Capitol Police to use Army surveillance system on Americans


US Capitol Police As the force has become an “intelligence-based protective agency” after the January 6 attack, it will begin to field military surveillance equipment as part of extensive security updates.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently capital police request for eight Permanent Surveillance Systems Ground – Medium (PSSG-M) units. The system provides high definition surveillance video and is enabled with night vision. The Pentagon said the system does not include facial recognition features.

“This technology will be integrated with existing technologies. USCP “Camera infrastructure that provides higher resolution surveillance capability to meet steady-state mission requirements and help identify emerging threats,” the Pentagon said.

The technology has allowed US troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to monitor large areas 24/7 via ultra-high resolution cameras.

Some privacy advocates capital police They’re getting into the business of spying on Americans.

In a wartime application, permanent surveillance units were mounted on tethered balloons. Data can be stored, combined with sensor data from other platforms, and then referenced or rewinded to track individuals or groups.

The military can use the system to develop “life model” analyzes of suspected enemy combatants or intelligence targets in war zones. For example, it can identify who is responsible for placing a handcrafted explosive device.

The Department of Homeland Security has leased the same or similar technology, defined as: Permanent According to the 2016 State Accountability Office report, Ground Surveillance System(s) (PGSS) through the Department of Defense. It is unclear whether any other agency has fielded the full technology domestically.

A federal appeals court last month ruled that the Baltimore Police Department permanent Surveillance technology similar to the Pentagon’s Gorgon Stare, which includes aircraft-mounted large-area motion picture panes. The system allowed police to simultaneously track hundreds of moving targets across a wide geographic footprint. The court said the program was unconstitutional and violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The technology used in the pilot program in Baltimore, known as Aerial Investigation Research, was privately owned and the pilot program was privately funded. The technology has allowed the police department to capture footage for up to 12 hours a day.

An independent audit team from the New York University School of Law found that the Baltimore Police Department obtained a significant amount of footage from the surveillance system and used the footage to track individuals over several days.

capital police The Washington Times provided a few details when asked about how and where the department will use PSSG-M equipment. The agency does not say whether the data will be stored or distributed, or whether the system will be used only for real-time observation.

The Pentagon said the Army would build and train units. capital police Personnel to operate and maintain the system. The military will not operate units once they are established.

When asked if the data from the PSSG-M system will feed the agencies, capital police or how field deployment of the system would improve the Capitol security infrastructure, the department declined to respond.

“I hope you can understand that it wouldn’t be wise for us to tell the world all our talents.” capital police The official told The Times.

As an institution of the legislature, US Capitol Police It is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Lynne Bernabei, a Washington-based attorney specializing in civil rights cases, said: capital police The use of PSSG-M technology does not immediately raise civil liberties concerns. He said that given the extraordinary circumstances of the January 6 attack, the use of the technology could be legitimate.

Ms. Bernabei said the problem with field surveillance technology is never in the technology itself, but in how the emerging data is used to stereotype or target specific individuals and groups.

Others are less convinced that the technology will be used for good.

William Owen of the Surveillance Technology Surveillance Project said the integration of technology marks an alarming advance in police surveillance.

“These so-called improvements, capital police “What was implemented after the uprising represents the expansion of police force and surveillance that STOP warned about in January,” he said.

“As dire as the events of January 6 were, the increased use of biased surveillance technology is never the solution,” he said. “This technology will inevitably be used to target Black, brown and Muslim communities and protesters, not White, racist, far-right gangs like those released to enter the Capitol. So we need more civilian oversight of the police, not more police.”

The integration of military technology was among the many changes. capital police announced last week. Another plan is to open field offices in California and Florida to “research threats to Members of Congress.” The announcement states that additional zones are being evaluated for field offices.

capital police it also announced increased intelligence sharing with local and federal law enforcement agencies and increased “partnership within the intelligence community.”

Palace Sergeant Major announced last week US Capitol Police It would remove the firewall surrounding the Capitol since the January 6 attack. The statement said the decision was based on an assessment of the current threat landscape.

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