‘Virtual fence’ isn’t

U.S. - Mexico border fence
The BushCo plan to build a highly automated “virtual fence” at the US – Mexico border is now years behind schedule because, well, all their ballyhooed technological spying devices don’t work.

Software integration issues stymied a timely launch.

In the past, other glitches–including lags in radar information displaying in command centers and newly deployed radars being activated by rain or other environmental factors–have made the system unusable, according to Government Accountability Office investigators

The amount of information being transmitted overwhelmed the control centers, a problem that I think is inherent in any massive surveillance system. There’s just too much data to sort through and act on in anything approaching real time. False positives will abound, genuine threats will be missed. It’s all reminiscent of the faulty US military belief in both Vietnam and Iraq that they could win from the air alone, with no need to get on the ground with troops. That approach didn’t work there and it won’t work at the border.

The system was developed with “minimal input” from Border Patrol agents, resulting in an unworkable “demonstration project” instead of a operating pilot system.

Sigh. For a system to work and be effective, the developers really need to talk to and get input from the end users. Otherwise it probably won’t do what they need it to do thus it won’t be used. Or, like here, won’t work at all. So not only is the idea of Orwellian border fences an affront, they don’t function. Which is probably a good thing.

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