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CBP wants smart-phone scanners for border officials

No matter which side you take on the issue of how best to handle illegal immigration, everyone can agree that current Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials need good tools to do their jobs as effectively as possible while enforcing the laws. And keeping their technology current is definitely part of that strategy.

The Homeland Security Department has announced that it is looking for smart-phone accessories for their CBP officers. These accessories would allow officers at border stations to easily scan documents and biometrics such as fingerprints from their mobile devices and get an instant readout from their databases. That would help them decide whether a vehicle or individual needs to be stopped for some reason.

The main concern about such devices is power consumption, because if the drain caused by these accessories forces an officer to retreat to a docking station every couple of hours, it would defeat any efficiencies gained from using them. But that’s what these requests for information are for — to get ideas from a wide variety of people and companies.

CBP is using advanced technology on several fronts at the border. In August, it awarded a $100 million contract for a sensor system to combat the use of ultralight aircraft to smuggle drugs across the border from Mexico. The agency also is making use of former military aerostats for surveillance.

Posted by Greg Crowe on Dec 07, 2012 at 9:39 AM


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