An Inside View Of New York City’s Antiterror Camera Network


Wired Magazine gives a helicopter view of New York City’s evolving high-tech antierror network. City agencies have done their best to harden the financial district since 2001. Explosives-sniffing dogs and two truckloads of cops wearing military-style body armor and waving M-4 machine guns surround the flag-draped stock exchange. Black metallic barriers rise out of the asphalt, blocking traffic on Wall Street, while concrete planters and strategically parked trucks keep vehicles off Broad Street.

In 2006 the New York Police Department announced a three-year, $106 million Lower Manhattan Security Initiative. Its centerpiece is an array of 3,000 cameras that will turn the area into a 1.7-square-mile, open-air Panopticon. In contrast to London’s surveillance system, the Ring of Steel, New York’s cameras will do more than identify terrorists after they’ve struck. The new cameras will be fully networked, with video-intelligence algorithms that aim to spot potential attackers before they perpetrate their crimes.


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