Monday, November 27, 2006

Perimeter Security

Subtopia discusses the exciting business opportunities along the Mexican border:

The FedBizOpps notice mentions contracting work for "Customs and Border Protection-related roads, low-water crossings, temporary and permanent vehicle barriers, pedestrian barriers, stadium lighting, fencing, and bridges."
The bidding opened and closed rather quickly, it seems. That's a bit alarming, given the scale of the project, the fact that it’s exempt from environmental review, and the DHS’s well-known contracting irregularities.

A cynic might say that we ought to allow Roy Warden to construct his clothesline perimeter along the border; it’d probably work just about as well, and we wouldn’t have to borrow nearly as much money from China to pay for it. On the other hand, one must keep up appearances, and Warden doesn’t quite have the calming gravitas of the State Apparatus.

Or even the quasi-State Apparatus, for that matter. In an earlier post, Subtopia described the Minutemen’s resourceful use of high-tech border-control technology from Israel and the Korean DMZ. Fox News elaborates:
Three cameras placed along the no-climb fence will use facial recognition software to identify possible intruders, Kunz said.
High time, too! It’ll be a welcome alternative to the terrorist-coddling facial recognition software designed by Emmanuel Levinas, which answers the intruder’s ethical demand with unconditional charity.

Subtopia suggests that DIY border surveillance could usher in an exciting new era of reality TV. Maybe so, but I think the real money lies in adapting Web-based hunting to border defense, and charging the Keyboard Kommandos fifty bucks for each shot they take at the Pitiless Warriors of Aztlan (some will prefer the hands-on approach, of course, but I suspect they’re in a fairly small minority).

In other homeland security news, a passenger was arrested after he tried to board a plane with a ball of rubberbands.

UPDATE: Lots more on virtual warfare from Subtopia. Also, an Arizona court has fined the "hands-on" activist mentioned above, who threatened a man and his three children with an assault rifle.


Bryan Finoki said...

In previous Subtopia posts, I explored this, too:

Merging networking video games with conducting war, or palm-pilot urban surveillance; the rise of a collective participatory virtual panopticon.

Check them out!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever been hit by a rubber band? Sounds pretty serious to me...

Semper paratus.


Phila said...

Thanks, Bryan! Great stuff.


You're right, of course. He had enough rubberbands there to raise multiple welts on an entire planeload of people.