A camera system called "Trapwire," created by the CIA, is being installed in the US. Closed-circuit TV surveillance of this sort is common in the UK, where cameras were set up on city streets years ago to detect IRA bombings, and they have been efficient at catching terrorists as well.

Wickileaks posted a document from the US department of Homeland Security show that it paid over $800,000 to deploy Trapwire in Washington, DC and (of all places) Seattle. The police already use camera footage from ATM machines to identify people who may have committed have committed crimes nearby (The 911 bombers were actually caught on camera withdrewing money shortly before hitting the Trade Center towers, but no one knew about their plans at the time).

On the Business Insider website, David Seaman writes: "Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology–and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans. Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence."

In the Guardian, Charles Arthur quotes Rik Ferguson, security consultant at Trend Micro, as saying, "There’s a lot of crossover between CCTV and facial recognition. It’s feasible to have a camera looking for suspicious behavior–for example, in a computer server room it could recognize someone via facial recognition or your gait, then can identify them from the card they swipe to get in, and then know whether it’s suspicious if they’re meant to be a cleaner and they sit down at a computer terminal."

So SMILE when you walk down the street (and don’t walk in a suspicious manner).

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