Feeds

'Death knell' for Eye-o-Sauron™ US border stare-towers

Hobbit Huddled-mass detectors cop an axeing

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Plans to erect a chain of tall towers topped by all-seeing eyes along the US southern border - for the purpose of detecting inbound huddled masses, rather than troublesome hobbits - have perhaps been torpedoed at last, according to reports.

Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Tuesday that $50m of economic stimulus cash will be shifted out of the Secure Borders Initiative SBInet programme and into other areas.

"Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost-effective way possible," Napolitano said. "The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines."

SBInet was intended to mount a package of sensors atop tall towers so as to offer good line-of-sight coverage over a large area. Moving-target-indicator radars of the sort popular in modern reconnaissance aircraft would flag up any man-sized moving object; then thermal-imaging telescopic cameras would swivel round for a good stare, so hopefully separating out smugglers and illegal immigrants from cattle, tumbleweeds etc.

The towers would be netted-up, allowing intruders to be plotted on a cloud map accessible by Border Patrol agents and other users as required. This, it was thought, would let them intercept their quarry more easily.

But the initial nine-tower test segment in Arizona, built by lead contractor Boeing, has been dogged by technical glitches from the start and was said to still be having trouble when it was accepted by Napolitano's predecessor, Bush administration security honcho Michael Chertoff.

This week's announcement "signals a likely death knell" for SBInet, in the judgement of the Wall Street Journal. However the Obama administration stated that it was in favour of the plan on taking over, and still intends to fund the first phase of its rollout to the tune of $574m. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.