FBI Seeks To Keep Its Nationwide Biometric Database A Secret From Citizens

biometricsBy Nicholas West

The FBI’s Next Generation Identification Biometrics Database went live nationwide in 2014 without much fanfare from the general public. Naturally, establishment media wasn’t there to give attention to the massive endeavor, even though from its inception it threatened the privacy of every single American.

With only dedicated civil liberties advocates trying to bring attention to the threat, the system quickly amassed more than 50 million images scoured from facial recognition alone and, as reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, merged into the FBI’s legacy database of fingerprints and other identifiers to create a centralized hub of surveillance:

NGI builds on the FBI’s legacy fingerprint database—which already contains well over 100 million individual records—and has been designed to include multiple forms of biometric data, including palm prints and iris scans in addition to fingerprints and face recognition data. NGI combines all these forms of data in each individual’s file, linking them to personal and biographic data like name, home address, ID number, immigration status, age, race, etc. This immense database is shared with other federal agencies and with the approximately 18,000 tribal, state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States.


Over the ensuing years, the prevalence of biometrics has only increased in everything from banking, to drones, to student IDs, to facial recognition billboards in public space, to voice recognition security. At this point it is unclear just how many biometric images might be stored in the database now that there are even more sources from which to cull data. And the FBI is would like to keep it that way….

Apparently, the tired trope of National Security is once again being peddled to legitimize secrecy and violating civil liberties. Similar to the no-fly list, where people have no idea if they are on it; or, if so, how to get off it, the FBI is proposing that citizens who have had their biometric data collected might not be entitled to know anything about it:

Letting individuals view their own records, or even the accounting of those records, could compromise criminal investigations or “national security efforts,” potentially revealing a “sensitive investigative technique” or information that could help a subject “avoid detection or apprehension,” the draft posting said.


Worst of all, since its inception the FBI has admitted that the system includes non-criminal identification as well as criminal.

  • criminals
  • suspects and detainees,
  • fingerprints for job applicants
  • licenses
  • military or volunteer service
  • background checks
  • security clearances
  • naturalization

In short, anything not covered above most assuredly will be once biometrics itself spreads into every area of human life.

And for those who might still be inclined to believe that this will only be used when national security truly is threatened, it would be wise to remember how anti-terror technologies trickle down to the lowliest of “crimes” and beyond – like using Stingray cell phone surveillance to catch a $50 chicken wing thief.

But perhaps most concerning of all is the admission that the collected data will be put on the shelf for future analysis in order to establish potential connections. Considering how the web of human interaction can lead to narrowing the degrees of separation between any two individuals, this is almost guaranteed to ensnare the completely innocent:

“With time, seemingly irrelevant or untimely information may acquire new significance when new details are brought to light,” the posting said. Information contained in the database could help with “establishing patterns of activity and providing criminal lead.”

Let’s not forget that it was these so-called “patterns of activity” which led a large percentage of innocent people to be swept up into the post-9/11 torture apparatus which is still being justified as a necessary National Security measure. Under this reasoning, nearly everyone could be detained – in reality, or virtually – as a possible suspect in a possible future crime.

More attention needs to be given to this incredible slide toward a technocratic system of being guilty until proven innocent, completely upturning all protections supposed to be guaranteed to each American.

According to NextGov this proposal will be open for public comment for one month after it’s officially posted. The fact that a system which has been years, possibly decades, in the making should offer citizens a mere month to weigh in should say enough about what we are dealing with.

Please follow NextGov, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, EPIC, and Activist Post for the latest, as civil liberties advocates attempt to demand that this system is fully revealed to the public.  Share this information with friends and family to ensure that we have the best chance possible at resisting this digital tyranny.

FBI’s biometrics information can be found here: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/fingerprints_biometrics/ngi

Image Credit

Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. This article may be reposed in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

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9 Comments on "FBI Seeks To Keep Its Nationwide Biometric Database A Secret From Citizens"

  1. knifemare69 | May 6, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Reply

    The FBI is as american as Hitler’s jock strap…actually der banana hammock looks like Mom and apple pie when compared with the FBI…

  2. y3shuA immAnu3l | May 6, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Reply

    “And as he tincts his body by meat and drink, which pass into the substance of flesh and blood, so also his soul is tincted with whatsoever kind of sciences, arts, etc., eating and drinking, he is united essentially with that which he eats and drinks. And learning and knowing, he is united essentially with that which he studies, learns and knows. Wherefore this is a most certain rule ; — Whatsoever is without us, is also within us.”

  3. The FBI is another worthless top down agency.
    Spying by perversion.
    Keep quaffing yer scones and lattes.

  4. HighMaintenanceLowTolerance | May 7, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Reply

    Just 2 words : “Minority Report”

  5. meanwhile, the FBI and police being America’s greatest liars apart from the POS-in-Chief, the nation consumes half a trillion dollars annually in imported illegal drugs, Presidents continue amnestiying millions of CRIMINAL invaders, children are taken from parents for playing unsupervised in their own backyards, and everything we do in our residences and – of course, in a lunatic ;police state – in public is raped in terms of privacy. Just remember what the Bible says at the end – “All liars will have their place in The Lake Of Fire”.

  6. The creeping surveillance state that denies it is doing anything wrong or that you have human rights . Technology used against us instead of our benefit . The parameters are the same anywhere in the world now . In the UK it is said we have the highest numbers of surveillance cameras in the world. The effects will eventually break down human relationships completely , I know longer understand the country I was born in. Meanwhile we still wait for Chillcott and you wait for the missing 28 pages about 911.

  7. Ralph Sinamon | May 8, 2016 at 9:57 am | Reply

    The entire government structure needs to be made gone. We have AGENCIES making their own rules and these RULES have the force of law. What is occurring is what the Founder’s were trying to stop……..Government out of control.

  8. Paid voyeurism. Hang your hat up and go home FBI or FIB.
    Keep in mind what they hack into they can upload to the same cpu.
    You Will look publicly like a pos if they attack.

  9. We The People know how to alter that slavery inducing Heirarchy.

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