In June 2006 I wrote about a plan in Texas to put up live Internet webcams on the Texas-Mexico border as a border security tool. Washington Technology reports today that Texas has completed its initial pilot of this technology:
Texasâ€™ month-long experiment with border surveillance Web cameras is being touted as a success with 221,000 people participating via the Internet, state officials said.
The Texas Border Watch Test Site operated for a month, closing on Dec. 3. During the experiment, live video feeds from border surveillance cameras in Texas were made available on a Web site. Subscribers registered to view the footage and report suspicious activity.
During the month, 221,562 subscribers visited the Web site and viewed footage 27 million times, generating more than 13,000 emails, according to an update on the Texas Border Watch test project.
â€œSome wrote to alert law enforcement officials to suspicious activity, others to recommend improvements to the Web site or offer other comments. Many of the recommendations for improvements to the Web site were incorporated during the test period,â€ the Web site said.
Given these results, Texas should move forward and deploy this on a wider basis. And this is something that other border states should look into as well.