7.20.2004

 

Robotic Surveillance

There are a number of recent articles that all point to one thing: In a very short period of time, every public space will become a place controlled by electronic surveillance. Look at these recent articles:

Smile! It's LAPD camera: Surveillance targeted to convention:$9.4 billion network
to secure Saudi borders
:

There is also a growing trend toward tracking individuals. For example:

In the short term, these systems will be manned by people. But as vision systems improve, more and more of them will be "manned" by robots.

In theory, these systems will have one extremely beneficial side effect -- there will be a large reduction in crime. Stores and casinos have been using this kind of technology for decades, and it definitely has an effect on crime.

On the other hand, it will allow the creation of huge bubbles designed specifically to exclude people. It is easy to imagine subdivisions, towns, and even entire cities where only the "right people" are allowed in. Imagine going to a city like Washington DC, New York or Palm Springs and being told you may not enter. We cannot imagine it today, but that day will be upon us in the very near future. See also:

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