Monday, December 24, 2007

So You Thought The Stazi of E. Germany Were Bad: Our Secret Police Will Have Your Genome

Welcome to Big Brotherland, land of Federal Brotherly Intelligence: Where Intelligence Is Love.

The Washington Post reports "FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics
$1 Billion Project to Include Images of Irises and Faces" ... Not just those backward old scent jars where the old East German secret police would tap into the unique smell of each of hundreds, maybe thousands of people-deemed-suspicious. Not those tell-tale vinyl KGB jackets. The Central Iris-etcetera Amassing group is gonna get your genome. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

For starters,

For the past two years, the Defense Department has been storing in a
database images of fingerprints, irises and faces of more than 1.5 million Iraqi
and Afghan detainees, Iraqi citizens and foreigners who need access to U.S.
military bases. The Pentagon also collects DNA samples from some Iraqi
detainees, which are stored separately.

As for U.S. citizens, they are also part of this Grand Scheme of Identification:

The department is also looking to apply iris- and face-recognition
techniques to other programs. The DHS already has a database of millions of sets
of fingerprints, which includes records collected from U.S. and foreign
travelers stopped at borders for criminal violations, from U.S. citizens
adopting children overseas, and from visa applicants abroad.

And if that doesn't make you feel secure enough, the future holds a huge boost for your security-thirsty soul:

Soon, the server at CJIS headquarters will also compare palm prints and,
eventually, iris images and face-shape data such as the shape of an earlobe. If
all goes as planned, a police officer making a traffic stop or a border agent at
an airport could run a 10-fingerprint check on a suspect and within seconds know
if the person is on a database of the most wanted criminals and terrorists. An
analyst could take palm prints lifted from a crime scene and run them against
the expanded database. Intelligence agents could exchange biometric information

Aren't you glad you're safe? Doesn't it just warm the heart to know that your earlobe could prevent you from being confused with some phone phreaker in Milwaukee? or some alleged terrorist in Rawalpindi? or a Dutch marijuana salesman? We can all now sigh a gigantic sigh of relief knowing that the entire planet can know exactly where we are, what we are doing, and most importantly, why.

The FBI intends to make both criminal and civilian data available to
authorized users, officials said.

Does "civilian data" mean shopping patterns? Does it mean unlawful detainers? Does it mean trips to the veterinarian? Does it mean expired license plates? And what if some more-intelligent Chinese, or Mafia-friendly, "unauthorized user" just figured out how to tap into this gold mind of info? Or what if one's spurned lover happened to also be a great hacker? What havoc could this bring to life?

But fear not:

"We have very stringent laws that control who can go in there and to secure
the data," Bush said.

With the solid integrity of our President, who could feel anything but extremely safe? We can all relax now that we have it on his word this system will be nothing less than a savior for all mankind. Just like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Would those grand adventures ever have been undertaken without our superior intelligence? Think about how we could have wasted the money on education, health care, and boring infrastructure. Then relax, and feel the love.

No comments: