NYC CCTV Scouting


On a recent trip to New York City, [sherri] noticed the abundant “NYPD Security Camera” signage. She Ò on her little sousveillance tour and did some digging to learn more about the system. According to a recent NY Post article, the city intends to have 2,000 cameras installed by 2009. Each unit has at least two cameras, an onboard DVR, battery backup, a webserver, and wireless connection. The CrimeEye product line is manufactured by Total Recall—the people who brought you BABYWATCH. While the company site doesn’t list any specs, we found a price list that was provided to New York State. Each unit lists for $28-39K. They can have image sensors up to 2 megapixels, hold 30fps video for 5-15days, and transmit wirelessly on the 4.9GHz public safety band.

[sherri] wonders what systems are in place to guarantee the security of the camera network and to make sure the data is handled properly. We’ve seen bad implementations of cameras with webservers
in the past. She suggests a third-party system to verify security, operation, and storage. Right now there’s no reason the government won’t use footage for invasive data mining. As a publicly funded system monitoring public areas, we see no reason why the video streams from these devices shouldn’t be widely available.

[Thanks Tendency]

18 thoughts on “NYC CCTV Scouting

    1. I wish that’s all that was necessary but with a battery backup I don’t think a signal jammer would be enough to stop its operation. This is messed up. Since they’re high up it makes them difficult to have destroyed.

  1. I live in NYC, up in Harlem and have seen these every so often at corners, however I feel they may be vulnerable to a much dumber attack if that was some malicious person’s intent. The buildings nearby are usually inhabited and taller than the camera box structure itself leaving me to think that a cinder block on a rope may do more permanent untraceable damage than the city is aware; (Don’t try that at home) not helpful at all, but a security risk none-the-less.

  2. I wonder how good they are agains the trick we do on the gatso speed camera’s

    old car tire over the unit and fill it with some petrol and light it :)

    on the otherhand you might want the internals to play with, it doesnt seem mounted on something strong so you can always pull it down using a truck :)

  3. IMO it doesn’t add up. Perhaps these well marked units are decoys and, other units are well hidden? Will any surveillance be used to protect use from prostitutes and, drug users. While the terrorist in our mist goes unnoticed?

  4. The cameras that are shown in that photo are Pelco Spectra Domes. If they are using megapixel sensors then they would look substantially different from those. Pelco doesn’t make a megapixel model (that I’m aware of). Still, pretty decent cameras. Nice low light range and can zoom in on your teeth from an 1/8th mile away.

    If they are using the heavy duty polycarbonate domes then I doubt a cinder block would do more than scratch it. They’re a lot stronger than you think.

  5. Wait a sec, did they ever get that tracking program to work? There is a system that’s supposed to not only identify people by their faces, but keep a record of where they go and where they’ve been, and keep focus on targets of interest. This seems like overkill though, because the testing I heard of was in England with much more modest systems.

    Big brother is watching, and it costs $28-39k per unit.

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