The United States has unveiled an unlikely weapon in its battle against drugs gangs and illegal immigrants at the Texas-Mexico border – pub-goers in Australia.
The drinkers are the most far-flung of a sizeable army of hi-tech foot soldiers recruited to assist the border protection effort.
Anyone with an internet connection can now help to patrol the 1,254-mile frontier through a network of webcams set up to allow the public to monitor suspicious activity. Once logged in, the volunteers spend hours studying the landscape and are encouraged to email authorities when they see anyone on foot, in vehicles or aboard boats heading towards US territory from Mexico.
Tim’s being facetious, of course: the majority of the watchers are actually coming from the USA – and from the border states involved, at that. Essentially, they log in, keep an eye out, and report to the authorities anything that they see that looks suspicious. The actual success of the program’s hard to quantify (except for the ton of marijuana that the Border Patrol’s intercepted so far because of this), but the Guardian article itself notes that both the public and the private programs are identifying illegal immigrants coming over the border. The whole thing has a Reynoldsesque Army of Davids feel to it. Naturally, Texas Democrats are attempting to kill the program. Also naturally, they’re not offering any real alternative to it (sayeth the pro-‘amnesty’ squish).
Crossposted to Moe Lane.