Texas Begins Online Test Of Mexico Border Cameras
Webcams allow anyone with Internet access to monitor the border and report suspicious activity.
November 6, 2006
SAN ANTONIO - Texas began testing a Web site Friday that enables anyone with Internet access to keep watch on the state's border with Mexico.
Only eight out of dozens of cameras planned for the $5 million project were operating Friday. They showed U.S. Border Patrol cars, trees, the Rio Grande River and an occasional cow.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry has made securing the state's 1,254-mile border with Mexico a major part of television ads in his re-election campaign.
The cameras at www.texasborderwatch.com will also be equipped with night vision lenses for 24-hour surveillance.
A yellow button on the site reads "Report Suspicious Activity." Clicking the button sends an e-mail to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"It's another step toward having a police state," said Jaime Martinez, national treasurer of the League of United Latin American Citizens. "Pretty soon they're going to be coming into our homes and we're going to have to start giving them permission, and we can't have that."
Perry said when announcing the program in June, "I look at this as no different from the neighborhood watches that we have had for years and years."
Shannon McCauley, head of the Texas Minuteman group, which carries out volunteer patrols of the border, declined to comment on the Web cams.
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