Casino Developers Promise Surveillance Drones in Times Square

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If you’re a fan of gambling and flying, spying robots, there’s great news.

Times Square, the fifth circle of hell and home World’s dumbest commercials, could be the site of New York’s next casino. Caesars Entertainment has teamed up with developer SL Green Realty Corporation in a bid for a casino license, and they’re trying to sweeten the pot with this bid. make you wild if you hate privacy.

according to a document obtained by New York Times:

SL Green and Caesars said in their letter asking for casino support that gambling revenue could be used to more than double the number of “public safety officers” in Times Square and deploy surveillance drones.

A new casino will result in more than 50 new AI camera systems “strategically placed in Times Square, each capable of tracking 85,000+ people per day,” the letter says.

A new gambling house could have a huge economic impact on Times Square and the city in general. Tourists and New Yorkers have been slow to return to the area since the pandemic, thanks in part to recent panic over rising crime rates. The truth is that crime rates have increased in percentage terms, but they are still at historic lows. Regardless of the facts of the crime, experts who spoke to Gizmodo said one thing is clear: increased surveillance is a bad solution.

“At a time when our cars, subways and buses are being tracked more than ever, the addition of a fleet of new drones and AI cameras will also deprive us of our right to walk the streets without being tracked,” said CEO Albert Fox Cahn. of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP). “The system will waste money, be open to abuse and do nothing about the real drivers of crime.”

SL Green spokesman Jack Lynch told Gizmodo that the company is working closely with the community and former New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who helped develop the plan, “to find the best package of solutions to make Times Square safer for everyone.” Caesars Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment.

Let’s take a look the facts. During the pandemic, there was a huge increase in murders in New York. Some were particularly troubling, including last April’s mass shooting on the subway. But according to Bloomberg newsthe homicide rate has fallen below what it was decades ago pandemic and today the number of murders is about the same as in 2009. In the dark days of the 1970s and ’80s, New York’s homicide rate was five times higher than it is today..

So why have we heard so much about crime in B?ig Apeople? Because the news incited him. A Bloomberg analysis shows that media coverage of shootings in New York over the past few years has been completely out of touch with the number of actual shootings. There is an old adage in journalism, “where blood comes, it leads,” and journalists and public speakers clearly embrace it.

Of course, the public doesn’t study crime statistics, they hear the headlines and are justifiably outraged. Political figures get a chance to show themselves tough on crime, and is implemented as a control solution. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Announcing more cameras on the NYC subway system, said recently “Do you think Big Brother is watching you on the subway? You are absolutely right. This is our intention.

“The worst time to introduce new surveillance tools like drones, which will have profound and lasting impacts on privacy and justice, is when people are concerned about their safety,” said Rochester Institute of Technology professor Evan Selinger. surveillance technology. According to Selinger, we should ask “Whether the proposal is security theater that promotes a false sense of security while creating a dangerous infrastructure that will be abused.”

Surveillance is often framed as a compromise between security and privacy, but this he doesn’t even have to assist in the crime. For example, recently there were cameras around April’s mass shooting on the subway, but they didn’t help catch the suspect, and neither did the police. He surrendered a day later.

What surveillance does is disproportionately negatively impact communities of color and other marginalized groups. The “artificial intelligence” camera systems proposed by the casino tycoons are most likely a fancy way of saying face recognition. Numerous research projects show that facial recognition tools are available serious biasetcand they are worse at recognizing darker-skinned people, women, and people Young people.

We have already seen how this problem can destroy people’s lives. It led to facial recognition several false arrests and even the arrest of Babsence of men for unrelated crimes.

Gary T. Marks, professor emeritus of sociology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that the views of people who defend surveillance drones are “saturated and surrounded by the techno-fallacies of the information age.” Surveillance cameras always raise a number of concerns, including fundamental questions about who can access the data and how it is stored, the reliability of the data, and how effective they are.

SL Green CEO Marc Holliday told the New York Times that New Yorkers have a responsibility to protect the streets. “It’s our responsibility to make sure Times Square keeps up with the times and doesn’t go back to what I would call the bad old days of the ’70s or early ’90s,” Holliday said. “And we all remember that when it comes to crime and, you know, open drug use.” But Holiday happens at the same time defends for a huge new center for drinking and gambling. Either you want evil and a nest of evil or not, Mr. Holliday. Choose one.

Increased surveillance not only harms marginalized communities, but also has a chilling effect on freedom of expression. People behave differently when they know they’re being watched, and if the plan goes wrong, it can change the tenor of the entire area that represents New York City to millions of many New Yorkers loathe going there.

“If the city puts these high stakes casinos under control, I worry they’re gambling the future of our public streets,” said STOP’s Fox Cahn. “For generations, New Yorkers have used Times Square to protest injustice and march for a better future, but this plan will leave us with a techno-dystopian nightmare.”

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