adams notes. “It’s also being done without probable cause, so it’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment protections that are guaranteed to Americans under the Bill of Rights.”
California and San Francisco have received increased money from the federal government over the last few years. In 2010, the state received $268 million dollars from the DHS, approximately 16 percent of the $1.7 billion that DHS awarded nationally. San Francisco alone has received $200 million, according to the Homeland Security Newswire.
In 2007, it was reported that the DHS was spending hundred of millions of dollars on video surveillance systems around the country. Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said surveillance systems are a valuable tool and “we will encourage their use in the future,” Newsmax reported.
The government claims the cameras will prevent terrorism, but as the Boston Globe reported in 2007 that the “proliferation of cameras could mean that Americans will feel less free because legal public behavior – attending a political rally, entering a doctor’s office, or even joking with friends in a park – will leave a permanent record, retrievable by authorities at any time.”