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New FBI System IDs People By Voice, Iris, More

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the oh-yeah-that's-fine dept.

Crime 151

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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151 comments

hmmm (5, Insightful)

mace9984 (1406805) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586406)

Define suspects.

Re:hmmm (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586446)

just by asking this question you became one...

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586808)

Everyone not dead.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586824)

I think the only information you are ever required to give is your name (unless you are driving), but the alternative may be getting arrested and then you will have to submit to the "scans".

Re:hmmm (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587556)

There is a difference between what you have to give and what police are allowed to take (e.g., your fingerprints from anything you touch in their presence).

Re:hmmm (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587050)

>>>Define suspects.

According to a recent leak, flying on a plane makes you a "suspect", such that the SA will collect saliva from you, for gene sequencing. This program is supposed to start next month.

Of course, this is foolproof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586422)

What could possibly go wrong?

Fuck You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586472)

FUCK YOU POLICE STATE

Truly a geek dilemma (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586480)

As a geek, I honestly don't know how I should feel about this.

The technology is cool. The potential for abuse is frightening. 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. Will they take the biometrics gathered when foreigners enter the US and add that to the database automatically?

*sigh*. After weighing the pros and cons, this one comes out with too many points against it. The potential for abuse is too high.

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586572)

They already take biometrics from foreigners entering the country and add it to the database. Ever been through customs at JFK, Houston, Newark, Miami? That finger print scanner and camera doesn't measure how healthy you are.

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586672)

I'm a US Citizen, so I've not been fingerprinted when entering the USA. I've been photographed and fingerprinted on entering other countries, though.

I did not know that the data collected in the USA went to a nationally available "suspect" database. That is sad. No wonder more people are not coming to the USA on business or holiday.

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587038)

Not sure where you get your data - but TONS of people are pouring into the US. Daily.

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587954)

"but TONS of people are pouring into the US. Daily."

Not those, he meant those who go back after a while.

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588426)

You just stated that your biometrics are gathered by other foreign countries, yet berate the US for doing the same. Que?

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (2)

mace9984 (1406805) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586622)

Well stated. I think the tech is super cool. Not far from where I live there is a town that every single time I drive through it they have a "DUI" check. I'm talking "DUI" checks at 8am on Sunday mornings. These are exactly the types of places where these things will get abused. I could almost bet that every time I drove through there I'd have to "scan". If this becomes too popular, I could see things requiring a "scan" before you can use them (ex- your car requires a "scan" to be able to use it.).

Re:Truly a geek dilemma (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

With reservations, this can be a good thing (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#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."

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

xlr8ed (726203) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586596)

I

[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."

Need a citation on this....personally I would rather be arrested 10 times then convicted once.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586728)

Personal experience when hunting for a job.

When interviewing I'd be asked about my *arrest* record at many places (Fortune 100 companies on down), but not about convictions. Since I'm lucky enough to have no record in either department, I passed that test, but asked multiple HR droids why someone arrested but not convicted mattered, and got the response that was stated in my previous post.

Essentially it is used as a filter so the HR people have fewer applications to sort through.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587142)

Around here you are allowed to lie if they ask you inappropriate/invasive questions during interviews (jobs or for appartment leases). They cannot terminate you based on these responses, since it's their fault for even asking. I'd expect you have to tell the truth concerning actual convictions but arrests are not considered something you have to be truthful about (AFAIK and IANAL).

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588364)

I gotta say, an EXTREMELY useful post. I hadn't even considered that HR people would use an arrest to help filter out applications.

I despise lying, but it definitely sounds like it is better to lie about an arrest if there was no conviction simply because telling the truth in this situation actually misleads the potential employer.

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.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586742)

I am the grammar cop/judge/jury/executioner. You used "then" instead of "than". GUILTY!!!

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586658)

Sounds like you need to apply to a different class of employers. Lots of people have been arrested in the past and have good jobs.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587178)

>>>I'll take the fingerprint scan.

"No warrant.
"No search."
- ACLU of Washington DC. I'll let them see my drivers license if I'm behind the wheel or a car, but they have no right to start collecting my personal biographic data (prints/genes).

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (3, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587768)

Very true, which is why I state "with reservations". One fear I have is that a system like this would be put in place at subways and other public places where crowds go. Yes, it might catch the one fugitive who really wanted to see the Cubs win yet another World Series victory, but we as a society have to ask ourselves if the balance of security versus privacy is worth it.

Sadly, because of what happens at airports, we know that most people would happily climb into a vacuum bed for the whole plane trip if it was supposed to enhance security.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

Devoidoid (1207090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589648)

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.

Sounds like the TSA nudie scanner procedure.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587640)

It is illegal in the U.S. to ask if someone has been arrested. Any large company that asks if you have been arrested has a bad HR department and is probably one you don't want to work for. It is also setting itself up for a lawsuit.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

tirefire (724526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588844)

Source, please? It seems like the ACLU should be shouting this down the rooftops if it's true.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589272)

I found one:

An employer typically may ask an applicant if he or she has ever been convicted of a crime. Asking whether an applicant has been arrested, however, may violate anti-discrimination laws, because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated that minority group members tend to be disproportionately targeted for arrest, and whether someone has been arrested is not an indication that he or she has actually committed a crime. As a result, an employer who asks applicants whether they have been arrested, and then excludes those who have, may be engaged in discriminatory hiring practices against minority applicants.

http://www.anticouni.com/CM/Custom/FAQ.asp?ss=faq-wrap-single-questions.xsl

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589766)

That's solved by not asking, per se.
They ask you to sign a release for collecting background information, and you won't get the job if you don't.
That background check includes, among other things, arrest records.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589102)

You are either wrong, or that is completely unenforced sir.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589708)

If you are asked if you are asked if you were ever arrested and you truthfully answer yes and the employer does not offer you the job, you may have grounds for a lawsuit for discrimination. I have worked as the hiring manager for several companies and they all had a list of questions that we were forbidden to ask prospective employees. That was one of them.
The only enforcement I am aware of for employers asking questions they are not allowed are lawsuits. However, most companies of any significant size are very careful to cross their t's and dot their i's to avoid as many lawsuits as possible. Even if an employer wins a discrimination lawsuit, it is expensive and a PR hit, so most do everything they can to avoid there being enough grounds for a lawyer to hope to get a settlement.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588250)

If you're weeding out arrestees then convictions are completely irrelevant, because anyone convicted was eo ipso arrested.

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (1)

TheVision (223174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588908)

If faced with having to have an on-the-fly fingerprint scan by a police officer, versus being handcuffed, ... I'll take the fingerprint scan.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    - Benjamin Franklin

Re:With reservations, this can be a good thing (2)

coyote_oww (749758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589454)

The step that comes after the handcuffs and back of the car is the trip to the station, where you will be fingerprinted with INK, photographed from three directions, and provide one phone call before sharing a cell with the other local idiots. Getting only a fingerprint scan is clearly less intrusive.

I think you meant to make the point that police shouldn't be able to fingerprint people they suspect of crimes. There a whole problem with that too - when DO police act on a suspicion? Only when they personally saw something go down? or can they believe "witnesses"? can they use some common sense? at some point, you have to trust your police, or not have police. The "let's not have police" thing works if you have a very small community that isn't externally accessible and everyone knows everyone. Otherwise, you're going to have various evildoers that need to be redirected/stopped/incarcerated/shot.

In this, transparency is ultimately your friend. Biometrics (knowing who the actors are) is part of the transparency equation. It's not the only piece, you need transparent policing as well. But positively identifying victims, witnesses, and perpetrators is pretty vital. When an incident occurs, everyone should know all the actors (police, lawyers, and judges included).

Further, are you proposing banning the creation of such devices? if not, they are going to show up in private hand, comparing to private databases. The battle to squash these devices and databases will look remarkably like anti-piracy battles today. My betting money is on the anti-privacy folks.

*** I propose Coyote's coralary to Godwin's law: the first person to beg the question by imposing their assumptions about privacy requirements on the argument via Ben Franklin's pro-gun ownership quote automatically loses the argument, ***

Did anyone... (2)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586496)

Actually think this was not going to eventually happen? These kinds of devices have been a staple of every sci-fi / dystopian / futuristic setting for as long as I can remember. Sure, they will probably start by placing restrictions on when they can be used. But eventually the device will be advanced enough to be able to biometrically identify a person from a distance effectively 'instantly' (netflix definition of instant here). At that point, just being in the vicinity of one of these devices will basically give your full identity to the person holding it. What protection is a simple 'usage restriction' against that? I get the feeling that the days of being in public and anonymous are coming to an end.

Re:the days of being in public and anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587064)

"the days of being in public and anonymous are coming to an end"? YouTube. Ubiquitous cellphones/cameras. We have met 1984, and he is us.

if the feds want someone, they must be a terrorist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586498)

not much reasoning required. if they look in your (innocent) eyes, there might be a feeling/moment, so that is hopefully avoided. freedom never said it would be fair, or safe?

almost fed up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586916)

the vast majority of us have far less potential to damage ANYONE, or anything, than those sent to censor/detain/kill us.

Federal warrant search (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586548)

Seems to me that it's just an easy, quick way to see if someone you've already detained has any outstanding federal warrants. One would assume they already do this, except back at the station with the suspect in custody and sitting in a cell. I mean, when the police stop you during, say, a traffic stop, they already run your tags and your name. Why not have the ability to run some biometric information as well?

Now, I do know that there are many issues with the accuracy of fingerprints, so I would prefer that they waited to roll this out until it was capable of the other forms of identification that aren't as open to interpretation or errors. And it would also be nice if the hand-held devices can only scan and check, and that storage can only be done back at the station/precinct/etc. That way the information for the database would only be gathered and stored upon booking and incarceration, rather than on simple detainment, suspicion, and questioning.

Re:Federal warrant search (2)

codegen (103601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587350)

I mean, when the police stop you during, say, a traffic stop, they already run your tags and your name.

What if you are walking? Bycycle? Sitting in a park? In most states, you only have to provide your name verbally (not physical id), and even then, only if the police officer has probable cause

Re:Federal warrant search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587908)

Because tags with the wrong name can be explained - it's my sister-in-law's car. Mine's in the shop.

Because IDs can be faked.

I suspect those reasons will be given by proponents of this new technology. It is much harder to fake biometric data (though not impossible), so it sets the bar higher for criminals.

No it doesn't (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 3 years ago | (#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".

Re:No it doesn't, but it could (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588246)

Most of the technology to do this exists and has for some time. The FBI's IAFIS program (automatic fingerprint identification system) has existed since 1999. Handheld fingerprint scanners that could be integrated into AFIS started appearing at least 8 years ago. The military is using iris scanners in the "war on terror/opium" (at least in Afghanistan (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/02/opium-wars/guttenfelder-photography) see the second to last photo in the series).

Nevertheless, the Slashdot heading should read "New FBI System *Could* IDs People By Voice, Iris, More" but there is no reason to suspect that any of this won't/can't/doesn't work.

Already working on the next gen (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586632)

The next generation of government ID will include penis/cup size, spleen measurements and two or three brain scans for good measure. But not ethnicity, that would be wrong.

did I read that right? (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586648)

Right now they are authorized to take your fingerprints if you are arrested. This was the tradeoff made when the whole fingerprinting thing came up in the first place, "you've already been arrested, you temporarily certain rights of privacy when arrested, in the interest of safety of the officers" was the original reason they were allowed to search your person. (and later, your vehicle) Then that was expanded to fingerprinting for the purposes of recordkeeping, and later for lookup in the database to see if you had any outstanding warrants etc. But this was all based on your being arrested and having forfeit certain rights as a result.

So now we're going to continue with the invasion of privacy, but just drop the justification entirely? So a cop can see you walking down the street and looking funny and can pull you aside and print you? If that doesn't say "papers, please!" I don't know what does.

Re:did I read that right? (2)

ItsLenny (1132387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586818)

The sad truth is even without this addition they could always find some reason to arrest you. I used to work for a police department and it was not strange to bring people in because they "resembled a suspect we were looking for". Then theres always "disorderly conduct" or "suspicious behavior" which are always at the discretion of the officer. Wonder when they're gonna install the telescreens........

Re:did I read that right? (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586912)

So a cop can see you walking down the street

I didn't see the part about stopping random people on the street. This device simply provides biometric identification capabilities that can verify identity. Which you are already required to provide should you be stopped for cause.

The people who have the most to fear from this are those with warrants already in the system who might otherwise provide a false name in order to avoid custody.

The down side is that any police stop could result in your prints and biometrics being entered into their system for subsequent reference. There is no promise that these scans will be 'thrown away' even when a warrant check comes up negative.

Re:did I read that right? (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586944)

I didn't see the part about stopping random people on the street.

That's because it won't begin until this system is widely installed and 'if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear'.

Does no-one learn anything from history?

Re:did I read that right? (1)

codegen (103601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587236)

Which you are already required to provide should you be stopped for cause

In most states, you are only required to verbally identify yourself.

Re:did I read that right? (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587760)

Arrest: American.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/arrest [thefreedictionary.com]
An arrest may occur (1) by the touching or putting hands on the arrestee; (2) by any act that indicates an intention to take the arrestee into custody and that subjects the arrestee to the actual control and will of the person making the arrest; or (3) by the consent of the person to be arrested. There is no arrest where there is no restraint, and the restraint must be under real or pretended legal authority. However, the detention of a person need not be accompanied by formal words of arrest or a station house booking to constitute an arrest.

Pretty large net with arrest as requirement.

In Australia you are legally arrested if you are stopped by police for any reason.

An arrest consists of the seizure or the touching of a person's body with a view to his or her restraint. Words may amount to an arrest if they are calculated to bring to the person’s notice and do bring to the person’s notice that he or she is under a compulsion to accompany the police officer and he or she submits to the arrest.

Re:did I read that right? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588998)

The popular summary of that definition of "american arrest" is to simply ask the officer, "am I free to go?" If he says no, by definition you are under arrest, and confirming that should be your second question. If they then tell you that no, you're not under arrest, but no, you're not free to go, then you need to start digging into "can you please clarify my legal status right now if I'm not free to go but not under arrest?" They can't detain you against your will without arresting you. The legal status change to "arrested" suspends certain rights (privacy and fredom) and grants the officers additional rights over you, beyond what they have over the general public, rights they do NOT have until you are under arrest. So if they tell you you're not under arrest, they don't have the right to tell you that you are not free to leave, and you can start calling BS.

Re:did I read that right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35589310)

This is not accurate. Police do have a power to detain people without placing them under arrest. I don't know all of the law and case law on it, but it is well established. The proper series of questions, then, is "Am I under arrest?" [No] "Am I being detained?" [No] "Then am I free to go?" At this point you have forced an explicit statement of the situation, and the officer will have to choose between acknowledging that you are being detained or admitting that you are free to go if you wish. If you are detained, you cannot leave but you don't have to say anything, either. Well, in most states you must give your name, and in my state of WA you must also state your place of primary residence if asked. You do NOT have to provide any verification, unless you were operating a motor vehicle. If you lie about either, though, you've just screwed yourself if they find out.

In any event, detention is a recognized status in law. It is generally a fleeting status that will rapidly give way to arrest or freedom.

Re:did I read that right? (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589494)

Just to point it out, you also GAIN certain rights when you are under arrest. Such as Miranda, as well as a host of other things. The main one is that if you are being detained, you can request a lawyer, and they are required to stop all questioning of you. If you are not being detained, then you have no right to counsel, and they can keep asking you questions even if you tell them you want a lawyer. The result of such questioning, I believe, will be admissible in court. IANAL of course.

Re:did I read that right? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589804)

you confuse arrest wtih detaining.

you can be detained and still not arrested yet still NOT free to go (leave).

you ask if you are being detained. if not, you simply walk away. they have to progress from detaining to arresting.

'Scanning' (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586662)

Soon the government will be keeping hidef scans of your entire body. They'll know the exact length of your pubes, when you last shaved, and when you need a haircut. And the world will be humming with 'safe' scanners that irradiate people at the entrance to every public building they go to. ... Years from now, someone will hug another person in public, and a thousand lonely people will riot. ... Scanning isn't about safety, it's about control. It's about depersonalization and evoking feelings of powerlessness against an authority figure. They aren't searching for bombs by looking at naked pictures of you: They're trying to make you feel vulnerable and at their mercy.

This is great idea and should be required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35586704)

This is a great idea. People think it is to get bad guys which is correct but it also is there to clear the good guys. Also, this will work differently than the fingerprint system at the police station. This device will not arrest you, it will look into who has been arrested already so if you have not legal issues, you are fine. An AFIS (automated fingerprint identification system) at a police station brings up a list of people that need to reviewed since prints from a crime scene can potentially be of bad quality. With a device like this a print would be of very good quality and it would say with 99% accuracy if the person if the right person.

This is also good to get people who are lying about who they are. If a reply comes back as John Smith but he said his name was John Johnson, there is probably an issue there that needs to be looked at in more depth. That is when he can brought to the station.

Innocent UNTIL proven guilty (1)

mrnick (108356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586712)

The US legal system takes to heart the phrase "innocent until proven guilty" not to be confused with "innocent unless proven guilty". This mentality leads to a slippery slope of removing civil libirties until they can make their case. You are guilty right? They just haven't proven it yet.

I have the right to remain silent, how are they going to identify me by my voice?

Re:Innocent UNTIL proven guilty (1)

codegen (103601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587170)

I have the right to remain silent, how are they going to identify me by my voice?

You have to specifically assert your right to remain silent. I suppose you could always write it down...

Re:Innocent UNTIL proven guilty (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587448)

Note that the system is also going to check handwriting. Perhaps you could carry around a printed card that says you intend to exercise your rights?

Re:Innocent UNTIL proven guilty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588092)

Until printers start using that smart ink that is unique to the cartridge, so they can find exactly which cart printed it and see who it was sold to.

Re:Innocent UNTIL proven guilty (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589378)

A couple of whacks with a nightstick or riot baton, and you'll make all the voiced noises they need.

I don't get it (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586722)

If you have a warrant out for someone, you go and get them - you don't just check random people in the street in the hope someone has an arrest warrant out on them.

And if you observed a crime in progress or otherwise have reasonable suspicion that someone's just committed a crime, you arrest them on that basis and take them to the station.

I can't think of a single legitimate use case for this tech in the field.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587100)

The use case is that the cop thinks you are a guy they've been looking for, but you deny it. Today he'd haul you in until your identity could be confirmed. His probable cause is based on who he thinks you are. The alternative is for him to be able to quickly confirm whether or not you are this guy and to let you go on the spot if you aren't. Sounds like progress to me.

Re:I don't get it (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587516)

Today he'd haul you in until your identity could be confirmed. His probable cause is based on who he thinks you are.

Am I the only person who thinks that the solution to that problem is to raise the standard for probable cause, rather than making it easier for the police to check fingerprints?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589490)

I don't know what standard you'd recommend, but I doubt that you are being realistic. Think about this scenario. There is a known murderer/child rapist or what ever named Mr. A. He's wanted for these crimes, maybe he was even convicted and escaped. In any case, Officer Bob spots a guy matching Mr A's description and stops him. He asks him his name. He says he is Mr. B, not Mr. A. Officer Bob asks for identification. The identification says it's Mr B., but it is common for career criminals to have aliases, to lie about their identity and have false identification. So Officer Bob is suspicious and this guy looks a lot like Mr A's description. What would you have Officer Bob do? Walk away? Only arrest or take into custody people he actually sees commit a crime or what? Today Officer Bob would take Mr. B down to the station and assume he's really Mr. A until his identity can be established one way or another. That "way" would be to take Mr. B's fingerprints and compare them with Mr A's which should be on record. If they don't match then Mr. B is released and his fingerprint cards are destroyed soon after. If they do match, Officer Bob has taken a killer/rapist off the streets so he can't hurt anyone else. Do you not think that Officer Bob should have taken Mr. A/B into custody? Do you not agree that if Mr. B was in fact not Mr. A that he would have appreciated getting that established without spending hours at a police station? In your ideal world, how would this play out?

Re:I don't get it (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35589770)

What would you have Officer Bob do? Walk away?

So a career criminal murderer/child rapist with a well-established alias and fake ID doesn't even take basic steps to disguise himself?

Only arrest or take into custody people he actually sees commit a crime or what?

How often does an officer just happen to spot someone and recall that they look like a career criminal murderer/child rapist with well-established alias and fake ID who doesn't even take basic steps to disguise himself?

The officer's job is to deal with crimes in process or to execute arrest warrants. The latter happens by having a good idea of the whereabouts of a suspected criminal and going to arrest him, not by fortuitously spotting him in the street...

Today Officer Bob would take Mr. B down to the station and assume he's really Mr. A until his identity can be established one way or another.

...and if you've done a proper job of finding out where this suspected criminal is, but he declares that he is someone else, then - hell yes - you want to ask him to come down to the station. Because either you have fucked up severely or he has planned a good lie. Both need more time to check out than the swipe of some piece of overpriced, semi-functioning (we are talking about government issued police toys) tech.

If they don't match then Mr. B is released and his fingerprint cards are destroyed soon after.

Whereas in this new system, if they don't match then there's an electronic record of the fingerprint. And you can assume electronic records are never destroyed.

Do you not agree that if Mr. B was in fact not Mr. A that he would have appreciated getting that established without spending hours at a police station?

An automated biometric scan on the street is as invasive as an automated recorded multifactor biometric scan at the police station. But a manual fingerprint check is far less invasive than an automated recorded multifactor biometric scan. Freedom, convenience and security are three separate words with three separate meanings; the Western public is getting much worse at understanding the difference between them.

tl;dr "Looking a bit black/Arab... like that black rapist/Arab terrorist" is not a reason to stop and record the fingerprints of the next black/Arab guy you see. And history tells us this is how the tech will be applied. If the police aren't sufficiently confident to take you down to the station then they shouldn't be asking you for anything (some will argue: except your name; but we're talking about something more invasive than that).

Re:I don't get it (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587326)

I can't think of a single legitimate use case for this tech in the field.

You are stopped for a minor infraction that would normally result in your being cited and released. But running a check of your name against outstanding warrants would result in your being detained for a more serious charge. This prevents you from providing a false name and walking away.

Handwriting? (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586814)

What if your like me and can easily change handwriting to about 4 different styles.

Military does this in Iraq (2)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35586990)

We've been doing this in Iraq and probably Afghanistan for a few years now. It's purpose is to minimize the impact on the local people by quickly determining whether we needed to take someone into custody or not. Before that we would round up everyone that seemed suspicious and cart them off for questioning. Most people were innocent. Everyone was pissed off and sometimes the bad guys got away because they didn't seem suspicious enough to the troops they encountered. Overall it has really helped our relations with the locals while actually increasing our effectiveness combating the bad guys hiding among them.

Re:Military does this in Iraq (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587250)

I'm glad that's working out well in Iraq.

But, the police are not the military. Citizens are not the enemy.

Re:Military does this in Iraq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588776)

I'm glad that's working out well in Iraq.

But, the police are not the military. Citizens are not the enemy.

Thank you for illustrating the difference between theory and practice. In theory you are correct. In practice, the police have heavy weaponry, UAVs, and a massive intelligence network, the ability to kill without reprecutions, etc...

As for the citizens not being the enemy, again, true in theory. In practice everything they do assumes guilt and hostility of all those around them(except of course the wealthy.) Hell, even their rhetoric is militaristic. War on drugs anyone?

In my hometown last year a cop got shot for trying to shakedown a local X dealer at a club. The police response was to literally blockade the ghetto and detain anyone driving in the area for a month. Many people lost their jobs due to being late for work(employers assume that if you got stopped by the cops you did something wrong so that wasn't taken as an excuse) 2 Black men were shot every week for that month and two months after that. Most were unarmed and every time it was deemed a "justifiable use of force." It wasn't a police activity is was a gang war(emphasis on war.)

At what point do we stop pretending the duck is a goat?

Face it, the powers that be declared war on the citizenry ages ago and the police are nothing more than their occupying force.

not like. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587072)

great, police have more power to spy on people. Blue collar crime amounts to less than 10% of crime, when are the cops going to chase down corporate crooks who do most of the stealing?

I have concerns if they use voice alone. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587432)

I recognize people by their voices more so than any other human feature, and I have met a few people who I swear have the exact same vocal pattern.
Granted, I'm not a machine so I have my flaws, but I would be worried about how accurate this machine would be.

Big Brother would be impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35587576)

You'all 'll know yer in a police state when the guvment wastes money on this sort of stuff while leaving most of its citizens without health care.

an historical perspective (3, Informative)

tohasu (971923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35587966)

It's interesting to read this discussion on the anniversary of a famous speech in American history (1775). “There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free ... we must fight! ... Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! ... Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Partick Henry to the Second Virginia Convention.

Take that you hyperboliced terrorists! (1)

unil_1005 (1790334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588234)

Yeah, and all you protesters, picketers, political dissidents, usual suspects, and everybody else!

We gotcha!

Idiocracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588270)

Unscannable!

Freedom means also to be able to commit a crime. (1)

LordFolken (731855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588492)

Freedom, also means having the right to commit a "crime" and maybe even a chance to get away with it.

Lot of unverified claims here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35588508)

Hopefully I can shed some light on this whole thing. I design these systems for governments, and it's not usually as militant as it seems.

Firstly, the fingerprints are not 'taken' but searched. If you are not booked, then your fingerprints are not saved, and the only record you were ever in the system at all is a serial number for that transaction in a log file somewhere that has no connection to you as a person whatsoever. You can't properly book from a mobile device.

Secondly, I would like to hear more about the "many issues with the accuracy of fingerprints" because in my career as an AFIS engineer, I have never had an issue. In fact, the only time I have ever even heard of someone in the industry having a false positive is when human interaction is involved. For these quick-response mobile systems, there is no human interaction. And the thresholds are set very high.

Third, unless you are an expert in the field of AFIS, I think there's hardly justification to call one an "unproven system" when they are used throughout the world, and quite effectively I might add. Although yes, they are expensive as hell.

Scary (1)

nitsew (991812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588828)

How long before your touchscreen device recognizes your fingerprints, and then transmits audio/video and GPS coordinates to the authorities? I love big brother, as it were.

Keepers or Pitchers? (1)

grep -v '.*' * (780312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35588830)

'It's a quick scan to let police officers know if they should let the person go, or take him into custody,' Morris said.

And they spend money on this? This might have been hard in the old days, but now it's absurdly simple:

10 PRINT "Enter Citizens Name: "
20 INPUT X$
30 PRINT "TAKE INTO CUSTODY IMMEDIATELY."
40 GOTO 10

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