Nation’s First Real-Time CCTV Camera Network Managed By A Cable Television Company

by mapi

One of the oldest parks in Nevada, Baker Park in Las Vegas was remodeled for a staggering $7.3 million dollars. But concerns over homeless people made the city of Las Vegas do something no other city in the country has ever done before.

“I went to that middle school,” said Aleah Hildebrandt. “I use to come here and hang out with friends, but there were no homeless people out. I don’t think so; maybe a few but that’s it.”

“I’d come back with my niece and my whole family, said Pauline-Bishop. “We’d come, but we don’t come because of the homeless people, but if that were to be changed, we would definitely come back.

In what is being billed as the “nation’s first city-led managed private network” managed by a cable television company; Cox Communications has effectively created a Cable Television Public Surveillance Network (CTPSN).

Last month, Cox Communications proudly revealed that their new pilot program is really a pilot public surveillance program.

“Cox Communications unveiled today a new pilot program with the city of Las Vegas to deploy one of the first Managed Private Networks (MPN) launched by a U.S. city to facilitate Smart City use cases.”

It’s hard to put into words how repugnant the nation’s first “Managed Private Networks” really is.

“Together, Cox and the city will leverage Citizens’ Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) to power Smart City solutions that deliver insights into visitor attendance and after-hours activities at a local park (Baker Park, 1010 E. St. Louis Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89104) through parking lot management, safety detection and trend analytics. The learnings from this pilot will empower Cox and Las Vegas to push the boundaries of how networks of the future can be used to scale and support solutions and services.”

Cox wants to “push the boundaries of how networks of the future can be used to scale and support solutions and services.” Translation: Cox wants to expand their business model into the profitable world of corporate/police surveillance.

“The combination of Cox’s existing fiber network with the city’s infrastructure will accelerate the ability to deploy solutions and will provide an ideal path to a long-term, sustainable solution should the pilot prove successful.” 

Cox’s ability to “accelerate the ability to deploy solutions” is a fancy way of saying it is cheaper for them to install public surveillance devices because they own the fiber optics network.

Since when does a cable television company equate public surveillance with a “long-term sustainable solution”? The only way this is a ‘long term sustainable solution” is if they remain the only cable television company of choice in the state.

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Cox’s real-time surveillance cameras are also equipped with radar sensors.

“The CBRS network will initially support video cameras and associated sensors fixed to existing light poles throughout the park. A combination of cameras and radar sensors will be connected to CBRS-enabled wireless bridges that are fed from a central three-sector radio site.”

Cox’s CTPSN will allow police to use a corporate-owned surveillance network to monitor people in real-time.

“Using Cox’s Smart Communities platform, the city will have access to all data generated in the pilot. This includes historical data on parking lot usage, occupancy, turnover, and it includes real-time event notifications from safety cameras, driving enhanced visibility and public safety. By leveraging this data, the city can strategically send patrols to the park only when needed, improving operations and enabling officers to focus their time elsewhere.”

From Ring to Flock Safety, corporations are hard at work creating a network of public surveillance devices that allow law enforcement to circumvent the Fourth Amendment in ways they could only dream about a decade ago.

Claiming that encrypting public surveillance data will help residents feel safer is beyond believable.

“This pilot program with Baker Park is another step towards our mission of providing a new level of smart city visibility in Las Vegas and added security for residents to feel safer in their communities,” Stephen Rusche, senior director, Smart Communities said.

Where is the public outrage over a cable television’s mission to create a CTPSN? How long will it be before AT&T, Charter and Comcast create their own CTPSN’s?

What will it mean for everyone’s privacy if Cox Communications pilot is successful and expands to other cities? Where does public surveillance end?


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