Surveillance Zooming in for Counterterrorism In today’s challenging scenario, camera surveillance has recently gained prominence in policy proposals on combating terrorism on the government side. We evaluate this instrument of counterterrorism as resting on the premise of a deterrence effect. Experts close to the industry expect camera surveillance to have a big impact on terrorism in the coming years. This is the reason why segments such as real estate are going in for next generation surveillance solutions and even the vendors are the systems integrator community is all geared up to manage and implement such surveillance solutions in different targeted verticals in the country. CCTV is defined as “a system in which a number of video cameras are connected in a closed circuit loop, with the images produced being sent to a central television monitor or recorded.” One can categorize active (with people watching the recorded images in realtime) versus passive (only recording), and overt (obviously visible) versus covert (within protective shells or domes) systems – a variety of hybrid forms being implemented as well. Terrorist attacks are a serious threat for public security and are a challenge for both the private actors and public agencies involved in its provision. Recently, camera surveillance has gained prominence as a measure for counterterrorism, and public security agencies in many countries plan to invest large amounts of money in this technology. According to Anjali Wadhwani, Project Manager, Evangelist, Systematix Infotech, while electronic surveillance, including the interception of communications, is no doubt useful, it is of critical importance to penetrate the networks and sleeper cells of the terrorist organizations so as to gain actionable intelligence.
“It is of utmost important to have frisking checks, CCTV, metal detectors etc. In public places like railway stations, bust stands, shopping malls etc. But being done only here is no solution, latest bomb blast in India was by a road side and this is definitely not the only case. My question is how people can have access to such hazardous material. How can tons of RDX be shipped to INDIA. We celebrate success when police seizes one such assignment but what about others which are not identified or caught? Unless a comprehensive surveillance oriented approach is adopted, involving all stake holders of society, it is difficult to counter urban terrorism.” She adds on. Surveillance in India Anjali adds on that when it comes to surveillance technologies and solutions, there are plenty of options today. “Today we have Ariel surveillance through drone, maritime surveillance, CCTV, IP based HD cameras, Panoramic view cameras which can be connected to cloud, facial recognition and movements from camera 2 camera, suspicious activity and device detector technologies,” she adds on. According to Honey Katiyal from Investors Clinic, one of India’s leading real estate consulting organization, IP based surveillance technology is taking security to the next generation level. With such technology surveillance of even a moving bus can be done remotely and hence this holds great potential for a country like India. Static surveillance technology involves set of cameras and video management software. We are already experiencing a lot of surveillance and related
technology being implemented in high-end real estate projects in India,” he adds on. It is important to note that it has become mandatory for commercial real estate to engage remote video surveillance systems, so the need of the hour is to speedup with this technology of surveillance and real estate segment is surely going to give a big boost to the adoption of surveillance on the long run. Surveillance on the Cloud Cloud Video Management is a natural progression with technology improvements. Smaller and faster processors and edge storage devices enable systems to be put together easily. With the cloud factor coming in, enterprise or end users can build the system they need and tailor made it as they need it. This can be monitored with the help of internet. These are the advantages that Cloud Surveillance offers to the security agencies. “Cloud enables organizations to centrally manage and view video surveillance from thousands of servers and cameras worldwide. Face recognition if incorporated in this wonderful technology will help defense just like increasing defense force by 30% will. This will help them identify and monitor terrorist activities, and activities of people with criminal background,” Anjali from Systematix explains.
As Honey Katiyal , CEO, Investors Clinic puts it, in light of incidents related with terrorism and anti-social sabotage, there is a lot of public infrastructure that is at stake today. Of course the loss of life is surely the biggest issue. “Technology enabled Camera Surveillance is probably the most rapidly spreading tool in the security space today. This fast-
developing technology basically enables a ubiquitous surveillance of public and private space, and security agents benefit from its enhanced capabilities for detecting or retracing criminal activities. As far as terrorism is concerned, surveillance can possibly play a vital role in terms of enhancing the security cover for a building, a street or any other public infrastructure,â€? he explains. The Deterrence Hypothesis Camera surveillance is probably the most rapidly spreading and, at the same time, one of the most controversial instruments in security policy today. This fast-developing technology basically enables a ubiquitous surveillance of public and private space, and security agents benefit from its enhanced capabilities for detecting or retracing criminal activities. Camera surveillance signifies a general extension of public surveillance systems and a shift from direct, personal or print surveillance to remote, electronically transmitted, and even computer-enhanced self-monitoring, visual surveillance. By triggering perceptual mechanisms in potential offenders, CCTV aims to increase the perceived risk of being detected, captured and possibly arrested. This trigger should raise the cost of a contemplated offence in the mind of a limitedly rational potential offender, be the intended act of a criminal or terrorist nature. Focusing on the surveillance and deterrence function of CCTV, the economics of terrorism based on the traditional economic approach to crime implies that the dissemination of camera surveillance enhances control capacities, and leads to a partial replacement of human capital by technological investments, thereby increasing the productivity and efficiency of policing. CCTV-systems are thus expected to promote the
substitution of legal and decent behavior for illegal and deviant behavior, and thus ultimately reduce terrorism in the monitored area. Recorded images are also utilizable ex post as they support terrorist scene investigations or serve as proof material. Consequently, this new electronic surveillance technique is expected to have positive first-order effects both on the efficiency and effectiveness of security production: It enables broader detection capabilities at equal costs, thereby resulting in a decline in terrorism and an increase in public security. To future ahead If we talk, purely from real estate standpoint, surveillance technology has a big future in India. As we are witnessing a huge demand of real estate and in the coming months and years, it is only going to grow bigger. All such modern construction units will have huge requirement for next generation ready surveillance infrastructure that will provide security cover.