The Domain Awareness System: NYPD’s Spying Program Coming Soon to a City or Corporation Near You

By: Taylor Berman

Last August, the NYPD announced they'd partnered with Microsoft to create an elaborate city-wide spying/surveillance program, called the Domain Awareness System. The program provides the department with access to over 3,000 public and private security cameras, information that's then instantly cross-referenced with criminal and terrorist databases, 911 call histories, license plate scanning machines, and radiation monitors.

All of this information is presented immediately, with a reportedly easy-to-understand (cop-friendly) design, across computers in the program's lower Manhattan headquarters. When Bloomberg announced the program, he added that New York City, which invested $30 - $40 million in the system, hoped to turn a profit by eventually licensing the software – New York gets a 30% cut of profits — to other cities. Now, based on a report from the Associated Press, the push to sell the program is in full swing, and not just to other cities; Microsoft is also looking to license it to private companies that manage large events.
"It works incredibly well," said Jessica Tisch, director of planning and policy for the counterterrorism unit.

"It was created by cops for cops," Tisch said. "We thought a lot about what information we want up close and personal, and what needs to be a click away. It's all baked in there."

But how well does it work? Maybe an example of when it was used to save lives? That would probably help persuade potential buyers.
For example, officers used the system during a deadly shooting outside the Empire State Building in August. Dozens of 911 calls were coming in, and it initially looked like an attack staged by several gunmen. But officers mapped the information and pulled up cameras within 500 feet of the reported shots to determine there was only one shooter.

That incident, of course, ended with two NYPD officers shooting nine innocent bystanders, all in response to a crime in which there was only one targeted victim.

The Domain Awareness System, which, as the AP notes, has "been quietly in use for about a year," is currently used only in NYPD offices, "mostly" for counterterrorism cases, but there are plans to expand access to laptops in squad cars and smart phones for officers walking their beat. But if you're concerned about the NYPD abusing their new powerful technology by targeting people of a particular religion or race, you have nothing to worry about, according to the NYPD's press release from last August.
"As with all NYPD operations, no person will be targeted or monitored by the Domain Awareness System solely because of actual or perceived race, color, religion or creed, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, military status, or political affiliation or beliefs."

Replies

  • cobblandcobbland Posts: 3,473
    By: Taylor Berman

    Last August, the NYPD announced they'd partnered with Microsoft to create an elaborate city-wide spying/surveillance program, called the Domain Awareness System. The program provides the department with access to over 3,000 public and private security cameras, information that's then instantly cross-referenced with criminal and terrorist databases, 911 call histories, license plate scanning machines, and radiation monitors.

    All of this information is presented immediately, with a reportedly easy-to-understand (cop-friendly) design, across computers in the program's lower Manhattan headquarters. When Bloomberg announced the program, he added that New York City, which invested $30 - $40 million in the system, hoped to turn a profit by eventually licensing the software – New York gets a 30% cut of profits — to other cities. Now, based on a report from the Associated Press, the push to sell the program is in full swing, and not just to other cities; Microsoft is also looking to license it to private companies that manage large events.
    "It works incredibly well," said Jessica Tisch, director of planning and policy for the counterterrorism unit.

    "It was created by cops for cops," Tisch said. "We thought a lot about what information we want up close and personal, and what needs to be a click away. It's all baked in there."

    But how well does it work? Maybe an example of when it was used to save lives? That would probably help persuade potential buyers.
    For example, officers used the system during a deadly shooting outside the Empire State Building in August. Dozens of 911 calls were coming in, and it initially looked like an attack staged by several gunmen. But officers mapped the information and pulled up cameras within 500 feet of the reported shots to determine there was only one shooter.

    That incident, of course, ended with two NYPD officers shooting nine innocent bystanders, all in response to a crime in which there was only one targeted victim.

    The Domain Awareness System, which, as the AP notes, has "been quietly in use for about a year," is currently used only in NYPD offices, "mostly" for counterterrorism cases, but there are plans to expand access to laptops in squad cars and smart phones for officers walking their beat. But if you're concerned about the NYPD abusing their new powerful technology by targeting people of a particular religion or race, you have nothing to worry about, according to the NYPD's press release from last August.
    "As with all NYPD operations, no person will be targeted or monitored by the Domain Awareness System solely because of actual or perceived race, color, religion or creed, age, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, partnership status, military status, or political affiliation or beliefs."


    Maybe I'm connecting dots that don't need to be connected (or maybe not):



  • cobblandcobbland Posts: 3,473
    The "Watch Dogs" game is set in a "fictional" Chicago and utilizes this:
    Gameplay

    Watch Dogs is an open world video game in which players control a man named Aiden Pearce (voiced by Noam Jenkins[6]), who can hack into various electronic devices tied to the city's central operating system (ctOS), allowing various methods for the player to solve numerous objectives.[7] Examples include hacking into people's phones to retrieve bank data and steal funds, triggering malfunctions in equipment to distract other characters and hacking into traffic lights to cause collisions. Players can also receive information on civilians via augmented reality feeds, providing the player with information on demographics, health and potential behaviour. Objectives showcased in presentations include finding specific targets to kill, evading the police and following potential victims in order to stop their would-be killers. Combat utilizes a combination of stealth components and parkour, along with the mechanics of a cover-based third-person shooter.[8] The game features an elusive online multiplayer element in which another player can control surveillance cameras in an attempt to hack the main player.[8]


    Plot

    The storyline of Watch Dogs is built around the concept of information warfare, data being interconnected, and the world's increasing use of technology—questioning who exactly runs the computers they depend on. The game is set in an alternate reality version of Chicago, Illinois, which is one of many cities to feature a supercomputer known as a "CtOS" (Central Operating System). The system controls almost every piece of technology in the city, and contains information on all of the city's residents and activities which can be used for various purposes.[9] In the game's universe, the Northeast blackout of 2003 was found to be caused by a hacker, prompting the development of CtOS.[10] The game will follow an anti-hero named Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled hacker described as a person who uses both "fists and wits."[11] The gameplay demo shown at E3 depicted Aiden's attempt to assassinate a media mogul named Joseph DeMarco, who had been wrongly acquitted on charges of murder.[8]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watch_Dogs

    What Chicago is actually utilizing:
    landing_bio_huberman.jpg

    From 2004 to 2005, Huberman served as Executive Director of the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). While at OEMC, he greatly expanded the number and types of technologies used to reduce crime and increase public safety. He also created the state-of-the-art Operations Center, Chicago’s “nerve center,” which provides real-time intelligence to public safety and homeland security officials.

    Prior to his appointment as Executive Director at OEMC, Huberman served for nine years at the Chicago Police Department, rising from a beat cop to Assistant Deputy Superintendent for Administration. In that role, he supervised more than 600 civilian employees and sworn officers. He also created and implemented what was at the time the most advanced policing technology system in the country, as well as managed and developed innovative community-based strategies that utilized this cutting-edge technology to achieve significant decreases in crime.

    http://www.cps.edu/ABOUT_CPS/AT-A-GLANCE/Pages/RonHuberman.aspx

    Chicago's OEMC: A Unified Approach to First Response

    James Careless
    Created: May 1, 2007
    The Windy City's emergency center offers more accurate and timely direction in the field, better preparation for receiving casualties at the city's trauma centers, and enhanced safety and backup...

    Operations center
    The OC handles day-to-day command and control in Chicago. Staff from the member departments keep on top of events at 13 arc-shaped workstations, each equipped with three UXGA flat-panel monitors. Each workstation has direct access to relevant city databases, allowing for real-time exchanges of vital information between departments, first responders and the 9-1-1 center.

    The workstations also access feeds from more than 2,000 video surveillance cameras spread across the city. All are connected to the OC via the city's fiberoptic network, comprised of hundreds of miles of cable laid throughout Chicago. Collectively, these resources form the heart of Chicago's "Operation Virtual Shield" project, aimed at providing the community with enhanced public safety, homeland security and traffic management.

    Some of the OC's most important operational data comes from the city's Traffic Management Authority (TMA), which manages Chicago's roads. This means monitoring and managing traffic light timing, tracking traffic flows using in-road sensors and video cameras. When cars break down or accidents occur, TMA staff are responsible for dispatching tow trucks and civilian traffic-control aides to the scene, plus alerting the OC to these problems and responses.


    All of this activity is overseen by a city watch manager in a raised, centralized chair. Although this point might make one think of Star Trek, the design is actually derived from 20th century battleship bridges. The OC's walls also have large displays for showing selected feeds, broadcast news, National Weather Service graphics, FAA flight tracking maps, or any other imagery deemed important at the time...

    Joint operations center (JOC)
    When major incidents occur in Chicago and outside agencies join in the response, the action switches to the OEMC's JOC. Its work area consists of four rows of tables laden with telephones and computer workstations.

    At the front of the JOC stands a podium backed by three large-screen multi-display monitors. These can be connected to any feeds being generated by the JOC's resources, be they camera video, computer graphics, television broadcasts and/or computer-aided dispatch information.

    Like the OC, the JOC's purpose is to foster teamwork and cooperation between first responder agencies, and to ensure they have fast access to information and develop a shared situational awareness.

    Among the JOC's many leading-edge resources is a Northrop Grumman display table located in the executive conference room adjacent to the JOC. The table, which brings into great detail satellite images of the city, also is capable of allowing areas to be defined with the touch of a fingertip. Those boundaries can then be converted to geospatial data, allowing presentation of multiple images and maps that can be sorted, expanded or shrunk. Remember the touch-controlled computer in the Tom Cruise film Minority Report? That's how this technology works.

    To aid the display table's usefulness, the OEMC's database is loaded with the locations of hospitals, schools and other public buildings, all of which can be called up with a few finger taps. As well, the display table can access a 3D rotatable image of the Central Business District. Buildings in the Loop that are 540 feet or taller are shown in amber, while those 740 feet or taller are indicated in red. City ordinances require building owners to provide floor plans of their facilities, which are then entered into the OEMC database. During emergencies, OEMC managers can use this information to tell firefighters where the elevators, staircases and other important features are located. This information, while easily accessed via the display table, can be reached from any of the workstations in the JOC as well.

    ****Continued in Link. The article is 3 pages****
    http://www.emsworld.com/article/10321909/chicagos-oemc-a-unified-approach-to-first-response
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