Believe it or not the article itself is actually a lot worse than even the title implies. These microphones are in many cases being coupled with cameras in order to gain an even greater level of surveillance. All with grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Now honestly, does anyone really think this is for Al Qaeda? This is a great follow up to my piece from last week titled: Coming to Your Car: Mandatory Black Boxes That Record Everything.
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.
The systems use cables or WiFi to pair audio conversations with camera images in order to produce synchronous recordings. Audio and video can be monitored in real-time.
In Eugene, Oregon, the Daily found, transit officials requested microphones that would be capable of “distilling clear conversations from the background noise of other voices, wind, traffic, windshields wipers and engines” and also wanted at least five audio channels spread across each bus that would be “paired with one or more camera images and recorded synchronously with the video for simultaneous playback.”
The 4th Amendment is dead. I repeat, the terrorists won.
Full article here.