By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on October 05, 2009 11:30 AM
Big Brother is coming, and at a faster rate than you may have suspected. The surveillance system that has been in place in New York’s lower Manhattan since last year is being expanded to midtown. The system, which currently covers the financial district, will now monitor 30th to 60th Streets, which includes the United Nations, Grand Central and Penn Stations, and the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. The new system will bring total surveillance spending for the city to more than $110 million, and is modeled on a system in London. Additional cameras will start appearing in the city in 2010, with completion of the system targeted for 2011. Weapons sensors and license plate readers will also be added to the network, which now monitors an almost two-square-mile area that covers the World Trade Center site and the New York Stock exchange. The counterterrorism network is sometimes referred to as the “Ring of Steel,” and is being financed with about $24 million in federal money. Reactions from New Yorkers are mixed, with some polled saying they like the idea of added security, while others fear the encroachment on their privacy. Money is also being set aside to monitor New York waterways for possible radioactive materials. Interesting Security Fact of the Day: The cameras are currently monitored from just one room somewhere on Broadway.