Saturday, May 19, 2007

U.S. town opposes "Big Brother" Mexico border fence

U.S. town opposes "Big Brother" Mexico border fence Wed May 16, 2007 2:07PM EDT By Tim Gaynor

ARIVACA, Arizona (Reuters) - A pilot project to place a high-tech network of surveillance towers along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border has met boisterous opposition in this Arizona town, where some residents call it "Big Brother." The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is installing a network of nine towers with ground radar and night vision cameras to monitor a 28-mile (45-km) stretch of border near Arivaca, southwest of Tucson.

It is the first trial for the communications and technology arm of the government's Secure Border Initiative announced in 2005. Dubbed "SBInet," authorities say it will be extended across some 6,000 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders in segments in coming years. Residents of this remote, high desert ranching town of 1,500 people have packed four public meetings in recent weeks to oppose the project, which is due to go live at the end of next month. "It's like Big Brother. It will place the whole town under surveillance," community activist C Hues told Reuters as residents gathered for a meeting late on Tuesday with CBP and Border Patrol representatives. "The government will be able to watch and record every movement we make, 24 hours a day. It will be like living in a prison yard," she added.

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