Feeds

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

Presumably to be built from southern side

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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... ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.