Hidden cameras in the public lights in the streets

People ignore where or how cameras are installed in big cities by the authorities.

The Drug Control Administration (DEA) and the Service of Inmigration and Border Control (ICE) have hidden a no revealed number of surveillance cameras camouflaged in street lights in the EE.UU. Territory, report the digital forensic and cybersecurity experts of the National Institute of Cybernetic Security.

Reading the governmental purchases data, the DEA paid a company in Houston, Texas, called Cowboy Streetlight Concealments LLC, aproximetly 22 thousand dollars since June 2018 under “video recording and reproduction devices”. By the other hand, the ICE paid around 28.000 dollars to Cowboy Streetlights Concealments during the same period of time.

There is no idea where exactly those DEA and ICE devices were installed. The offices of ICE in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio have liberated funds for the recent adquisitions of Cowboy Streetlight; the most recent purchases of the DEA were financed by the Technology for the Investigation Office, reported the digital forensic experts.

Christie Crawford, owner of Cowboy Streetlight alongside her husband, a police officer of Houston, maintain that they dont have the freedom of discuss the details of their contracts that the company acorded with the federal agencies.


“Basically, there are companies that will build concealments for the government and that is what we do”. They concrete what’s the best for them and we do it. Probably that’s everything i can say for the moment”, mentioned Crawford.

However, she added: “I can say this: everyone is always under surveillance. It doesn’t matter if you are driving in the street or you are visiting a friend, if the government has a reason to surveillance you, they got the resources to do so”.

Soem days ago, the DEA submitted an application of “ done conceilers for the net PTZ(Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras, cellular modem, cellular compression device” showing that the government had the intention of giving the contract to Obsidian Integration LLC, a company in Oregon that counts with a considerable number of clients in the federal government.

Besides hiding the cameras in the street lights, the DEA have also placed surveillance cameras camouflaged inside traffic barrels, a product specially designed and offered by various manufacturers. And, like the digital forensic experts reported, the DEA operates a traffic signals network with number plates reader added on them.

Chad Marlow, lawyer and polithics advisory for the american people’s rights, thinks that the efforts for placing this hidden cameras in the stretts have been proposed before by the local authorities, generally as a part of a public intelligent streetlight system.

“Basically, it has the capability of converting every street light in a surveillance device, a horrible posibility”, said Marlow. “In most jurisdictions, the local police or the public works department are authorized to take this decisions secretly and unilaterally. There is no public debate or supervision.

The impact of the surveillance cameras will increase when the development of facial algorithms becomes a common thing between the police agencies. Amazon have been particularly interested on equiping operating cameras bt the National Security Department (DHS) with facial reconnaissance systems, according with the recent emails discovered by the Project on government Oversight organization.

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