The FBI wants to collect your body as a loyalty test.

The FBI wants your face, your retinas, your fingerprints and your palms on file so they can know the whole of you in case they need to find the disloyal bits of you.

The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion project to build the world’s largest computer database of biometrics to give the government more ways to identify people at home and abroad, the Washington Post reported on Friday. The FBI has already started compiling digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns in its systems, the paper said.

Is this plan the final fruition of J. Edgar Hoover’s 50-year plan to document and selectively detain “disloyal” Americans for any reason?

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons. Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.

President Bush claims if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear… unless you’re perceived as being disloyal?

Mr Bush told the BBC that innocent people would have nothing to fear from the database, called Next Generation Identification. Post-9/11 we’ve had an increase in our customer base. We need a system that is literally bigger, faster better,” he said. “What we deal with is bad guys data, suspected terrorists or criminals.” He added that there would be “very careful vetting” to ensure that the system is not abused. However Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union told the Washington Post that it would enable an “always-on surveillance society.” The newspaper says the FBI, which already has 55m sets of digital fingerprints, has also been compiling images of faces and palm patterns.

Is that what we’ve become now as a nation? Are we now merely cattle ready for branding and slaughtering by our government so they may chop us up and collect us and index us and sell us out under innocent circumstances — even if we remain loyal as they demand now and in the future? If the government feels we are not properly reacting to their wants and needs as loyal citizens, will we be locked away in military jails without the right to Habeas Corpus?

Is it ever appropriate for a government to collect biometric information now for future use against its citizens later when, and if, they decide we are guilty of something? Will “you are disloyal and we are reporting you to the FBI” become the new “you don’t support the troops” rallying cry for Theo-Con fundamentalist conservatives?

What are we gaining in giving up our biometric information?

Are we ensuring our personal freedom or are we acquiescing less freedom of the mind?

If the FBI’s plans chill you — stay out of Green Bay, Wisconsin — and we’re not warning you away from the frigid weather:

If you’re ticketed by Green Bay police, you’ll get more than a fine. You’ll get fingerprinted, too. It’s a new way police are cracking down on crime. If you’re caught speeding or playing your music too loud, or other crimes for which you might receive a citation, Green Bay police officers will ask for your driver license and your finger.

You’ll be fingerprinted right there on the spot. The fingerprint appears right next to the amount of the fine. Police say it’s meant to protect you — in case the person they’re citing isn’t who they claim to be. But not everyone is sold on that explanation.

Should a misdemeanor citation — that balances solely on the judgment of a local city police officer — require your biometric fingerprint as part of the policing process? Is there a governmental chill settling around Green Bay where your fingerprint becomes more important than your documentation?

I wonder what happens to your fingerprint that Green Bay collects?  Do you think your prints are protected and kept private?  Or does the State of Wisconsin share them with the FBI? Will the FDNY soon be knocking on your door looking for more than your fingerprints?

14 Comments

  1. I abhor this.
    We did however know that it was coming – ever since the introduction of biometric passports, chipped passports ,DNA data bases and of course the ID card in the UK which contains the whole lot.
    Time to go off the grid.

  2. Nicola!
    Is it possible for any of us here to “go off the grid?” Aren’t we already there forever?
    The only way to do it, it seems, is to die and come back under a whole new body and identity — which would probably trip alarms everywhere as you try to get new evidence to prove your loyalty.

  3. We do seem to be stuck — as will everyone after us be even more on-the-record from the moment of their implanted births.
    Only those who never touch the internet are safer than us because there’s no blood trail… err… bread crumbs… to follow in their bits…
    Bring on the island! 😀

  4. I suspect they prefer not to think about it at all – if they think about it they have to acknowledge it and then they would be as scared as we are now.
    We have about 20 of us looking for a suitable island already.

  5. Good one, Gordon! It is such a punishing and awful program. It serves no one. It hurts schools, teachers and kids and soon everyone will “exempt” out of it until a democrat owns the white house and fixes the public education system.

  6. I love a man with a plan, Gordon! He makes sense on education. I love his website. I love personalizing it. NCLB was too harsh and expectations were too high for the progress needed in such a short time. It’s a ridiculous failure.

  7. Hi Eco Warrior!
    I’ve heard some people take a hammer’s single-strike to the RFID chip in the new passports to disable them and a bad chip doesn’t invalidate the passport. I have no idea if that works or not and I’m not advocating the use of a hammer — I’m just sharing what I’ve overheard. 😀