Feeds

US Customs gets kill-droids for Caribbean

Booze cruise bloodbath likely as excise feds tool up

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.