This piece and the one below need no introduction. The surveillance state is developing/installing its hardware at warp speed.–Meryl
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly
installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that
would give them the ability to record and store private conversations,
according to documents obtained by a news outlet.
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and
other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in
some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.
The use of the equipment raises serious questions about
eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of
passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.
It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.
… Cities that have installed the systems or have taken steps to
procure them include San Francisco, California; Eugene, Oregon;
Traverse City, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Baltimore Maryland; Hartford,
Connecticut; and Athens, Georgia.
… In Eugene, Oregon, the Daily found, transit officials requested
microphones that would be capable of “distilling clear conversations
from the background noise of other voices, wind, traffic, windshields
wipers and engines” and also wanted at least five audio channels spread
across each bus that would be “paired with one or more camera images
and recorded synchronously with the video for simultaneous playback.”…