TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Texas to Install Border Patrol Web Cameras

Re: Texas to Install Border Patrol Web Cameras

Gordon Burditt (
Sun, 11 Jun 2006 05:07:03 -0000

> The governor of Texas wants to turn all the world into a virtual
> posse.

> Rick Perry has announced a $5 million plan to install hundreds of
> night-vision cameras on private land along the Mexican border and put
> the live video on the Internet, so that anyone with a computer who
> spots illegal immigrants trying to slip across can report it on a
> toll-free hot line.

Doesn't this also mean that the illegal immigrants can also use the
cameras to detect the absence of patrols and determine what the
cameras can actually see?

> Under the plan, announced on the eve of the state GOP convention,
> cameras and other equipment would be supplied to willing landowners
> and placed along some of the most remote reaches of the border. The
> live video would be made available to law enforcement and anyone else
> with an Internet connection.

I prefer to state that: "The live video would be made available to
would-be illegal immigrants and smugglers and anyone else with an
Internet connection".

> Bonner said it won't take smugglers long to figure out where the
> cameras are.

It's probably easy, especially if the cameras can see into Mexico.
Someone just carries a large sign on the Mexico side of the border
with GPS coordinates on it. Or perhaps they have an airplane fly low
along the border (on the Mexican side of it), log its course and match
times with when it is observed. People working for the smugglers
(also probably in Mexico) observe which cameras it shows up on. If
someone else spots the guy with the sign, well, he's Mexican, IN
Mexico, and is not breaking any Mexican law I know of.

> patrols the border against illegal immigrants, said access to the
> video should be restricted to trained volunteers and law enforcement
> officials, to prevent smugglers from using the equipment to adjust
> their routes.

Duh! I also wonder if the smugglers would use the cameras to rat out
the competition. You could get quite a smuggling war going on.

> But the governor said it will be hard to know where the cameras are
> just by watching the live Internet video. And if the smugglers do
> figure it out, the equipment can easily be moved. "This isn't our
> first rodeo," he said.

Maybe they'll spot some Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Has anyone yet suggested setting up catapults to return caught illegal
immigrants to Mexico?

Gordon L. Burditt

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A couple people have said that when
this goes into effect later this year, the Mexicans (illegal or
otherwise) could also tune into the Internet from the Mexican side
to see the 'show'. PAT]

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