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CBP designates autonomous surveillance towers along southern border a "program of record"

  1. Original Date Announced

    July 2, 2020

    CBP announces that Autonomous Surveillance Towers (AST) system, used along the southern border to provide constant surveillance of the area, is a "program of record." This system was previously named "Innovative Towers." CBP will procure and deploy a total of 200 ASTs by 2022, which scan the environment with radar to detect movement, capture images, and analyze imagery to identify items of interest, such as people or vehicles.

    [ID #999]

    CBP’s Autonomous Surveillance Towers Declared a Program of Record along the Southwest Border
  2. Effective Date

    July 2, 2020

Current Status

Fully in Effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Border
Agencies Affected: CBP


  • Congress, Don’t Give DHS Unrestricted Authority to Build a 'Smart Wall'

    In 2019, the ACLU asked congressional appropriators to deny CBP funding for the so-called "smart wall," arguing that DHS had a poor track record for privacy protections and effective technology deployment. Go to article on
  • Trump administration hires tech firm to build a virtual border wall, an idea Democrats have praised

    According to the Washington Post, the "program of record" designation makes the AST system a dedicated line item in DHS's budget. Go to article

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