Friday, September 19, 2008

Please Stand By Our Democracy is Having Technical Difficulties 2

In a related post to one earlier in the week discussing the new FBI guidelines, FBI Director Robert Mueller, III, testified before the US House of Representatives Committed on the Judiciary regarding the new technology the FBI proposes to use along with the new expansive guidelines to keep track of its citizenry. The focus of the testimony was on the new guidelines and on the Next Generation Identification System which is "advanced biometrics". A highlight from the statement (full statement/ testimony here):
We are also in the midst of developing the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. NGI will expand the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) beyond fingerprints to advanced biometrics. It will also produce faster returns of information, enabling law enforcement and counterterrorism officials to make tactical decisions in the field. Criminals ranging from identity thieves to document forgers to terrorists are taking advantage of modern technology to shield their identities and activities. This trend will only accelerate. And so our new system will include not just fingerprints, but additional biometric data from criminals and terrorists. It will give us—and all our law enforcement and intelligence partners—bigger, better, and faster capabilities as we move forward.

It is ironic, then, that Fourth brought this piece of news my way: New York State started two days ago issuing RFID (radio frequency ID) chip enhanced driver's licenses (EDL). The licenses are meant to be able to track people crossing into Canada and Mexico. Big brother may indeed be watching.

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