Mass surveillance continues; LB Nagar to have 500 CCTV cameras

Hyderabad: Amidst concerns flagged by various activists from the city, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) MLA Sudhir Reddy on Thursday said that Rs 7 crore along with 500 CCTV cameras will be given to the DGP. Mahendra Reddy to ensure the mass surveillance of LB Nagar area.

Currently, Hyderabad is one of the most surveilled cities in the world and as such has begun construction of an ominous ‘Command and Control Centre’ (CCC), intended to connect the state’s vast facial recognition-capable CCTV infrastructure in real-time. In addition, a study by the Internet Freedom Foundation found that Telangana state has the highest number of facial recognition technology (FRT) projects in India.

The installation of cameras in all divisions of LB Nagar will begin in two days. Telangana DGP Mahendra Reddy expressed his views on the setting up of the CCTVs saying, “After the formation of Telangana, the Police department has improved in terms of utilising the technology. He said friendly policing, SHE teams, and security centers have been set up and people are made aware of CCTV cameras.”

According to a report by Hans India, Reddy stressed that it is the duty of the citizens to set up CCTV cameras in their localities.

“These could reduce incidents like chain snatching and robbery” he claimed. MLA Sudhir Reddy mentioned that the LB Nagar constituency would soon be connected to all colonies after the CCTV cameras are installed. However, it is important to note that Delhi attempted the same experiment. Despite the Delhi government’s investment of 246 crores into CCTV cameras up till 2021, the crime rate has only increased exponentially. It is yet to be seen whether Hyderabad will follow suit but as things stand, there isn’t sufficient evidence to make any predictions.

In recent times, Hyderabad has seen an increase in surveillance activities by the police, which has prompted international Human Rights organisations to voice their concerns. Amnesty International in collaboration with the Internet Freedom Foundation had recently launched the Banned the Scan campaign to raise awareness.

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