Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Federally-funded high-tech street lights now being installed in American cities are not only set to aid the DHS in making “security announcements” and acting as talking surveillance cameras, they are also capable of “recording conversations,” bringing the potential privacy threat posed by ‘Intellistreets’ to a whole new level.
In the days after we first brought attention to the privacy concerns surrounding the new street lights, with our story featuring prominently on the Drudge Report website, the company behind them, Illuminating Concepts, went on the defensive, issuing a press release claiming the devices didn’t represent a “big brother” intrusion.
However, as you can see from the video above, ‘Intellistreets’ is big brother on steroids. George Orwell himself would probably have considered the concept too far-fetched to appear in the dystopian classic 1984.
Not only can the street lights, now being rolled out in Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh with Department of Energy backing, act as surveillance cameras, Minority Report-style advertising hubs, and Homeland Security alert systems, they are “also capable of recording conversations,” reports ABC 7.
In their press release, the company behind the street lights also denied that they had received DHS funding for the system. In the aftermath of the controversy generated last week, ABC 7 reports that owner Ron Harwood is now “working with Homeland Security” to implement the high tech network, which is connected via a ubiquitous wi-fi system.
Harwood told the Detroit Free Press that the street lights will “make us feel not only safer, but happier,” representing how “business and government can work together for economic, environmental and social benefits.”
Harwood’s claim that the technology doesn’t represent a privacy threat simply because its rollout it “transparent” carries no weight whatsoever. Just because the installation of these street lights is being done publicly and not in secret has no bearing whatsoever on the frightening implications for privacy this development poses.
The video clip includes creepy footage of the street lights being used to transmit Orwellian security alerts, including “pay attention please….please stand by for a public safety announcement,” and “this is a security alert”. Every “security” announcement you’ve heard in airports and subways can now be brought to steet level.
The street lights can also give audible warnings to individuals, mimicking the talking surveillance cameras in the UK that shout out orders through loudspeakers telling people to pick up litter or leave the area.
“By Spring of next year there is a good chance you could see them pop up in your city,” states the report.
It goes without saying that this is a complete violation of the 4th amendment and represents a whole new level in America’s transformation into a high-tech police state. Not even the most out-there dystopian films featured technology as sophisticated and as potentially invasive as ‘Intellistreets’.
Without any public discourse, without any legal oversight, these systems are now being installed on the streets of America. Citizens already browbeaten into accepting the fact that their every movement can be tracked and traced by surveillance cameras will now be told to accept that the government recording private conversations on the street is a necessary step to provide “safety and security,” as the Homeland Security occupation of America takes on a whole new dimension.