Feeds

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

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

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.