Feeds

US plans $10bn computer dragnet

Foreigners to be monitored by IT leviathan

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.