Biometrics in US v ISIS Co-In

U.S. expects some familiar faces among Syria rebel recruits (Reuters)

The Pentagon has estimated that it can train 5,400 recruits in the first year and that up to 15,000 will be needed to retake areas of eastern Syria controlled by Islamic State. It hopes more training sites might allow training of more recruits.

They will face a thorough vetting, including psychological exams and gathering of biometric data, the official said. Candidates’ names would be run through U.S. databases and shared with regional allies for checks.

New military multi-modal biometric hardware

New Biometrics Device Helps Marines Determine Friend or Foe (Forensic Magazine)

The BESD system is an ultra lightweight, ruggedized, handheld portable device that collects and stores biometrics information. It compares and matches fingerprints, iris images and facial photos against an internal biometric database to identify individuals encountered on the battlefield. It is an enabler in the areas of detainee management and questioning, base access, counterintelligence screening, border control and law enforcement.

Interesting approach, having the database on the device. On the plus side, storing the data locally takes connectivity issues out of the equation. There are, however costs. To stay current, the device has to be synched with a central data repository from time to time. There are limits to the amount of data that can be stored on a handheld device. Also, since the data is on the device, there needs to be really good data security in the device itself.

The US Army’s big data cloud app suite

Army demonstrates disputed intelligence system (Army Times)

“It is globally deployed, this is not a system that is in the lab, this is a system that is supporting and has supported nine corps, 38 divisions, 138 brigades,” said Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, the the Army’s deputy chief of staff for intelligence. “It supports today our operations in Afghanistan and the greater Middle East, Africa, the Pacific, Korea and anywhere you have soldiers who are deployed.”

The Army’s cloud-based system — called the Distributed Common Ground System-Army — collects raw intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data from 600 sources, including battlefield reports, biometrics databases, unmanned aerial systems and manned reconnaissance aircraft, as well as joint, national and strategic sources. From there, analysts can connect the dots using a variety of software tools, putting actionable intelligence in the hands of battlefield commanders.

Forty apps using data from 600 sources.

Biometrics and a different side of the Afghan war

…from the Durango Herald:

“You never know who is coming through the gate – it is very important for me to see that I’m getting kids inside the gate and getting (them) to treatment they’re not going to receive anywhere else,” he said.

To ensure the hundreds receiving care each day are safe, Silvia and other troops scan each person’s eyes and fingers with high-tech biometric scanners that provide access to individual information.

Canada military to spread biometric knowledge domestically

Canadian Forces Expands Its Biometric Capabilities But Remains Silent On The Details (Ottawa Citizen)

…[I]n an April 2010 directive issued by then Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk, the military was ordered to expand such capabilities beyond those being detained in Afghanistan.

The directive called on Canadian Forces planners to “shape” research conducted by the DND’s science organization, Defence Research and Development Canada, so they could identify new future technologies that could improve the collection of biometric data.

The directive was aimed at dealing with the Afghanistan mission. But it didn’t explain whether the call to expand biometric capabilities to support other government departments, as well as the need to conduct new research, was for future international missions, support for domestic operations or a combination of both.

Australia to test drive ABIS developed for US by Northrop Grumman

Australia to test biometric system (UPI)

Australia’s Defense Department has received a trial proof of concept for an automated biometric information system from Northrop Grumman.

The proof of concept, modeled after the U.S. Department of Defense Automated Biometric Identification System, will be used to produce biometrically enabled intelligence.

Biometrics and “Green on Blue” Violence in Afghanistan

Another ‘green-on-blue’ attack kills NATO troop; 10 dead in 2 weeks (Stars & Stripes)

Afghanistan ‘insider’ attacks pose threat to West’s exit strategy (Stars & Stripes)

How to guard against such attacks is the subject of considerable debate in military leadership circles, because overtly heavy-handed measures can send a signal to the Afghans that they are not trusted, which can be taken as an insult. And in traditional Afghan culture, perceived insult can swiftly lead to exactly the sort of violence the attacks represent.

Efforts on the Afghan side include embedding undercover intelligence officers in some battalions, and stricter scrutiny of recruits, including the collection of biometric data to compare against a database of known insurgents. Some observers, though, believe the safeguards built into the recruitment process, including the requirement that village elders vouch for those who want to join the army, are routinely bypassed in many provinces.

Biometrics can help with identity management but they are always just a part of an overall organizational plan.

This short passage touches on a few important issues: technology, managing people, managing a security regime once it’s in place. All must work together in furtherance of organizational goals. If one leg of the stool goes, the whole structure is at risk. For some organizations that means embarrassing CEO speeches and annoyed customers. For others the results are utterly tragic.

“It brings together data from all the sensors.”

It looks like the US Military is developing the Mother of All (Data)bases — a military intelligence MOAB, if you will.

Integrated Intelligence Framework Takes Shape (GlobalSecurity.org)

This state-of-the-art battlefield intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance architecture will enable analysts from every service to take data from multiple military and government sensors and databases and compile them into a single, easy-to-access format, he explained.

DCGS-Army, already fielded in Afghanistan as it undergoes operational testing and evaluation, provides a glimpse into that intelligence enterprise.

“It brings together data from all the sensors,” Wells said, regardless of whether they’re based in space, on aircraft or on the ground — even biometric data collected by a soldier at a local forward operating base — and incorporates it into a single platform.

See also:
What if? Online Real-Time Searchable Sensor Data

The original MOAB is here. (You Tube)

US: Outstanding Airmen of the Year Award Winner Played Key Role in Biometric ID System

Keesler member wins Outstanding Airman of the Year (Keesler Force Air Base)
Congratulations to Staff Sgt. Angelo Banks of the 81st Security Forces Squadron.

NIST releases second draft of federal ID credential security standard for commentWhile deployed at the transit center at Manas, in Kyrgyzstan, he secured $451 million in assets, 90 combat sorties and 296 tons of cargo. He led 19 fly-away security missions to 39 hostile forward-operating bases delivering 1,300 passengers and three detainees.

Banks also played an instrumental role during the implementation of the Defense Biometric Identification System, processing base access for more than 39,000 base users. Additionally, he positively identified and arrested a suspect with a $215,000 warrant who was attempting to gain access to a high-profile event on base. Additionally, Banks has volunteered with organizations such as Airmen Against Drunk Driving and Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen.

According to Banks, doing your job well is one thing — being professional and showing respect is another.

US Special Operations Command Wants Technology and Lots of It

Tech at the Tip of the Spear (GovLoop.com)

”USSOCOM is always interested in new ideas and evolving technologies generated by industry.” While some of the technologies Special Operations Command is looking into are weapons, vehicles, armor, and camouflage, a large portion of their “capabilities of interest” include advanced information technology.

For their biometric and forensic capabilities, SOCOM seeks mobile solutions to collect, compare, and match data as well as to exploit enemy networks in real time. They also seek portable field methods and systems to sense, detect, measure, and identify explosive composition and purity of explosive materials. Portable devices are also needed to detect hidden chambers, persons, or material. While such devices would be advanced sensors, they would also require mobile computing solutions.

Much more at the link.

Spycraft & Military Intel in a Biometric World

Mission Nearly Impossible (StrategyPage)

The use of biometrics does its job very well keeping out spies, terrorists and saboteurs. The downside is that it also limits the activities of your own spies. This has led to efforts by espionage agencies to get around this “problem.” The espionage organizations will not comment on what, if any, solutions they have come up with. That is to be expected.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has developed tools that enable combat troops to use biometrics on the battlefield.

Read the whole thing.

See also: U.S. Military Departs Iraq, Takes Huge Biometric Database with It

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