The Surveillance State

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Big brother is watching you (from a reader).

Border Patrol’s electronic eyes will spot you long before you spot them.

If you walk along the United States border in remote stretches of New Mexico desert, or in the grasslands between North Dakota and Canada, you might not hear the buzz of what could be flying above you: A Predator drone — the same vehicle that has been outfitted to drop bombs over Afghanistan and Iraq. From five miles away, the drone’s cameras can see so well they can tell if you’re wearing a backpack.

If you’re in the Florida Keys, you may be spotted by an altogether different set of eyes in the sky. Up 10,000 feet in the air, a football field-sized zeppelin floats with an array of cameras, sensors, and radar systems so sophisticated that it can track every car, aircraft, and boat within a 200-mile range.

And if you’re near the deserts of southern Arizona, it won’t be hard to notice the 160-foot towers that rise up from the sandy landscape, equipped with advanced thermal imaging that can sense your exact movements from over seven miles away.

Because large portions of the border are so remote, and because U.S. citizens seem more willing to endorse surveillance programs that specifically target non-citizens, American borderlands have become a testing ground for cutting-edge surveillance tech.

Even as privacy hawks on the left and the right warn about the government’s embrace of surveillance tech, it’s been impossible to stop the fast-accelerating development of new infrastructure. President Donald Trump and Democrats in Congress might clash over the need for a border wall, but there’s a growing consensus in Washington that the country needs a “virtual wall.” The terms for this concept vary: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls it a “technological wall”; other members of Congress have adopted Silicon Valley lingo and refer to it as a “smart wall.”

Jeffrey Tucker, the editorial director at the libertarian think-tank American Institute for Economic Research, says that people who would otherwise have a knee jerk reaction against federal overreach suddenly acquiesce when the government develops enormous power in the name of border security.

That’s because there’s something wrong with shooting invaders that cross our borders (Democrats don’t get their voters, and big-corp Republicans don’t get their workers).  But there’s nothing wrong with using a testing ground for more control over the peasants.

Like you and me.

Their thirst for omniscience and omnipresence is unquenchable.


Comments

  1. On October 18, 2019 at 11:51 am, Sanders said:

    I was doing some work for the “border fence” back when GWB was president. I was driving along the border on the two-track dirt road to check access for my machinery. Anyway, I was zipping along pretty good where I could, and crawling in 4WD where I had to. Finally, I got to the end of where my work was and was turning around.

    About that time, a BP truck pulls up next to me and asks if I’m about done. The officer was pretty frazzled and I told him I was done, and would be heading back. He said, good! As I was setting off multiple sensors and he was required to check them out every time one went off.

    I had a two-way radio from the BP, as well, and kept hearing every time I set some off. Plus, I heard the National Guard OP call me in a few times. At that particular time, they had the Georgia National Guard out there. They had recently returned from Iraq, and had been sent to New Mexico.

    Everyone on that job was armed, usually with a pistol on the hip and a long gun in the vehicle. We pulled up to one of their OP’s, which was in the road, and stopped to say hi. The Sergeant asked me why we were armed. I asked him why was HE armed? Then it clicked with him where he was and he apologized profusely, and insisted he was not questioning my 2nd Amendment rights.

    Now days, every RFP that I’ve seen for the wall specifies no firearms on the job site.

  2. On October 18, 2019 at 5:57 pm, Fred said:

    I was asked politely by BP to not use the “road” that ran along the border in the Nogales district . Apparently it made for lots of extra work for the poor guy. I looked for sensors but didn’t see any. They must have been buried. That was shortly after baby bush got reelected.

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You are currently reading "The Surveillance State", entry #22098 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Department of Homeland Security,Police and was published October 18th, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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