Lamposts and laptop webcams have reportedly been used to listen in on private conversations in the USA, UK and China.
In the UK, the so-called Sigard system has been tested in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Coventry. The microphones, connected to CCTV cameras, can recognise aggressive “trigger” words and sounds, then automatically direct cameras to zoom in on the speakers. Manufacturers denied the system is used to record conversations. It analyses sound patterns to pick out angry or distressed voices. But the makers would not pledge that in the future Sigard would not be used to record whole sections of speech.
The USA will start collecting data through Web-connected sensors installed on lamp poles this summer in an effort to ‘better understand the urban environment and ultimately make Chicago a safer, more pleasant place to live’ according to Bloomburg Business Week.
A 2009 report from the University of Toronto described a surveillance program called Ghostnet that the Chinese government allegedly used to spy on prominent Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama. The authors reported that “web cameras are being silently triggered, and audio inputs surreptitiously activated,” though it’s not clear whether the Ghostnet software is capable of disabling camera warning lights.
In response Kyle McDonald and Brian House say they hope to raise questions about the nature of public and private spaces in an era when anything can be broadcast by inventing an eavesdropping lamp that live tweets private conversations.
What questions does this raise about privacy? Should humble items like PC’s and lampposts be exploited to curb on civil rights? Infowars reports that the manufacturers of these lampposts have since taken down any reference on their websites to avoid a backlash. Shanghai Metal Corporation maintains its integrity in its field and manufactures the carbon steel used in lampposts. As an ISO 14001 (International Quality Management System) Company and recipient of the “Star Enterprise Award,” Shanghai Metal Corporation prides itself on exceeding international standards of quality and reliability. We guarantee the best prices, quality support, and fast delivery. To find out more, please visit our Website, WordPress, LinkedIn , Twitter , Facebook and Instagram. Or you could try our new mobile app by scanning our QR code. Moreover, we sell directly from Alibaba , EC21 and Tradekey.
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Sources: Washington Post, Wired, Daily Express, Bloomburg Business Week, Infowars
Siobhan R.// SMC Editor