There Could Be Microphones All Over City Buses and Subways Listening to Your Conversations

One icon stands out above all others as a symbol for government surveillance: the eye. Glaring, all-seeing eyes are used in posters, art and graffiti to warn us that we are being watched. But don’t forget that the ear can be just as powerful. In fact, there’s a growing trend of placing scores of microphones in public places — particularly on trains and buses where those mics could overhear private conversations. In New Jersey, trains are wired up with hidden microphones on urban light rail lines. In Maryland, it only took four years to increase a small audio surveillance program of almost a dozen vehicles to include nearly 500 wiretapped buses. In San Francisco, microphones were hidden in a bus stop to record conversations without a warrant. In New Jersey’s…


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