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: Biometrics (Voice) to be Applied in the Wake of Teacher Certification Scam

Details of teacher certification scam uncovered (WMC-TV 5 Memphis, TN)

Ewing confirms one of his workers spotted odd behavior that triggered a 45-count indictment against Clarence Mumford and the de-certification of more than 50 teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“The people who serve as our test center supervisors, monitors, and room proctors are our first defense against such things,” Ewing explained.

According to court documents, Mumford hired four co-conspirators to assume the identities of teachers and aspiring teachers who could not pass the PRAXIS teacher certification test.

A PRAXIS worker noticed one person taking the same test several times in one day.

But technology may be the reason it went undetected 15 years.

Investigators say Mumford manufactured fake drivers licenses with his test takers photos and the aspiring teachers’ information.

Ewing says the vast majority of teachers who take the tests are honest, but changes are in store, including biometric voice scanning.

How voice enrollments and matching will work isn’t spelled out. I would have thought that since ID photos were the problem, facial recognition might have helped. I mean, you have one guy with one face who took, and passed, the test like fifty times!

Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

Canada, US Work Well Together on Border Issues

Canada-U.S. deal aims to smooth flow of refugees (Vancouver Sun)

the United States plan to join forces in order to better deal with “irregular flows” of refugees that turn up in North America or migrate within the continent, newly declassified documents show.

By 2014, the two countries will also begin routinely sharing biometric information about travellers, such as fingerprints.

And Canada is laying the groundwork for legislative and regulatory changes that will require all travellers – including Canadian and U.S. citizens – to present a secure document such as a passport or enhanced driver’s licence when entering Canada. Such a document is already required to enter the U.S.

A border isn’t really a big deal if those on both sides of it have the same rules about who can go in and out of the country.

The thing is, while sharing the world’s longest international border and the world’s largest trading relationship [PDF], Canada and the United States haven’t harmonized their immigration and visa rules — and they don’t wish to.

That’s all well within the scope of each sovereign country’s citizens to determine but it also implies that a lot of effort is required of both sides to make sure things operate smoothly. Biometric ID management technology can help.

US Special Operations Command Wants Technology and Lots of It

Tech at the Tip of the Spear (

”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.

King County, Washington: AFIS Costs and Benefiets

Voters could decide $118.9 million county levy for fingerprint services (Issaquah Press)

King County voters could decide on a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies.

The proposal is to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to law enforcement agencies throughout the county, including the Issaquah Police Department.

The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home. Voters approved the initial AFIS levy in 1986, and overwhelmingly renewed the levy since then, most recently in 2006. The current levy expires in December.

“As a regional crime-fighting tool, AFIS is our ‘CSI: King County,’ bringing new technology to the job of cracking cases and catching criminals,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

Read the whole thing. There are numbers to indicate that the system is getting cheaper to administer over time. There are other indicators that even as the system is costing less, its capabilities are expanding.

King County contains Seattle (map here).