NYC Announces New Counterterrorism System

Posted: August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


NYC Announces New Counterterrorism System — Will It Lead to ‘Unconstitutional Warrantless Surveillance’?

NYPD Partners With Microsoft to Launch Domain Awareness System in Counterrorism Effort

Police officers work in the operations center of the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center in 2011. This center will be the headquarters for operating the new DAS developed in partnership with Microsoft. (Photo: AP/Mary Altaffer)

On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced at a press conference the city would soon be deploying a new counterterrorism system that would “[make] it easier for [officers] to determine if a crime is part of an ongoing pattern.“ Privacy advocates though have expressed concern that the system would reveal ”intimate facts about your life.”

The “Domain Awareness System” created out of a partnership with Microsoft leverages existing counterterrorism infrastructure, such as cameras and other data and tools held by the NYPD. According to the city’s statement, the DAS “aggregates and analyzes existing public safety data streams in real time, providing NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity.”

“This new system capitalizes on new powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports and other existing tools and technology,” Bloomberg said in the statement. “It will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively. And because the NYPD built the system in partnership with Microsoft, the sale of the product will generate revenue for the City that will fund more new crime-prevention and counter-terrorism programs.”

The city will receive 30 percent of revenues on Microsoft’s future sales of the Domain Awareness System, according to the statement.


Watch this Fox News report on the system with some footage of Bloomberg’s announcement:

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who spoke at the Aspen Security Forum Saturday, said the program combines city-wide video surveillance with law enforcement databases.

The system will connect the city’s 3,000 CCTV cameras, license plate readers, environmental sensors and other law enforcement databases. Fast Companies explains more about the system’s data collection, which will take place only in public places, and how it could be used:

Monitoring will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a specialized location in Lower Manhattan. Video will be held for 30 days and then deleted unless the NYPD chooses to archive it. Metadata and license plate info collected by DAS will be retained for five years, and unspecified “environmental data” will be stored indefinitely.


Although NYPD documents indicate that the system is specifically designed for anti-terrorism operations, any incidental data it collects “for a legitimate law enforcement or public safety purpose” by DAS can be utilized by the police department. The NYPD will also share data and video with third parties not limited to law enforcement if either a subpoena or memorandum of understanding exists. The DAS system is headquartered in a lower Manhattan office tower in a command-and-control center staffed around the clock by both New York police and “private stakeholders.”

Read more about the data collection, uses and privacy guidelines detailed in a city document here.

PC World reports a member of the privacy advocacy group expressing concern that such a program could lead to “routine, unconstitutional warrantless surveillance”:

It is scandalous for Microsoft and the NYPD to describe location data from license plate readers and surveillance cameras as “public safety data”, said Peter Eckersley, technology projects director, at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in an email. “If you drive a car, the history of where you drive it reveals numerous intimate facts about your life. All of this information about New Yorkers is now going to be hoovered up without consent, accountability, or judicial oversight.”

Still, Bloomberg attempted to dispel concerns such as this saying the technology used in the system is something the private sector has employed for some time, according to Gothamist:

“If you walk around with a cell phone, the cell phone company knows where you are…We‘re not your mom and pop’s police department anymore.”

Gothamist also got a look inside the headquarters that will be monitoring information coming through this system. Below are a few of those photos, but be sure to check them all out here.


(Photo: Gothamist)

NYPD Partners With Microsoft to Launch Domain Awareness System in Counterrorism Effort

(Photo: Gothamist)

NYPD Partners With Microsoft to Launch Domain Awareness System in Counterrorism Effort

(Photo: Gothamist)

The NYPD has also been under fire for surveillance of Muslim communities and partnering with the CIA to track potential terror suspects. Muslim groups have sued to shut down the NYPD programs.

Kelly defended the policies as key to thwarting 14 terror plots against the city since the attacks of Sept. 11th.

A Word of Explanation
In harmony with God’s command to honor all people (1 Peter 2:17), we pause here to recognize the papacy for her many good deeds and activities. Her hospitals, orphanages, care for the poor, homes for unwed mothers, and care for the aged are appreciated universally. She can honestly be lauded for many things. But, like all other organizations, she has also made mistakes. God pinpoints some of her errors in Revelation. The Lord, who blesses and comforts, must sometimes chasten and correct. Please ask His Spirit to speak to you as you study this crucial topic.

Between 1823 (death of Pius VII) and 1846 (when Pius IX was elected), almost 200,000 citizens of the papal states were severely punished (death, life imprisonment, exile, galleys) for political offenses; another 1.5 million were subject to constant police surveillance and harassment.

There was a gallows permanently in the square of every town and city and village. Railways, meetings of more than three people, and all newspapers were forbidden. All books were censored. A special tribunal sat permanently in each place to try, condemn, and execute the accused. All trials were conducted in Latin. Ninety-nine percent of the accused did not understand the accusations against them. Every pope tore up the stream of petitions that came constantly asking for justice, for the franchise, for reform of the police and prison system. When revolts occurred in Bologna, in the Romagna, and elsewhere, they were put down with wholesale executions, sentences to lifelong hard labor in the state penitentiary, to exile, to torture.—Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, p. 254.

The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done.—Great Controversy, pp. 565, 566, bold added.

God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. . . . Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.—Ibid., p. 581.


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