Monday, 19 November 2007

eborders unease

I have been both unable and unwilling to make any comment on the eborders contracts whilst a member of the Advisory Board of BT Global Services. As you no doubt know, last week this £650m contract was awarded to the Trusted Borders consortium led by Raytheon. Or, put another way, the BT led consortium lost the bid.

The one aspect that concerns me - as an individual I might add and nothing to do with BT - is not so much that the systems monitoring and controlling of the UK's main borders are now in the hands of a non-UK company - this has happened to many "sensitive" IT projects before. My main concern is that Raytheon seems set to have a hand in a significant number of the world's border control systems. Raytheon itself is dependent on significant funding and contracts from the US Government. Accenture (another Trusted Borders member) leads the $10bn US VISIT contract as prime on the Smart Borders Alliance team.

As an individual I am already subject to heavy US Government vetting when I travel to and from the US. How easily might information be shared on my other 'non US' travels? Could such vetting be expanded to cover my travel to other countries?

I'm sure I will be told that such concerns are totally unwarranted but.....

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