As the world begins to travel , Europe is sending migrants a loud message: Stay away!
Greek border police are shooting bursts of deafening sound from an armored vehicle within the frontier to Turkey. Mounted on the automobile, the long-range acoustic device, or”noise cannon,” is the size of a little TV set but has the potential to fit the volume of a jet engine.
It is part of a huge collection of physical and experimental new electronic obstacles being installed and tested during the summer months of the coronavirus pandemic in the 200-kilometer (125-mile) Greek border with Turkey to prevent people entering the European Union illegally.
A new steel wall, very similar to recent construction on the U.S.-Mexico boundary, blocks commonly-used crossing points across the Evros River which divides the two countries.
Nearby observation systems have been fitted with long distance cameras, night vision, and multiple detectors. The information will be sent to control centers to flag suspicious movement using artificial intelligence analysis.
“We are going to have transparent’pre-border’ image of what is happening,” Police Maj. Dimonsthenis Kamargios, head of the region’s border guard authority, told the Associated Press.
The EU has poured 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) into security technology study following the refugee crisis in 2015-16, when over 1 million people — several escaping wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan — fled to Greece and to other EU countries.
The automatic surveillance system being constructed on the Greek-Turkish boundary is directed at detecting migrants ancient and preventing them from crossing, together with land and river patrols using searchlights and long-lived acoustic apparatus.
Crucial elements of the network will be launched by the end of the year, Kamargios said. We need modern equipment and tools to accomplish this.”
Researchers in universities around Europe, working together with private firms, have developed innovative surveillance and verification technology, and analyzed over a dozen jobs at Greek borders.
AI-powered lie sensors and virtual border-guard interview bots have been piloted, in addition to efforts to integrate satellite data with footage from drones on land, sea, air and underwater. Palm scanners listing the special vein pattern in a person’s hands to use as a biometric identifier, along with the makers of live camera renovation tech guarantee to eliminate foliage virtually, exposing people hiding near border regions.
The more aggressive migration strategy has been advanced by European policymakers over the previous five years, funding prices with Mediterranean countries outside the bloc to maintain migrants back and changing the EU border defense bureau, Frontex, by a coordination mechanism to some full-fledged multinational security force.
But regional migration deals have abandoned the EU vulnerable to political pressure from acquaintances.
A similar crisis unfolded on the Greek-Turkish border and lasted three months last year.
Greece is pressing the EU to let Frontex patrol outside its territorial waters to prevent migrants reaching Lesbos and other Greek islands, the most typical path in Europe for illegal crossing in recent decades.
Armed with new tech tools, European law enforcement authorities are leaning farther outside borders.
Not all of the surveillance applications being tested will be included in the new detection method, however, human rights groups say the emerging technology will make it harder for refugees fleeing wars and extreme hardship to find safety.
Patrick Breyer, a European lawmaker from Germany, has taken an EU study authority to court, demanding that details of this AI-powered lie detection app be made public.
“What we are seeing in the boundaries, and in healing foreign nationals generally, is that it’s often a testing area for technologies which are later used on Europeans too. And that is why everybody should care, within their self-interest,” Breyer of the German Pirates Party told the AP.
He urged authorities to permit broad oversight of border surveillance methods to critique ethical concerns and block the sale of their technology through private partners to authoritarian regimes outside the EU.
Ella Jakubowska, of this digital rights group EDRi, argued that EU officials were embracing”techno-solutionism” into sideline ethical concerns in dealing with the intricate issue of migration.
“It’s deeply troubling that, time and again, EU funds are poured into expensive technologies that are employed in ways that criminalize, experimentation with and dehumanize people on the move,” she explained.
Migration flows have slowed in many parts of Europe throughout the pandemic, interrupting a rise recorded over years. In Greece, as an example, the amount of arrivals dropped from almost 75,000 in 2019 to 15,700 at 2020, a 78 percent reduction.
But the pressure is guaranteed to return. Between 2000 and 2020, the world’s migrant population climbed by over 80 percent to attain 272 million, based on United Nations statistics, fast outpacing international population development.
At the Greek border village of Poros, the breakfast talk in a cafe was about the recent crisis about the Spanish-Moroccan border.
Many of the homes in the region are abandoned and in a slow state of collapse, and lifestyle is adjusting to this reality.
Cows use the steel wall as a barrier for the wind and remainder nearby.
Panagiotis Kyrgiannis, a Poros resident, states the wall along with other preventative measures have brought migrant crossings to a dead stop.
“We were not afraid. … They don’t wish to settle here. All of this that’s happening around us is not about us”