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Tooting the FCW horn... Iraq biometrics

I don't like to toot our our horn... or ring our own bell... or whatever that is, but...

USAToday today has a story about the U.S. military using biometrics. This is how Slate.com's Today's Papers sums it up:

USA Today leads with a look at the U.S. military's efforts to build "an unprecedented" database of Iraqis by taking fingerprints and eye scans of thousands of men. Since Iraqi IDs are unreliable, U.S. officials are hoping that the database will help them figure out who is friend or foe, an always difficult task. Although there have been concerns about privacy at the Pentagon, U.S. officials say that, for the most part, Iraqis have not raised objections to the program.


Excellent story that you, dear reader, read in the pages of FCW first back on June 4.

DOD surges on biometrics [Federal Computer Week, June 4, 2007]
With war supplemental funding assured, military in Iraq seeks enhanced IT tools

BY Sebastian Sprenger
Published on June 4, 2007

The war supplemental bill signed into law by President Bush late last month will flush more than $320 million into Pentagon coffers for biometrics programs. Defense Department officials say the money is urgently needed to integrate a hodgepodge of biometric tools and databases U.S. forces in Iraq use to track extremists.

The military has been using biometrics, which can include fingerprints, iris patterns and DNA information, to control access to U.S. installations in Iraq for several years. The Pentagon accelerated those efforts since late 2004, when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a U.S. base near Mosul, killing more than 20 people.

More recently, troops on the ground have started using biometrics as a law enforcement and forensics tool in stabilization and intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said John Young, DOD's director of Defense research and engineering.

For example, military officials are employing biometric tools to track how insurgents manufacture and plant improvised explosive devices, he said.


Nice job to FCW DOD reporter Sebastian Sprenger.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Jul 13, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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