Biometric or fingerprint data required to enter US!

Found this over on The Inquirer, yea I know this is not typical tech news, but it does put the question in the back of my mind... Has Bush has been reading way too much of 1984?

The bill that President Bush signed into legislation "Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act" this past week, has a very broad mandate... Some of the key points :-

    We must know who's coming into our country and why they're coming. We must know what our visitors are doing and when they leave. To this end, the following changes are to be implemented with the aid of this bill.

    • Requires every foreign visitor desiring entrance into the United States to carry a travel document containing biometric identification -- that would be fingerprints or facial recognition -- that will enable us to use technology to better deny fraudulent entry into America.

    • All commercial passenger ships and airplanes entering the United States provide a list of passengers and crew before arrival, so that border authorities can act immediately to prevent someone from entering the country if he or she poses a threat to our citizens.
Obviously new technology will have to be implemented to assist the INS (calling all hackers, a new network for you to play with and distribute all that juicy not-terribly-legal software and stuff), who with this bill get an injection of 400 additional personnel over the next five years.

A few questions get raised... WHO will provide this extra info required on these documents, YOUR local goverment or passport agencies, to which I presume this will not be "free", (yet another "tax" on your ticket or a fee to pay!)? Plus, what is the timeline for these proposed changes? It's certainly not going to happen overnight!

But is this the start of "big brother" in the US? And more over, will the US use this new found power and technology to monitor it's own citizens movements ??? Only time will tell...

News source: The Inquirer

View: Whitehouse press release: Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act

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