Feeds

Uncle Sam fingerprints visitors

Visa-exempts exempted (for now)

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Visitors to the US from many countries may be fingerprinted or photographed in a Federal anti-terrorism programme.

The scheme cover travellers from countries who require a visa to visit the US - an estimated 24 million people a year - but not (as yet) visitors from visa-exempt countries. Exempt countries include Western European states, along with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (VISIT) program will provide an important tool against terrorism, says the US Department of Homeland Security, which is administering the scheme.

Fingerprints are taken using an inkless contact method at the port of arrival. The data is then checked against a database of criminals and suspected terrorists and cross matched against biometric data on a visa. The screening process is repeated when an individual leaves the US.

The programme goes live today at 115 airports and 14 US seaports. Land border processing will be introduced in phases during 2005 and 2006.

The US-VISIT program received $380 million last year and is expected to cost $330 million in 2004 0 too much, say critics, who argue the scheme will cause travel delays without providing any real security improvements.

Not so, says the Department of Homeland Security, which reckons the measures will add only seconds to the entry and exit process while enable the authorities to more effectively track visitors to the US.

Some countries have taken exception Brazil, for instance, has retaliated by introducing similar fingerprint entry procedures for US citizens. ®

Related Stories

US Visit program

Related Stories

Finger, face prints get green light for Europe's ID standard
Virus takes out US visa-checking system for nine hours
Want to visit Britain? Join the fingerprint queue
US names the day for biometric passports

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.