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If Boston Had 'The Machine'




Monday, April 15th, 2013, nearly 23,000 runners participated in the annual Boston Marathon held on Patriots’ Day in Boston, Massachusetts.

Completing the Boston Marathon is no small feat for the runners who take on the challenge and on Monday, nearly a quarter of the runners would not get the chance to finish. It is estimated that around 2:50 P.M. the first of two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon, with the second going off a mere thirteen seconds later killing three and wounding 144.

The Boston Police and the F.B.I. are currently investigating this horrific event and most likely repeatedly going over the security measures taken that day trying to figure out how something like this could happen. Being in the security industry, we have also brainstormed about various security measures that could have been taken to avoid this from happening, and realistically speaking the only thing we could come up with was ‘The Machine’.

For those of you who do not watch Person of Interest on CBS, ‘The Machine’ is a mass surveillance computer system that is programmed to monitor and analyze data from surveillance cameras, electronic communications, and audio input. Sure, we agree—it’s a little big brotheresque; however, during tragedies such as this, it would come in handy and hopefully help us prevent other tragedies before they occur. Because this occurred in a public place outside that was not necessarily closed off there are a limited number of security measures that could be taken.

From our understanding, there were law enforcement and emergency responder teams on the ground as a usual precaution taken at major marathon events, so without something far-fetched such as ‘The Machine’, what else could the city have done?