Feeds

US plans $10bn computer dragnet

Foreigners to be monitored by IT leviathan

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The US is planning to build the most sophisticated computer-tracking system ever devised in order to keep tabs on foreigners entering the country. The project will also allow authorities to confirm that visitors deemed suspicious adhere to stated travel plans and leave the States before their visa expires.

The US project is designed to address the security shortcomings that allowed the 11 September terrorists to move freely around the country despite the fact some were already under suspicion.

"The idea is to merge 20 US computer databases and add biometric data, criminal histories and financial records, so border police at the 300 points of entry can access to the fullest possible information," The Independent reports.

The scheme, championed by the counter-terrorist Department of Homeland Security, has received a frosty reception on Capitol Hill. The General Accounting Office has castigated the project as "very risky" and warned of significant management and oversight problems. Regardless of criticism that broader surveillance won't prevent terrorism - real intelligence is more important - the US government still retains an almost touching faith in the ability of technology to solve any problem.

The Bush administration is reportedly close to awarding a contract to develop the system - worth more than $10bn over the next 10 years - to one of three final contestants, Computer Sciences Corporation, Lockheed Martin and Accenture.

"This is hugely important for the security of our country," the Bush administration's border security chief, Asa Hutchinson, told The New York Times. "We're talking here about a comprehensive approach to border security."

Since January, visitors to the US from many countries have been fingerprinted or photographed. Under the US Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, countries whose citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the United States must issue passports with biometric identifiers no later than 26 October 2004. ®

Related stories

Uncle Sam fingerprints visitors
US names the day for biometric passports
Finger, faceprints get green light for Europe's ID standard
Everything you never wanted to know about the UK ID card
Beyond Fear A security primer for troubled minds
Bruce Schneier on crypto, the FBI, privacy and more
Broader surveillance won't prevent terrorism -Schneier

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.