Drones patrol almost half of the US-Mexico border
Predator drones are silently patrolling almost half of the border between the United States and Mexico, according to ABC News. Two anonymous sources from the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) report that numerous Predator B drones fly over remote areas with “a high-resolution video camera and return within three days for another video in the same spot.”
Apparently, those videos are analyzed and compared in order to find any differences, such as footprints, livestock tracks, or vehicle trails, according to BBC. The vast majority of the time, agents find that nothing has changed. Only about 2% if the drone missions actually offered any evidence of unauthorized border crossings, with another 4% being false alarms.
The program is known as “change detection” and initially began in March of 2013 on the border between the United States and Mexico, but is expected to expand to the Canadian border some time in 2015. Lothar Eckardt, the CBP’s executive director of national air security operations, claims that “law-abiding people shouldn’t worry and that cameras are unable to capture details like license plate numbers and faces on the ground.
“You have finite resources,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, the commissioner of the CBP, as quoted by RT. “If you can look at some very rugged terrain and you can see there’s not traffic, whether it’s tire tracks or clothing being abandoned or anything else, you want to deploy your resources to where you have a greater risk, a greater threat. This is a better way to patrol the border than helicopters.”