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U.S. starts fingerprint program

man_slut

TRIBE Member
U.S. starts fingerprint program

Monday, January 5, 2004 Posted: 1603 GMT (12:03 AM HKT)
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/01/05/fingerprint.program/index.html

A US-VISIT program computer clears student Andres Morales through customs at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on Monday.


EXEMPT COUNTRIES
Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (for citizens with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Up to 28 million visitors to the United States now have to stop for photographs and fingerprinting under a new government program launched Monday and intended to make it harder for terrorists to enter the country.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the new US-VISIT program applies to any visitors who must have a visa to enter the United States. By October, all visitors will be required to have a machine-readable passport or some other method of biometric identification, such as fingerprints or retina scans.

"As the world community combats terrorism ... you're going to see more and more countries going to a form of biometric identification to confirm identities," Ridge said.

Citizens from more than two dozen countries, mostly in Europe, aren't required to carry a visa if their visit is less than 90 days. Visitors from those countries are exempt.

Visitors from exempt countries who are working in the United States, however, require a work visa, and therefore must leave their fingerprints and photographs with U.S. authorities.

"We want visitors from abroad to continue to come to the United States, but we also want to secure our borders," Ridge said.

Ridge acknowledged that US-VISIT -- United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology -- will only cover a small fraction of the estimated 500 million annual visitors to the United States, but he said the program was but the "first significant step in a series of steps" the government plans to take in the coming months and years.

Outside of Europe, the exempt countries include Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Brunei. Citizens of Canada generally do not need a visa to enter the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says the goal of the US-VISIT program is to track the millions of people who come to the United States every year on business, student and tourist visas -- and to use the information as a tool against terrorists.

Critics say the broad-reaching program will cause unnecessary travel delays and may never prove to be effective.

"There's so much information in such volumes that there's a limit to what any analyst can absorb," said Larry Johnson, an aviation security consultant.

Faiz Rehman, president of the National Council of Pakistani-Americans, points to the disruption in travel.

"Without proper training, there will be long lines, there will be missed flights, there will be people who would be wrongly stopped," Rehman said.

Outside the United States, there has been a backlash as well.

In reaction to the U.S. policy, Brazil last week began fingerprinting and photographing American visitors arriving at Sao Paulo's airport. Brazil's Foreign Ministry has also requested that Brazilians be removed from the U.S. list.

Ridge said that "if the Brazilian government thinks it's in their interests (to fingerprint and photograph Americans), so be it."

"It's not two standards, one for the United States and one for the rest of the world," he said.

The U.S. program, which has a budget of $380 million, will require an estimated 24 million visitors to submit two finger scans and have a photograph taken upon entering any of 115 airports or 14 seaports.

Homeland Security spokesman Bill Strassberger said once screeners become proficient, the extra security will take only 10 to 15 seconds per person, The Associated Press reported.

Inkless fingerprints will be taken and checked instantly against a digital database for criminal backgrounds and any terrorist lists. The process will be repeated when visitors leave the United States as an extra security measure and to ensure they complied with visa limitations.

Lawmakers who included the program in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 say the program will improve security.

Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, is among those who believe the new measures could help prevent a repeat of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"We want to keep the bad guys out of our country," Harman said. "We want to identify them and keep them out, and we want to find them if they're already here. And we did a bad job of that on 9/11."

Tim Edgar, a critic of the program and legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said it will not take the place of improved intelligence gathering.

"The problem with 9/11 is that we didn't know who the terrorists were," Edgar said. "We could have put them through this system and they would have gotten through without any problem."



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Copyright 2004 CNN. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.
EXEMPT COUNTRIES
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by man_slut
EXEMPT COUNTRIES
Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (for citizens with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
EXEMPT COUNTRIES
Canadians will need to be fingerprinted?
 

fishbulb

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: U.S. starts fingerprint program

Originally posted by man_slut
Canadians will need to be fingerprinted?
did you even read the damn article you posted? or were you so enraged by the headline you forgot that part? ;p

Outside of Europe, the exempt countries include Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Brunei. Citizens of Canada generally do not need a visa to enter the United States.

so the answer is - no
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
What kind of computing power are they going to need to sort through the existing fingerprint database AND the 24 million new files added each year?

Is it even technically possible to sort through that many records in 15 seconds (what they are claiming it will take)?

Or will it take a few hours to test a visitor's print through the database - like it does on CSI (which I assume is a little more scientifically accurate than Tom Ridge)...
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by alexd
What kind of computing power are they going to need to sort through the existing fingerprint database AND the 24 million new files added each year?

Is it even technically possible to sort through that many records in 15 seconds (what they are claiming it will take)?

Or will it take a few hours to test a visitor's print through the database - like it does on CSI (which I assume is a little more scientifically accurate than Tom Ridge)...
It's not that big of a deal.

Your bank has to "sort through" 10 or so million records every time you use an ATM or a POS machine while simlutaneously doing the same for the other gazzilion people using ATMs and POSs.
 
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Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
This is absolutely priceless!

Brazil has filed a formal complaint and started fingerprinting and photographing all US citizens arriving at its main international airports in Rio and Sao Paulo. I have a feeling many countries on the "persona non grata" list might follow suite as they should.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Aeryanna
This is absolutely priceless!

Brazil has filed a formal complaint and started fingerprinting and photographing all US citizens arriving at its main international airports in Rio and Sao Paulo. I have a feeling many countries on the "persona non grata" list might follow suite as they should.

OMG! Brazil has powers of Awesome!! :D
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Looks like the Russians will be doing it to Americans as well. They will probably use ink and paper though which will be even better IMO.
 

exheres

TRIBE Member
I can't help but laff at all of this. Our leaders seem to be a reflection of our populus, so afraid of dying that they make living a most tiresome adventure. GO HUMANITY!:confused: :D :( :eek:
 

Incrimin8

TRIBE Member
This is the (finger) tip of the ice berg. It will only get more insane from here on. Fast forward 20 years...We'll be in our 40's / 50's and will need to give a f'n DNA sample just to vacation in the carribean. What's going on! :confused:
 
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man_slut

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Incrimin8
This is the (finger) tip of the ice berg. It will only get more insane from here on. Fast forward 20 years...We'll be in our 40's / 50's and will need to give a f'n DNA sample just to vacation in the carribean. What's going on! :confused:
The only reason you're gonna have to give a DNA test is so that they can find out which carribean children belong to you!:eek:


hahahahahahaaaaaaa was up Scotty!?
 

exheres

TRIBE Member
All of your children are belong to we!

I'll got yer DNA sample right ere biatch!

pulls down trousers.......:mad: ;)
 

Incrimin8

TRIBE Member
That's right...nothin wrong with a little bit of carribean poonani! This winter vacation to Domnican Rep. should result in my offspring count doubling! Giddy-up!
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Brasil retaliats!

Official Reaction Muted to Visitor Fingerprinting Requirement
Patrick Goodenough
Pacific Rim Bureau Chief
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1239405.html

Pacific Rim Bureau (CNSNews.com) - Official international reaction to new requirements for most foreign visitors to the U.S. to be fingerprinted and photographed on arrival has been muted -- with the obvious exception of Brazil, where a judge has ordered reciprocal measures.

The only foreign visitors not affected by the new US-VISIT (U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) program implemented on Monday are Canadians and those currently on the visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 27 mostly Western countries to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without visas.



For longer-term visitors from those countries, and any visitors from the rest of the world, arrival at a U.S. port of entry now entails a fingerprint scan and the taking of a digital photograph, enabling officials to carry out a speedy criminal background check. Eventually, foreigners also will be checked as they leave the country.

Introducing the program, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the U.S. aimed to be "open to visitors but closed to terrorists."

Officials say the new requirements should add no more than 15 seconds to the typical entry interview.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. instituted a "special registration" program, requiring the nationals of some 20 mostly Muslim countries visiting or living in the U.S. to undergo additional registration, photographing and fingerprinting.

That program drew widespread protests, with countries like Pakistan especially frustrated by what Islamabad saw as a slap in the face for an ally in the war against terrorism.

Although the new program does not do away with "special registration," by extending to most of the rest of the world the fingerprint and photograph requirements, it may remove complaints of specific discrimination against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern origin.

Nonetheless, Pakistan's Daily Times this week quoted an unnamed "community leader" as urging his government to "give visiting Americans a dose of the same medicine" by fingerprinting and photographing them on arrival in Pakistan.

The community leader said the government should follow the example set by Brazil.

Since Jan. 1, authorities in the South American country have been fingerprinting and photographing U.S. visitors on the orders of a federal judge, who was quoted as comparing the new U.S. measures to Nazi atrocities.

The US-VISIT program does have many critics, including civil liberties campaigners and civic groups in the U.S. and elsewhere, but apart from Brazil, the reaction from governments has been all but non-existent.

Even Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, which have been strongly critical of previous U.S. visa requirements, offered no official reaction.

In South Korea, a U.S. ally that does not benefit from the visa waiver program, civic organizations were reported to be complaining about the US-VISIT measures.

The Korean Times quoted a senior foreign affairs official as saying in response Seoul had no plans to institute reciprocal requirements for U.S. visitors, but adding "we'll have to see how other countries deal with the matter."

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Monday the aim was to implement the program "with a minimum of disruption to our foreign friends and travelers."

Asked about the Brazilian decision, he said: "As far as what other countries are doing, obviously the measures they take for their security are their decision, and we wouldn't want to second guess that, and we certainly respect the principle of reciprocity."

The 27 countries whose citizen are exempt for stays of less than 90 days are mostly in Europe - Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The non-European countries in this category are Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.

Citizens of those 27 countries planning longer stays, or those working in the U.S., will not be exempt from the US-VISIT program.
 
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