Oct. 23, 2012
An article published yesterday by Oklahoma’s News 6 introduces us to a new technology system designed to keep us safe from terrorism as large events such as sporting events, the State Fair and even at political rallies. It’s called “OverSite”
Given the fact that the OverSite system incorporates facial recognition, that ought to be a real hit given that we are governed by an administration that frequently confuses legitimate First Amendment protected activities as possible indicators of terrorism.
Oct 22, 2012 News On 6
A sniper with a high-powered rifle was on top of the Case Center at the University of Tulsa on Monday.
He was demonstrating technology that can pinpoint a shooter’s location in a large crowd almost immediately.
The technology comes from Oklahoma company OverSite, and it can protect people from all kinds of terrorist attacks at big events like football games, political rallies, NASCAR races and state fairs.
Interestingly the article provides this boast about the OverSite technology;
“If we’re looking for somebody in a crowd, we have our cameras working, we can find the bad guy, put facial recognition on him, he’s identified, even if beard, mustache, glasses, hat, still gonna catch him,” Eller said. link
Really? Color me skeptical on that claim.
We need to know, are they using facial recognition on event goers in general or only on legitimate suspects with probable cause?
OverSite’s Trick Camera-SkyCam SpyCam
Closed Facility Aerial Cameras (surveillance) – Few people watching sporting events have failed to see a camera gliding on cables high above the event and crowd providing exciting and unique angles of play and reaction. SkyCam works with OverSite© to develop a two-camera capability that appears normal in all ways except that one camera does what SkyCam normally does while the other is individually controlled to watch the audience and scan for faces and/or activities that might be suspect to the well-being of the people and facility. Link
Here is a little more information on OverSite from their official website;
Protecting America’s Infrastructure
The OverSite© technology was created by Triarii Scientific, LLC (TriSci) in response to operational recognition that government agencies ranging from Homeland Security to the Department of Defense have been so overwhelmed protecting our military, training local and national emergency management personnel, finding common communications grounds, etc., that it has not been able to embrace the growing needs of a broad group defined as “Soft Targets.”
OverSite© can provide a broad selection of sensor technologies, timely analysis processes and response mechanisms such as
- Retina scan
– Facial recognition
- Weather, etc.
- On-site analysis
- Response coordination
- Centralized communications
The technology was tested before in Oklahoma on April 6, 2011;
The OSU University Multispectral Laboratories recently demonstrated the unique capabilities of an integrated mobile security vehicle called OverSite during the simulation of a terror attack at Boone Pickens Stadium on April 6, 2011.
OverSite also had another test run prior to April 6, 2011 and at the Super Bowl XLV, no less.
Prior to the April 6 test, OverSite was also deployed at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, where core system integration was tested and improved.
Since the April 6 test, the OverSite Rapid Deployment Module, developed and integrated on behalf of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 63rd Civil Support Team, has been readied for deployment to Maryland
The federal Department of Homeland Security provided the funding for the April 6, 2011 demonstration of OverSite;
The simulation involved members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard Civil Support Team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who with the help of OverSite responded to ten different threat scenarios. The proof of concept demonstration was funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
|2010||WMD Multi-Sensor Response and Infrastructure Project System
|$1,600,000||Rep. Mary Fallin (-OK)||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
On Sept. 19, 2011, ESPN Magazine expressed concern about the proliferation of counter terrorism and homeland security projects, including OverSite aimed at sporting events. ESPN descibes
Industry of fear
. . .As the bullets sped toward their target, a monitor in an RV lit up. The screen flashed a triangular wedge of purple within an image of the stadium’s architectural plan. Todd Lamb, the lieutenant governor of Oklahoma, was (inside the RV, surveying this mobile command post.
. . . Lamb watched as a second purple sliver flashed, and the point where the two slices intersected began to glow. Security cameras swerved their view to the precise spot where the sniper had launched his shot, identifying the section, row and nearest seat to rushing guards. The whole thing took a little more than 15 seconds.
It was just a drill. The sniper was an FBI agent. The crowd noise screamed through loudspeakers. The bullets were pinpointed, quickly and accurately, by an OSU-developed system called OverSite along with software and sensors made by Raytheon, a defense technology and security company. Oklahoma State scientists incubated OverSite at the University Multispectral Laboratories (UML), an unconventional-warfare outfit the school launched in 2006. After years of research and millions in taxpayer and private money, OSU tested the project in April, demonstrating its impressive results to Lamb, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and other policymakers. (Emphasis mine)
. . . At today’s games, endless lines await you. Guards search you and, if it’s your unlucky day, grope you. Cameras spy on you. Traffic barriers, pat-downs and metal detectors all carry the same message: You are safer because your surroundings are bear-trapped.
. . . For the companies developing terror-fighting tools, the money and sex appeal are in sci-fi-level detection.
. . .Since 9/11, these kinds of devices have filled airports, convention halls and corporate headquarters, and now their manufacturers hungrily eye sports arenas. “We see it as an emerging business,” says Mark Desmarais, the program director for Clear View at Raytheon. Security companies know just how to capture that market: scare the hell out of anyone who runs a stadium.
Read more of Industry of Fear
Oklahomans should be asking their elected officials some questions about this system.
Will data will be collected on ordinary event attendees and what is being done with that data?