The NYPD has teamed up with Microsoft to create a citywide terror and crimefighting surveillance system that the partners plan to sell to other cities around the world. The system, which the Guardian likens to the data screens in Minority Report, collects data from thousands of video cameras, radiation detectors, and license plate readers around the city, as well as from 911 calls and crime statistics, to give police near-instant information. It will let investigators not only locate a suspect's car, but find out where it's been in the last month—and whether another suspect's car is driving behind it.
The new technology, called the Domain Awareness System, is "a one-stop shop for law enforcement," Mayor Michael Bloomberg boasted at a press conference. Microsoft officials says that while the company supplied the IT, all the operational know-how came from the NYPD, which helped build the system. New York City will get 30% of the profit from sales to police departments in other American cities and friendly countries, and Bloomberg predicts that the city will easily make back the $40 million it invested in creating the system. (Read more New York City stories.)