Big Brother is watching closer than ever

The debate will rage over whether surveillance cameras help reduce crime or if they are nothing more than a privacy invasion.

But one thing is certain - the city of Chicago plans to revolutionize the widespread deployment of IP-enabled cameras when it introduces a new video surveillance system from IBM that analyzes images in real time, round-the-clock.

According to this Associated Press article, the system will automatically alert emergency responders when it picks up on something strange, like a car circling the Sears Tower.

This notion of behavior detection is something IT security folks may be familiar with - as malware becomes more sophisticated - but it surely is new ground for the physical side of the house.

Whether you agree with the project or not, it's certainly glaring evidence that physical and logical will become increasingly blended as we advance through the 21st century.

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