Secure borders are a timeless issue

Nick Wakeman

When I visited Israel nearly 10 years ago, I learned what it means to cross a secure border. I didn't get my fingerprints or iris scanned. Biometrics was not involved.

But the questioning was intense. Who was I traveling with? How was I associated with them? Why was I going? Who paid for my ticket? Did I know anyone in countries bordering Israel? Had I ever visited those countries? Did I plan to travel without my group?

Israeli authorities greeted me with a similar round of questions a week later when I was preparing to return to the United States.

I have no doubt that the questioning today is just as intense, but with the technological advances since 1999, immigration authorities have a better chance of catching someone in a lie.

For our cover story this issue, staff writer Alice Lipowicz examines secure borders and how they involve much more than just screening visitors going into and out of a country. Much of the focus to date has been about securing our border with Mexico, but as Lipowicz makes clear, we cannot forget about Canada or our coastline.

And where there are huge governmental challenges, there are companion business opportunities as agencies turn to the private sector for fresh ideas and technologies.

A year ago, Lipowicz was a finalist for a national journalism award for her coverage of the Secure Border Initiative. I wondered then what the next big topic would be. I should have known from my experience in Israel, secure borders are an issue that has always been with us and always will be.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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