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DEA and ICE are Hiding Surveillance Cameras in Streetlights

Posted on Saturday, 10th November 2018 @ 07:45 PM by Text Size A | A | A

So far, the public doesn’t know where or how the cameras are being installed.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have hidden an undisclosed number of covert surveillance cameras inside streetlights around the country, federal contracting documents reveal.

According to government procurement data, the DEA has paid a Houston, Texas company called Cowboy Streetlight Concealments LLC roughly $22,000 since June 2018 for “video recording and reproducing equipment.” ICE paid out about $28,000 to Cowboy Streetlight Concealments over the same period of time.

It’s unclear where the DEA and ICE streetlight cameras have been installed, or where the next deployments will take place. ICEoffices in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio have provided funding for recent acquisitions from Cowboy Streetlight Concealments; the DEA’s most recent purchases were funded by the agency’s Office of Investigative Technology, which is located in Lorton, Virginia.

Christie Crawford, who owns Cowboy Streetlight Concealments with her husband, a Houston police officer, said she was not at liberty to discuss the company’s federal contracts in detail.

“We do streetlight concealments and camera enclosures,” Crawford told Quartz. “Basically, there’s businesses out there that will build concealments for the government and that’s what we do. They specify what’s best for them, and we make it. And that’s about all I can probably say.”

However, she added: “I can tell you this—things are always being watched. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving down the street or visiting a friend, if government or law enforcement has a reason to set up surveillance, there’s great technology out there to do it.”

Earlier this week, the DEA issued a solicitation for “concealments made to house network PTZ [Pan-Tilt-Zoom] camera, cellular modem, cellular compression device,” noting that the government intended to give the contract to Obsidian Integration LLC, an Oregon company with a sizable number of federal law enforcement customers.

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Everywhere you turn politicians and corporations are trying to convince the public we need to convert our cities into ‘smart cities’. Last week AnyVision and Nvidia announced that they are working together to put facial recognition cameras in cities across the globe.

The future of privacy in big cities is bleak, cities are now getting paid to convert street lights into spying SmartNodes. What are SmartNodes? SmartNodes will soon replace street lights, because they are equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers etc., all-in-one light pole.

According to an article in the Mercury News, the City of San Jose, California is letting anyCOMM install 300-1,000 street lights equipped with surveillance cameras and microphones on their streets. “The council ultimately voted 7-4 to allow anyCOMM, a tech company with offices in El Dorado Hills, Gold River and San Jose, to install “nodes” which could have video and audio recording capabilities on 300 to 1,000 streetlights. The “pilot program” — as proposed by Mayor Sam Liccardo — would run for a year and only in pre-agreed upon areas.”

Soon spying streetlights equipped with ShotSpotter microphones will be in every city and town, that’s because GE lighting and ShotSpotter (SST) are working together to spy on everyone.

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