The Streetlights Have Eyes

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Government just found a new way to spy on you: through new data-collecting “intelligent” streetlights.

Jacksonville, FL, recently announced it plans to install 50 new streetlights downtown under a new General Electric pilot program.

According to GE, the streetlights will be “interconnected with one another and will collect real-time data.”

“GE’s intelligent LEDs are a gateway to city-changing technology, with sensors, controls, wireless transmitters and microprocessors built within the LED system.”

Sound creepy? It gets worse.

Once the streetlights have collected all your data, GE’s “Predix software” will analyze the data in real-time, providing the city with an array of information.

According to GE, “Predix… collects and analyzes data from these components, delivering optimized tools that respond to city challenges.” But GE will ultimately own the data–collected from America’s neighborhood streets.

GE touts benefits–like giving drivers “real time information on locations of available parking spaces,” but glosses over more troubling details–like the streetlights’ surveillance capabilities.

Similar projects, like one tested in Las Vegas in 2013, include audio and video recording applications–including so-called “Homeland Security” features.

At the time, the streetlights manufacturer advertised its voice analysts would “assist DHS in protecting its citizens and natural resources.”

No word on who will protect citizens from shady government spying–but unfortunately, this program will continue to grow: San Diego, California, will soon become part of GE’s streetlight program too.

Adam Campbell
Adam Campbell is a former military brat, who grew up all over the world--but considers Milwaukee, WI, where he and his wife currently live, to be his home. He enjoys reporting the real news, without bias.