Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have placed “covert surveillance cameras” in streetlights, according to government procurement data obtained by Quartz. Since June 2018, the DEA reportedly paid a Houston, Texas, company called Cowboy Streetlight Concealments LLC about $22,000 for “video recording and reproducing equipment.” ICE also reportedly paid the company about $28,000 in the same time period.
The website reports the DEA issued a solicitation earlier this week for “concealments made to house network PTZ [Pan-Tilt-Zoom] camera, cellular modem, cellular compression device,” and ended up giving the contract to Obsidian Integration LLC. Christie Crawford, who owns the Cowboy Streetlight Concealments with her husband, told the website they produce “streetlight concealments and camera enclosures.” “Basically, there’s businesses out there that will build concealments for the government and that’s what we do,” Crawford reportedly said. “I can tell you this—things are always being watched… if government or law enforcement has a reason to set up surveillance, there’s great technology out there to do it.”