As part of a federally-funded Homeland Security project, a company called Illuminating Concepts have begun installing "Intellistreets" in the town of Farmington Hills, Michigan. These streetlights can overhear and monitor conversations, as well as announce government warnings and advertisements as people walk by them. Each street light contains a speaker system and a video display and is also equipped with proximity sensors capable of sensing and recording both pedestrian and automobile traffic.
In the UK, one city introduced streetlights with speakers attached in 2006 to broadcast warnings to people indulging in "anti-social behavior." In London and Liverpool, public trash cans feature celebrity voices thanking people for not littering. The firm recently removed a promotional video from You Tube, as a result of negative publicity about the surveillance features.
In the Daily Mail, Daniel Miller quotes a blog on a conspiracy website as asking this question: "’If Intellistreets is such a cutting-edge concept that presents an array of wonderful benefits, as the promo video claims, then why remove it from You Tube? Now that the company has tried to hide the video, it will only generate more suspicion about the true purpose behind Intellistreets and the level of involvement on behalf of Homeland Security."
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