Russia considers multiplying the size of its face surveillance network
There is a report out of Latvia that Russian officials want to again expand their national facial recognition infrastructure.
According to Latvia-based Meduza, which is considered an independent source of Russian news, the Digital Development Ministry wants to build a server farm capable of storing and processing data from state and private surveillance cameras in cities.
Mentions of the project always include references to crimefighting.
Russian authorities have access to real-time public facial recognition systems, such as Moscow’s municipal CCTV network, but the ability to store and process data at scale could increase their capacity to perform forensic biometric searches.
The ministry also is going to install surveillance cameras at “categories” of properties – probably apartment buildings — and send the bill to building owners, according to Meduza.
Russia has mounted 1.2 million cameras across the nation, according to the Kommersant, a nominally independent Russian publication with direction connections to the Kremlin. Half of the cameras are not tied into the national network.
By 2030, the government wants 5 million cameras bolted in place.
Meduza says the project will cost 12 billion rubles, or US$135 million, but some in Russia think it will cost several times more to deploy the infrastructure and tie it all into a centralized network.