Feeds

DHS accepts buggy Eye-o-Sauron™ border scan towers

Chertoff to Boeing: 'You don't own this border'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has accepted into service its first section of SBInet virtual border fence, but it clearly isn't very happy with the state of the new technology.

DHS chieftain Michael Chertoff reportedly said he was "satisfied for now" with the new kit. Border Patrol Assistant Commissioner Jay Ahern described it as "not perfect", according to Govexec.com.

SBInet, the technology part of the DHS' Secure Borders Initiative, is supposed to equip thousands of miles of US border with scanner towers mounting moving-target-indicator radar able to pick out individual humans. When a radar blip appears, telescopic thermal cameras swivel round Eye-of-Sauron style, allowing the system to work out what has been detected; a vehicle, people on foot, false alarm etc. The information is then plotted automatically on a networked digital map.

The idea is that Border Patrol agents would then be able to view the plot of huddled masses, terrorist hobbits etc - called the Common Operating Picture, or COP - in near real time on displays in their vehicles. It seems, however, that at the moment there are significant lags between detection and information becoming visible to field operatives. The radars are also prone to be triggered by rain.

The initial line of scanner towers on the Mexico-Arizona border is known as Project 28, and was to be supplied by Boeing for $20m. Some of this money has been withheld by DHS pending trials of the system by Border Patrol operators. The total price of SBInet - if fully implemented - is projected at $8bn, though the DHS inspector-general has said it could go to $30bn in the worst case.

Chertoff said that acceptance of Project 28 did not mean that DHS was willing to be saddled with a hugely expensive white elephant by Boeing.

"if we're not satisfied with something, we're going to tell them we're not satisfied with it," he said, according to Govexec.com.

"I told the head of Boeing some time back, 'Look, I'm not, you know, you don't have a lock on this entire border,'" he added. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.