Government will replace virtual border fence

The government will replace its highly touted "virtual fence" on the Arizona-Mexico border with new towers, radars, cameras and computer software, scrapping the brand-new $20 million system because it doesn't work sufficiently, officials said.

The move comes just two months after Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff officially accepted the completed fence from the Boeing Co.

With the decision, Customs and Border Protection officials are acknowledging that the so-called Project 28 pilot program to detect illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border does not work well enough to keep or to continue tweaking.

Chertoff accepted the program Feb. 22 after Boeing apparently resolved software glitches. But less than a week later, GAO told Congress it "did not fully meet user needs and the project's design will not be used as the basis for future" developments.

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