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... ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

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.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.