Police around the country use technology concealed in light bulbs and fixtures to extend the surveillance state.

LED surveillance light bulbs, which are presented as energy efficient upgrades to existing incandescent light bulbs, can actually conceal tiny cameras and microphones that can stealthily monitor their surroundings and transmit their feeds back to a central monitoring station.

If these bulbs are installed on municipal streetlamps and put into widespread use, privacy would become as antiquated an idea as the
old-fashioned light bulbs the LEDs are replacing. Mass adoption of the technology would throw surveillance nets of almost unprecedented scope over entire communities or cities.

Though marketed as an energy efficient light bulb with built-in monitoring technology, this technology is far more akin to a mass surveillance device being disguised as a light bulb. In truth, the product has broad surveillance capabilities and far lesser comparative utility as a lighting device.

This technology is only one reason why we need a Community Control Over Police Surveillance (CCOPS) ordinance. CCOPS would require oversight and community input in invasive surveillance technologies, allowing the Wisconsinites being surveilled to make informed decisions about their privacy.

Milwaukee deserves to know how the police are surveilling us. Milwaukee needs CCOPS.