Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Iraqi Biometric Database Swells

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    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Iraqi Biometric Database Swells

    Iraqi Biometric Database Swells
    By Luke O'Brien EmailJuly 13, 2007 | 10:41:46 AM

    190164232_5c92c3ab74_m Sprinkled among the M-4 carbines and other combat gear that ships regularly to U.S. troops in Iraq one will now find a good number of iris and fingerprint scanners. Yes, the U.S. Army is building a rather large database of biometric info on suspected militants in Iraq, as USA Today reports here. More:

    "This year, U.S. troops in Iraq are to receive 3,800 handheld scanners, up from 200 now in use, to equip every squad in the country, said Col. Michael Meese....The devices can both collect and display data, letting troops view someone's background and decide whether he should be detained.

    'If we see some guy at the site of a blast or a shooting, we put him in the database,' said Capt. John Henry Moltz of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. 'If we find he's at every blast, now we've got probable cause to question him.'

    While the goal of the database, which appears to be a true dragnet, is to stop the seemingly unstoppable slew of bombings in Iraq, it's hard to know how effective the program has been (no word on whether it's actually caught anyone). It's also hard to imagine why the Pentagon would trouble with probable cause or privacy rights in a country governed by little more than the law of the jungle. Already, hundreds of thousands of "suspected militants" have been fingerprinted and eyeballed.

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