Every traveler to be scanned and checked against terrorist faces
Monday, Oct 20, 2008
Global security authorities are to push for a huge biometric facial scan database of international travelers so they can cross-check everyone against a database of terror suspects, international criminals and fugitives.
Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, is planning to expand its role into the mass screening of passengers moving around the world by creating a face recognition database to catch wanted suspects, reports the London Guardian.
The database will hold the records of every citizen who has ever traveled in and out of the virtually every country in the world, representing intelligence agency style bulk interception of information and sounding alarm bells for civil liberties groups.
Two months ago we reported on the moves underway to phase out passport control officers at airports and replace them with biometric face scanning cameras. The automated face recognition gates match passengers to a digital image stored on a microchip in the new e-passports.
Interpol wants a facial database to be linked into this technology and used in conjunction with its already existing fingerprint and DNA databases, according to Mark Branchflower, head of Interpol’s fingerprint unit.
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We have previously noted that the vast array of databases currently being employed by intelligence agencies, government and law enforcement agencies worldwide were designed to be linked together in a system which will tie in the management and control of all facets of life for citizens to one central hub.
Earlier this year we reported on the announcement of a vast intelligence program to establish a global biometric database known as “Server in the Sky” that will collate and provide an ” International Information Consortium” with access to the biometric measurements and personal information of citizens across the globe in the name of fighting the “war on terror”.
As reported by the London Guardian, the plan is being formulated by the FBI with the cooperation of the home offices and law enforcement agencies of American allies. The technology is being supplied by the US defense company Northrop Grumman.
Furthermore, the use of such technology, as we have already seen, will not be limited to the passport control office.
A 2007 British government report muted an extensive upgrade to cctv systems all across the country to incorporate facial scanning technology. The report suggested a central database of every camera and a network allowing access to it could be beneficial.
In the US there are several schemes that use Facial Recognition Technology in conjunction with Federal agencies, tying the technology to traditional documents such as drivers licenses, passports and credit cards.
A biometric face recognition system has already been approved in China and is expected to be used at airports, customs entrances, banks, post offices, residential areas and other public places in the near future.
Other proposals include placing the cameras in every seat on aircraft and installing software to try and automatically detect terrorists or other dangers caused by passengers.
We are assured that cigarette vending machines will employ the technology in order to enforce smoking laws. Similarly, supermarkets in the UK have already started trialing the technology with the justification being a crackdown on underage drinking.
In Japan facial scanning cameras are being installed in train and bus stations to replace tickets in a move to make the individual features of the face a “unique bar code” as part of an antiterrorism and anticrime initiative.
Police in Tokyo are also asking home and shop owners to mount the cameras outside their properties. “Police investigating an incident in the neighborhood would have access to these images.” according to reports.
This article was posted: Monday, October 20, 2008 at 12:07 pm