According to USA Today, the federal government is investigating new video surveillance technology that would allow agents in public places to film suspicious people or activities and instantly share live videos with other government enforcement officials.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to spend $700,000 on tests before submitting the RealEyes program for review, and if it passes, security agents would be able to covertly film people in airports, border crossings and other high-risk areas.
Live feeds could be used to unite law enforcement agents in the pursuit of criminal suspects, lost children or disaster victims, said Amy Kudwa, DHS spokesperson.
Questions have been raised, however, as to how necessary and ethical such technology would be. Melissa Ngo of the electronic-watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center said, in the years following 9/11, the Bush administration has a record of “expansions into surveillance when there’s no credible threat.”