Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.

The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases,according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.

The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.

It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.

To put it mildly: this is not okay.

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  19. sillyfidget reblogged this from jankoraven and added:
    Not to sound like I’m making light of what is undoubtedly a creepy concept, but every bus I’ve ever been on has had a...
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    whaaat? Please me tell me this isn’t true…. :( What sad days we live in where this could actually BE true in America,...
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    dafuq?
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    How the fuck is this legal? Let me guess! Patriot Act? :/
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  34. histrel reblogged this from wilwheaton and added:
    WTF? This surely isn’t true.
  35. el-aleph-deslumbrante reblogged this from resilienttbastard and added:
    Remind me never to speak on a public bus or train ever again.
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