back to article Ad-supported webcam border surveillance hits Texas

It has emerged that Australian pub boozers occasionally while away an idle hour monitoring drug smuggling and illegal immigration on the US southern border over the internet. The Guardian quotes Don Reay of the Texas Border Sheriffs' Coalition, referring to his organisation's webcam crowdsource twitchcurtain stool-pigeon …


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  1. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Ahh, australians.

    Not content with keeping foreigners out of their own country, they're keeping them out of everyone elses too.

  2. Hollerith


    that's 'wile away'

  3. LPF
    Paris Hilton

    OK maybe I'm missing it...

    but whats wrong with them using spycams to spot people trying to get in illegally???

  4. Juan Inamillion

    "What about the leetle girl?"

    "Hey look! Pancho's van is heading for the border!"

    "Quick, call Cleetus and get him and boys to head him off at the pass!'


    "Brilliant! We got all of Pancho's dope! Party on dude!"

  5. Seán


    I presume the so called Australians narking to the yanks are descendants of prison guards and informants. If they're descended from Irish or Scottish prisoners condemned to Australia unjustly the dishonour they bring to their families would make an Israeli soldier killing children in Gaza blush.

    What kind of people have those prisoners turned into even if their ancestors were prison guards they at least made sure they got paid for their work.

  6. Cameron Colley

    What happens if someone holds up...

    ... a photo of an aborted foetus to the camera?

  7. Seán

    Pedantic ricochet


    By Hollerith Posted Monday 23rd March 2009 16:42 GMT

    that's 'wile away'

    A total fail, 10 out of 10, 100% fail. I haven't actually seen such a massive error in a long time. I suppose I'll have to while away the time until another arrives. It's always so sad when someone thinks they are clever but then proves beyond doubt that they are not clever, puts it in writing and publishes it on a public forum. Pedantry is a cruel and exacting game.

  8. Graham Marsden

    How about offering prizes...!

    Hey everybody, join in the great new game, everyone's playing: Spying on America's borders!

    Spot those illegal immigrants! Watch out for dope shipments!

    The more you inform, the more you win!!

    PS @Hollerith, no, it's probably not "wile" -

  9. jacob

    Pedantry backfire

    Both forms could be considered correct.

    —Verb phrase

    5. wile away, to spend or pass (time), esp. in a leisurely or pleasurable fashion: to wile away the long winter nights.

    and here:

    To spend (time) idly or pleasantly: while the hours away.

    2. To pass (time) agreeably: wile away a Sunday afternoon.

    you're both right... and wrong.

  10. david wilson


    >>"If they're descended from Irish or Scottish prisoners condemned to Australia unjustly..."

    Would that be more unjust than if a particular prisoner were Welsh or English?

  11. FrankR

    remote fire?

    They need to add the capability to fire remotely from the watchtowers using your browser.

    That I would sign up for.

  12. Andrew Rouen

    another Pub passtime!

    I can see it now.. It's Friday arvo we've done the EKO (early knock off) and we're down at the pub...

    Robbo's on the net again

    "Oi Jim! I think Pedro is makin his run again!"

    J: "oh yeah?"

    R: "yeah... next round he doesnt make it"

    J: "no bet mate... he didnt even make it to the fence last time"

    And now us poor Aussies have ANOTHER thing to gamble on...

  13. Michael Hitchins

    aussie entertainment?

    they only said they are watching it down at the pub, didnt say they were dobbing anyone in.

    though i dont know if there would be enough high jinx in the feed to be worth watching in the first place, still better than the recycled big brother sing star dance crap we get on tv when the footies not on

  14. Seán


    Yes it was much more unjust read some history.


    Both forms could be considered correct if the incorrect version is considered correct. It is "while away" wiles are a different thing.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    I'd sign up it it weren't for one thing...

    ... there's no mention of being officially deputised, nor is their mentioned, a tin badge.

    If I am gonna keep the US safe from nasty economic migrant, I at least wanna look and feel the part.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    If Americans want to stop illegal drugs/people from going across the border

    they will have to do two things:

    1. Legalize drugs, because (and who do they think they are fooling), Americans love their drugs.

    2. Americans have to get off their lazy fat asses and mow their

    own fscking lawns.

  17. Ebony Bandera
    Black Helicopters

    No and yes

    No, I'm not at all interested in helping the gummint stop entrepreneurial self-medication transportation specialists at the border, and I'm also not at all enthusiastic about helping said gummint keep some poor folks who just want to make a decent living on the other side of an imaginary line.

    Yes, I'm all in favor of not having any more of my taxes (or inflation-derived bucks which are morally the same thing but worse for being sneaky) go towards gummint watchers-who-shall-not-be-watched and their black-suited, armor-wearing, automatic-weaponized, night-googled, steroid-crazed, testosterone-drunk semi-moronic myrmidon wannabe pals.

    So, where do I find out which Aussie bars are into doing this stuff? I'll maybe buy a round or two.

  18. Moss Icely Spaceport

    The Australians...

    ...would actually be cheering the new arrivals on!

    Aussies like to support the underdog, it's in our blood.

    We all love a battler!!!

  19. MacroRodent Silver badge

    HOWTO set up your own Big Brother

    Surprised you did not highlight this from BlueServo's page:

    "Another facet of this program is the ability of the public to connect their own cameras to to create local Virtual Neighborhood WatchesSM in order to protect their own homes, neighborhoods, and families from criminal acts. These Virtual Neighborhood WatchesSM can, in turn, be connected to form additional Virtual Community WatchesSM. "

    We have met Big Brother, and he is us.

    (Considering the frequent news about surveillance, we urgently need a Big Brother comment icon)

  20. Tim Bates


    @Anomalous Cowherd:

    I've got one thing to say in reply to that: "So where the bloody hell are ya?"

    @Cameron Colley:

    I suspect Stephen Conroy comes immediately to your house and disconnects your internet connection, then fines everyone who mentioned it $11,000

  21. Edwin
    Thumb Down


    I don't care whether they want to rely on vigilantism to patrol their borders or not.

    But they should definitely not whine and bitch when the whole system massively backfires or serves to hide a multi-billion dollar drug importing biz.

    Remember: there are no SLAs or quality metrics with Aussie pub-goers

  22. Anonymous Coward


    the objective shuld be to keep the 'merkins in USAland

  23. david wilson


    What was the particular history of Scottish people being taken to Australia as prisoners?

  24. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    not surprised

    "Members claim to have repelled thousands of would-be illegal immigrants spotted attempting to cross the border on foot."

    From the pub? In Australia. They're taking the piss. But seriously, spotting people on camera is not the same as catching them, and the border patrol agents are spread thin.

    @Edwin, won't surprise *me* but I'm sure the people running the system will be shocked -- SHOCKED! -- when people just find gaps not quite covered by those cameras and stream in in those places.

  25. DrewHew

    Pedants Unite!! @Jacob

    Sorry mate, as much as Sean kinda blew it out of proportion, he's right.


    We continue to accept the bludgeoning of the English language (especially by Yanks), and somehow believe if you say the wrong thing/misuse words long enough, then it eventually becomes acceptable.

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