What is the America’s Shield Initiative?

ASI will be an integrated, national web of border security with centralized command designed to gain greater control of US borders with Canada and Mexico, according to the administration’s FY 2006 budget request.
ASI is intended to not only dramatically improve US electronic surveillance capabilities along the southern and northern borders but to significantly strengthen the US ability to detect, intercept and secure the borders against illegal aliens, potential terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, illegal drugs and other contraband.
The goal of ASI “is to use the right technology at the right places for the right terrain to give us that intrusion capability and then to be able to then, absolutely, have the rapid response capability to get to the points of intrusions to increase our overall apprehension rate,” CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner told the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security during a March 15 hearing.
ASI will upgrade existing sensor technology along the Mexican and Canadian borders and include a mix of satellite surveillance, infrared video cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), among other technologies.  It will capitalize on the systems started by ISIS, which include a remote video surveillance (RVS) system, a sensor system and the Intelligent Computer-Assisted Detection System.
The RVS system integrates cameras at 269 installations in cities such as Buffalo, NY; Detroit, Mich.; Miami, Fla.; and San Diego, Calif., according to an analysis by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), while the sensor system includes radar, seismic, motion, magnetic and heat detectors, 11,938 in all. The Intelligent Computer-Assisted Detection System sounds alarms and dispatches personnel while analyzing sensor information.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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