Feeds

US Customs gets kill-droids for Caribbean

Booze cruise bloodbath likely as excise feds tool up

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US Customs service has announced plans to acquire a fleet of five tonne flying death droids, to supplement its already terrifying arsenal of all-seeing "Eye of Sauron" Wi-Fi radar towers, handheld puke rayguns, and airport mind-probes.

Flight International reported on Saturday that the American bag-rummagers would acquire two "Predator-B" robot aircraft. The Predator-B is already in service with the US Air Force, under the perhaps more accurate name "Reaper".

The Reaper is designated as an "unmanned hunter/killer system". It can lift almost two tonnes of ordnance - which can mean up to 14 Hellfire missiles, each capable of blasting a booze-cruise minibus full of illicit cheap plonk to wreckage.

To be fair, there are no indications that US Customs plans to take any such firm line with any huddled masses, recreational-chemicals importers, etc. It's probably more interested in using its new Predator-Bs as an eye in the sky. Reaper radars can scan 60 square km each minute, picking out any moving object larger than a metre. Moving targets can then get a closer stare at 10cm resolution, or be imaged using the "multi-spectral" scopes. That could make life very hard for would-be Americans south of the Mexican border.

And the Customs lads have plans for the Caribbean, as well. They intend to trial a maritime Predator, able to sweep the sea for Miami Vice style speedboats.

Once the smugglers, terrorists, or general bad people have been fingered robotically from on high, ordinary customs or coastguard operatives can step in and snap the bracelets on them, perhaps after a judicious puke-raying.

All this might seem a bit extreme for common or garden border bag-rummagers and booze'n'cig-duties folk, but the US Customs is different. CBP Air and Marine has over 500 pilots and 250 aircraft - "the largest federal law enforcement air force in the world", as its chief proudly notes - as well as more than 200 vessels. The American Customs boys could probably take on a small country on their own.

Read the Flight report here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.