Having published our report concerning the British Isles’ submergence in CCTV, there is now cause for concern that CCTV will soon being doing more than just watching us. It seems that the prospect of unmanned airborne spy drones is only the begining.
An outfit dedicated to covering the European Security Research Programme named NeoConOptican, reported yesterday that the European Commission are funding a project called Samurai - a “next generation” CCTV system, which is, they write:
capable of identifying and tracking individuals “acting suspiciously” in crowded public spaces. The project has received €2.5 million in EU funding under the Fp7 security research programme.
The blurb on the official Samurai project website, makes it clear that their intention is take surveillance to a whole new level:
Existing systems focus on analysing recorded video. SAMURAI is to develop a real-time adaptive behaviour profiling and abnormality detection system for alarm event alert and prediction.
We aim to develop an abnormal detection system based on a heterogeneous sensor network consisting of both fix-positioned CCTV cameras and mobile wearable cameras with audio and positioning sensors.
These networked heterogeneous sensors will function cooperatively to provide enhanced situation awareness.
There we have it. Research into surveillance systems designed to identify and follow unusual behaviour and which are capable of tracking people, vehicles and luggage are being funded by our contributions to the EU.
Let’s picture the future: a spring afternoon, in 2015, silent Drones hover above our head; cameras equipped with the ability to listen to the conversation I am having surround me; images of the Golfing equipment I’m carrying are being sent across the system as possible weapons of mass destruction.
Samurai is just the beginning. The potential is frightening.
By Edward Hockings