TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Texas Puts Virtual Border Watch Cameras Online

Texas Puts Virtual Border Watch Cameras Online

Associated Press News Wire (
Fri, 03 Nov 2006 13:53:56 -0600

Texas has started broadcasting live images of the U.S. border on the
Internet in a security program that asks the public to report signs of
illegal immigration or drug crimes.

A test Web site went live Thursday at with
views from eight cameras and ways for viewers to e-mail reports of
suspicious activity. Previously, the images had only been available to
law enforcement and landowners where the cameras are located.

"There is only one way to test it, and that's open it up for
business," said Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw.

Some civil rights groups have criticized the "virtual border watch,"
saying it will instill fear in border communities and could lead to
fraudulent crime reports and racial profiling.

The cameras will operate at hot spots for illegal activity, such as
Amistad Reservoir in Del Rio and Falcon Lake in Zapata, and other
active border areas such as highway rest stops and inspection
stations, officials said. Information e-mailed by viewers goes to the
state's operations center and local law enforcement in that area.

McCraw said the project will eventually grow to include at least 70
cameras throughout South Texas, some with zoom lens and thermal
capacity. The state is using $5 million in federal security grants
that have been earmarked for the web camera program.

On the Net:

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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