Confirmed: New York City’s Public WiFi Stations Are Spying On You With Cameras

Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments

By Kevin Samson | Activist Post

If there is ever a perfect example of dual-use technology, it is WiFi connectivity. I’ve already covered the mounting evidence that our ubiquitous gadgets and wireless connections are doing irreparable physical harm, especially to the young and to pregnant women, but the concern about surveillance is running a parallel track.

So, when New York City announced its LinkNYC program in early 2016 to convert 7,500 public payphones into WiFi stations, I sounded the alarm about the threat it potentially posed to civil liberties.


Part of what concerned me the most is that corporations such as Qualcomm would be involved to offset the $200 million dollar cost of implementation. The city of New York would receive half of all profits, thus forming a dangerous merger of corporations with government. Additionally, data would be harvested so that information could be used to direct advertising. Officials claimed that all details collected would be anonymized, but we’ve seen that to be an empty assurance too many times.

Now that the LinkNYC program is approaching the two-year mark, it seems that those early concerns were not mere paranoia. A surprising report from mainstream Huffpost couldn’t ignore new issues that are cropping up across the city.

Apparently, a group of activists has identified the devices to have front-facing cameras, and have taken it upon themselves to cover the cameras with Post-It notes to cover them up.  However, a LinkNYC team subsequently began sweeps to remove them … and so a front-lines privacy battle has ensued:

Starting on a number of blocks on the Upper West Side, an unknown number of digital protesters has begun to adhere yellow post-it-notes onto the Kiosks, effectively blocking the camera’s view.

Then, late a night, a van marked LinkNYC drives up Broadway where a worker with a long stick with a scraper clears the Post-its. But within days, the Post-Its return.


Huffpost reached out to civil liberties organizations EFF and the NYCLU, but both denied knowledge of any sort of activist campaign against the program. However, both reiterated their fundamental concerns about a program which has had little to no input from the public prior to full implementation.

EFF previously has defined the scope of data collection that includes “IP addresses, anonymized MAC addresses, device type, device identifiers, and more…”

Perhaps even more troubling are the parameters of data retention, where the issue of the front-facing cameras becomes truly paramount. According to EFF, data is retained “for up to 60 days. Additionally, the LinkNYC kiosks have cameras that store footage for up to 7 days.”

Moreover, in an era of fusion centers and the overall surveillance matrix that feeds everything into databases designed (supposedly) for anti-terror functions, the NYCLU states their additional concerns:

We would like to know whether the environmental sensors and cameras will be routinely feeding into any City or NYPD systems, including the Domain Awareness System; if so, that should be made explicit in the privacy policy.”

The fact that privacy concerns clearly were not placed at the top of the list by LinkNYC and the CityBridge private consortium with whom they now partner should speak volumes to New Yorkers as well as any other city that intends to implement citywide “public” WiFi.

Article source: Huffpost

Image: LinkNYC

Kevin Samson writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on FacebookTwitterSteemit, andBitChute. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

Read more great articles at Activist Post.

Tags: , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top

Send this to friend