Chicago is installing new street light called, ”Intellistreets.” They are a bit different from your average street lights. These lights also double as surveillance monitors. They can take pictures, monitor conversations, play music, direct traffic, and send emergency signals. Homeland Security applications are included in these lights and they are being installed in a few cities, including Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit – all funded by the government. The first installation of the system was launched in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Maybe we should call these lights ”Spying Street Lights.”
The system detects movement and if too much movement is detected, the police are notified.
Many citizens view this as an invasion of privacy, “creepy” and the feeling that Big Brother is watching. Others see the system as a way to keep their neighborhoods safer.
The system’s founder is Ron Harwood. He said he came up with the idea after 911 and Hurricane Katrina. Harwood is president of the company that manufactures these lights – Illuminating Concepts. In an interview with Fox News, Harwood said that if speakers are installed in the poles, authorities could speak to people to tell them what to do if there is an emergency. He also said that access to pictures/images would not be available to just anyone. He said that a police officer, city official or city employee would have to “ask” to retrieve an image from a pole and that image would be in the form of a “picture.” After Harwood’s development, he began discussions with Homeland Security.
I think we all know that law enforcement or investigators need more than a picture if they are analyzing a crime. It would seem you would need active surveillance to determine what took place during a crime. When people don’t feel they are being told everything, they aren’t going to trust the system. If the system is capable of surveillance and monitoring conversations, why would one believe that only a picture would be released to authorities?
Several European countries already use street lights as surveillance tools. Leaked documents out of the UK Home Office revealed that British authorities were working on proposals to fit lamp posts with CCTV cameras that would X-ray scan passers-by and “undress them” in order to “trap terror suspects.”
Dutch police announced that they are developing a mobile scanner that will “see through people’s clothing and look for concealed weapons.”
‘Talking surveillance cameras’ that use a speaker system similar to the Intellistreets model are already being used in UK cities. They bark orders and reprimand people for dropping litter and other minor offenses. According to reports, one of the most common phrases used to shame people into obeying instructions is to broadcast the message, “We are watching you.”
At $3,000 a piece, Intellistreets have the potential of lowering energy costs by adjusting brightness to match the appropriate atmosphere and location. The company says it has an endless number of entertainment options and can serve as a public address system of sorts and offer advertisements up to passersby. Great – more advertising being spouted at me along with propaganda! When you put it that way, it’s no wonder that Harwood is in cahoots with Homeland Security.
The transformation of street lights into surveillance tools for Homeland Security purposes will only serve to heighten concerns that the United States is fast on the way to becoming a high-tech police state. TSA agents are being empowered to oversee the control grid and TSA screeners will be manning highway checkpoints. Our streets will become similar to airport security – actually in a much more intrusive way.
The Intellistreets system comprises of a wireless digital infrastructure that allows street lights to be controlled remotely by means of a ubiquitous wi-fi link and a miniature computer housed inside each street light, allowing for “security, energy management, data harvesting, and digital media,” according to their website.
After the Michigan installments, a backlash began to hit Intellistreets and the company removed a YouTube video that offered an eerie insight into the surveillance capabilities. The video was quick to note the Homeland Security features which have the potential to link up to government agencies. Infowars responded by asking, “If Intellistreets is such a cutting-edge concept that presents an array of wonderful benefits, as the promo video claims, then why remove it from You Tube?” “Now that the company has tried to hide the video, it will only generate more suspicion about the true purpose behind Intellistreets and the level of involvement on behalf of Homeland Security,” read a blog post on the site.
Sources: Fox News, nowtheendbegins.com, forbiddenknowledgetv.com, rt.com, infowars.com