POLAND: “The borders of absurd – A robot to catch refugees”

Screenshot Newsweek PL

Industry lobby decides how external European borders are going to be outlined. That’s probably one of the reasons that the Polish Border Guard received unnecessary drones. We as Poles also have built a robot to catch refugees, which quickly had to be dismantled.

For that robot which shall guard its external borders the EU has spent 20 million euros. The machine was created under the program TALOS, coordinated by the “Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements (PIAP)” from Warsaw. In 2013 PIAP trumpeted abroad and arranged a special presentation: the machine TALOS was running, spuning cameras and looking very modern.

  • Where is the robot? – I ask Agnieszka Sprońska, who worked on the TALOS program.

She stays silent for a long moment and finally admits, that the robot “exists in parts, but not in one place.”

  • You dismantled machine worth 20 million euros?
  • Very trivializing you can call it like this.

Neraly 7 mln PLN of public money were spend on the drones for the Polish Border Guard to secure the external EU borders. We ask the officials how often Polish drones patrol the border? Answer: it’s a secret. Are drones effective? Who and what did they catch already? A spokesman for the Border Guard is not certain. What happens to the data collecting by drones, who holds the data? Border Guard claims that the drones transimit only the stream from the camera, downloading and holding images happens very rare. But what happens to the settled image? The spokesamn doesn’t know. Together with reporters from the Investigate Europe collective we’ve checked what is happening on the external borders of the Union. Who earns on them, who’s lobbying, where go multimillion EU funds related to the protection of the borders?

Read more in POLISH here http://www.newsweek.pl/plus/spoleczenstwo/ochrona-granic-ue-zbrojenia-drony-bazy-danych-roboty,artykuly,401924,1,z.html