The Border Interfaced

What if you could help fight crime from your computer at home? Texas Virtual BorderWatch was a public-private partnership between the start-up BlueServo and the state of Texas, which operated between 2008 and 2012 to crowdsource surveillance of the US/Mexico border. Through an online platform called RedServant, which advertised the chance to take part in ‘virtual stakeouts’, visitors were given free access to live feeds of over 200 cameras and sensors monitoring the border. More than 200,000 volunteer users logged in remotely and were encouraged to report any suspicious activity they noticed by clicking a red button, which would then be reported to authorities. The Border Interfaced by Joana Moll recreates some of the elements found on BlueServo’s online surveillance interface.