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    Russia-linked Firm Develops Video App to Help Solve Crime in US

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    The US affiliate of a Russian software company has developed a database for the city of Baltimore that would help its police department track down private surveillance video that could solve crimes, an executive from EastBanc Technologies’ (EBT) Washington office said Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON/MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) – The US affiliate of a Russian software company has developed a database for the city of Baltimore that would help its police department track down private surveillance video that could solve crimes, an executive from EastBanc Technologies’ (EBT) Washington office said Wednesday.

    “We’ve almost completed development of a database application for the IT department of the city of Baltimore, which allows companies to voluntarily register data about security cameras they already own and operate,” EBT vice president Bill Conforti told RIA Novosti.

    “So if there’s a crime, the police department can contact the owners of cameras who have registered in the location where the crime was committed” to request access to their video footage for help in solving the crime, Conforti said.

    The EBT database would speed up crime investigations because the Baltimore Police Department “would know which companies’ footage they could request – they would not have to wait for the companies to come forward,” Conforti said.

    He cited the bomb attacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an example of how the database would speed up a crime investigation.

    Video footage from a surveillance camera at the Lord & Taylor department store, across the street from where the second bomb exploded in downtown Boston on April 15, was handed over to investigators and was key in identifying Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev as the suspects.

    The database would beef up Baltimore’s CitiWatch program, which uses some 580 city-operated video cameras to provide 24-hour surveillance of downtown tourist areas, as well as some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods.

    Conforti stressed that the database being developed by EBT is not a surveillance program. Police would only view footage from private cameras that have registered on the database if they receive a report of a crime in the neighborhood.

    The database is “nearly ready” to be rolled out, but when that will happen was up to the city of Baltimore, Conforti said.

    The Baltimore police department, which will be one of the main users of the database, was unavailable for comment.

     

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