Texas To Enlist Web Patrol

    June 2, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Web vigilantes will soon have their chance to be virtual citizens on patrol once Texas implements its plan to place webcams along its 1000 mile Mexico border. Gov. Rick Perry called the setup a “virtual wall.”

The idea is simple. Internet users can tune in to border cams, operating 24 hours a day with night vision capabilities, and keep an eye out for what appears to be illegal border crossings. Then they can narc by calling a toll-free number.

Texas doesn’t generally worry about so-called “Big Brother” concerns. After all this is the state where one can be arrested for being drunk in a bar.

The plan is expected to cost about $5 million to the state, part of a larger $100 million campaign called “Operation Rio Grande.”

From MySanAntonio.com:

Perry said citizens could file reports via a toll-free number, with law enforcement officers ready to respond. He said the cameras, paid for with money from his office, would be used on farms and ranchland “directly on the border” but not in neighborhoods and urban areas.

Perry spokeswoman Kathy Walt said no camera specifications had been issued, and declined to say where they might be stationed. Also unclear was how or if authorities could protect participants from threats by criminals and migrants. Walt said knowledge of the cameras would be a deterrent, and in an e-mail said, “More eyes watching the trouble spots and able to call authorities, hopefully before they get to the owners’ home.”

This could become more popular than bird watching.

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