Funding frozen for SBInet; Black eye gets blacker

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03/18/2010
Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided the virtual fence on the border with Mexico is such a failure that it no longer deserves continued funding. As I wrote before, when 60 minutes eviscerated SBInet, this is a major black eye for the industry. And, in essence, it really doesn't matter why the project is a failure - Boeing didn't have the capabilities and oversold, the technology could never have done the job, the particular weather, etc., of the border makes the job impossible, who cares. It's being labeled as a failure and the message is that security technology cannot do what it says it can do. That's bad. And this quote is bad, but more for Boeing:
“Not only do we have an obligation to secure our borders, we have a responsibility to do so in the most cost-effective way possible,” wrote DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a press release Tuesday. “The system of sensors and cameras along the Southwest border known as SBInet has been plagued with cost overruns and missed deadlines.”
This part is bad for people who sell stuff:
It will redeploy $50 million of Recovery Act funding originally allocated to "commercially available security technology along the Southwest border, including mobile surveillance, thermal imaging devices, ultra-light detection, backscatter units, mobile radios, cameras ,and laptops for pursuit vehicles, and remote video surveillance system enhancements,” Napolitano’s statement said.
That's $50 million in sales that won't be happening. Anyway, there's a million articles on this. If you want to see the newsfeed from Google, here you go.

Comments

Incorrect quotation. The $50 million is actually being spent on the very items listed above instead of SBInet. The Secretary's actual statement says:

"the Department of Homeland Security will redeploy $50 million of Recovery Act funding originally allocated for the SBInet Block 1 to other tested, commercially available security technology along the Southwest border, including mobile surveillance, thermal imaging devices, ultra-light detection, backscatter units, mobile radios, cameras and laptops for pursuit vehicles, and remote video surveillance system enhancements."

Good catch, Correction! That's what I get for believing what I read in the papers...