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The LA Sheriff's Dept. has new surveillance tech that allows them to roughly go back through everything recorded in a given area like Google Earth. Techdirt goes over the disturbing way this information hasn't made huge headlines as the LASD has kept it almost secret. The article goes over their nonchalant attitude of not caring about the public's opinion.
The LASD and LAPD have been under much scrutiny of late for their surveillance practices as well as a handful of other rights violations and other problems.
The system, known as wide-area surveillance, is something of a time machine – the entire city is filmed and recorded in real time. Imagine Google Earth with a rewind button and the ability to play back the movement of cars and people as they scurry about the city.
“We literally watched all of Compton during the time that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people,” [Ross] McNutt [owner of Persistent Surveillance Systems] said. “Our goal was to basically jump to where reported crimes occurred and see what information we could generate that would help investigators solve the crimes.”
LA Sheriff's Dept. On New Surveillance Program: We Knew The Public Wouldn't Like It, So We Kept It A Secret