Border Security Market estimated at $16Bn

A marketing consultancy has estimated that the global border security market, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS), Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) and perimeter surveillance is due to hit $15.8bn in 2010. Without any sense of irony whatsoever, the company calls the border security market “one of the most exciting emerging markets within the global defence and security marketplace.”

They ask questions like:

“Which regional border security marketplaces offer the most significant growth opportunities? What are the prospects for European and North American defence and security companies seeking business opportunities in the Middle East? How is spending on different types of border security technology likely to be affected as government budgets come under intense pressure? What is the status of the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) or ‘virtual fence’ along the US-Mexico border? To what extent is public opinion driving government policy on border security? What effect is the economic downturn having on illegal immigration?”

To know their answers to these questions though, you’ll have to pay £1499.00 (or $2,418.00 US)! Clearly they believe that the market for reports on border security is also pretty ‘exciting’…

Top Secret America

Top Secret America is a really excellent project from The Washington Post with some excellent articles and classy and educative graphics. It traces the huge current US security-intelligence complex, and is partituclarly interesting for noting the massive private sector involvement. This isn’t actually entirely new – private technology companies have been intimately involved in both the manufacture and the servicing and operation of intelligence for a long time – look at the example of RCA and the early history of the National Security Association, for example. However, this blurring of the boundary between state and private sector now goes much further into the operations of intelligence. The Post alleges that “out of 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors.” That’s almost a third. And the database of companies involved is enormous – nearly 2000. The searchable database is also going to be very helpful in our current work at the Surveillance Studies Centre on the involvment of private companies in Canadian border control!

PS: I should be back up and posting regularly now. I’ve had one of my occasional anti-blogging periods!