U.S. eyes high-tech security boost at Canadian border

July 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- A U.S. senator said a low-cost, high-tech sensor system could be installed along the U.S.-Canada border to increase security without harming business.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who will lead a field meeting of the U.S. Senate homeland security committee Friday, said technology, private partnerships and bilateral collaboration are key to closing potentially critical gaps along the northern border, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"I think there's some real opportunity to save money and get better border security," Tester told CBC News. "I'm not talking drones here, I'm talking low-level radar. I'm talking things like Blue Rose technology, where you can lay a cable in the ground and determine whether a gopher runs over it, or a human being, or a horse."

Blue Rose, based on fiber-optic technology, is an in-ground perimeter defense and security system developed by the Naval Undersea Warfare, CBC News said. The system detects sound and vibration of intruders moving near the sensor.

Law enforcement officials, Border Patrol agents and business representatives will be among the panelists at the hearing in Montana.

Surveillance technology could monitor who's approaching the border, helping to prevent drug smuggling and terrorism, Tester said, and could be particularly effective in areas such as Montana.

"I don't think we need a border guard every thousand feet," Tester said. "I do think there are opportunities with technology to save money and help secure the border."

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