Feeds

Eye-o-Sauron™ poked out by Great Wall of America

Presumably to be built from southern side

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

American plans to erect a chain of all-seeing eyes atop tall towers to guard the Mexican border have been put on hold in favour of a more conventional fence or wall, according to reports.

"The highest priority is to put out a system of physical fences and barriers that will keep people and vehicles from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border," said US Customs & Border Protection honcho Jayson Ahern, quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

The paper's ubiquitous "persons familiar" added that the push to sidetrack the "virtual fence" of networked man-tracking scan towers was the result of budget overruns in physical-walls projects.

The so-called Secure Borders Initiative tower network from Boeing, aka SBInet - we would be willing to accept any reasonable fee for our suggested alternate brand-name, Eye-o-Sauron™ - was supposed to work by constantly scanning large areas of borderland using the moving-target-indicator radars which are now all the rage for military recce aircraft. Any moving human-sized object would cause long-ranging thermal nightsight camera eyes to swivel round for a good stare, hopefully distinguishing huddled masses, troublemaking hobbits etc from among the trundling tumbleweeds, mustangs, loose cattle, bona-fide Americans out for a stroll and so forth.

Those radar blips confirmed as intruders would then appear as such on networked maps viewable by command posts and border patrols in their vehicles, allowing them to bracelet the miscreants and send them homeward to think again.

However, the Eye-o-Sauron kit was dogged by delays and tech snags, and reportedly was still riddled with bugs when the initial nine-tower pilot sector was accepted by Homeland Security overlord Michael Chertoff. Its final demise has been rumoured for some time.

If the WSJ report is correct, that time is now imminent and the US will concentrate instead on more basic walls. Presumably to be built by relatively low-paid labour... ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.