Cartels Are Building Their Own #CCTV Networks

Posted: May 29, 2015 in Tech

Authorities in northeastern Mexico’s Tamaulipas state recently dismantled an internet-operated video surveillance network used by a criminal group to monitor both government security forces and civilian life. The CCTV network comprised 39 cameras, according to El Universal, and is an unprecedented feat of counter-surveillance in an ongoing technological arms race between Mexican and American authorities and cartels.

The cameras could each be controlled wirelessly via modem, video card and data encoder, and power feeder, El Universal reports, and were scattered across Reynosa, a border town and coveted entry point into the United States for crime syndicates trafficking in narcotics and humans. A bulk of the cameras had been installed on telephone poles serviced by the Federal Electricity Commission, a public utility, and Telmex, the largest privately-held telco in Mexico.

Tamaulipas state police said in a statement that the camera network drew power from electric lines strung above Reynosa’s streets, and connected to the internet via phone cables tethered to those same poles, the Associated Press reported. According to an anonymous Mexican security official quoted by the AP, it was when the government’s own security cameras in Reynosa picked up suspicious persons affixing cameras to telephone poles that authorities realized what was going on.

Full Story @ [Motherboard]

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