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Boeing Requests More Grant Money for Border Surveillance

Published by Jennifer on February 9, 2007 3:36 PM

The Boeing Company, which in late 2006 was awarded a multi-billion dollar grant for securing the US-Mexico Border, has put in a request for a fund increase from the US Department of Homeland Security. Boeing's goal is to secure the 1,957-mile border through a combination of traditional fences, aerial drones, surveillance cameras, and a large force of Border Patrol officers by 2008.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Boeing's new security plan is the implementation of video analytics in its surveillance cameras. In some areas, Boeing has planned an "invisible fence," which will consist of intelligent surveillance cameras mounted on equally spaced  posts. The cameras, equipped with video analytics, will be able to detect suspicious movements near the border thanks to specially created algorithms inside the camera which analyze footage for specified data. The addition of video analytics to border patrol operations presents many interesting and beneficial security advantages, including:

  • Flexibility - Analytics allows security guards to perform more active duties while on duty. Instead of watching monitors all day, guards can perform patrols and work actively with cameras by responding to any alerts that might be created.
  • Sustainability - One argument against the construction of a traditional fence spanning the long border is environmental damage. A fence could disrupt many sensitive species which depend on environmental resources in both the US and Mexico, and disruptions from its likely long construction could damage fragile ecosystems.

Boeing's request for more funding from the Department of Homeland Security was integrated into President George W. Bush's budget for 2007, and while it has yet to be approved, could help in the construction of this new and advanced video surveillance system.

For More Information....

Bush Seeks Money for Border Agents, Surveillance Gear (Bloomberg.com)

Boeing Wins Contract to Secure Southern Border (NPR.org)

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