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New FBI System IDs People By Voice, Iris, More 151

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-yeah-that's-fine dept.
cultiv8 writes "Under the system, state and local police officers also will eventually use hand-held devices to scan suspects' fingerprints and send the images electronically to the FBI center. 'It's a quick scan to let police officers know if they should let the person go, or take him into custody,' Morris said. In later stages, NGI system also will be expanded to include the analysis of palm prints, handwriting, faces, human irises and voices."
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New FBI System IDs People By Voice, Iris, More

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  • hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mace9984 (1406805) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:56AM (#35586406) Journal
    Define suspects.
  • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:59AM (#35586446)

    just by asking this question you became one...

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:03AM (#35586486)

    If faced with having to have an on-the-fly fingerprint scan by a police officer, versus being handcuffed, stuffed in the back of a patrol car, fingerprinted, mugshots taken, and all that other stuff because of a potential suspect match, I'll take the fingerprint scan.

    With almost all employers these days, just an arrest for any reason on a record (even if charges are dropped) means no chance of ever finding meaningful employment [1], keeping out of the handcuffs is paramount to keeping any type of meaningful career.

    [1]: A lot of employers view arrest records as more meaningful than convictions because, "a thug can buy themselves an acquittal, while if a cop considers someone guilty enough to pull out the handcuffs and do the paperwork, they are guilty in this company's book."

  • No it doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:11AM (#35586614)

    Under the system, state and local police officers also will eventually use hand-held devices to scan suspects' fingerprints and send the images electronically to the FBI center. 'It's a quick scan to let police officers know if they should let the person go, or take him into custody,' Morris said. In later stages, NGI system also will be expanded to include the analysis of palm prints, handwriting, faces, human irises and voices

    This project does nothing of the sort. They've successfully convinced the FBI that they can build something of that description. Headline should read "Salesman successfully convinces FBI to buy expensive, unproven system off the back of some big promises".

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:35AM (#35587054)

    This could be wonderful for helping local police capture criminals more quickly who are on the run from another jurisdiction. The "Big Brother" aspect of this having the potential to lead to a database of biometric information on EVERYONE is frightening.

    These two aspects are more closely related than you make them seem. There would be no problem with surveillance if we could trust the government not to pass Orwellian laws. You say that making the jobs of local police forces easier is a good thing? What happens when it comes time to enforce a law that prohibits you from voicing a particular political stance (such as communism)? You won't want their job to be easier then.

    A common argument made by law enforcement is the "limited resources" argument: even if they could technically arrest anyone, they do not have those sorts of resources, and therefore they will only go after people worth arresting. Such an argument becomes pretty difficult to make when you start talking about technology that enables the police to do more with less. If the job of two officers can now be done by one, then police resources have become less limited, and we should expect to see even more people arrested. Suddenly, those laws we passed years ago and said, "well, they will only go after the people who really matter!" have the potential to come back to haunt us.

    We already imprison more people than any other country; why are we talking about making it easier for the police to arrest people? I would count "making it easier for the police to arrest people" as a negative, not a positive, until we undertake a monumental effort of legal reform to reduce the number of things people can be arrested for.

  • by Toe, The (545098) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:59AM (#35587600)

    Except that this sets a strong precedent for "guilty until proven innocent."

    Once you go down the path you outline, then what's to stop police from walking through a crowd of people saying "someone here is the person we're looking for, so all of you have to be scanned." You're not *required* to submit, but the few people who do have the nerve to refuse do then get hauled off for the lengthy process.

  • by radtea (464814) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @03:28PM (#35590620)

    BTW, no, I've never been arrested and never will be unless the far lefties get their wish and turn the U.S. into some form of oligarchy.

    I have to admire the political tribalism of the American people, who are so focused on the trivial public differences between the two wings of the oligarchy that the existence of the oligarchy itself is invisible to them.

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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