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US Expands Fingerprint and Mugshot Program for Visitors

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the why-do-you-hate-america dept.

United States 1073

prakslash writes "The US State Department has expanded its anti-terrorist fingerprinting program to include visitors from close US allies such as the UK, Australia, France, Germany and Japan. Everytime a visitor enters or leaves the US, they will have to get their mugshot and fingerprints taken - something that used to be mainly limited to your local police precinct. More news can be found here and here. In addition to the huge costs involved, one has to wonder if this will affect tourism to this country." Hmmm, a huge database of digital mugshots and digital fingerprints, which will be kept forever - hope we have enough RAM to search through it quickly and constantly.

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1073 comments

Hey hey! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753019)

Frist post!

Re:Hey hey! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753034)

Suck a Boot! you FAIL it b330tch! teabag troll can devour my nutsack!

excellent job, also THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING ! (-1)

ThinkAboutYourBreath (735770) | about 10 years ago | (#8753042)

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING

Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!

Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.

There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:

  1. BLINKING!

  1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!

  1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!



In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.

In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

Alright, this isn't even funny. (0)

paroneayea (642895) | about 10 years ago | (#8753031)

Something needs to be done to protect our civil liberties quite soon... but what?

Re:Alright, this isn't even funny. (5, Funny)

Three Headed Man (765841) | about 10 years ago | (#8753041)

Bah, don't worry, It's only the foreigners who are having civil liberties violated. But they're not citizens, so it doesn't matter, right?

Good point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753050)

I'll tell you, that's certainly a relief.

Re:Alright, this isn't even funny. (4, Insightful)

paroneayea (642895) | about 10 years ago | (#8753053)

No, that isn't it at all. How can we expect this to stay as a free country if we show ourselves as so closed to the rest of the world? (let alone ourselves)

Re:Alright, this isn't even funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753068)

Lobbying on the part of the ACLU. And I think he was kidding.

Re:Alright, this isn't even funny. (2, Insightful)

aled (228417) | about 10 years ago | (#8753094)

I was about to mod you Funny, but then reread the post and probably it wasn't your intention isn't it?

Re:Alright, this isn't even funny. (2, Interesting)

Three Headed Man (765841) | about 10 years ago | (#8753122)

Yes, I was being sarcastic. This is a gross violation of civil liberties. We need to stop these actions on the part of the Bush administration.

George W Bush: Civil Rights Hero!

You're obviously sarcastic... (5, Insightful)

AllenChristopher (679129) | about 10 years ago | (#8753086)

"Bah, don't worry, It's only the foreigners who are having civil liberties violated. But they're not citizens, so it doesn't matter, right?"

But seriously, what about immigrants? One more way to marginalize that group. They already face language and cultural barriers, stereotypes, and a host of other problems... now they'll be printed, even if they become citizens later.

When the government starts printing people who have committed no crime and may later be citizens, it's clear that we're on the very edge of having full prints taken for something like a marriage license, then for a driver's license, and then at birth.

Even if our government doesn't start printing us for these things, there will be reciprocal arrangements with other countries. Cross any national border into a developed country, get printed, have that shared worldwide.

We already do have footprints taken at birth, so remember not to walk barefoot around the house of your murder victims.

Re:Alright, this isn't even funny. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753058)

Well... this isn't our civil liberties under attack... it's the tourists' civil liberties.

...and who the fuck cares about them anyways?

WJOA ITS A GENERIC POST ADDING NOTHING TO DISCUSSI (-1)

ThinkAboutYourBreath (735770) | about 10 years ago | (#8753064)

MOD PARENT UP!

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING

Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!

Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.

There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:

  1. BLINKING!

  1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!

  1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!



In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.

In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

michael's ON THE SPOKE!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753035)

w00t!!!

Tihrd Psot!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753040)

YEAH!!!

Awesome (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753044)

Kick ass. Let's hunt down the goddamn ragheads and shoot them in the face.

Really... (0, Offtopic)

neiffer (698776) | about 10 years ago | (#8753047)

How much distance are we going to get out of that /. article on the massive government memory upgrade? :)

Re:Really... (1)

bipolarBear63 (767268) | about 10 years ago | (#8753149)

How much distance? Oh, about as long as it would take to do a POST on boot up. Imagine, come in Monday morning, power up, by Friday afternoon the RAM test is finished, and you have just enough time to check your email before shutting down for the weekend.

MOD DOWN OT! BITING MICHAELS TROLL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753163)

Whskjskdf to dusghchb!
RoGeR DoDgEr.
T eh LFIL

good (0, Troll)

ilmdba (84076) | about 10 years ago | (#8753048)

(though i'm a big fan of big databases anyway)

this is something that should have been done long ago.

how would you feel? (1)

mixtape5 (762922) | about 10 years ago | (#8753090)

this is something that should have been done long ago
and how would you feel going to a foreign country and being treated like its criminals?

How would you feel flying on a hijacked airliner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753131)

9/11 hijackers all entered the US legally. How the fuck would you feel being trapped on the top of a burning building? Did you see the video of dozens of people jumping to their death to get away from the flames?

Fingerprinting hurts far less.

Re:How would you feel flying on a hijacked airline (2)

mixtape5 (762922) | about 10 years ago | (#8753147)

its better for a guilty man to go free than an innocent man be punnished.

Re:How would you feel flying on a hijacked airline (0, Troll)

RLiegh (247921) | about 10 years ago | (#8753168)

It's better for one innocent man to be inconvienced than to have 3,000 die just because they decided to show up for work that day.

Re:How would you feel flying on a hijacked airline (1)

mixtape5 (762922) | about 10 years ago | (#8753200)

And lets say these highjackers were fingerprinted and mug shots were taken of them when the entered the country...sweet now we have pictures and fingerprints of the guys that killed themselves along with many others...lets punish them, oh wait thier dead. If they want to start making inconviences they should at least make sense.

Re:how would you feel? (1)

terrymr (316118) | about 10 years ago | (#8753152)

The visa waiver program is based on reciprocal arrangements with the countries involved. The USA has unilaterally changed the terms of the deal. There's already been two cases of US citizens being arrested for being uncooperative with overseas fingerprinting requirements.

Re:how would you feel? (2, Insightful)

mobiux (118006) | about 10 years ago | (#8753199)

remember these people are GUESTS in this country, if they don't like it, they don't have to visit.

If i visited another country, and it was the policy in that country, it's basically a tough-noogies type deal. Don't like it, don't visit.

what do you want? (5, Insightful)

mixtape5 (762922) | about 10 years ago | (#8753051)

freedom or safety? Why are we so willing to comprimise our rights? Where does it stop?

Just some questions...

We want more novels from P. G. Wodehouse! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753063)

It was a little difficult to know how to begin, of course. I mean to say, while firmly resolved to tick him off, I didn't want to gash his feelings too deeply. Even when displaying the iron hand, we Woosters like to keep the thing fairly matey.

However, on consideration, I saw that there was nothing to be gained by trying to lead up to it gently. It is never any use beating about the b.

"Jeeves," I said, "may I speak frankly?"

"Certainly, sir."

"What I have to say may wound you."

"Not at all, sir."

"Well, then, I have been having a chat with Mr. Fink-Nottle, and he has
been telling me about this Mephistopheles scheme of yours."

"Yes, sir?"

"Now let me get it straight. If I follow your reasoning correctly, you
think that, stimulated by being upholstered throughout in scarlet tights,
Mr. Fink-Nottle, on encountering the adored object, will vibrate his tail
and generally let himself go with a whoop."

"I am of opinion that he will lose much of his normal diffidence, sir."

"I don't agree with you, Jeeves."

"No, sir?"

"No. In fact, not to put too fine a point upon it, I consider that of all
the dashed silly, drivelling ideas I ever heard in my puff this is the
most blithering and futile. It won't work. Not a chance. All you have
done is to subject Mr. Fink-Nottle to the nameless horrors of a
fancy-dress ball for nothing. And this is not the first time this sort
of thing has happened. To be quite candid, Jeeves, I have frequently
noticed before now a tendency or disposition on your part to
become--what's the word?"

"I could not say, sir."

"Eloquent? No, it's not eloquent. Elusive? No, it's not elusive. It's on
the tip of my tongue. Begins with an 'e' and means being a jolly sight
too clever."

"Elaborate, sir?"

"That is the exact word I was after. Too elaborate, Jeeves--that is what
you are frequently prone to become. Your methods are not simple, not
straightforward. You cloud the issue with a lot of fancy stuff that is
not of the essence. All that Gussie needs is the elder-brotherly advice
of a seasoned man of the world. So what I suggest is that from now onward
you leave this case to me."

"Very good, sir."

"You lay off and devote yourself to your duties about the home."

"Very good, sir."

"I shall no doubt think of something quite simple and straightforward yet
perfectly effective ere long. I will make a point of seeing Gussie
tomorrow."

"Very good, sir."

"Right ho, Jeeves."

But on the morrow all those telegrams started coming in, and I confess
that for twenty-four hours I didn't give the poor chap a thought, having
problems of my own to contend with.

I wouldn't visit the United States (5, Insightful)

Heartz (562803) | about 10 years ago | (#8753054)

This is why these laws won't work.
  • If somebody is going to commit something illegal, he'll probably enter the country illegally. Probably through the porous mexican border or the huge coastline that the US has.

  • Secondly, this is downright disrespectful. Detractors will argue that it's for the safety of the US. Well, I really don't see how it'll help. Once the dude is in the country, and has committed the offence, this sort of system is absolutely worthless. Effort should be put into preventing these sort of tragedies. Efforts like putting more effort into the Israel Palestine crisis, managing Iraq more effectively, stop being so patriachal and showing more respect to the citizens of the world.
I for one, will be taking my tourist dollars elsewhere. Where the authorities respect me. Where I'm not treated like a criminal and people realise that not everybody is out to get them.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (5, Insightful)

SquierStrat (42516) | about 10 years ago | (#8753107)

Likewise, if someone is going to commit a crime with a firearm he'll probably aquire that firearm illegally, or possibly possess it illegally (if he or she is a prior felon.) Yet people still support gun control legislation (or in some cases outright gun bans) do they not?

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (4, Interesting)

AresTheImpaler (570208) | about 10 years ago | (#8753170)

Likewise, if someone is going to commit a crime with a firearm he'll probably aquire that firearm illegally, or possibly possess it illegally (if he or she is a prior felon.) Yet people still support gun control legislation (or in some cases outright gun bans) do they not?

it's not the same. a better comparison IMHO would be gun conrols and getting a visa which is a permit to get into the country. Which is a good thing. So I think instead of making everyone feel like criminals by doing this, they should focus on a better way to check backgrounds, etc. when giving out visas. Also it would be a good thing to have very secure visas as to not have someone have their own fake visa.
I dont know if I'm making much sense.. alcohol is not letting me think...

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (4, Funny)

zx75 (304335) | about 10 years ago | (#8753111)

Come to Canada! We'll welcome you with open arms if you're a terrorist, and even if you're not!

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (4, Insightful)

Jack Porter (310054) | about 10 years ago | (#8753117)

If somebody is going to commit something illegal, he'll probably enter the country illegally


Actually, most (all?) of the September 11 hijackers entered the USA legally. The problem was that no-one stopped them.


But I'm not sure how taking their photograph or fingerprints on entry would have done anything to stop it.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753169)

Clearly you're missing the point.

The bureaucrats have decided, in their wisdom, that more bureaucracy will keep everyone safe. Who are we to question their ways?

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (2, Insightful)

aled (228417) | about 10 years ago | (#8753129)

If somebody is going to commit something illegal, he'll probably enter the country illegally.
Suposedly 9/11 terrorist entered legally USA. Perhaps it will be more effective to remove the people that ignored the warnings [cnn.com]...
stop being so patriachal and showing more respect to the citizens of the world.
That would be apreciated :-) but difficult to happen :-( and it would take many many years.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753165)

Suposedly 9/11 terrorist entered legally USA. Perhaps it will be more effective to remove the people that ignored the warnings...

Er, I really don't want to whitewash the Bush administration --- but it is very well documented that most of the 9/11 hijackers entered the US while Clinton was still President.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753137)

If somebody is going to commit something illegal, he'll probably enter the country illegally. Probably through the porous mexican border or the huge coastline that the US has.

The "9/11" terrorists all entered into the US legally. This was in spite of the fact that several of them were already on a CIA "watch list".

Now, I would say that this indicates a need for tighter border security.

But I am quite curious to know what you would suggest to remedy the situation. Do tell.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753189)

Clearly tighter integration of the relevant databases is necessary. As well, active and willing cross-communication between federal security and police agencies. Nothing fancy, just practical steps which were not in place prior to 911 - not nutball fingerprint everyone! Why? Shut up! approaches.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (5, Insightful)

TyrranzzX (617713) | about 10 years ago | (#8753139)

Heh, you forget the logic they'll use.

If you don't have your papers, then you're obviously a terrorist and it's into the slammer with you. That's how it'll work, you see the grounds for that being put into place today; make people afraid, strip away their rights one by one, catalouge and condition them like sheep. Once you've got them controlled enough and you've got absolute control of the media, begin the cleansing of ideals, er, winning of hearts and minds. If you're a blank on their system, you're not a citizen. If you aren't registered and you're on american soil, then you're a terrorist, and subject to the same treatment as the current round of people are getting at guantanimo, or not if they just decide it's too expensive to export you or make you an american citizen and shoot you.

Of course, people will forget their papers all the time. There'll be "mistakes", because as we all know, you can't keep that many people in jail. Or people who burn their papers will be thrown into jail. So, of course, they're going to mandate RFID or some kind of mark that can't be taken off. And after everyone has RFID tags, then all the banks and commerce are going to switch over to that system since it's easier and more secure that way.

Getcha mark of the beast ere', $10!

Call me a troll if you must, but that's where it's going. The only reason it hasn't already happened is because this pesky internet thing is here and they can't stop it and moreso, more and more people are moving onto the internet and getting their info from alternative sources. Last year fox lost half of it's watchers, and CNN lost a good 25%. The internet takes that control away and helps to put people in power that should be in power.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (1)

the_womble (580291) | about 10 years ago | (#8753140)

I for one, will be taking my tourist dollars elsewhere

Me too. I would have visited the US on holdiay sooner or later because I know so many people there, but I will now only go there if I have to (i.e. work) because it just oo much potential hassle and intursion getting in now: its not what I want when i am on holiday.

Re:I wouldn't visit the United States (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753154)

You're right. I also think these laws will not work. They're some sort of "Duck and Cover" for the terrorist threat. The government says "Ladies and Gents, it's not gonna happen again, because we're photographing people and confiscating swiss army knives...".

Security has been "tightened" at airports. Fingerprinting is already in place, on-line systems and the works. And yet, the Immigration officer will turn to you and ask: "For how long did you stay in the US the last time you've been here?". Damn?!? If they don't know this, how do you expect them to catch terrorists?

Also, remember that the terrorists from 9/11 were lawful resident aliens. They would not be caught in the anti-terrorist net.

Moreover, it's a fallacy to think that all terrorists are from abroad. Just remember the unsolved Anthrax cases.

Big Brother is watching... (5, Funny)

modder (722270) | about 10 years ago | (#8753055)

But he's not even _your_ big brother.

Maybe they could offer the tourists a copy of the photo in a lovely decorated cardboard frame as a memento of their trip.

Hello, there, welcome to... (-1, Redundant)

Eggplant62 (120514) | about 10 years ago | (#8753056)

the Land of the Caged and the Home of the Paranoid.

Step right over here, mugshots, queue up and have your photo taken!

Then right over here for your fingerprints... Sorry about that nasty blank ink all over your hands.

We're certain you won't mind just this little inconvenience. Our own sheep^Wcitizens don't seem to mind at all.

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

Re:Hello, there, welcome to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753081)

I haven't been fingerprinted. (well, except for the lsat)

Angry visitors? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753069)

MICHAEL BLOWS GOATS

Ex Post Facto (4, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#8753077)

So after a terrorist commandeers a 747 and plows it into a high-density residential development we will be able to find a charred finger and know EXACTLY who it was that committed this horrific act.

Okay, a silly example but how far from the truth is it? I just don't think these measures do much at all to prevent acts of terror.

Happy Trails!

Erick

This really sucks (5, Insightful)

Rupan (723469) | about 10 years ago | (#8753078)

As a taxpaying citizen, I am appalled by this move. It is my dollar that is paying for this system, and each day it seems more and more that I am distanced from control over how my country works. Was this how the Framers intended our country to be?

My girlfriend is Japanese. She went back to Japan recently for her brother's wedding, and upon her return she had to go through this procedure. She has a green card. It saddens and sickens me what this country does in the name of preventing terrorism.

Let's hope its reciprocated.... (5, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 10 years ago | (#8753080)

I like the Brazilian response where they fingerprinted and photographed all visiting US citizens. The Americans apparently didn't like that...should be good all of them visitng Europe are made to do the same. Maybe it will make them feel about as welcome as us Europeans will feel in the US if they implement it. Mind you it will probably solve their security problem - by the time they have finished nobody will want to go to the US!

Re:Let's hope its reciprocated.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753184)

When I came through airport security in Heathrow as soon as I opened my mouth the guy decided I needed to be patted down because I had an American accent.

Re:Let's hope its reciprocated.... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 years ago | (#8753191)

"They" probably are hoping that it will be reciprocated. Cataloging all Americans entring the EU is just one step away from cataloging everyone entering the EU. Like gun-control, this tracking stuff has little chance of being effective unless every country does it.

Dude, where's my country?

Linux Experience (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753083)

Wow, so I was going to try to learn Linux and I found this on page THREE of the tutorial:

There have been cases where I have frantically tried to stop a runaway program and repeatedly pressed Ctrl-C. The result is that the terminal gets into an undefined state whereby it does not react properly to any input, that is when you press the various keys. For example, pressing the enter key may not bring you to a new line (which it normally should do). If you try executing a command, it's possible to command is not executed properly, because the system has not identified the enter key correctly. You can return your terminal to a "sane" condition by inputting:

stty sane Ctrl-J

The Ctrl-J character is the line feed character and is necessary as the system does not recognize the enter key.

Is this a joke? Please tell me Linux does not randomly have "runaway programs" going into "undefined states" whereby I have to type the "sane" command to get programs to "execute correctly".

THIS is the Great Linux Hype I have been hearing about? You have to be kidding me... this is pathetic... truly sad. Linux appears to be a joke of a toy OS, only - with no toys (games) and the joke just isn't funny. Well, maybe a little. If you work at Microsoft.

Futile (5, Insightful)

a whoabot (706122) | about 10 years ago | (#8753084)

You know, they do all this to supposedly prevent terrorism, yet, the US has thousands of miles of unguarded and unwatched borders. I can go to any odd border lake or river in Canada with a canoe and paddle right over with a backpack full of anthrax and no one would know. These measures are useless. If someone with half a brain wants to get in to the US and kill a lot of people, guess what? They'll do it. They don't need to take a plane there.

Re:Futile (1)

Lobsang (255003) | about 10 years ago | (#8753186)

It's all about votes and giving the taxpayer a false sense of security. Think about this: Only 2% (yes, TWO PERCENT) of the incoming containers are inspected... Sounds scary? Yes, it is...

Re:Futile (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about 10 years ago | (#8753201)

If someone with half a brain wants to...

Most people with half a brain won't actually _do_ anything by themselves (they'd get someone else---someone much dumber---to do things for them).

Lunacy... (-1, Flamebait)

DeepEye (706746) | about 10 years ago | (#8753085)

Now it's becoming a total lunacy...This will kill a tourism in one shot! Wait a bit and "Dubya" will say that it will help our economy the way he said "outsourcing" would.

suits me as long as the action is reciprocated (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753091)

I look forward to seeing American backpackers have to stop 15 times for photo and fingerprints at every European border.

btw, I sure hope the state isn't going to pay for all this - I suggest a 20 Euro administration fee per stop.

USA Ignores Canada Yet Again (5, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | about 10 years ago | (#8753092)

The US State Department has expanded its anti-terrorist fingerprinting program to include visitors from close US allies such as the UK, Australia, France, Germany and Japan

I am slighted, shocked and appalled that Canada was not included in this list.

Goddam Americans.

Re:USA Ignores Canada Yet Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753132)

dude whats your problem? they are NOT photgraphing and figerprinting Canadians.

That tears it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753093)

I'm an Australian. I may, or may not, choose to do further overseas travel at some stage in the future. With policies like this, however, I guarantee you that the US is not on my list.

The first question I have is: just what does the US think this will achieve? And the second question: how does it think this will achieve it?

Is it to stop terrorists entering the country? Sorry. No such luck. If Individual A joins a terrorist group, but keeps his head low, he won't be on any of the lists. If he's careful, there'll be no way to say that he is a terrorist, even though he is. Would this system have caught the Unabomber, for example?

Or criminals? Same story.

All this system will do is catch those who have been stupid enough to be caught before... if that. It's a dubious step, of dubious usefulness; the potentials for abuse of this information are sufficient that I, for one, will not be visiting the US in the future (unless they drop this requirement). The UK? Maybe. Africa? Possibly. Maybe even Jamaica (via Britain, rather than the US, as I'd have to get a transit visa to go through the US...)

I would suggest that the US can kiss a reasonable proportion of their current tourist dollars goodbye.

Re:That tears it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753217)

You must not be very successful. If you were making any money at all, you would likely not give a shit about your photograph being taken. The UK or France can fingerprint me all they want as a US Citizen... when I'm over there, I'm getting paid and making money. It's the cost of doing business what their government wants to do. I'm not a terrorist and I don't plan on staying there as an illegal immigrant. What are they going to do?.. and what would the US do?

I've got yer huge database of mugshots right here! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753095)

Hmmm, a huge database of digital mugshots and digital fingerprints, which will be kept forever - hope we have enough RAM to search through it quickly and constantly.

Haven't you ever heard of a driver's license?

Granted, the fingerprints are another issue altogether.

don't mind getting fingerprinted.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753096)

..more concerned with what they'll be doing with the fingerprint data.

Presumably they'll have a database to "associate" your passport with your fingerprint. Still doesn't stop someone from getting into the country with a stolen passport that hasn't been "associated".

Are we supposed to believe that the US immigration has a list of all would be terrorists in the world -- and now those terrorists are going to be forced to use their passport with their blacklisted name on it?

I completely accept the fact that the US has the right to protect their country -- I just think this is a pretty pointless execise!

Re:don't mind getting fingerprinted.. (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 10 years ago | (#8753153)

Actually it's the fingerprinting that I really object to. I would have far less complaint about a retina scan.

The reason being you can bet that every criminal fingerprint search in the US will go through that database so what are the chances of a false match? Yes, everyone's fingerprints are unique but supposing its only a partial print they are trying to match. Should I have to deal with the hassle of proving to the police that I had absolutely nothing to do with a crime simply because I entered the country?

bah (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753104)

"OH NO I HAD TO GET FINGERPRINTED"

Give me a fucking break. I'll get fingerprinted any day of the week if they'll STOP LOSING MY FUCKING LUGGAGE in trade.

Grin and bear it you whiny fucks. I swear to God, westerners are such pussies.

MODS ON CRACK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753185)

AS fucking always.

Quick and dirty solution (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753105)

Don't let Arabs into the country, problem solved.

I can see it now... (4, Funny)

ajutla (720182) | about 10 years ago | (#8753112)

Tourist: Ah! America! I'm here at last! This is great!

Customs official: Ah. Welcome to the United States, terrorist--I mean, guest. Yeah. Guest.

Tourist: Why, hello there! This is my first time visiting America, and I must say that--

Customs official: Please be quiet. I need to take your photograph then get your fingerprints. This is essential. It is a matter of national security. You must comply or you'll be on the next plane back to whatever country you came from.

Tourist: What? My photograph? My fingerprints? I'm not a terrorist! I'm just a tourist! I'm just here to take in the sights and see what it's like in yank-land!

Customs official: I'm sorry, you're going to have to comply if you want entry into the United States of America. We are not going to use this information we've gathered about you for any nefarious purpose, anyway.

Tourist: You're not? Then why are you collecting it?

Customs official: That's classified.

Tourist: It is? Well, classified be damned! What do you need this information for? I demand my rants! I'm not from some rogue, anti-American nation! I'll have you know I'm a French citizen!

Customs official: ...Exactly.

Tourist: What? You have something against France?

Customs official: Calm down. Here. I have something for you to eat. They're freedom--I mean, French, fries. Yeah. French fries. Have one. They're really delicious.

Tourist: Why, thank you...hm, they taste kind of...

Customs official: Look, okay, why don't you just let me get your mugshot. I mean, photograph. Yeah. Because the word "mugshot" has negative connotations. And that's obviously not what I'm doing. I'm not doing anything negative.

Tourist: Um, okay...

Customs official: Nothing at all. Of the kind. This data I'm collecting probably--I mean, this data won't be used against you in any way, shape or form. It's just to protect civil liberties.

Tourist: Okay.

Customs official: It's for your privacy.

Tourist: It's for my privacy? You're collecting information about me for my privacy?

Customs official: Yes. These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Tourist: These aren't the droids I'm looking for?

Customs official: No, they aren't. Come here, let me take your photograph and fingerprint you, you dear Frenchman.

Tourist: I will comply. I have no mind of my own--my own. I will--have my photograph taken.

Customs official (thinks): The drugging worked like a charm, I'll be damned. I'm sure it'll work out perfectly next week when we put these fries into the national food supply and drug them all. Then we'll have control. Ahahahaha!

Re:I can see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753167)

<(evil)homer>
...mmmm Con -Trol
</(evil)homer>

Ugh with the Editorial (1)

Ieshan (409693) | about 10 years ago | (#8753114)

Hmmm, a huge database of digital mugshots and digital fingerprints, which will be kept forever - hope we have enough RAM to search through it quickly and constantly.

Well, look. Even if we were to get every person in the next 100 years, if we were to record their *age*, we could make a best guess at who's dead by now and assume that there aren't 147 yr old suicide bombers. They wont be kept forever. Duh.

yes but... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 10 years ago | (#8753211)

who says people will use their real age? their real face? if someone gets plastic surgery, will they be denied entry into the country because their id doesn't match their appearance? Plastic surgery can make 2 similiar faces, close enough for facial recognition software and fingerprints are a trivial issue.

speaking of fingerprints, some veteran welder who worked almost exclusively @ nuclear powerplants got denied a security clearance because years of welding literally removed his fingerprints. What'll they do if someone entering the country is missing finger(s)? what if they enter, but have an accident at a later date? is the gov't going to demand a doctor's note?

the issue of keeping records isn't as simple as you'd think. espescially in the face of a motivated individual. hell, anyone who wants it can get a copy of CIA manuals on everything from beating polygraphs to improvised lockpicks, disguises, torture techniques... the list goes on. They might have been written in the 60's & 70's but the general principles are still valid.

Yup, this is why-do-i-hate-america (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753115)

If this had been implemented prior to the WTC attacks, the US would have been safer, and Afghanistan and Iraq would have been invaded later. It was inevitable, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein both supplied the Palestinian terrorists who attack Israel, the US's ally which isn't there just for strategic reasons, but for being a fairly liberal democracy which hates terrorists as well. And the consequences of Afghanistan and Iraq being invaded later? More terrorists and Taliban would have been killed with less civilian casualties. Hopefully A.Q. wouldn't have been able to pull off anything as big in the meantime.

This will REDUCE bad profiling (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | about 10 years ago | (#8753120)

If you consider how many foreigner have difficult time with many police who think "they all look alike", then this system will help prevent any racism what so ever at places like toll booth and airport strip search.

A Fingerprint's Rights (3, Insightful)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 10 years ago | (#8753125)

This is a lot of sobbing over nothing. A visitor's freedoms within this country aren't being hampered. Infact, the only thing that's really happening here is keeping track of who is coming an going and comparing it to a database of known criminals. Unless you get pulled in by the police for something completely unrelated, this is never going to affect 99.5% of the people who enter the US.

If a freakin fingerprint is all you have to worry about entering this country, you're still doing pretty damn good.

Re: A Fingerprint's Rights (4, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | about 10 years ago | (#8753176)

How is that served by fingerprinting and photographing ? The INS already has a lookout system that uses your name, date of birth passport number etc. to search the watchlists.

The 9/11 problem was that the CIA wasn't sharing the information it had with other government agencies.

yet more wasteful wait time increase? (1)

Radu Lycan (534150) | about 10 years ago | (#8753133)

The one linked article mentions that it'd take about 23 seconds per person for the extra security measure.

Assuming 100 people per plane would be checked, if all going thru the same security checkpoint, that would appear to be about 38 minutes spent. Very unreasonable delay I would think most people would consider, especially if it's some business trip.

And of course the cost would ultimately be paid by the U.S. taxpayer most likely.

Absolutely Disgusting (2, Insightful)

Astroboy! (126236) | about 10 years ago | (#8753136)

The poster has it exactly right -- this is just like treating all visitors as criminals when they enter the US.

Even though terrorism is as disgusting an act as humanity has managed to think up in the past 5000 years, this is an awful move by the US. This goes beyond simple restrictions of civil liberties in the name of security.

What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?

If you think this is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753138)

The original plan was even worse. They were also planning to drug test visitors and keep the tests forever. But Nevada objected to being the planned repository.

Use the standard model Mcfly! (5, Insightful)

Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) | about 10 years ago | (#8753141)

Okay, let's apply this to the current "standard method of terrorizing the United States" which is Saudi terrorists in planes, or car bombs. Everybody knew that the government would do security checks on people booking one way economy tickets with cash, and that's (duh!) why the Saudi terrorists booked return tickets, first class and paid for them with credit cards. And this is the issue with all these "we mean well but we have no idea what to do" initiatives. Everybody knew that, they knew that. And now, everybody will know about the fingerprinting, and they'll know that too. If fingerprinting was applied to the current "standard model" of terrorists flying planes, should we find a piece of a terrorist's finger, we would successfully be able to indentify said finger after he kills hundreds or thousands of people. This is the perfect technology for tracking terrorists post facto. Solves nothing, and is expensive. How does this make anyone safer? I'm not sure either. I suppose it helps secure the borders -- against those with records -- so the next terrorists will be those with no records. Problem solved (for the terrorists.) Oh yes, and it will injure the tourism industry, which previously had produced $582 billion dollars in the economy. This hurt the economy while doing nothing against terrorism. Congratulations to the administration for thinking this up.

As a Canadian who works in the U.S. (5, Interesting)

RobinH (124750) | about 10 years ago | (#8753142)

First of all, I have no problem with any country who wants to restrict entry to their country. I have a work permit for the U.S., but if they revoked it tomorrow, I wouldn't whine. I realize that as a non-citizen, I'm not protected by that country's constitution, and I'm not counting on it.

However, I do question the efficiency of the plan. I was fingerprinted and had my photo taken for a quickpass to get over the border called Nexus. It certainly seems like taking extra precautions against people who obey the law, cross the border lawfully every day, and pay taxes in your country is a strange focus for your limited resources.

But then again, it seems to me that attacking a country completely unrelated to the terrorist threat is a strange way to focus your resources.

Overall, this should be the decision of the people of the U.S.. It will certainly hassle visitors to your country, and make it seem unwelcoming even to the friendliest of tourists. It will also not stop the people determined to enter your country to harm you. However, it may make it a bit more difficult. Too bad it only takes one whacko with a suitcase nuke.

Personally, I think a lot of this stuff since 9/11 has been a knee jerk reaction. It's understandable, but it's completely illogical, if your goal is to prevent terrorism. You can't beat terrorism. By definition, it is the tool of the people who've already been beaten. It's a force you can't fight if you want to keep your principles.

I'm sad for you guys. Good luck though! I hope you figure yourself a way out of it.

A tourist's view (0, Redundant)

Psychic Burrito (611532) | about 10 years ago | (#8753146)

As a swiss guy that visited the US four times already as a tourist, I can clearly say that I wont visit this nice country again after these measures are in effect.

Maybe I plan a last trip before they start, but after that, I'll have to wait until you get back to friendlier ways to handle visitors. Sorry.

Pfffft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753213)

I visited switzerland and they practically dis-assembled my rent-a-car and interrogated me. Fingerprinting would have been more civizlized. Swizterland is the safe deposit box for dictators and drug dealers.

Don't lecture us.

off topic but... (0, Offtopic)

firew0lfz (690262) | about 10 years ago | (#8753155)

Was just watching PBS's NOW with Bill Moyers and he had just finished an interview with John Dean of Watergate fame, and who has just recently released a book entitled "Worse Than Watergate" which asks about most of the secrecy behind the Bush White House... does anyone else find this world we're living in just a bit more and more uglier on the road to November?

And oh my, how I worry about the turnover to the Iraqis on July 1st...

*shudder*

Book is here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail /-/0316 00023X/104-2596620-0532744?v=glance

Im getting that creepy feeling... (1)

g-san (93038) | about 10 years ago | (#8753158)

that the us government already has all the info they need on americans, so now they are expanding their program to include the rest of the world. this is an incredible amount of biometric data these people are giving away. let's just pray the US can't run databases any better than say, their education system.

I question the intelligence of some... (2, Interesting)

ForestGrump (644805) | about 10 years ago | (#8753162)

I questsion the intelligence of some of the guys working immigration at airports.

I was coming back to LAX from a trip on Saturday, and I saw them taking pictures and fingerprints of "foriegn visitors"

As for me, the Immigrations guy did not trust my passport (its offical, its legal, it was issued by his agency) and demands that I produce a 2nd ID. I give him my drivers lic.

After studying both pieces of identification for a good 30-45 seconds, he comments that both pictures are the same.

I calmly tell him that he is not qualified to look at IDs because the picture on the DL was taken at the DMV when I was 16, while the passport photo was taken when I was 19.

-Grump

Spain (0)

AC5398 (651967) | about 10 years ago | (#8753166)

I was wondering after the Spanish bombing when the US would tighten up security. I just wish Canada would tighten up security also.

Having to fork over your fingerprints/photograph in order to enter the US is a non-issue. It's irritating, as is having to take your shoes off when you go through airport security, but other than that, is a trivial issue. I'm wondering when they're going to start asking for a dna sample?

Can this info be presupplied, ie go to the local US Embassy and have all credentials supplied so that one gets to bypass the fingerprint queue, or does one have to have fingerprints taken each time you re-enter the US?

If it's the latter, I don't see how this can be seen as much of security measure - ie. your fingerprints are later run against a database and match that of a known criminal from the UK but now the police have to try and find you.

Visit Canada (2, Informative)

www.fuckingdie.com (759660) | about 10 years ago | (#8753175)

Welcome to Canada. We don't force Urine samples, retinal identification or DNA tests at our borders. More importantly we also do not beleive in tatooing a barcode to your genitals so that you will be too afraid to try and remove it.

This can only hurt tourism coming into the states, so Canada will benefit.

One less tourist. (2, Insightful)

marcushnk (90744) | about 10 years ago | (#8753178)

I have never needed to be finger printed, and if thats the way you treat allies/friends/tourists, then you'll never see me spend my money in your country.

Disgraceful

Say goodbye to your science conferences... (5, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 10 years ago | (#8753181)

I imagine that, if true, this will have a significant impact on the US hosting scientific conferences. I mean, lets face it, given a choice between visiting the US and getting treated like a criminal or going somewhere else to present your results what are you going to do?

It's a madhouse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8753204)

Soon they'll be licensing us like cars. We won't be able to leave the house without our plates on. Or change lanes without using blinkers. Tyranny in rearview may be closer than it seems.

To you Righteous EU Citizens (2, Informative)

110010001000 (697113) | about 10 years ago | (#8753210)

The EU is planning the exact same measures which will be implemented in 2006. Every country has a right to know who is traversing their borders. You already show a passport, however that is silly since they can be faked easily. People who hold US passports should be fingerprinted too, or have a retinal scan to prove that they are who they say they are. There are no "rights" being lost here. You have no "right" to anonyminity when you enter a country.

Seems more convenient than a visa to me! (1)

tobycat (722641) | about 10 years ago | (#8753215)

Perhaps some perspective: I recently traveled from the US to a S. American country requiring an entry visa. The visit to the consolate, the document verification, the identity verification, and the intollerable hours of wasted time made me wish for an "instant" visa system. The US photo and fingerprinting system is little more than a very fast way to accomplish a significant component of a visa system: identity verification and tracking at points of entry/exit.

If the US fingerprint/photo system is to be so roundly condemned, let's include countries with cumbersome visa systems as well. They are at least as invasive and often more so.

Welcome to Nazi America (0, Troll)

www.fuckingdie.com (759660) | about 10 years ago | (#8753216)

Please have your husbands and children ready to fight in our next pointless (oil and gas) war, and if you are of a minority please follow the signs to the nearest gas chamber on your right.

Remember - For Bush and Country.

Let the Flaming begin.......

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