Thursday, October 16, 2008

GAO: Gaps in Bometric Data-Sharing Leaves U.S. Open to Attack

William Jackson writes on

Failure to share biometric data collected by military personnel in combat areas with counterterrorism agencies at home could endanger homeland security, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a new report [.pdf].

Although the Defense Department collects biometric data on suspicious persons in combat areas in Iraq and Afghanistan, the type of data being collected is inconsistent and is not always shared, despite policies calling for sharing of such data.

“Gaps in DOD’s and other agencies’ biometrics collection and sharing processes can increase the risk that terrorists will avoid identification in subsequent encounters with U.S. personnel during military operations, the visa application process and U.S. border crossings,” GAO said.

Efforts are under way to develop the technical and organizational framework needed to enable such sharing, but until this is in place the gap must be filled with greater interagency cooperation, GAO added.

More here.


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