The FBI Wants to Catalog You

Posted by Keith McMillan

February 4, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Found over on CNN, an alarming article on the latest plans the FBI has to catalog everything about you, more or less.

The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people’s physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists.

It’s really there to track criminals and terrorists, the usual boogeymen. But wait, then we read later in the article:

You don’t have to be a criminal or a terrorist to be checked against the database. More than 55 percent of the checks the FBI runs involve criminal background checks for people applying for sensitive jobs in government or jobs working with vulnerable people such as children and the elderly, according to the FBI.

The FBI says it hasn’t been saving the fingerprints for those checks, but that may change.[…]

This sort of thing makes me really uncomfortable, and that’s coming from someone who’s fingerprints are already on file. Maybe I better explain that, I used to work for a defense contractor, so my fingerprints are on file for the background check. And I’m sure that rants like this won’t help.

I’m not 100% clear on exactly how this helps with terrorists. I mean, weren’t the 9/11 hijackers here legally? Didn’t they do everything possible to stay under the radar (except asking to learn how to land, I suppose)?

Do we then want to start compiling large files on people’s points of view, monitoring their conversations, reading their email, and associating it with their biometric information, such as iris scans and palm prints, even when they haven’t done anything illegal? I’m probably just being paranoid. [1][2][3][4] It’s not like we would maintain information on people even if they’re innocent. Unless they’re applying for sensitive jobs. Or just because we say so.

Somebody hand my my tinfoil hat.


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