‘Intellistreets’ system now being installed with DHS backing
Talking surveillance cameras that bark orders at passers-by and can also record conversations are heading for U.S. streets, with manufacturer Illuminating Concepts announcing the progress of its ‘Intellistreets’ system.
As we first reported last year, high tech street lights with “homeland security applications” are now being installed in major U.S. cities.
The street lights also have loudspeakers that can give audible warnings to individuals, mimicking the talking surveillance cameras in the UK that shout out orders through microphones telling people to pick up litter or leave the area.
A recent press release put out by Amerlux announces the company’s partnership with Illuminating Concepts to further advance the rollout of ‘Intellistreets’. The announcement confirms that the street lights will have a number of “homeland security features” including a loudspeaker system that will be used to “engage captive audiences”.
“The built-in speaker can broadcast emergency information,” states the press release, adding, “SmartSite luminaires can be equipped with a variety of cameras and sensors to ensure real-time 24/7-security coverage. The sensors detect a variety of threats that enable rapid response from emergency personnel or help prevent crime and gain control of the streets.”
The press release adds that the SmartSite system developed to operate the ‘Intellistreets’ surveillance hubs is intended not only for street lighting but also for “retail malls, sports venues, on college campuses, and in new construction,” and “might well become commonplace” in the near future.
Not only can the street lights, now being rolled out in Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh with Department of Energy backing, act as surveillance cameras, Minority Report-style advertising hubs, and Homeland Security alert systems, they are “also capable of recording conversations,” according to a report by ABC 7.
The ABC video clip, featured at the end of this article, includes creepy footage of the street lights being used to transmit Orwellian security alerts, including “pay attention please….please stand by for a public safety announcement,” and “this is a security alert”.
Illuminating Concepts responded to the controversy over ‘Intellistreets’ last year by ludicrously claiming the system did not represent a “big brother” intrusion, as if talking surveillance cameras that also record private conversations are a perfectly normal concept.
The company also denied that it had received funding from the Department of Homeland Security yet subsequent reports confirmed that owner Ron Harwood is now “working with Homeland Security” to implement the high tech network, which is connected via a ubiquitous wi-fi system.
In reality, the system represents Big Brother on steroids – George Orwell’s worst nightmare come to life with interconnected wireless ‘telescreens’ blanketing America, all in the name of safety and security.
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