By: Susanne Posel
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced Next Generation Identification (NGI), a $1 billion improvement on fingerprint biometrics.
By combining facial recognition, iris scanning, DNA analysis and voice modulation with fingerprint and palm indentation, the FBI will have the most comprehensive data collection on each American citizen in a scheme designed to amalgamate all forms of complex information into one secure location.
Facial images will be superimposed onto any other image and researched using advanced technology to combine photos from CCTV cameras, Facebook, iPhoto, law enforcement mug shots, and other digital forms of image recognition. The CCTV cameras employed for NGI will be able to spot specific facial recognition from moving targets in public.
In public and private venues, comprehensive HD cameras have begun to litter the landscape from underground subway tunnels to intersections as well as inside every store. In New York, an estimated3,700 CCTV cameras are operational.
The goal of NGI is purported to “reduce terrorist and criminal activities by improving and expanding biometric identification and criminal history information services through research, evaluation, and implementation of advanced technology.”
Using complex algorithms, NGI will instantly search unfathomable amounts of data to compare potential comparisons – including photographic evidence of identifying scars, tattoos, facial hair or other markers.
The FBI has come together with Lockheed Martin Transporation and Security Solution as well as IBM.
NGI will be a nationwide collaboration that brings together local law enforcement and government agencies to aid in criminal investigations. In efforts of pre-crime, images of the general public in daily routine functions will also be cataloged to make FBI searches easier.
However, Senator Al Franken asserts that this database will impede on American freedoms and privacy. Franken said: “[It] could be abused to not only identify protesters at political events and rallies, but to target them for selective jailing and prosecution, stifling their First Amendment rights.”
Images of Americans could and would be catalogued along with those of criminals for possible pre-crime purposes.
NGI is expected to be up and running across the US by 2014.
As NGI looms in the near future, Trapwire is alive and well and “designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports.”
According to Trapwire CEO, Richard Helms , Trapwire is to “collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists.” By identifying “behavior patterns” Trapwire is the ultimate in identity surveillance because it can create a timeline of past, present and predict the future on any individual it is analyzing.
Last month, Microsoft and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with Po9lice Commissioner Raymond Kelly created the Domain Awareness System (DAS), a pre-crime and counterterrorism technology that will aid federal intelligence and local law enforcement agencies domestic and international.
DAS uses smart cameras, license plate readers, graphical interface, environmental sensors, law enforcement databases as well as NYPD personnel in real-time surveillance capabilities.
Bloomberg justifies the use of DAS and pre-crime technology as having “[devoted] considerable resources to counter-terrorism. . . our heavy investment in technology and our willingness to develop new, cutting-edge solutions to keep New Yorkers safe.”
The Department of Homeland Security has been using the Future Attribute Screening Technology(FAST) to judge a person’s intent by monitoring psychological and behavioral cues in real-time that are entered into complex algorithms for a 70% accuracy under field testing .
In June of 2010, DHS admitted in a document that data mining is being conducted on all members of the American public in conjunction with FAST. They also state that in initial trials of FAST, DHS employees were used as test subjects.
Facebook uses the Abine DNT+ diagnostic tool to track its user’s online activity by defining “a request that a webpage tries to make your browser perform that will share information intended to record, profile, or share your online activity.”
Justification for this spying is explained as marketing research. Sarah Downey, Abine privacy analyst explains how Facebook users should “pay more attention” to pop-up trackers and block them. Downey said: “In addition to invading your privacy, these tracking requests can consume large amounts of data. And transferring lots of data takes time. Generally, the more tracking requests on a website, the slower that website loads. That’s why DNT+ gets you surfing at 125% of the normal speed and with 90% of the bandwidth, compared to a browser without DNT+ running.”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is proud to combine his website with the National Security Agency (NSA) wherein he participates in the intrusion of his users by the US government for unwarranted surveillance purposes.