SBInet: Watching Boeing

“Border surveillance now consists of more than 200 cameras sending images back to border patrol stations, but the system is inconsistent at best and gives agents no analytical information to determine threats,” reports Rob Thormeyer this week for GCN (Government Computer News).

“For SBInet to have any real impact, the system needs to mix the surveillance equipment with a real-time communications element that lets border patrol agents respond quickly to incursions.”

Which makes it interesting to think about the Boeing commercial that I just saw on the stock market channel (CNBC) which images the company as a master of remote surveillance technology.
I can’t find on the internet any mention of this recent media campaign by Boeing, but it sure targets the image that the Department of Homeland Security is looking for as DHS considers who will get the huge SBInet contract for border security (now valued at $2 billion).

Boeing is heavily reported in the news today because of investor interest in costly delays for the company’s surveillance airplanes, which are 18 months behind schedule for delivery to Turkey and Australia.

“The defense unit, known as Integrated Defense Systems, recently has suffered execution glitches with several projects, including new radios for the Army and a new generation of spy satellites,” writes Ameet Sachdev in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Meanwhile, Associated Press reporter Dave Carpenter has a helpful roundup of Boeing’s image problems, including the following note on a forthcoming settlement with the USA Justice Department:

“On the legal and political front, McNerney has pushed to resolve a three-year Justice Department investigation into defense contracting scandals. The company announced it expects to take a second-quarter charge reflecting a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in which it will pay the government $615 million _ the largest financial penalty ever imposed on a military contractor _ without having to face criminal charges or admit wrongdoing.”

For a nice wrapup of the SBInet bidding contest see the June 12 (2006) story by Alice Lipowicz at Washington Technology: Teams vie for SBINet

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