Jefferson Morley | September 11, 2019
Border Patrol to Put an Indian Reservation Under Persistent Surveillance
In his book “Eyes in the Sky,” Arthur Michel Holland argues that “persistent surveillance” of American communities via “wide-area motion imagery” or WAMI, is all but inevitable. The evidence is mounting that he is right.
Last month the Guardian reported on the Pentagon is testing surveillance balloons over five Midwestern States. Now an Indian reservation on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona is coming under the all-seeing eye, according to The Intercept.
The tower will be outfitted with high-definition cameras with night vision, thermal sensors, and ground-sweeping radar, all of which will feed real-time data to Border Patrol agents at a central operating station in Ajo, Arizona. The system will store an archive with the ability to rewind and track individuals’ movements across time — an ability known as “wide-area persistent surveillance.”CBP plans 10 of these towers across the Tohono O’odham reservation, which spans an area roughly the size of Connecticut
The technology comes from Elbit Systems, an Israeli company.
Elbit Systems has frequently touted a major advantage over these competitors: the fact that its products are “field-proven” on Palestinians. The company built surveillance sensors for Israel’s separation barrier through the West Bank, which has been deemed illegal under international law, as well as around the Gaza Strip and on the northern border with Lebanon and Syria.