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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

It’s coming into the home stretch and it’s Lockheed…it’s Northrop…it’s IBM, no it’s Lockheed again…

As I first reported near the end of December, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking to build the “worlds largest computer database of peoples’ physical characteristics.” The system dubbed as Next Generation Identification would track everything from iris patterns, to tattoos, to palm, and finger prints in order to keep tabs on the biometrics of bad guys.

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Last week the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced plans to create a new database to consolidate several smaller ones that would allow them identify possible terrorists or suspected criminals seeking access into the country. Information-sharing is en vogue. This story comes on the heels of a bevy of recent stories about federal, state and local law enforcement agencies looking to consolidate numerous databases and overhaul existing networks. The FBI hopes to create a the worlds largest biometrics database, the Department of Homeland Security wants to overhaul their existing Homeland Security Information Network and still yet another directive of the FBI is seeking to link up with similar agencies in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, among others. ICE’s new database is looking to be a sort of search engine for nine federal sources similar to those mentioned above. So what could possibly be wrong with that? Read on for the answer. (more…)

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DHS and governmental contracting watchdogs Spencer Hsu and Robert O’Harrow at the Washington Post, released a stinging article today about the replacement of the department’s information-sharing network, according to an October 27, 2007 memo by DHS Undersecretary for Management Paul A. Schneider.

The Homeland Security Information Network is a network of 100 or so web portals used by law enforcement on all levels of government as a platform for “chat and instant messaging, as well as a conduit for suspicious activity reports and analysis of terrorist threats,” according to the article. The Oct. 27 memo called for the need to replace the system by citing most of the portals “duplicative in capabilities.” Reports by the Government Accountability Office found the same and worse, saying it was a “high-risk area,” because it had not fulfilled a key security mandate after 9/11. On December 27, Washington Technology reported, “only half of states use DHS info-sharing networks,” and that “States were generally critical of DHS’ information-sharing initiatives in 2007.”

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Today, our friends over at the Washington Times picked up on a story first broke by the U.K.’s Guardian concerning a plan to link FBI biometric data with data collected by the Brits. The British federal law enforcement has voiced openly their privacy concerns over such a system and I doubt it will be popular, politically, to become bedfellows with the American FBI in such a public manner. However, senior British officials acknowledged they will be in Washington this week to discuss the program called, “Server in the Sky.”

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As was reported last week, the State Department intends to issue new passport cards embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. This is but the latest in a long string of technologies being implemented at our nation’s borders and seaports. Fusion Centers, virtual fences (through a program called SBInet) and 10-point-finger scans (through a program called Registered Traveler / US-VISIT) are among the major projects being promoted by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Defense Department in an effort to secure borders, airports and seaports from illegal immigrants and terrorists. (more…)

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