‘A privacy nightmare’: the $400m surveillance package inside the US immigration bill
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: February 12th, 2024
The $118bn bipartisan immigration bill that the US Senate introduced on Sunday is already facing steep opposition. The 370-page measure, which also would provide additional aid to Israel and Ukraine, has drawn the ire of both Democrats and Republicans over its proposed asylum and border laws. But privacy, immigration and digital liberties experts are also concerned over another aspect of the bill: more than $400m in funding for additional border surveillance and data-gathering tools. The lion’s share of that funding will go to two main tools: $170m for additional autonomous surveillance towers and $204m for “expenses related to the analysis of DNA samples”, which includes those collected from migrants detained by border patrol. The bill describes autonomous surveillance towers as ones that “utilize sensors, onboard computing, and artificial intelligence to identify items of interest that would otherwise be manually identified by personnel”. The rest of the funding for border surveillance ... includes $47.5m for mobile video surveillance systems and drones and $25m for “familial DNA testing”. The bill also includes $25m in funding for “subterranean detection capabilities” and $10m to acquire data from unmanned surface vehicles or autonomous boats. As of early January, CBP had deployed 396 surveillance towers along the US-Mexico border, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Note: Read more about the secret history of facial recognition technology and undeniable evidence indicating these tools do much more harm than good. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.