Harris Poll Shows 96 Percent of Americans Support Uses of Video Surveillance to Counteract Terrorism
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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 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009