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$15 Billion for What?

In today’s New York Times Eric Lichtblau and John Markoff report on the Departmnet of Homeland Security’s plan to build a system known as US-Visit costing as much as $15 billion that will construct a set of virtual borders around the US and track foreign visitors. Accenture, Computer Sciences and Lockheed Martin are the three companies in the final bidding process.

There’s a PowerPoint presentation on US-VISIT (PDF) available from an industry briefing done last summer. Reading through this is pretty depressing stuff — no wonder it’s going to cost $15 billion. Virtual borders — another oxymoron?