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Border surveillance: Texas contractors competing for bids

Published by Jennifer on April 2, 2008 10:18 AM

In Austin, Texas, private contractors are jockeying for the exclusive right to set up an expanded video camera network of their products on the United States-Mexico border. Even with two million dollars in federal grants to establish the border video surveillance program, the original goal of getting the program up and running by January 2008 proved overly ambitious, but the expansion of Texas' experimental pilot surveillance program should fall into place relatively quickly once a bidder wins the contract.

While the federal government has used a limited surveillance network along the border for years, the expanded program would add about 200 cameras, on public and private property, as part of America's border-tightening campaign. The network will consist of IP cameras broadcasting border footage to local law enforcement agencies and online; the footage will be accessible to the public so that any citizen may screen for human trafficking, drug smuggling and illegal immigration as effectively as possible. If a private citizen watching footage sees something suspicious, the individual will be able to call a toll-free telephone number to report their findings.

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