Mass Surveillance Is Coming to a City Near You

" Tech entrepreneur Ross McNutt wants to spend three years recording human outdoor movements in a major U.S. city, KMOX news radio reports.

If that sounds too dystopian to be real, you’re behind the times. McNutt, who runs Persistent Surveillance Systems, was inspired by his stint in the Air Force tracking Iraqi insurgents. He tested mass surveillance technology over Compton, California, in 2012. In 2016, the company flew over Baltimore, feeding information to police for months (without telling city leaders or residents) while demonstrating how the technology works to the FBI and Secret Service.

The goal is noble: to reduce violent crime.

The trajectory of this technology in the U.S. is still unwritten. It may depend on everything from public opinion to Fourth Amendment jurisprudence to restrictions that policy makers impose before wide-area surveillance is entrenched.

According to KMOX, McNutt plans to consult with city leaders before starting his planned three-year project somewhere. Does his company retain video of the Baltimore officials who could approve or thwart its return? I’d wonder if I were them."

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