Feeds

Eye-O-Sauron™ spy towers still buggy

DHS huddled masses tracker further delayed

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s plan to build hundreds of all-seeing networked surveillance towers along American borders has run into further problems. The project in question is the technology portion of the Secure Borders Initiative (SBI).

Under SBI, contractor Boeing would erect perhaps 1800 towers, each 98 feet tall, equipped with ground-sweeping moving target radar that would sniff out huddled masses yearning to breathe free, terrorist infiltrators, possible Canadian raiding columns etc. Once a radar blip was flagged up, the all-seeing day/night video eye would swivel round to get a more exact idea what was moving. (Oddly perhaps, the kit is known as SBInet rather than Eye-O-Sauron™ or similar. Some kind of legal problem, no doubt.)

Once the invader/terrorist/migrant had been analysed by a control room watchkeeper, an icon moving in real time would appear on the DHS networked map, or Common Operating Picture (COP). Border-patrolmen on the ground could then access the COP map, and so plan their operations more efficiently.

That's the plan, anyway. For now, Boeing has only a $67m demonstration contract to set up a nine-tower, 28-mile barrier zone in the Arizona desert. This was supposed to go live three months ago, but in fact has yet to reach a suitable state of readiness for government testing to begin.

Today, AP reports that Homeland Security overlord Michael Chertoff has said he will cut off SBI net payments to Boeing until the pilot project succeeds. It is thought that most of the money has already been paid, but Boeing will be expecting to receive around $5m more once it gets the initial nine towers up and running.

"We are now looking to begin acceptance testing in about a month," Chertoff said. "We will then kick the tires again... like buying a car. We don't want to get stuck with a lemon."

A Boeing mouthpiece said that the firm was "working with our customer to solve some remaining technical issues".

Apparently it's the networking and integration which isn't working, rather than the sensor hardware itself. Boeing have reportedly sent in troubleshooters to get things kick-started, and removed some of their original personnel.

According to the DHS, "the integration of all the systems into a common operating picture continues to be the challenge."

Chertoff anticipates that once Boeing have got ready the acceptance testing will be finished by the end of the year.®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.