customs and border protection

The Border’s New Boundaries, Part I: Digital Towers

In a dim, low ceiling room, federal agents and private contractors are testing the feed coming off cameras erected along the southeastern Arizona border. It’s a subdued project when you consider the magnitude of the goal: eyes and ears watching every movement along the U.S.-Mexico border 24 hours, seven days a week. The Customs and Border Protection agency uses two types of towers: integrated fixed towers (IFT), which use ground sensor surveillance in rural parts of the Mexican border, and remote video surveillance systems, which are used in urban areas where legal traffic is heavy enough to render ground sensors useless. The agency currently uses eight of the IFTs in southeastern Arizona and 11 of the remote video systems. It’s called the Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Plan; and it’s a network of these towers, cameras mounted on pickup trucks and backpack surveillance systems that can be hiked into the desert and dug into the ground.

Everyone Entering Australia To Have Biometric Data Scanned

A $700 million update to Australia’s border management system will mean that everyone entering the country will have their data scanned and matched against a biometrics database. The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will soon deploy a new border clearance system that supports biometric eGates. They will also begin a tender (bid) process for […]

U.S. Customs And Border Protection To Open Biometric Test Facility

In step with other custom ports of entry around the world utilizing biometric passport controls, U.S. Customs and Border Protection  has announced it will open its test facility for biometric identification technology in Landover, Maryland at the end of the month. CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske revealed details of the center, which will test devices that […]

DHS Testing Biometric Exit Devices At Mock Airport This Summer

With other nations already utilizing such technology, the U.S. Homeland Security Department is preparing to test biometric devices that will let it track passengers when they exit the country, in response to a congressional mandate that it has struggled for more than a decade to fulfill. Congress first called for an automated system to track […]

Vision-Box At Forefront Of Discussions On Expedited Travel And Border Management In The U.S.

U.S. Government officials and industry experts gathered together under one roof to discuss the growing challenges associated with securing human identity during the conference Connect ID, which took place in Washington last week. One of the hot topics under discussion was Aviation Security and the balance between the facilitation of legitimate travel and tight border […]

US Customs Consider Using Facial Recognition, Other Biometrics At US-Mexico Border

San Ysidro Border Crossing Customs and Border Protection is considering using biometric technology like facial recognition software on travelers leaving the United States by land. Last week, the agency put out a request for information on how biometrics might help accurately identify people leaving the U.S. The agency expressed interest in facial recognition, iris scanning and fingerprint reading. "Biometrics are the ultimate in identity," CBP executive director Colleen Manaher said. Biometrics are used already on some visitors coming into the U.S. Manaher believes recent advancements in biometrics could soon spot people overstaying their visas, for instance. "Right now, the biometric solutions of iris-on-the-move and face recognition are high contenders," she said. "But right now we’re only in the research phase." The agency has not begun the process of contracting with biometric companies. And it’s still too early to say exactly how this technology would be used at border crossings like San Ysidro or Otay Mesa. Officials say biometrics would not be focused on U.S. citizens and would adhere to strict privacy standards.

Orlando International First To Launch Biometric Kiosks for Arriving Passengers From Visa Waiver Countries

The Vancouver ‘Experience’ ORLANDO, FL. – Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the first U.S. airport to welcome travelers from visa waiver countries with innovative biometric kiosks to expedite the arrival experience. These self-service kiosks are now operational and processing international passengers who have Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel. The passenger-friendly kiosk enable travelers from arriving international flights to complete their Customs Declaration Form on touch-screens, have passports read and fingerprints and facial images captured. The innovative system adopts a “land, touch, go” concept that enhances the arrival experience. “This continues our Board and staff’s commitment to positioning Orlando International as a world-class airport in customer service,” says Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “Reducing the times for arrival processing enhances the customer’s Orlando experience and makes Orlando an even more attractive global destination.” “This has been a collaborative effort with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), SITA (Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques) and Vision-Box,” says Phil Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “It introduces innovative technologies to meet a real world need.” International traffic increased 4.9% for the rolling 12 months. Orlando has non-stop international service to 34 destinations.  

Canadian Border ‘Most Likely Entry Point’ For Terrorists, U.S. Congress Hears

U.S. Border Patrol agents talk while at a marina on the Niagara River at the U.S.-Canada border on June 3, 2013 in Beaver Island State Park, New York. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, monitors the 5,525 mile long border, including Alaska, forming the longest international border between two countries in the world. OTTAWA — Canada represents the greatest threat from terrorists trying to enter the United States, a top U.S. border agent told congressional lawmakers this week. “As far as I am aware, all recent threat assessments have pointed to the northern border as the most likely point of entry into our country for terrorists,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told a House of Representatives’ subcommittee on national security. Judd, who represents more than 17,000 unionized Border Patrol agents, offered no specifics in his prepared statement to the committee, hearing testimony about reforming the agents’ pay system. Still, he warned the panel that U.S. officials must not become complacent about the dangers that lurk along the border with Canada and “the ongoing threat … to the safety of the American public.” “In the early to mid-1990s, San Diego and El Paso were ground zero for both illegal immigration and drug smuggling,” he said. “In response, the border patrol threw all of its resources at those two areas without also strengthening the other areas of the border.” The thinking was that Arizona’s inhospitable climate and terrain would help deter other illegal […]

The Missing Link In Border Security

Comprehensive, large-scale border security that fits within a nation’s budget has been a major challenge to technologists. This is especially true for the U.S. Southwest border where, so far, technology has come up short. A new system based on existing technology may hold the promise of providing what has been the missing link in border […]

DHS Takes Control Of Arizona Border Blimp

A 208-foot long white blimp has been floating two miles above Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, using radar continuously to scan the area along the border, looking for low-flying aircraft drug smugglers use to bring drugs into the United States. The sensors on board can detect activity in distances of up to 230 miles. The blimp, […]