US - Mexico Border Boeing Security Systems Failure Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 13, 2010

At the US border with Mexico a billion USD has been spent on underground sensors, long range radars and high resolution and infrared cameras  but the best comment is on the project is, "it hasn't worked out so well" from the Executive Director of the Government Accountability Office. 

According to 60 minutes, Boeing promised

  • The first 28 miles would be completed in 8 months
  • The entire border would be under surveillance in three years
  • Camera ranges of up to 10 miles
  • Nobody would be able to cross the border without detection

Boing's current status on the project is:

  • 3 years later, the first 28 miles are still not complete
  • Bllions of our tax dollars have been spent
  • The old system is being phased out for version two of the project
  • Hardware is unreliable and requires extensive maintenance
  • Significant software bugs within the client software

See below for the US TV Show 60 minutes video report [link no longer available]:

One of the most significant factors in the failure is the fact that the left hand never spoke to the right hand - the Border Patrol was never consulted initially in the project. Field operatives should be one of the initial pieces of the puzzle.

As stated in the video, "that's a huge mistake," says Mark Borokowski, Executive Director of the project. Borokowski is the third on the project and hopes that version two is not another 'beta.'

According to Chief of Border Patrol, the system has contributed to 5K arrests and the confiscation of 15K lbs of marijuana. 

The Executive Director of the Government Accountability Office states, its a "bad deal for tax payers."

Note: Read SSN's post and discussion on this topic.

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