” Technology now in use by the New York Police Department may be picking up stray conversations.
Three hundred ShotSpotter microphones are being placed in high crime areas of the Bronx and Brooklyn, with the aim of alerting police immediately when they overhear the sound of gunshots.
However, the devices pick up more that just the bang of shots being fired in potential crimes, and evidence from conversations they’ve listened in on has been used in court.”
We find the raven emblematic of the death of our privacy
” Audio recordings from ShotSpotter have been used to corroborate testimony that led to convictions in a 2011 Massachusetts murder where a voice was heard shouting ‘No Jason, no Jason!’ before shots were fired.
NYPD officials and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a pilot program for the microphones earlier this week.
Sensors in seven districts of the Bronx have already begun working, and the devices will be turned on in ten districts of Brooklyn on Monday, according to the New York Times. “
ShotSpotter amounts to “Big Brother” listening posts throughout the public streets , and despite assurances to the contrary raise legitimate privacy concerns:
” The restrictions on triggering events have not stopped some privacy advocates from saying that evidence procured by the ShotSpotters may violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
‘ If [ShotSpotter] is recording voices out in public, it needs to be shut down,’ the ACLU’s Jay Stanley told Take Part.
He said his organization is ‘always concerned about secondary uses of technology that is sold to us for some unobjectionable purpose and is then used for other purposes.’ “
One thing that has become readily apparent in recent years is that if there is a way to abuse and/or misuse technological advances , the State will find a way … Read more on the huge potential for civil rights abuses represented by State ears recording on public streets here .
If public eavesdropping becomes socially acceptable , in the name of “public safety” of course , then it follows that the next step , also for “the public good” , will be something along the lines of what the head of Scotland Yard recently proposed … surveillance cameras in our homes .