border-crossing-cell-phone.jpgActivist hacker and UC San Diego professor Ricardo Dominguez has developed a new tool to help migrant workers safely cross over the border into the United States, the “Transborder Immigrant Tool. Dominguez explains:

“We looked at the Motorola i455 cell phone, which is under $30, available even cheaper on eBay, and includes a free GPS applet. We were able to crack it and create a simple compass-like navigation system. We were also able to add other information, like where to find water left by the Border Angels, where to find Quaker help centers that will wrap your feet, how far you are from the highway—things to make the application really benefit individuals who are crossing the border.”

The project is currently in the alpha stage or “sociological aspects” of the project and will be available to the public soon. Dominguez and his team will now go in to the testing stage with NGOs, churches and other groups that prepare immigrants before crossing. Vice Magazine (yes, the ‘Dos & Dont’s’ Vice Magazine) has a Q&A with Dominguez that includes more details. Lastly, I’m including this picture along with Vice’s caption because I think it’s hilarious. The smirk on Dominguez’s face in juxtaposition to the border agent’s face is… worth a thousand words. dominguez_bordercrossing_ucsd112009.jpg “Ricardo Dominguez is very happy that the Border Patrol considers him a nuisance.”