Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spy towers aren't working, no kidding


By Brenda Norrell
Photos: US spy towers in Arivaca and on the Tohono O'odham Nation near the Arizona border.

ARIVACA, Ariz. -- It's time to party in Arivaca, so drag out the kites. Ooops, the kites aren't really necessary to confuse the radar, because the spy towers don't work.
Sorry folks, we know there were reports that we were safe in the hands of Homeland Security with all those new spy towers at the Arizona border. But guess what, there's a new report. They really don't work.
Of course the Bush Administration would like to waste millions more on this. I say they get some three-year olds, ten-year-olds tops, to check out their software and computers to find out what the problem is.
Did they really think coffee shop Wi-Fi and the Israeli spy cameras would work in those rugged desert canyons with fortress-like mountains on the Arizona border?
Well, we had a good time anyway, spying on the spy towers this summer.
Here's the latest in the never-ending series of articles: Spy towers don't work

SBInet hits software snag
By Alice Lipowicz
Published on February 5, 2008

Following testing that was supposed to be final, the Homeland Security Department has determined that it needs to develop better software and perform additional tests on the initial 28-mile segment of the SBInet border surveillance system, a department spokeswoman said.
On Dec. 10, the department’s Customs and Border Protection agency conditionally accepted from prime contractor Boeing Co. the “Project 28” initial segment of the Secure Border Initiative Network at the Arizona-Mexico border. Also on that date, agency officials said they would conduct 45 days of operational testing before final acceptance of that section.
But 57 days later, a department official has confirmed a second round of tests is being conducted ... The additional round of testing is the most recent glitch in getting the potentially $30 billion U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border surveillance system up and running. Boeing was awarded the prime contract in September 2006 and began work on the $20 million initial task order for Project 28, installing towers, cameras, sensors and communications equipment ...
On Monday, Secretary Michael Chertoff said he is requesting $775 million for SBInet in fiscal 2009. The department also recently awarded a $64 million task order to Boeing to develop a common operational picture for SBInet. A common operational picture is a single, relevant display of information that can be used by more than one group.
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In related news, the Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen was in court today, facing a lawsuit over Jeppesen's secret renditions, torture flights:

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