U.S. surveillance system spying on public spaces
According to a series of recent news reports, former senior U.S. intelligence officials have created a detailed domestic surveillance system that leverages a network of security cameras and facial recognition software.
Entitled TrapWire, the system digitally records video at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States and instantaneously delivers intelligence information to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location.
TrapWire describes itself as a risk mitigation technology and services company that designs, builds and markets software products intended to prevent terrorist and other criminal attacks directed against critical infrastructure, key assets and personnel.
The firm’s flagship product, the TrapWire software system, is designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports. Once a suspicious activity is entered into the TrapWire system, it is analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.
The TrapWire system includes a variety of features and components that are configured and delivered based on the specific needs of clients within the public and private sector. The firm offers systems for critical infrastructure protection, community surveillance, and information sharing systems for U.S. law enforcement.
In recent news reports, TrapWire has been identified as a subsidiary of Abraxas, a Virginia-based company that is staffed by the elite of the U.S. intelligence community. According to the reports, the employee roster consists of a large compliment of former agents from the CIA and also includes former members of the military and national security agencies.
Details about Abraxas are reportedly scarce because of the sensitive nature of the service and technology. Conceivably, the system as it is currently designed uses “circular” dark globe cameras installed in public spaces to actively monitor every single person within their proximity and identify them utilizing facial recognition technology.
Some of the details that have emerged about the system have been gleaned from WikiLeaks. However, their Web site has been under sustained denial-of-service attacks since the beginning of August from unknown sources, which has since expanded to include attacks against affiliated sites. WikiLeaks, whose main objective is the release of secret government documents into the public domain, claimed in a statement that it has been recently and continually flooded with over 10 gigabits per second of bogus traffic from thousands of different Internet addresses.
Conspiracy theorists believe that these attacks might be coordinated by intelligence agencies in the United States in order to contain the release of sensitive data concerning national security matters.