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Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center

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posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 02:15 PM
Article is here: Spy Center Article

I had no idea that this place existed, but apparently the NYPD along with financial institutions on wall street have a huge surveillance center where they can monitor people through thousands of cameras going about their daily lives.

As we reported in October, the surveillance plan became known as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and the facility was dubbed the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center. It operates round-the-clock with 2,000 private spy cameras owned by Wall Street firms and other corporations, together with approximately 1,000 more owned by the NYPD. At least 700 additional cameras scour the midtown area and also relay their live feeds into the downtown center where all film is integrated for analysis. The $150 million of taxpayer money that’s funding this corporate/police spying operation comes from both city and Federal sources, with the cost rising daily as more technology is added.

Here are some photos inside the center: Spy Center Photos

What is scary is that technology is being used that clearly breaks some laws. For example the AI system can filter on such things as what a person is wearing so the camera operators can search for specific people.

New York Code, Section 700.15, requires a warrant for video surveillance and the warrant is only issuable “Upon probable cause to believe that a particularly described person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a particular designated offense.” Blanket surveillance of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens with cameras that pan, tilt and rotate to track individuals to the doorsteps of their psychiatrist, debt counselor, Alcoholics Anonymous, or prosecutor’s office – shared with corporations that employ hundreds of thousands of these same individuals, is breathtaking in its blatant disregard for privacy rights.

New York has a long history of tracking people in efforts to supress disent:

In a 2006 formal report on the camera surveillance network, the NYCLU noted that “Today’s surveillance camera is not merely the equivalent of a pair of eyes. It has super human vision. It has the capability to zoom in and ‘read’ the pages of the book you have opened while waiting for a train in the subway.” The report further explained that “New York City has a long and troubled history of police surveillance of individuals and groups engaged in lawful political protest and dissent. Between 1904 and 1985 the NYPD compiled some one million intelligence files on more than 200,000 individuals and groups — suspected communists, Vietnam War protesters, health and housing advocates, education reform groups, and civil rights activists.”

So someone that the NYPD or a wall street company does not like can be tracked and followed by this system. The places they go to can be recorded. Activists, people in the media can all be monitored.

Who on earth thought that something like this should be allowed. It's bad enough with the police monitoring it but what right does wall street have to monitor people not on their property?

There are two significant stories at the surveillance center at 55 Broadway. The first is that the largest police force in the country has secretly deputized as its partners the same giant Wall Street firms that are serially charged with looting the public but never prosecuted, no matter how big the crime. The second significant story is that the largest police force in the country has tapped the public coffers to the tune of $150 million to operate what legal experts say is an illegal program.

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 02:43 PM
That's a disturbing twist, though not terribly surprising.

These people are getting nervous. As well they should. They've wronged so many, they are now looking over their shoulders constantly.

The idea that taxpayer dollars are being used is blatantly wrong. "Gimme a chunk of your paycheck so I can monitor you for actions I do not approve of."

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 03:27 PM
This sounds like a prize class action.....Should there be somebody to law the charges....
There are also these so called "Fusion centers" that are strategically popping up in the country combining local, federal, and state police into one command center these are distributed to cover zones of the country.
Everywhere, the survielance continues to mount.
Having achieved near complete coverage in Grt britain, without much trouble, they now proceed to install that tech here and elsewhere.....All for the safety of citizens who are being made more helpless as the generations pass....

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 05:08 PM
Really, where is the violation of law? "Clearly breaks some laws?" Why do you think that?

The source talks about New York Code Section 700.15. I assume they mean Criminal Procedure Law 700.15, as there is no NY Code section 700.15.

True, 700.15 requires warrants for video surveillance. But the author of the source article is misleading you (I think intentionally) because just a few lines above 700.15 is this:

9. "Video surveillance" means the intentional visual observation by law enforcement of a person by means of a television camera or other electronic device that is part of a television transmitting apparatus, whether or not such observation is recorded on film or video tape, without the consent of that person or another person thereat and under circumstances in which such observation in the absence of a video surveillance warrant infringes upon such person`s reasonable expectation of privacy under the constitution of this state or of the United States.
(Emphasis added.)

What this means is, that if the person has no reasonable expectation of privacy (say they're walking outdoors), then filming them is not "video surveillance" under the law and doesn't need a warrant. You can argue that it's not a good use of the city's money, But there's been no reason presented to declare it illegal. Nor is it

breathtaking in its blatant disregard for privacy rights.

what right does wall street have to monitor people not on their property?
What right do protester's have to film police who aren't on the protester's property? Of course Wall Street, and anyone else, has the right to film people wandering about outside.

A lot of shock value to the source article, but not much new or helpful.

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