Following the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the creation of the DHS, priorities shifted, and large amounts of government funding went into developing secure borders.

Former President George W. Bush pitched SBINet, the Secure Border Initiative Network, in 2005. This initiative was the first program to create a “smart border” and $1 billion was spent on various contracts until 2011 when the program was cancelled by President Obama after a government accountability report deemed it ineffective. The cancellation of SBINet did not end the use of remote sensing technology at the border, instead the various technologies already in place were recategorized into three categories: IFTs (Integrated Fixed Towers), RVSS (Remote Video Surveillance Systems), and MVSS (Mobile Video Surveillance Systems). While these components were not networked like Bush’s SBINet program had envisioned, they still functioned together as a virtual wall to track migrants moving through the border zone and cover gaps in the physical wall.