Pritchett had no idea that as he spoke, a small Cessna airplane equipped with a sophisticated array of cameras was circling Baltimore at roughly the same altitude as the massing clouds. The plane’s wide-angle cameras captured an area of roughly 30 square miles and continuously transmitted real-time images to analysts on the ground. The footage from the plane was instantly archived and stored on massive hard drives, allowing analysts to review it weeks later if necessary.
It must be the NSA or the CIA or the FBI, right? They must have a warrant, right? They must be deleting the video after a certain period of time, right?
It’s the Baltimore Police Department. The article and accompanying video clarify the motivation of the company providing the technology and the service to BPD. Founder Ross McNutt says he hopes technology like his will have a deterrent effect on crime in cities where its deployment is disclosed. That’s a good goal but it’s not the BPD or the company’s founder I’m worried about.
Anything on a hard drive that isn’t air gapped is vulnerable to exfiltration by hackers. That includes a massive digital video recorder covering an entire city for an indeterminate amount of time.