Casino Developers Promise Surveillance Drones in Times Square

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There is great news if you are a fan of gambling and flying spy robots.

Times Square, fifth circle of Hell and home of the The dumbest ads in the world, could be the location of the next casino in New York City. Caesars Entertainment has teamed up with developer SL Green Realty Corporation to get a casino license and they are trying to sweeten the pot with a proposal that will lead to it drive you insane if you hate privacy.

According to a document obtained by the New York Times:

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

The letter said a new casino would result in more than 50 new artificial intelligence camera systems “strategically placed in Times Square, each capable of monitoring more than 85,000 people per day.”

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

“At a time when our cars, subway rides and buses are being monitored more than ever, the addition of a new fleet of drones and AI cameras will take away our right to even walk down the street unobserved,” said Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP). “The system will waste money, be ripe for abuse and do nothing about the real causes of crime.”

SL Green spokesman Jack Lynch told Gizmodo the company is working closely with the community and former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who reportedly helped develop the plan, “to find the best package of solutions to help the Times to make 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 big spike in homicides in New York City. Some were particularly troubling, including a mass shooting on the subway last April. But acc Bloomberg Newsthe homicide rate fell lower than in previous decades the pandemic and today the number of homicides was about the same as in 2009. In the dark days of New York’s 1970s and 1980s, the homicide rate was five times what it is today.

So why have we heard so much about crime in B?ig AApple? It’s because the news hyped it. Bloomberg’s analysis shows that the frequency with which the media has mentioned shootings in New York in recent years is completely independent of the actual number of shootings. There’s an old adage in journalism, “if it bleeds, it leads,” and reporters and talking heads have clearly taken that to heart.

Of course, the public doesn’t dig up crime statistics, they hear the headlines and rightly freak out. As if on cue, political figures seize the opportunity to show they are hard on crime, and monitoring is offered as a solution. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Announcing the launch of more cameras on the New York City subway system, said the other day “Do you think Big Brother is watching you on the subway? You are absolutely right. That is our intention.

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

Surveillance is often presented as a compromise between security and privacy, but it is true doesn’t necessarily help with crime. For example, last time there were cameras Mass shooting in April on the subway, but they didn’t help catch the suspect, and neither did the cops. A day later he turned himself in.

Surveillance disproportionately impacts communities of color and other marginalized groups. The “artificial intelligence” camera system proposed by the casino moguls is in all likelihood a fancy way of saying face recognition. Numerous research projects show that facial recognition tools recover serious biassand they are much worse at it, people with darker skin, women and Young people.

We have already seen the potential of this problem to ruin people’s lives. Face recognition has led to this multiple false arrests and even prison for BShortage of men for crimes they had nothing to do with.

The views of people who advocate surveillance drones “are saturated and veiled in the technical fallacies of the information age,” said Gary T. Marx, professor emeritus of sociology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Surveillance cameras always raise a number of troubling questions, including who can access the data and how it’s stored, the reliability of the information, and fundamental questions about how effective it is.

Marc Holliday, SL Green’s chief executive, told the New York Times that New Yorkers have a responsibility to protect the streets. “It’s our responsibility to make sure Times Square moves with the times and doesn’t revert to what I call the bad old days of the ’70s or early ’90s,” said Holliday. “And we all remember what that was like when it came to crime and overt drug use.” But Vacation is at the same time plead for a huge new center for drinking and gambling. Either you want a den of injustice and vice or not, Mr. Holliday. choose one

Increased surveillance not only harms marginalized communities, it also has a chilling effect on free speech. People behave differently when they know they’re being watched, and if the plan goes the wrong way, it could change the tone of the entire area that New York City represents to millions of visitorsno matter how much New Yorkers may hate going there.

“If the city makes this big bet on casino surveillance, I’m afraid they’re gambling away the future of our public roads,” STOP’s Fox Cahn said. “For generations, New Yorkers have used Times Square to protest injustice and demonstrate for a better future, but this plan will give us a techno-dystopian nightmare instead.”

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