Harris Poll Shows 96 Percent of Americans Support Uses of Video Surveillance to Counteract Terrorism

Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:27am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Current camera surveillance, however, is largely ineffective, primarily used
after an event, and subject to the attention span of security personnel
monitoring multiple screens
HOUSTON--(Business Wire)--
A recent Harris Poll survey indicates that 96 percent of U.S. citizens feel the
federal government and law enforcement agencies should be able to use video
surveillance in an effort to counteract terrorism and help protect U.S. citizens
in specific public places. Four out of five adults feel that in extreme cases,
such as a terrorist attack, the government should be able to use any available
means to protect citizens, and more than half (54 percent) of U.S. adults are
even willing to put a portion of the government`s stimulus funds toward setting
up video surveillance to help reduce crime. 

The results are at odds with current perceptions about the use of video
surveillance, by revealing that only a small minority of Americans is concerned
about the federal government or law enforcement agencies using surveillance
cameras to monitor public places. That Americans don't mind being watched is
especially relevant in light of the recently exposed domestic terror plot in
Boston, and subsequent FBI intelligence indicating that Al Qaida recruits are
reportedly being encouraged to perform acts of terrorism inside the U.S. 

However, citizen support of video surveillance rests on the assumption that more
cameras will result in more secure environments, but that isn`t the case.
Recently, the security staff at the George Washington Bridge in New York
City-responsible for monitoring bridge cameras and security kiosks-was
photographed sleeping on the job. Thus, camera proliferation alone (TheNew York
Times estimates that London has more than 4.2 million closed-circuit TV cameras)
will not solve the problem. Many of these cameras go completely unmonitored
because there are simply not enough human eyes available to watch all of the
video feeds. 

"The widespread adoption of video-camera technology has not made the job of the
security officer any easier, nor has it helped obtain actionable intelligence
before an intrusion," said John Frazzini, President of Houston-based Behavioral
Recognition Systems, Inc. (BRS Labs), and a former Secret Service agent. 

Adds Frazzini, "We have been working with high-level security customers in the
U.S. and around the world to put a new approach to work-behavioral analytics.
Ten days after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last Thanksgiving, a major
international hotel installed BRS Labs` software, AISight (pronounced eye
sight), which was designed to autonomously monitor hundreds of cameras
simultaneously, and to provide real-time actionable intelligence. In just a few
days the hotel`s security staff was able to improve the safety of the hotel`s
perimeter. We are also deployed in several high-security U.S. locations
including seaports, power plants, nuclear plants, and global financial
institutions." 

BRS Labs' technology blends computer vision, machine learning and artificial
intelligence; it sends instant and reliable alerts to a myriad of PDA devices,
and the software is compatible with all legacy camera systems. 

"Traditional video surveillance approaches have failed because they ignore the
fact that every environment is unique," said Ray Davis, founder of BRS Labs.
"These methods also require expensive, labor-intensive programming to define
specific objects or activities a system should look for, so unexpected security
incidents are missed," said Davis. "Any new technology approach to video
surveillance must deliver the right level of protection and the right level of
privacy from small, simple deployments to the most complex security environments
without human intervention required." 

AiSighttakes visual input from a camera, learns what activities and behaviors
are typical, and generates real-time alerts when it identifies activities that
are not normal. It is a reasoning-based surveillance technology that functions
in a manner similar to the human brain. It takes in external visual input
(computer vision), while its machine learning engine observes the scene, learns
and recognizes behavioral patterns and responds accordingly. Surveillance is
24/7, and since the software learns the scene, the false positives are greatly
reduced. 

The Harris organization`s online survey, commissioned by BRS Labs, was conducted
from May 28 through June 1, 2009, with 2,416 adults (ages 18 and over) in the
United States interviewed. 

About BRS Labs

BRS Labs is a software development company that provides the industry`s first
cognitive video analytics software that adaptively learns behavior patterns in
complex surveillance environments. BRS Labs is the only company that has been
able to apply computer-vision and machine-learning capabilities to video
analytics, thereby greatly enhancing operator awareness and effectiveness in
improving security. No human is required to define parameters for the software
to recognize behavior; the software reports unusual or suspicious behaviors
based on memories it has acquired through observations over time. BRS Labs was
founded in November 2005 and is headquartered in Houston, Tex. The company is
funded by $47 million in private equity. 

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and
rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we
assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients
globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of
independent market research firms.

BRS Labs
Vicki Contavespi, +1-571-438-5766
vicki@mightyscribe.com

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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