[10/7/16] New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has revealed details of his high-tech plans for the state, including ‘all seeing’ bridges and tunnels equipped with cameras and facial recognition technology.
The futuristic proposals could be straight out of a science fiction thriller but are, in fact, part of the ambitious New York Crossings Project which outlines plans to revolutionise the transport network and fortify anti-terror efforts.
Governor Cuomo announced the transformational plan at a press conference this week, emphasizing the increased security measures were a response to terror threats which he said were increasing.
“Denial is not a life strategy,” he said. “There are security concerns about our tunnels and bridges in this age of terrorist activity and lonewolves; if you look at points of vulnerability you’ll go to our tunnels and our bridges.”
MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) facilities and crossings across the state will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including advanced cameras and sensors which will be able to read licence plates and test facial recognition software and equipment.
Under the plan, anti-terrorism teams will be combined with traffic enforcement, adding to an overall increase in law enforcement at crossings. Some 525 TBTA officers, 150 State troopers and 150 National Guardsmen will be employed and positioned at both ends of each of the two tunnels and seven MTA operated bridges.
The New York Civil Liberties Union said in a statement the move was ushering in a new era of surveillance.