Texas plans permanent border watch Web site

Texas' month-long experiment with border surveillance Web cameras is being touted as a success with 221,000 people participating via the Internet, state officials said.

The Texas Border Watch Test Site operated for a month, closing on Dec. 3. During the experiment, live video feeds from border surveillance cameras in Texas were made available on a Web site. Subscribers registered to view the footage and report suspicious activity.

During the month, 221,562 subscribers visited the Web site and viewed footage 27 million times, generating more than 13,000 emails, according to an update on the Texas Border Watch test project.

"Some wrote to alert law enforcement officials to suspicious activity, others to recommend improvements to the Web site or offer other comments. Many of the recommendations for improvements to the Web site were incorporated during the test period," the Web site said.

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry said he intends to issue a request for proposals to implement a permanent Texas Border Watch Web site.

The governor said in June he would spend $5 million to install hundreds of video cameras along its border with Mexico that will broadcast surveillance footage on the Internet to help prevent crime and illegal border crossings.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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