The UK Government and Glasgow City Council are spending £24 million trialling Israeli surveillance equipment in Glasgow.

An Israeli military officer promoting NICE at a trade fair. Image: Israeli Ministry of Economy

An Israeli military officer promoting NICE at a trade fair. Image: Israeli Ministry of Economy

The UK Government is paying an Israeli company for a powerful surveillance system that is being installed in Glasgow City Centre.

According to Glasgow City Council, “a one-stop shop City Dashboard” will monitor, by CCTV and “integration of data…everything from foot and vehicle traffic to council tax collection and hospital waiting lists”.

The technology was developed by NICE Systems, an Israeli company with links to the military. NICE Systems uses data from “multiple sources, including phone calls, mobile apps, emails, chat, social media, video, and transactions”.

Israeli is considered a world leader in security and surveillance equipment, because of expertise developed in the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Israeli Army Brigadier General Elkabetz – speaking at a US conference on border security – told an audience of potential customers for Israel’s surveillance technology:

“We have learned lots from Gaza. It’s a great laboratory.”

CCTV cameras in Glasgow City Centre will be linked to a central operations room where ‘emotional recognition’ software identifies the name and mood of pedestrians, including demonstrators, and can then link the person on the camera with social media postings, phone calls, emails, police records, and more. Details are not being made public, but the UK Government may have paid as much as £24m to install this sinister surveillance system.

The full extent of surveillance being carried out by Glasgow City Council remains unclear but NICE Security Group Vice-President Chris Wooten highlighted their “expertise in helping cities around the world manage day-to-day life, as well as large-scale events, from both a security and operational perspective. We…look forward to a continued partnership with the city of Glasgow…fully utilizing the capabilities that NICE Situator can provide.”

Full utilisation could mean that every time you walk through Glasgow City Centre, or take part in a demonstration, CCTV cameras can try to detect your mood and, using facial recognition technology, will cross-check with any social media or police and even medical records while following your every move.

– For background see Surveillance company tied to Israeli military spying on Glasgow City Centre by Mick Napier for Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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