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FBI To Spend $1B Expanding Fingerprint Database 159

Posted by kdawson
from the lot-of-iris-scans dept.
mytrip and other readers alerted us to news that the FBI is about to announce the awarding of a $1B, 10-year contract to expand its fingerprint database to incorporate other biometrics — palm prints, iris scans, scars, tattoos, possibly facial shape — "Whatever the biometric that comes down the road, we need to be able to plug that in and play," an FBI spokesman is quoted. Barry Steinhardt of the ACLU sounded the cautionary note: "This had started out being a program to track or identify criminals. Now we're talking about large swaths of the population — workers, volunteers in youth programs. Eventually, it's going to be everybody."
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FBI To Spend $1B Expanding Fingerprint Database

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  • by kaos07 (1113443) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:24AM (#22304744)
    Why bother with scars and tattoos? What we really is a National Semen Database just in case the criminal ejaculates all over the scene of the crime. The FBI could even use sperm banks as a front!
    • by blindd0t (855876) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:03AM (#22304898)

      What we really is a National Semen Database just in case the criminal ejaculates all over the scene of the crime.

      Nah, what they really need to do is have the ability to identify people by their genitals. See, by doing so, you could be forced to identify yourself in public, thus making you a sex offender, and thus voiding any human rights you had left. Of course, I'm just making random crap up, obviously, but I really feel their intentions are just as absurd.

      • by Thanshin (1188877)
        Oh, the wonderful minds of slashdot.

        My first thought upon reading the article (yes, the title and the mandatory one more line) was "Big brother requires you to update your genital identification card yearly. When did you submit your last color picture?".

        And there it is, in less than twenty posts my thread becomes obsolete before it's conception.
        • great idea (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rucs_hack (784150)
          Absolutelly wonderful, this will work perfectly.

          After all, Terrorists are well known for co-operating fully with the authorities in providing their biometric data.

          Oh wait....
      • by Slak (40625) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @11:04AM (#22307432)
        but only criminals hide their genitals in public....
    • It indicates (Score:4, Interesting)

      by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:49AM (#22305368) Journal
      that they have had better luck with cameras than was thought possible.
      Overall, a simple tattoo can be described. But if they are electing to keep the biometrics that they are keeping, it would say that they will be making heavier use of cameras. My guess is that we will see a new law proposed (and probably passed since the dems are as yellow-liver as the pubs are corrupt) that allows the feds access to ALL streaming camera (banks, grocery stores, streets, stop lights, toll bothes, etc) 100% of the time. Patriot allowed access only when chasing a terrorist, but this next bill will say that all businesses must give 100% access no matter what.
    • by Ngarrang (1023425)

      Why bother with scars and tattoos? What we really is a National Semen Database just in case the criminal ejaculates all over the scene of the crime. The FBI could even use sperm banks as a front!
      Nope, that is what the blood banks are for. Oops, is that a knock I am hearing at my door?
  • My two cents... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:24AM (#22304748)
    Wouldn't it be easier to just tattoo everyone with a number? Then anyone who is caught doing something "wrong" can be incarcerating in reeducation camps? Wouldn't this be a lot easier to do than to try getting everyone's biometrics over a long course of time? I mean, didn't Hitler have the idea down right, although it started out with only one section of society, and not everyone?
    • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Asic Eng (193332) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:28AM (#22304758)
      Wouldn't it be easier to just tattoo everyone with a number?

      Not really - they wouldn't leave traces of the tattoo around.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      Don't be ridiculous. This is the information age. Subdermal RFIDs are far more efficient than tattooed numbers. Harder to remove, too, if you implant them deep enough.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      When I was about 11 years old I vividly remembering seeing, for the first time, "the tattoo" of a woman who survived the Holocaust of WWII. Considering tattoos are not kosher (Deuteronomy 14:1-2) it added insult to an already unspeakable act. Years later even as a sailor in the military (and nonbeliever in the whole "Ceiling Cat" thing) I still wouldn't get a tattoo. It carried and still carries that much weight.

      BTW, I believe the parent's comment is both satire and a possible "logical" step of the FBI prog
    • Barcodes would be easier to process - IBM could even sell the readers ;-)
  • The Mafia wants this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:28AM (#22304760)
    The criminal fraternity must be ready to pay a fortune for this!

    Expect the entire database to be for sale world-wide in weeks.

    And buy some EDS shares NOW.

    • Sale? Maybe on the black market! If I'm going to have to get it illegally, I'll just wait the extra week to download the handi-cam version from TPB.
  • It'd help the FBI keep track of those illicit sex acts [wikipedia.org].
  • by noremorse10 (1233492) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:43AM (#22304824)
    The FBI will be awarding the 10 year, 1 billion dollar contract in the next few days to one of the large system integrators: IBM, Lockheed or Northrop. But within the next 6 months the biometric portion will be awarded for running the fingerprint database. The favorite is Cogent Systems (COGT) a leader in the biometric space. They run the biometric database for the US_VISIT program and other large scale fingerprint biometric identification systems around the world. See video about them http://www.cogentsystems.com/video.asp [cogentsystems.com]
  • If only... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    there was a Presidential Candidate willing to protect our privacy and civil liberties. Oh well... maybe 2012. Wait, what, there is? And you say he's attracted the largest grassroots campaign in the history of American politics? Damn.
  • by yada21 (1042762) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:16AM (#22304956)
    If you've done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to fear. Just so long as they don't redifine what's wrong, with retro-active effect.
    • by Loibisch (964797) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:21AM (#22304978)

      If you've done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to fear. Just so long as they don't redifine what's wrong, with retro-active effect.
      And as long as there is no mixup in any of their databases making you a suspect for something you never did. I'm more in fear of incompetence at the government level than I am about malice.
      • Of course the other agenda they have been working on is to ensure that everyone has done something wrong. Let someone borrow a DVD? Watched a match in a church hall on a big screen? Sorted out a neighbour's computer, and his wife gives you some cakes in return ... and neither of you declare the payment in kind on your tax return.

        They can always find some excuse to bring you in if they look hard enough.
      • by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:51AM (#22305090) Homepage Journal

        as long as there is no mixup in any of their databases making you a suspect for something you never did.
        Since when do people ever make mistakes? Sheesh.

        For the record, I do not live in Oakland, nor have I ever lived in Oakland, nor do I know exactly where Oakland is except that it's somewhere in the Bay Area that I haven't been since I was a child. And no matter how many times I tell the TSA guys that on my way into the United States, they continue to ask me every time.

        But hey! Having people look through my underwear because they think I'm someone else makes me feel so safe!
      • by ex-geek (847495) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:03AM (#22305148)

        And as long as there is no mixup in any of their databases making you a suspect for something you never did. I'm more in fear of incompetence at the government level than I am about malice.

        You were probably only considering conspiracy theory type malice. But what you really have to be afraid of, is your neighbour Frank, the cop, who is jealous of your wife and would like to have you out of the way.
        Lots of governement employees will have access rights to such a huge database. Human nature tells us that some of them will abuse the system.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Loibisch (964797)
          Yes, you are completely right of course, I was thinking about conspiracy-style malice.
          I agree that giving "cop-anybody" rights to huge amounts of personal information is probably a bad idea.

          However I still am more in fear of incompetence and negligence. Take for example all the recent data leaks that were uncovered within the British government.
          In addition our minister of justice here in Germany had two Laptops stolen from her apartment recently...of course none of which contained any classified or otherwis
        • by MollyB (162595) *
          >But what you really have to be afraid of [...]

          Looking down the road, I see this as small scale malice at first, but when there exists an all-inclusive DNA/ID database, it will be inevitable before someone gets the brilliant notion that no one owns their DNA, but borrows it from society's gene pool. This will bring about well-intentioned (or not) havoc in who decides what DNA is "beneficial" or better off culled? I'll be pushing up daisies long before that, thank Gaia...
          • by DrYak (748999)

            all-inclusive DNA/ID database, it will be inevitable before someone gets the brilliant notion that no one owns their DNA, but borrows it from society's gene pool. This will bring about well-intentioned (or not) havoc in who decides what DNA is "beneficial" or better off culled?

            Currently a DNA database can only contain non-coding DNA. For 2 reasons :

            1. Practical reasons. Most of the genes coding for something are of critical importance. If a mutation goes wrong, the individual dies or most likely doesn't even
          • Personally, I think the risk of an all-inclusive DNA database, for the average citizen, is greater when it comes to insurance companies that from the government. Those assholes would just love to know all about the possible things that can go wrong with each one of us. Employers, too, would pay big bucks to get access to that data. On a day-to-day basis, law enforcement is probably the least of the threats we face from big biometric databases.
    • by blindd0t (855876) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:51AM (#22305088)

      If you've done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to fear. Just so long as they don't redifine what's wrong, with retro-active effect.

      Though I expect that was posted with the sole intent of stirring up some muddy water, that sort of mind-set is clearly dangerous. The problem here is that we're continuously loosing more and more of our rights which protect us from our government. A false identification of an average citizen or legitimate businessman visiting from another country who happens to closely resemble a terrorist, but actually isn't the real-deal, could lead to false imprisonment for years if not a life-time, and without habeas corpus (because they may not necessarily acknowledge your claimed citizenship is valid), there is no stopping them. Honest citizens do have something to be horribly upset about: being treated like a potential terrorist and having every aspect of ourselves and our belongings intruded upon for a false sense of security.

      I'm even going to throw in the good old car analogy too. I happen to still have my old Honda Civic from high school. When I got it (the price was right, so I took what I could get at the time), it had the crappy fart-pipe on it, and it had some shiny designer rims. I ripped the fart-pipe off, but I didn't see any point in removing the rims since even plain steel rims can be relatively costly. When I drive that car, the police see a young Spanish guy in a Honda Civic with after-market rims, and typically follow me for a while, sometimes even until I'm out of their jurisdiction (I cross counties on my way too and from work every day). When I drive my other car, which is a plain Ford Focus, police never pay any mind to me what-so-ever. They clearly profile, no matter how much they try to deny it. If they ran my plate, they'd see I'm 100% clean, so why continue to follow me until I hit the county line only when I'm driving *that* car? The car gets good gas mileage, so there is still good value to driving it rather than selling it, and it's nice to have it as a spare if my primary car has to hit the shop. Still, I sometimes wonder what these guys are thinking. Do they really think I'm some sort of threat? Do they feel I'm doing something retarded like running drugs? Who knows? What I know is that I really loathe being profiled like that every time I drive that car, as I'm a honest citizen who has done nothing wrong. So am I afraid? Not no, but hell no. Am I pissed off, oh hell yes. Don't doubt for a moment that the same thing won't happen when they're eventually watching every step you make, as opposed to periodically patrolling around in a car. You should be pissed off too.

      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        They may not be following you in the expectation that you'd actually be stupid enough to do something, but for the purpose of intimidation - letting you know that they're there and they're in charge. They see you (wrongly) as someone to be controlled.
      • by inviolet (797804)

        When I drive that car, the police see a young Spanish guy in a Honda Civic with after-market rims, and typically follow me for a while, sometimes even until I'm out of their jurisdiction (I cross counties on my way too and from work every day). When I drive my other car, which is a plain Ford Focus, police never pay any mind to me what-so-ever. They clearly profile, no matter how much they try to deny it.

        They profile because they 1) are rational, and 2) have limited resources.

        Some classes and races are f

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Some classes and races are far more likely to be bad guys than other classes and races. I'm sorry that you've been swept up in a category that you don't justifiably belong in... but it's not about you, or about *any* individual. It's about the numbers.

          So, you are saying that the police are innumerate?
          Because clearly a very large majority of these 'classes and races' are not 'bad guys.' So even if these 'classes and races' were 100x more likely to be 'bad guys' you are still looking at negligible differences on the order of 0.00001% vs 0.001% - which is not what I would consider effective use of limited resources.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Of course, with such a huge database, many people will have access to it. How many of those people will be inclined to use it for something other than work purposes? Like, checking up on their spouse, neighbour or doing a friend a favour and check on the teacher of one of his kids? How do they keep track which access is part of a routine investigation and what is just "perks"? That is what people tend to forget, information like this tends to get abused and the more there is, the bigger the chance something
    • If you've done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to fear. Just so long as they don't redifine what's wrong, with retro-active effect
      This argument is so old and dull.

      That still doesn't have to mean everyone has to know everything about me. My life is my business and no one elses. Other then that, since when do humans make no mistakes and mix ups?

      Besides, if you really don't have anything to hide I pity you for your very boring life.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Because of course fingerprinting always matches 100% and is utterly reliable and no-one has the same fingerprints ?

      Fingerprint identification is a human (computer assisted) task that people learn how to do, get better at but are never 100% accurate at (especially in marginal cases) The fingerprints used are quite often partial and the chance of error can be magnified greatly ...

      DNA "fingerprinting" however is not normally subject to human error but is still quoted (correctly) as error value (e.g. the chance
    • by bhmit1 (2270)
      I often wonder what it was like when government agencies actually served the people and not the other way around.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kabocox (199019)
      If you've done nothing wrong ,you have nothing to fear. Just so long as they don't redifine what's wrong, with retro-active effect.

      If you are a modern peasant/corporate work and not a rich/modern noble with resources, of course you have something to fear. History teaches us to be fearful and paranoid because governments can radically change their minds within 2-3 generations. You aren't nearly as safe as you think you are.
    • by operagost (62405)
      Ex-post factor laws are unconstitutional. Assuming you think the Constitution is still relevant in an age of public monitoring, federal IDs, "sobriety" checkpoints, and forced universal health care.
  • Is it useful? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:17AM (#22304964)
    There are numerous way around these methods of identification:

    palm prints - can be removed in an acid bath and can be faked with latex or surgical silicone. Even systems that incorporate a variation on live finger detection can be fooled.

    iris scans - Can be changed through the use of contact lenses.

    Scars - a difficult one, but plastic surgury, make-up and latex can make them vanish or even create temporary ones.

    Tattoos - Laser surgury can remove them, they can also be altered beyond recognition by professionals.

    Possibly facial shape - can be altered through a variety of techniques

    Sure, it would identify the average US citizen, but it would be useless against organised crime and terrorism.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ad454 (325846)
      Here in Japan, if you are not a Japanese citizen, then you will be fingerprinted when you enter immigration at any port of entry.

      Even if you try to refuse and try to leave immigration to depart Japan, the Japanese authorities will forceable fingerprint you, and then likely throw you in jail before deporting you. The Japanese authorities will also throw you in jail if you do anything with your fingerprints, such as dyes, acid, or pineapple juice, or tamper with the fingerprint readers. Unless all of your f
      • by dintech (998802)
        I'm British and got fingerprinted going into the US a couple of years ago. I'm going to Japan in a couple of weeks. To be honest, I'm more woried about what the US goverment will do with my fingerprints than the Japanese/Outsourcers.
      • MISINFORMATION (Score:2, Informative)

        by v(*_*)vvvv (233078)
        To say Accenture is a corrupt criminal organization is a little out of line. They are a multi-billion dollar international consulting agency, not the mob or Yakuza (not to say they don't have connections, but then, when you're that big who doesn't). And I don't think Accenture has any part in the FBI biometric database.

        Although I am always cynical about Wikipedia entries and who really edits them:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accenture [wikipedia.org]

        Also, the US already fingerprints all incoming foreigners. Japan only adop
      • by mdfst13 (664665)

        Accenture (renamed Arthur Andersen) which did the falsified books for Enron and Worldcom.
        No, Accenture [wikipedia.org] is the new name for Andersen Consulting. Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen [wikipedia.org] split years before the accounting scandals (which involved Arthur Andersen).
      • Please repeat after me, Accenture (which used to be Andersen Consulting) is not Arthur Andersen. Once again, Andersen Consulting is not Arthur Andersen. They used to be part of the same company something like twenty years ago, yes, but Andersen Consulting was spun out and shortly after it was spun out -- it sued Arthur Andersen -- and those two companies became enemies ever since.

        In 2000, as part of the ongoing litigation between Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting, an arbitrator ordered Andersen Cons
    • I've often wondered if you could get Charles Manson's prints somewhere, like an old wanted poster. Create some fake prints, like that deal with gummi bears or whatever... make sure to have nice potato chip grease on them to leave good prints, and leave them around the scene of your crime.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by moosesocks (264553)

      Sure, it would identify the average US citizen, but it would be useless against organised crime and terrorism.

      Let me make this perfectly clear: TERRORISTS ARE NOT BOND VILLAINS.

      They don't have massive teams of plastic surgeons standing by to modify the appearances of their operatives. What would the point be, especially when the attacks often result in the death of the attacker, and they have hordes of disillusioned youth with no criminal history.

      There are no laser cannons, nor are there secret underground bunkers. 9/11 was carried out using nothing but box-cutters. At that rate, prevention is quite a bit more

      • 9/11 was carried out using nothing but box-cutters.

        We've all heard the conspiracy stories about how it was the CIA/teh joooooz that really did it. Now I've thought about it for a while and here's what I figured:

        If it had been the CIA, there'd have been a trail of evidence linking it to them. Those guys are not rocket scientists. Heck, NASA barely are these days.

        Likewise if mossad had done it, there'd also be a trail that a cokehead with a cold could follow right to the CIA's doorstep.

        So, by a process of

    • by kabocox (199019)
      There are numerous way around these methods of identification: ...
      Sure, it would identify the average US citizen, but it would be useless against organised crime and terrorism.


      There are days I wonder what life would be like under real time census. It's my idea of the government collecting the long form census stats in real time for everyone in the US. I think that we could do it now. We could barcode/tag/ID all our money/products where the government and businesses could trivially track the paths of our en
  • by tgv (254536) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:18AM (#22304968) Journal
    ALTER TABLE fingerprints ADD <new-column-name-here> BLOB;
    • Don't know why you got a 'Funny' mod - my immediate reaction on reading the summary was 'WTF - is this so difficult?'.

      What's so difficult about extending an existing biometric database that it's worth $1 billion (or 20 quid - 30 Euros once the Iranians start dealing their oil in a stable and sustainable currency :P)?

      • by tgv (254536)
        I should have gotten the thanks-for-pointing-out-the-GP-is-not-a-good-summary-in-a=nerdy=way karma, I guess.

        But you agree I should ask for a modest part, let's say 10%, right?
  • by Nomen Publicus (1150725) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:44AM (#22305062)
    Few criminals leave their eyes at the scene of a crime. So, why are iris scans needed if you already have fingerprints?
    • by edittard (805475)

      So, why are iris scans needed if you already have fingerprints?
      If someone pokes you in the eye, you could diff them and find out who did it.
  • by dj42 (765300) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:49AM (#22305080) Journal
    I don't care what other people do peacefully. Our laws encourage illegal behavior, and we facilitate violence by patrolling non-violent and non-criminal offenses. It is our fault that we drive people to violent behavior in many, if not all cases. The idea that we can allow the government to track us by DNA, fingerprints, sperm count, whatever, is simply absurd. It is absolutely NONE OF THE FENDER GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS. The FBI does not deserve, nor warrant, any of this information from American citizens. In fact, we should slash their budget by at least 50% for at least 5-10 years to remind them who is in charge. Where do they get off thinking they can waste tax payer money on something so stupid?
    • by SL Baur (19540)

      Where do they get off thinking they can waste tax payer money on something so stupid?
      Only one candidate and an astonishingly small percentage of the population agree with you (and me).

      Big Brother Obama/McCain/Romney or Big Sister Hillary! have different plans.
      • by dj42 (765300)
        I'm a libertarian, and I assume, by that virtue, you imply you support Ron Paul. I'm not worried about the PRESIDENT being libertarian. What I want is a libertarian congress and senate. Do you realize that if we had the power to overturn useless regulation, wasteful irrelevant government projects, etc in the house and senate, and simultaneous, had the courage to KEEP THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE IN CHECK that the fact the president was democratic, republic, or otherwise wouldn't matter. We have no reason to be
  • Privacy issues... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by werewolf1031 (869837)
    ...not withstanding, let's look at this from a somewhat calmer perspective. If I'm accused of a crime I didn't commit, and the FBI etc. have access to extensive biometric data beyond mere fingerprints, that info will only solidify my defense all the more. No one set of identifying data is foolproof, but the more convergent sets you have, the greater the likelihood of making a confirming positive (or negative) identification.

    Also, the more data investigators have available to compare to mine in my hypo
    • Think some more (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:29AM (#22305258)
      It's not about being invisible, it's about human nature.

      The database will be -

      1. Imperfect
      2. Abused by government employees
      3. Illegally accessed and sold on for profit

      1 means you'd get your name dragged through the muck anyway and have LESS chance of getting off, even if you didn't commit the crime.

      2 that some people will get stalked by crazy ex spouses/lovers/stalkers/whatever. There will also be cases of it facilitating some petty authoritarian's revenge schemes

      3 is a big hello to massive identity theft.
      • by dave420 (699308)
        So the main problems are not with the database, but by the government. In an ideal world, this database would be nothing but goodness for every citizen - the guilty are found quickly, and the innocent exonerated. What's stopping that is the government. Maybe that needs fixing, then we can use all this great stuff without being scared. It's kind of like the reasoning "the Police have been corrupt, so let's get rid of them". You cut loose some corruption, but at a great cost to the safety of the people a
        • Not government, humans. The problem is humans.

          Humans will be responsible for how correct the data is.
          Humans will be responsible for using the data responsibly.
          Humans will be responsible for using the data honestly.

          I don't think it's possible to work around that.
          With the amount of power the database represents, and the already mentioned downsides, I don't trust ANY humans with that job.
    • by dj42 (765300)
      This is why rational people do not believe the Federal government has any business handling these things, nor wasting taxpayer dollars on them.
      • by dj42 (765300)
        Sorry, I suppose I should clarify. Can you not appreciate that $1,000,000,000.00 USD could go toward something more useful? Do you really think the FBI deserves a fingerprint database worth nearly $3-4 for every MAN, WOMAN, CHILD, and BABY in the ENTIRE U.S.A derived from TAXES? I really, honestly, and truly believe the violation of privacy, unconstitutionality nature, and irrelevance of the program isn't even worth $0.000001 / person in the U.S.A. But maybe I don't think we could collect $10 from every
    • It's nice to be talking to a millionaire.

      Oh wait, you're not? Then you misunderstand the system. THIS is how it works:

      * The biometric data is not an exact match. The prosecutor doesn;t know this because the cops haven't informed him because they don't see it as important, or are covering their asses. OR the prosecutor DOES know but doesn't care because he knows in his heart you're his guilty party, OR doesn't care because he knows its an easy conviction and he's not about with screw up his record, OR doesn

  • by Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:58AM (#22305120) Journal
    Just hook up their database to all the CCTV/webcams people leave open/public/unsecured and run the two programs they came out with in the last year that can read fingerprints and irises from ~10 feet away. Patch in the program that they're working on that is supposed to detect abnormal behavior based on visual cues (they're still trying to come up with statistically significant values for the social norm ranges, but if betas are good enough for google, they're good enough for me!). Really fine tune that program so that it reads personal norms, not social norms. Shake hard twice, add three ice cubes and a orange slice, and you'll have a drink I like to call when paranoia and reality collide.

    ...can it be called SciFi if it isn't actually fictitious?
  • If this project goes as well for the FBI as its Virtual Case File program, which was only a small fraction of the cost of this monster even after all they money they spent trying to salvage it, I don't think we have much to worry about.

    As much as we bemoan the devolution that's going on inside the government, it has the side benefit of keeping some of the things they're trying to do in check. Will Rogers and I are both glad we don't get all of the government we pay for.
  • hex? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Edam (911039) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:23AM (#22305236) Homepage
    That's $27 in decimal.
  • Obviously they are paying based on the value of the service, and not the cost of the service. That is not a lot of work for 10B. @1 mb per person, my $200 500 gig hdd can hold approx 500,000 people. Setting up a DB is easy. Providing secure, encrypted, logged, monitored access is easy. Backing data up is easy.

    They are probably paying a lot in the name of security, although I am sure we would never hear about any breaches even if they did happen, and of course, data like this usually gets stolen with the hel
  • Plug and play???? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by russ1337 (938915) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:37AM (#22305298)

    ...we need to be able to plug that in and play," an FBI spokesman is quoted.
    plug and what?

    This is not a fucking game.

    I think the spokesman has been reading too many Microsoft boxes. FBI:"If my USB drive is 'plug and play' why cant a thumbprint, or a tattoo, or a piece of ear. Heck they do it on CSI all the time!"

    I'm all for catching bad guys, but "plug and play", you've got to be fucking kidding.


    (tee hee I said but plug)
    • by Loibisch (964797)

      I'm all for catching bad guys, but "plug and play", you've got to be fucking kidding.

      (tee hee I said but plug)
      You also said "fucking" and "kid"...do not move, the police is on their way!
  • So they start up something like this, knowing the public doesn't want and can't really afford it, waste $1,000,000,000 USD, then when Obama/Hillary take over in 2009, they shut it down (well, Obama will anyway... Not 100% about Hillary), only to get accused of "wasting" $1B USD.

    • by Salgak1 (20136)
      Several points.

      One: we've had this since the early 1990s: this is an update of the system.

      Two: It's in West Virginia, and the reason it's there is the King of Pork, Senator Robert "Ignore my history as a Grand Imperial Wizard of the KKK" Byrd. . .

      That makes it inviolate. . .
    • by moeinvt (851793)
      "when Obama/Hillary take over in 2009, they shut it down . . . "

      Is that a joke?

      You're completely delusionsal if you think Obama or Clinton would give up one iota of the executive power that George Bush has amassed during his presidency. If you care anything about civil liberties, you'll vote for Ron Paul or some 3rd party candidate.
  • at least in the mind of the law enforcement people.

    The funny thing is: once you start treating people in a certain way, they tend to behave like that. Treat people as if they're inferior and some of them will start to believe it. Make people think that they'll be treated as criminals and don't be surprised if they start to behave as if they are criminals.

    Make it look as if the law has no respect for them, and the population will have less respect for the law.

    This sort of initiative sends completely the

  • by sm62704 (957197)
    If you are a war veteran, your fingerprints are in the FBI database already. They have more law abiding citizens already than they do criminals.

    "There was a murder? Better check thos Army killers!"
  • I know the whole privacy trumpet is going to sound, but I don't really understand why this is too much of an issue. I'm sure someone will be kind enough to educate me, but these are just ways of identifying a person, nothing more. I can't see how this can be used invasivly. Any moreso than being placed in a police lineup. Especially, if it only includes the biometrics of criminals. Any thoughts?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sexybomber (740588)

      I can't see how this can be used invasivly. [...] Especially, if it only includes the biometrics of criminals. Any thoughts?

      What if disapproval of the government and its methods becomes "sedition" and therefore a crime?

      There's an Ayn Rand quote about how many laws are intentionally designed to create criminals. So if there are sufficient laws that one cannot reasonably avoid breaking them, and thus becoming a criminal, then everybody's biometrics are fair game.

  • by BigHungryJoe (737554) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @10:04AM (#22306600) Homepage
    When I was in elementary school, the local police came to school one day to fingerprint all of us "in case we ever got kidnapped" (this would have been around 1984 or so - I remember the TV movie "Adam" had recently come out so parents were in an uproar about us getting abducted).

    Not realizing how ridiculous this was at the time or the significance of it, I allowed myself to be inked and fingerprinted.

    What are the odds that those fingerprints have made their way into the FBI database?
  • Disney? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Upaut (670171) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @10:39AM (#22307044) Homepage Journal
    I bet I could get a much larger, completed database, for less then half of that...

    Just put some homeland security squeeze on Disney, and offer them a pittance, and buy their database. Done. Largest fingerprint database in the world of public citizens and criminals.... Every walk of life loves Disney World...

    Could I have my million dollar consulting fee now?
  • They've already started getting fingerprints on people that aren't just criminals. I was at sea world a year ago and they were doing hand scans of parents and their children before they got to go in. Since I was a Canadian citizen, I was exempt from being in their mass database, but it was still shocking.
  • OK, so how much is the FBI knowing your fingerprint, iris scan and DNA profile going to affect your privacy?

    In what universe does knowledge of your biostatistical data impede on your freedom?

    You DO NOT have the freedom to commit murder, arson or terrorism.

    If you are not involved in something illegal, the FBI doesn't give a crap about you.
    They aren't going to track your movement around the US with this info (that's what traffic cams are for). They aren't going to fingerprint that baggie you tossed
  • Photographs are probably one of the most important types of biometric information used by the police, and I don't see any objections to this.
  • is that the FBI has a history of completely botching major systems upgrades (just like the IRS, the FAA, and a number of other big Federal organizations.)
  • Stop voting for the same old demopublicans, people. It's really that easy.

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