Considering the fact that people get away with all sorts of crazy shit on or around the subway, you could be excused for thinking that there aren't any actual working cameras underground. But it's not so! A Redditor noticed some hidden cameras wedged into pipes this week, and now the Post has done some digging to discover more about the Big Brothers we never knew we had.

The Post found that there are at least six of these hidden cameras (this is in addition to thousands of regular cameras that are already down there or are currently being installed) at the Herald Square station, strategically stationed near MetroCard machines, turnstiles and token booths. An MTA spokesperson told them that the "antiquated" cameras date back as far as 1990, but an anonymous source (seriously, who is this person?) noted, "They are covert cameras for high-priority areas or high crime. They record, but can be monitored real-time if it’s deemed necessary."

The MTA says there are more than 4,500 cameras altogether within the subway system; it's unclear whether that takes into consideration the hundreds of new surveillance cameras which will be installed inside the next batch subway cars. Nor does it mention whether all these cameras are installed correctly and working (this has been a serious issue in the past).

Either way, a lot of officials have never noticed these hidden cams before: "I think I may have first heard they were planning to put cameras in less obvious places last year — but I never noticed these," said William Henderson, executive director of the MTA’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee.

Robert McCrie, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Department of Security, Fire and Emergency Management, called the cameras fascinating: “What we are seeing is something very well adapted to the circumstance — not only in the sense that they look like a part of the industrial environment of the MTA, but also in the sense that they are positioned in ways to get people’s heads and shoulders," he told the Post. "These add something different because the perp isn’t looking for it — because he doesn’t know what to look for."

Civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel thinks the MTA needs to be more forthright about what these cameras are being used for (and how it affects people's privacy). They clearly haven't been used to stop the scourge of manspreading, so we'd be curious to find this out as well.