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Feds' linked biometric databases lay foundation for surveillance state

Privacy interests long have expressed alarm over biometric databases and their possible misuse.

The systems collect fingerprints, facial images, hand geometry, iris images, palm prints and DNA, storing the information in a format that is searchable by law enforcement and others.

On its face, it can be disconcerting to consumers, because once the information is in the system, monitors on streets, in airports and other locations can keep tabs on a person’s location. For example, at 2:30 p.m. on Friday the subject was on a street corner near the office of a known drug counselor. It could document a person visiting an abortionist, a doctor, a church or store.

Now there’s cause for even more alarm, as federal officials have announced plans to have multiple databases talk to each other, reveals a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association proposes that the databases now run by the Defense Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security be linked.

The report says that will happen once a new standard for encoding biometric information is approved next year.

The new standard, the Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification, version 4.1, will “enable the DOD’s Automated Biometric Identification System … to talk to the FBI’s NGI (Next Generation Identification) system natively, in their own language,” the report said.

They both will be able to talk to the DHS system, according to Will Graves, chief engineer for the Defense Department system.

He said there have been dysfunctions for years in attempts to have the systems share information.

For the rest of this report, and more, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.