Spy tech that ‘monitors conversations’ being launched in Europe: report
Privacy rights advocates and civil liberties campaigners in Europe are raising the alarm about a new surveillance system that monitors conversations in public.
The surveillance system, dubbed Sigard, has been installed in Dutch city centers, government offices and prisons, and a recent test-run of the technology in Coventry, England, has British civil rights experts worried that the right to privacy will disappear in efforts to fight street crime.
The system’s manufacturer, Sound Intelligence, says it works by detecting aggression in speech patterns.
“Ninety percent of all incidents involving physical aggression are preceded by verbal aggression,” the Sound Intelligence Web site says. “The ability to spot verbal aggression before it turns into a violent outbreak delivers valuable time to security personnel and enables speedy intervention.”
According to the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, the city of Coventry recently finished a six-month test run of the system, which involved the installation of seven microphones around a crime-prone nightlife district. A spokesperson for the city said the system is “no longer in use.”