The Do-It-Yourself SBInet

A group called Techno Patriots in Southern Arizona has set up its own version of the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Border Initiative Network, called SBInet, replete with wireless cameras. The group says its do-it-yourself version has a better response time than the problem plagued Boeing-built DHS system, according to an article in the Sierra-Vista, Ariz., Herald.

Techno Patriots, which describes itself on its Web site as “basically a high tech Neighborhood Watch group on the border,” said it has installed a commercial grade wireless Internet infrastructure in Cochise County, Ariz., the most highly trafficked smuggling area in the United States.

The group said it has installed video cameras on this infrastructure, which are then monitored by its members, who keep an eye out for illegal immigrants. Techno Patriots said it can easily shift the cameras from one location to another and intends to eventually operate the system 365 days a year.

John Healy, the group’s director, told the Herald that the cameras used by Techno Patriots can be controlled remotely with a joystick, with only a two- to five-second delay from joystick touch to camera movement, compared to a 30- to 40-second delay for the SBInet cameras.

Techno Patriots may have some pretty nifty camera technology, but its Web site needs some work. I tried to use the “Contact Us” page to send an email to the group, only to receive a dreaded HTTP 404 “page not found” message.

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