Vir­tual, not phys­i­cal, wall could be built

Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - VIEWPOINTS -

Re: Feb. 25 ar­ti­cle, “Amid pri­vacy con­cerns, ‘vir­tual’ wall brings pow­er­ful spy tech to bor­der.”

With re­gards to in­creas­ing bor­der se­cu­rity via a “vir­tual wall,” there are nu­mer­ous con­sid­er­a­tions Tex­ans should con­sider.

The Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency does its fair share of stalk­ing per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tions — and this is cer­tainly no job for the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity. Were these drones uti­lized, would any­one cross­ing the Texas-Mex­ico bor­der be de­serv­ing of pri­vacy? How would DHS at­tain data used for fa­cial recog­ni­tion — and how might they avoid racial pro­fil­ing?

Cost is another is­sue of this “army” of high­tech drones. How many of our tax dol­lars would go into these sys­tems — and would there be an equiv­a­lent re­turn in use­ful­ness? At what cost to the pub­lic’s right to pri­vacy?

The vir­tual wall may be a more phys­i­cally prac­ti­cal and less di­vi­sive so­lu­tion than the phys­i­cal wall; how­ever, it has po­ten­tial for eth­i­cally ques­tion­able data-gath­er­ing. Tex­ans should be care­ful what we wish for with re­gards to how we “se­cure” our South­ern bor­der. EMILY WOODY, AUSTIN

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