A video circulating on social media is said to show a Yorkshire man cutting down a surveillance camera installed by the city just a day before.
The video comes amid concerns about “smart cities” which employ technologies that collect data on the environment and residents to supposedly improve city operations. Some see the concept as a violation of privacy by authorities, particularly since these advanced technologies — which are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) — are often inconspicuous and operate incognito.
Those technologies include LED streetlamps, which globalist authorities and proponents of smart cities tout as being environmentally sustainable.
Philips Lighting, one of the world’s leading lighting brands, sells LED lamps for smart cities which are outfitted with WiFi and can connect to the internet. According to Philips’ website, they also appear to conduct surveillance:
Smart cities use the latest innovations in the Internet of Things to become more livable, resilient, economically sound, and sustainable. Smart sensors and other smart devices—from street lights to power meters to traffic signals and beyond—are distributed throughout the urban environment. These devices work together with an open, connected infrastructure to collect data about themselves, the environment, people, and events. This data can be analyzed and shared via software platforms and mobile apps to save energy, streamline operations, and make people feel safer and happier. (Emphasis added)
A fact sheet by the European Commission (EC) clarifies the concept of smart lighting in cities:
A smart, connected lighting system is part of a local, wireless, decentralized network with local or cloud-based intelligence. Data is collected from sensors on the lampposts, being cameras, daylight, movements or noise detection, and processed to derive optimal energy-efficient and safety-supporting operation of the public lighting.
The additional energy savings of smart connected lighting compared to LED lighting are at least 60% higher, ensuring a sound return on investment.
The EC also confirms that some cities equip their lampposts to conduct “video surveillance for public security”. Many US cities also allow hidden video surveillance in public spaces without public notice.
The City of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) announced in 2020 an initiative to change 46,000 street lights, or 82% of the city’s lights, to LEDs. The city did not respond to a Frontline News inquiry as to whether the lamps include surveillance cameras or whom the city contracted for the project.
The concept is not new; as early as 2014 it was discovered that LED lights containing hidden cameras had been installed at Newark Liberty International Airport and US malls.
“Both G.E. and Acuity executives are looking to smart-city projects, which use a canopy of connected streetlights as the wireless infrastructure to coordinate city services, like easing traffic congestion, sensing when the garbage cans are full or even picking up on suspicious behavior at a pedestrian plaza,” reports the New York Times.
Philips Lighting is owned by Signify, which commentator Chris Sky notes partners with the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a connected lighting provider for smart cities.