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Microsoft Works with NYPD to Develop Counterterrorism Technologies

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, alongside Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, announced a partnership between the city and Microsoft last week, which led to the development of crime prevention technologies that can also help where counterterrorism efforts are concerned. The system, which is said to cost between $30 and $40 million to develop, will be available to any law enforcement agency, and the City of New York will take a 30% cut of any future sale.

Called the Domain Awareness System (DAS), the system aggregates and analyzes existing public safety data streams in real time, providing investigators and analysts with a granular view of potential threats and criminal activity. Designed as a counterterrorism and policing tool, officers will be using it for retrieving and displaying information from cameras, license plate readers, environmental sensors and other law enforcement databases.

The interesting thing about DAS, Commissioner Kelly said, is that it was developed by cops, for cops. Using an intelligent and intuitive graphical interface, it provides real-time alerts and the means to quickly call up relevant information to guide and inform police action.

“This new system capitalizes on new powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports and other existing tools and technology,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement.

“It will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively. And because the NYPD built the system in partnership with Microsoft, the sale of the product will generate revenue for the City that will fund more new crime-prevention and counter-terrorism programs.”

The NYPD worked with Microsoft to develop the system, and as part of the agreement, the City of New York earns a 30% commission on Microsoft’s future sales of DAS. In addition, Microsoft will provide access to any innovation derived from the sale of the system to new customers.

Revenue generated for the City from the sale of this technology will be used to support innovative and cutting-edge counter-terrorism and crime-prevention programs, the Mayor’s office said.

Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.