Anonymous leak shows who's in control of Seattle's surveillance cameras
A photo posted this week on social media by Anonymous's Operation Open Source shows a March 2012 diagram of how the cameras in Seattle's expanding mesh network are controlled and accessed by various agencies.
The excerpt made available here shows how officers of the Seattle Police Department are able to both control cameras and receive video feed from their squad cars.
Though the diagram is not detailed enough to draw specific conclusions, and the city's network may have changed since last year, it is reasonable to wonder if SPD beat officers can use the cameras' features such as panning and zooming to track and monitor citizens for crime prevention purposes.
Such power could open the door for police abuse in a city that is notorious for it.
Elsewhere in the diagram, it shows that the SPD Headquarters, Fusion Center MMIS (Department of Homeland Security), Coast Guard, SPD Harbor Patrol, Seattle Fire Department Headquarters and SFD Marshall have the ability to control and receive video feed as well.
"Authorized users" on the diagram are able to receive but not control video feed.
As previously reported, a Public Records Act request (Washington state equivalent to Freedom of Information Act request) was made to release all relevant data, plans and details about Seattle's currently-expanding wireless mesh surveillance network.
According to a disclaimer present on the leaked diagram, it is exempt from disclosure under this act for security purposes. The full diagram has not been made available here for that reason.
Despite its disclaimer, however, the document was legally discovered and is currently still available to the public on the Seattle.gov website.
The PDF was found as an attachment to the city's request for proposal (# DIT-2996) for the "Port Security Video Surveillance System with Wireless Mesh Network" project.