Moscow Orders Malls to Connect Cameras to City CCTV so It Can Monitor Their Enforcement of Face Diaper Mandates
Malls that allow free-breathing Russians will be shut down, they have one week to comply
The Moscow Mayor’s Office demanded that shopping centers connect cameras at the entrances to the city’s video surveillance system in order to monitor compliance with the mask regime. Such requirements were put forward last year, but about 300 objects ignored them. The total coverage of cameras in the capital will increase with the connection of all shopping centers by less than 1%. But shopping centers that do not enforce the mask regime may be closed. In addition, experts believe that the measure will allow the authorities to identify violators.
Kommersant’s source, who attended the meeting in the Moscow Department of Trade and Services on October 13, said that following the results, Moscow shopping centers were instructed to integrate CCTV cameras from the entrance groups of facilities with a single data storage center (ETSHD) of the mayor’s office until October 20. This is necessary to strengthen control over observance of the mask regime, said the source of Kommersant. The instructions for the shopping center (available from Kommersant) say that the resolution of the camera must be at least 720p, and the frame rate must be 15–25 fps. The representative of the facility must appoint a person responsible for interaction with the Department of Information Technology (DIT) of Moscow. In DIT “Kommersant” did not answer.
Last year, the mayor’s office spoke about the need to connect commercial cameras inside shopping centers to the ETSHD, but not all shopping centers met the requirements, said Bulat Shakirov, president of the Union of Shopping Centers:
“There are 600 shopping centers in Moscow, half of them have not connected cameras to the ECDC. But now, due to the increase in the incidence of diseases, the authorities decided to strengthen control, therefore, it was instructed to ensure the integration of cameras from all the capital’s shopping centers in a week ”.
According to Mr. Shakirov, having gained access to the cameras at the entrances, the mayor’s office will be able to monitor the sites that admit people without masks, and “the work of such shopping centers will be stopped.”
According to Mr. Shakirov, on average there are about 5-6 cameras per shopping center. Taking this into account, about 300 more shopping centers will be connected to the ECHD, we are talking about connecting 1.5-1.8 thousand cameras. In total, the Moscow video surveillance system includes more than 206 thousand cameras.
Integration will not create additional risks from the point of view of security, I am sure said the CEO of IVA Cognitive Alexey Tsesarsky. But the head of the analytics department of SerchInform, Alexei Parfentiev, notes that additional “joints” of different systems can create new threats of penetration, since “a data transmission channel, an authorization procedure, etc. appears.” It is simply impossible to completely eliminate security risks in networked video surveillance systems, adds Alexander Rozhkov, Director of Products and Technologies at T1 Group: “The threat model here includes both technological and human factors. Recently, in general, cyberattacks on IP cameras using botnets have become more frequent, they exploit vulnerabilities of open ports and default passwords. “
In addition to monitoring what is happening in the shopping center, connecting to their cameras will also give the authorities the opportunity to identify Muscovites who do not wear masks, Mr. Tessarsky notes. But, the expert clarifies, in order for the system to work on such a volume of data at a level sufficient for automatic registration of fines, it is necessary to provide a high-quality image from the camera, including a suitable angle, as well as a very good base of images. At the current stage, Alexei Parfentiev believes, it is rather about statistical information on the number of people violating the mask regime. In the future, he admits, cameras will help to catch malicious violators.
Mr. Rozhkov adds that the cameras can potentially be used to issue fines to violators after the fact, similar to how it happened during self-isolation. “The camera captures all those who enter without masks, then the system can check the received images with persons from the city hall’s database,” notes Artem Romanov, an expert on security systems at the Krok IT company. However, it is possible to write out a fine, he clarifies, only to a person whose biometrics are already in the database. The relevant database of faces of all residents of the city, according to the expert, does not yet exist.