INDECT (English Intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment) is an EU research project under the 7th Framework Programme in the field of " intelligent safety systems." It started in 2009 and will run for five years. The main objective of this research project is to develop a centralized interface in the monitoring data from many different sources linked and automated computer programs to potential "dangers" and " abnormal behavior " can be examined.

A characteristic part of the " test" installation that is to be developed within the research project is the comprehensive video surveillance of public space. This computer should be able to recognize in the images of surveillance cameras and flying drones automatically "abnormal " acting people, and so contribute to the preventive fight against crime. The data thus collected should be linkable with data from chats and social networks. The project is massively criticized for its comprehensive monitoring character from many sides. Among other things, the inclusion of personal data from social networks and mobile-based location data is provided.

  • 4.1 Academic Partners
  • 4.2 companies from Germany and Austria
  • 6.1 Ethics Commission 6.1.1 Criticism of composition of the Commission


The aim of the project is according to official figures, to be recognized by the automated analysis of images from the video surveillance of public space and its link to information from the Internet and a variety of other data sources in an automated manner criminally relevant threats and acts. This will be achieved primarily through the pooling and automatic, computer-assisted analysis of video data of a plurality of surveillance cameras in real time, to allow for " preventive policing ". For this purpose, inter alia by computer software in the video surveillance images " abnormal behavior " be recognized in public space.

This includes, among many other criteria, such as " too long sitting" or " on - the - floor - sitting" in a public transport or in an airport, or the losing of one's luggage. To be automatically identified by computer-assisted face recognition and tracked automatically and independently of remote-controlled flying drones with surveillance cameras to monitor images as "suspicious" unidentified persons.

The primary target groups of the project are safety authorities, police authorities and communities.


The aim of the project is INDECT the bundling of hardware and software from different monitoring technologies. Means " predictive analytics " and " Relationship mining" to analyze risks and offenses are anticipated. It relies on one hand on the monitoring of the Internet using search engines use to quickly find images and videos from digital watermarking, and automated search routines for the detection of violence, for example, or " abnormal behavior " in both the World Wide Web and in Usenet and P2P networks. But also tries to develop the computational linguistics to the effect that the browsers are capable of relationships between people and the context of a conversation, such as chats, included in the interpretation of language.

In addition, the police should be able to observe with the help of INDECT moving objects and subjects ( people). This also prototypes of mobile devices will be developed. For this mobile urban monitoring system ( Mobile Urban Observation System ) are flying cameras - known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( UAV drones or unmanned flying vehicles called ) such as Quadrocopter - are used. This UAV to be intelligent and autonomous networked and cooperating with each other to identify suspicious moving objects or persons both as to track in urban areas. Suspect could thus be evaluated on public roads already a race or Escape.

The data obtained therefrom to be stored in a database and added to pre-existing data. These include the charges due to the retention of communication data, security cameras, cell phone tracking, face detection and interception of telecommunications.

Due to network all of these sources of information people that stand once abnormal behavior can be easily monitored. For example, a person who posts a video clip with illegal content on the WWW, are monitored by the automatic search routines online and optionally identified. Photos from the ID card can be used to reveal with the help of surveillance cameras that are equipped for face recognition, the person. Alternatively, or in addition to the mobile phone of the target person using GSM or GPS can be located and the person be monitored and tracked around the clock.

Rules for the detection of " abnormal behavior " surveillance camera images in

As examples of " abnormal behavior " which would be based on the automated selection rules of the project, for example, for computer- aided analysis of surveillance cameras, called the critical initiative STOP INDECT among other things:

  • Racing, fighting or driving too fast on public roads,
  • On - the - floor seats and " too long " sitting, or forget the luggage in public transport,
  • And forget the baggage or " too long " sitting in airports.

Expected Results

The following points are expected as results of INDECT project:

  • Test installation of surveillance systems for threat detection in large urban areas,
  • Devices for mobile object tracking
  • Creating a search engine with the possibility of a semantic search in documents based on watermarking,
  • System for tracking criminal activity and hazard identification on the Internet,
  • Ensuring data security and protection of privacy through the use of watermarking technologies and cryptographic algorithms.

Participating companies and organizations

On INDECT project several universities and private companies working with from different EU countries. The German BKA refused participation " due to the comprehensive monitoring concept of the project" from.

Academic Partners

  • Mining and Metallurgical Academy of Cracow ( Poland)
  • Technical University of Gdansk (Poland )
  • Institut polytechnique de Grenoble ( France)
  • Technical University of Poznan ( Poland)
  • University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain )
  • Technical University of Sofia ( Bulgaria)
  • University of Wuppertal ( Germany )
  • University of York ( United Kingdom )
  • Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • Technical University of Košice (Slovakia )
  • UAS pilot Vienna ( Austria )

Companies from Germany and Austria

  • Innotec Data GmbH ( Germany )
  • X-Art Prodi Vision ( Austria )
  • PSI AG ( Germany )

Funding and schedule

The European Union is funding the project with EUR 10.91 million; it has been running since the beginning of 2009 and is scheduled to last five years. The total costs amount to almost 15 million euros.


Due to the foreseeable by INDECT intervention in fundamental civil rights, the project is international in criticism. In the media, civil rights organizations, privacy advocates and independent experts, the project will have almost unanimously criticized heavily and frequently referred to the Orwellian character, inspired by the famous novel 1984 by George Orwell in which an omnipresent, omnipotent and dictatorial police state with all -present surveillance cameras is described. The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA ) has a stake in the project " due to the comprehensive monitoring concept " rejected. The co-sponsored by the Pirate Party Initiative " STOP INDECT " wrote:

" INDECT is the most comprehensive monitoring program ever to be installed. It includes not only the Internet. Even people on the street are INDECT not escape. What sounds like science fiction confused, could be difficult to comprehend reality in 2013. Science Fiction was yesterday. INDECT is tomorrow. INDECT combines all the data from forums, social networks (eg Facebook ), search the Internet with government databases, data communications and camera observations on the road. INDECT will know where we are, what we do, why we do it and what will be our next steps. INDECT will know our friends and know where we work. INDECT will judge whether we behave normal or abnormal. "

A card inserted in response to the massive criticism project-based " ethics committee " has been criticized in some quarters for her alleged police - and industry-oriented composition. The Commission presented in March 2011 found that the project would " fully comply with the ethical principles and the EU regulations. " In its opinion, it was said that through the project- the-art automation of the analysis of the video images, the " risk of abuse of data is less " and thereby ultimately the " rights of the individual strengthened " would.

Was especially criticized the fact that parts of the project subject to confidentiality among others. In September 2010, the confidentiality rules were tightened.

The British newspaper Daily Telegraph wrote in connection with INDECT of an Orwellian plan.

The German newspaper Die Zeit referred to the project as the dream of the EU police state in which terms such as presumption of innocence or court-proof evidence have no meaning.

Students at the University of Wuppertal criticize the European research project. Thus, the university groups Young Socialists, lira and pirates are against the participation of the University of INDECT. Also, the General Student Committee ( student union ) and the Student Parliament ( StuPa ) call for an immediate cessation of participation of the Department of E in the project. In addition, the project for the Big Brother Awards was nominated.

In a broadcast on 5 December 2009 as part of the newscast ZIB Post critics have cited, which were of the opinion that increasing data storage does not help in the fight against crime; at the end of the project stand the Transparent Man. The Austrian data protection Hans Gerhard According Zeger technical supervision would increase the haystack of data scrap and you would in fact find the needle, so the dangerous criminals increasingly difficult.

Thilo Weichert, head of the Independent Data Safety Centre Schleswig -Holstein, admits: We can not say anything against the basic idea of ​​using technical means to the improvement of the activities of security agencies, the project INDECT but am conceptually with European and German data protection and constitutional law in conflict.

In September 2010, the confidentiality rules were tightened; an Ethics Council since then decide on the disclosure of information concerning the INDECT project.

Published on September 8, 2010 Future Zone and the Pirate Party Germany documents that were leaked to her after they were dropped by the Ethics Board for subsequent verification. The documents are now back as it is available on the official website.

INDECT and secrecy associated are now being heavily criticized by Members of the European Parliament.

The democracy researcher Wolfgang Gründinger initiated an online petition on the campaign platform to protest against INDECT.

Ethics Committee

On 15 March 2011, the project has undergone INDECT according to official figures a thorough ethical review, conducted by an international ethics committee of experts from Austria, France, the Netherlands and England. Here, according to the opinion of the Commission no violations of ethical principles were observed. The Commission confirmed rather that all research activities under the program would comply fully with the ethical principles and provisions of the EU.

So put the Ethics Commission in its opinion that:

"The algorithms and methodologies underlying the project Primarily rely on added anonymously available Benthic, usually public, information sources. These include monitoring cameras, public web pages, etc. The research covered by the INDECT grant, will not Consider processing of highly sensitive material, color: such as telephone intercept, VoIP, etc. "

" The underlying the project are based algorithms and methods are primarily based on currently available, usually public sources. These include surveillance cameras, public web pages, etc. High Sensitive information, such as listened to phone calls or VoIP telephony call data, etc. are not covered under the project. "

Project goal is, rather, the evaluation process for the diverse data collected (eg from surveillance cameras and from the Internet) to make " automatic ", reducing the risk of human error off and a " more informed decision making (informed decision making ) possible " would. Finally, through the automation of the evaluation, the " risk of abuse of data is less " and thereby " strengthen individual rights " ultimately; Police officers could do as a result of meaningful front work than sitting constantly in video surveillance systems ( CCTV) in public spaces:

" The main objective of INDECT research is to make the monitoring and search process ( and procedures ) more automatic. This will allow for more informed decision Ultimately -making. The value thatwill be added by deployment of research outcomes is INDECT did existing system would operate with less human intervention, whichwill lower the level of subjective assessment and the number of human mistakes. This Means less staff will be required for supervision of surveillance activities (eg monitoring of CCTV camera networks ). This will Resulting in less opportunities for illegitimate use of seeking information, or for human error to result in violations of the rights of the individual. So There will be economic benefits, in terms of the Reduced staffing requirements. Police Officers Could be freed up to carry out frontline policing tasks. "

Criticism of composition of the Commission

It has been criticized from various quarters that the ethics committee was composed largely of representatives of the police and industry. Before the EU Parliament the results of the assessment by the Commission in the discussion of the report on the interim evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme by the conservative Polish MPs Paweł Kowal ( PJN / ECR ) were presented and emphasized positive.