Seattle To Remove Massive Spying Network After Public Backlash

Authored by Derrick Broze via,

After rejecting a massive network of surveillance cameras and tracking devices, Seattle residents are now being forced to pay for the removal of the invasive equipment.

Following years of resistance from citizens, the city of Seattle has decided to completely remove controversial surveillance equipment – at a cost of $150,000. In November 2013, Seattle residents pushed back against the installation of several mesh network nodes attached to utility poles around the downtown area. The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and privacy advocates were immediately concerned about the ability of the nodes to gather user information via the Wi-Fi connection.

The Seattle Times reports on the latest developments:

Seattle’s wireless mesh network, a node of controversy about police surveillance and the role of federal funding in city policing, is coming down.

Megan Erb, spokeswoman for Seattle Information Technology, said the city has budgeted $150,000 for contractor Prime Electric and city employees to remove dozens of surveillance cameras and 158 “wireless access points” — little, off-white boxes with antennae mounted on utility poles around the city.

The nodes were purchased by the Seattle Police Department via a $3.6 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The Seattle Police Department argued the network would be helpful for protecting the port and for first-responder communication during emergencies. As the Times notes, “the mesh network, according to the ACLU, news reports and anti-surveillance activists from Seattle Privacy Coalition, had the potential to track and log every wireless device that moved through its system: people attending protests, people getting cups of coffee, people going to a hotel in the middle of the workday.”

However, by November 2013, SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb announced, “The wireless mesh network will be deactivated until city council approves a draft (privacy) policy and until there’s an opportunity for vigorous public debate.” The privacy policy for the network was never developed and, instead, the city has now opted to remove the devices at a cost of $150,000. The Times notes that, “crews are tearing its hardware down and repurposing the usable parts for other city agencies, including Seattle Department of Transportation traffic cameras.”

The ACLU celebrated the decision to remove the devices. “It’s an issue we’d advocated around for a very long time,” said Shankar Narayan, the ACLU’s Washington technology and liberty director.

“We have a longstanding principle that suspicionless surveillance of general populations is not useful and chills people’s constitutionally protected rights.”

The city of Seattle does indeed have a record of pushing back against surveillance. In 2013, the city abandoned a plan for drone aircraft after facing a similar public backlash.

However, despite the victory of having the city remove the devices, it should be noted that the cost to take down the equipment will come from taxpayers. This means the taxpayer is penalized twice. First, the federal funding from DHS comes from taxpayers’ pockets (since government does not create wealth, they take it from the people). Next, the public expresses their concern and opposition to the equipment, forcing the local government and police to abandon their plans. Finally, the taxpayers will now foot the bill to have the invasive equipment removed. This situation is a perfect example of how government always takes from the people. Anything they provide to the people was originally taken from pockets of hardworking Americans.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen the feds attempt to install invasive equipment on utility poles. In April 2016, Activist Post reported that Phoenix resident Brian Clegg witnessed a mysterious box being installed on a power pole. Clegg said the box was facing his house and he believed it may have had cameras inside. The pole was owned by Arizona’s largest power provider, SRP, who claimed no one had permission to put the box on their pole. Brian Clegg says shortly afterwards SRP sent a crew to remove the box.

Shortly after ABC15 investigated the matter, the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives(ATF), a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, acknowledged installing the box as part of an ongoing investigation. Officials with the ATF would not provide details about their alleged investigation and would not confirm if they were conducting surveillance in the area.


cougar_w Algo Rhythm Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

Quite true. And, they admitted that the equipment would be "repurposed" to support "traffic management". Cars being sort of like mothers' milk and apple pie nobody would blink.

Everyone needs to get used to (meaning, accept as inevitable) the idea that The State is going to have massive surveillance in place everywhere all the time, starting years ago. If you don't like it well then be unhappy, but don't imagine for an instant you can change any of that.

I'll tell you what will change it; the collapse of Western civilization and the globalist order. Now, a lot of bad things will come along with that collapse, but you can bet the complex set of agreements allowing governments to pay an elite corps to spy on everyone else is also going to be busy evaporating. There will still be centers or organization where surveillance exists, like inside gated communities and elitist retreats, but if those guys want to spy on each other and destroy each others lives, then I've no objection at all and nor should you.

In reply to by Algo Rhythm

Lost My Shorts ThinkerNotEmoter Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:18 Permalink

Seattle is a strange place.  Rainy winters, high taxes (except still no income tax, but they are working on it), ridiculous rents and housing prices, property crime is effectively legal, violent crime rising, armed robbery effectively legal if you are under 18, all-day traffic jams, and still people pour in there.  Candidates for mayor or city council routinely run to the left of Maduro.  And yet, the city is co-owned by Amazon and Microsoft.  It's a bizarre, techno-socialist dystopia.  And still people keep pouring in there.  (Amazon saw the writing on the wall and started its exit.)  Even with hindsight, it will be hard to explain Seattle.

In reply to by ThinkerNotEmoter

Dr. Acula Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:35 Permalink

>Seattle To Remove Massive Spying Network

How can Seattle do so much spying, yet not be able to prevent a alleged pedo from becoming mayor?…


Also, how come there are so many homeless in Seattle all of the sudden?……


If you were an alleged pedo mayor, how would you take advantage of a huge homeless problem and Massive Spying Network?


Good thing the heroes at the FBI are there to investigate stuff like this.

"As F.B.I. Took a Year to Pursue the Nassar Case, Dozens Say They Were Molested"

MoralsAreEssential Dr. Acula Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:12 Permalink

According to Public Intelligence Blog, Robert Steele, EVERY Governor of every State is complicit in child trafficking and MOST MAYORS.  Steele is dedicated to taking down and punishing the pedos as is President Trump.  Since every Elite PTB is involved in satanic pedophilia and homicide, and many in CONgress are being blackmailed for same (Pence is both) to say it is "difficult" and neigh impossible is an understatement.  Believe that Trump is not of this group and because of his independent nature and wealth and, frankly, courage can not be blackmailed.  His "Jewish" connections are well known; however, he will not be compromised in this area (satanism, blooddrinking, pedophilia and child trafficking).

In reply to by Dr. Acula

Irish Yoga Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

I would remove all that spy crap so I don't have to watch millennial hipsters getting their $10 frappachinos every morning on their way to work at a Hillary funded dead end job. I'd rather watch squirrel-cam.

Spectre Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

$3,600,000 to install it, $150,000 to rip it out.  All taxpayers money !  People that started this shit should be removed from duty/work.

attah-boy-Luther Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:53 Permalink many NW libtard believe this is gonnah happen?????

My money is on the new whataburger fry machine...

It's called the 5G network; so the obvious looking cameras will get replaced with newer technology and the libtards will never catch on....

MoralsAreEssential attah-boy-Luther Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

I'm not IT at all, but you have just identified the network 5G which must have been what was being referred to in a video I just saw.  I couldn't understand "5G"; all I could think of was the 5G countries that get together.  Thank you.  The warning is about AI using this network to become "conscious" in ways I won't go into but this is the ultimate takeover plan for the satanists, illuminati, rothschilds, chabbad,all the usual suspects.  If this succeeds, it will destroy human beings and turn us into something else.

It is the "network" aspect which allows reproduction by AI.  I don't understand this stuff, but it harks back to the 1960s when Bell Labs developed the first telephone network?  Something about it wouldn't work as a network without development of AI, so they made it work differently.

In reply to by attah-boy-Luther

NoWayJose Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:55 Permalink

Seattle, huh?  Just leak the fact that each box contains a password protected video playback of Trump’s Pee-Pee Dossier video that can be shown if hacked.  The local techies will climb all the poles to take them down and try to hack them!

Pinefox Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:07 Permalink

Another $3.6 million down the drain along with the failed multi million dollar bike fiasco, rent a bikes with broken spokes, seats missing etc. littering every corner and public space,  , millions spent on bike lanes in a city of hills and 9 months of rain at the xpense of fixing roads and improving traffic congestion,  enabling homeless camping and now spending millions on trash removal and fencing, spending $28,000 per intersection to paint designs on the pavement  at crosswalks instead of fixing potholes, designs that wear off and become eyesores, painting a tree white as a work of art, etc. etc. etc.  The stupidity in Seattle is just mind boggling.

TeethVillage88s Pinefox Tue, 02/13/2018 - 19:00 Permalink

Globalist Narrative is that we need to be controlled for saving the Earth, Earth Summit 1992, set to control and collect all data on production, consumption, behavior, marketing response, MSM response, Political Bent, create Extremist Thought, and shift our production to pay them for what ever: including climate change, saving the animals, saving the forrest, alternative energy, taxes and fees for all of this, Land Grabs for GLOBALSIST who are Really CAPITALIST who will control the real value which is resources.. or so it seems when currencies fail, and WRC USD Fails...

In reply to by Pinefox

Oldguy05 Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:09 Permalink

" “crews are tearing its hardware down and repurposing the usable parts for other city agencies, including Seattle Department of Transportation traffic cameras.” "


"repurposing" Yah. Uh huh...removing the system or just moving the system?

Sounds like a load of happy horse shit to me.

StreetObserver Tue, 02/13/2018 - 19:12 Permalink

Question: What do laser pointers do to camera lenses, especially night vision ones? Also, a piece of 1/2" electrical tubing is a great pea shooter for big spitwads of wet paper.