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(Wired)   CIA's secret fear: biometrics used at the border will blow their agents' covers   (wired.com) divider line 63
    More: Interesting, CIA, biometrics, special agents, field agents, operations officer, Danger Room, spy, Israel's Mossad  
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10273 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Apr 2012 at 9:25 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-12 08:20:39 AM  
Interesting article, and something I hadn't really thought of, not having been in the HUMINT business.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-04-12 08:33:55 AM  
For day-in, day-out CIA espionage operations abroad, "biometrics is a problem only if you have the same case officer traveling into the country multiple times with multiple aliases," said the former NOC.

Into the country or into a country that shares biometric records (officially or through spies in the immigration agency). Surely somebody in the U.S. could be persuaded to give up iris scans to friendly Canada, and Canada has better relations with Cuba, and Cuba might get back together with Russia, and Russia likes countries that don't like America. See "Lobachevsky" by Tom Lehrer.
 
2012-04-12 08:49:56 AM  
If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.
 
2012-04-12 09:29:00 AM  

gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.


Well, if those agents hadn't tainted the unicorns in the first place, they'd never have been kidnapped by Tim Curry.
 
2012-04-12 09:33:56 AM  
PirateKing: gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.

Well, if those agents hadn't tainted the unicorns in the first place, they'd never have been kidnapped by Tim Curry.


Is this story gonna involve the Timewarp dance?
 
2012-04-12 09:34:54 AM  
So the CIA doesn't hack the databases that store these identities and change them?

Amateurs.
 
2012-04-12 09:34:58 AM  
Well, it's a problem in foreign countries where you have no control, but in cases where the check is forwarded you can just have servers under your control give whatever response you want.
 
2012-04-12 09:37:07 AM  

Oldiron_79: Is this story gonna involve the Timewarp dance?


no. I think we're talking about the movie where Eddie had biatch tiats.
 
2012-04-12 09:46:07 AM  

gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.


Why ? Did somebody scream in an unnaturally high pitched, weak voice: Abort abort abort !
 
2012-04-12 09:47:11 AM  
The CIA tech guys will have contact lenses that'll fool those scanners in no time.

If not they could make all the countries buy a controlled iris scanner conveniently made by a US company. Which has a backdoor to read certain coded contact lenses and with programmed names.
 
2012-04-12 09:49:33 AM  
www.biopoliticaltimes.org
 
2012-04-12 09:49:44 AM  

nickerj1: The CIA tech guys will have contact lenses that'll fool those scanners in no time.


Wouldn't fool face-it. IIRC, it uses the distance between your eyes and other features.
 
2012-04-12 09:51:34 AM  

gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.


Even Cocktails?!
 
2012-04-12 09:51:40 AM  
But how will they smuggle drugs make the world safe for democracy?
 
2012-04-12 09:52:06 AM  
Seems like the spooks are re-learning a few very old lessons; be careful what you wish for, you might just get it - and - a knife cuts both ways.

/the days of anonymity - for anyone - are rapidly drawing to a close.
//yes, I get the irony of my handle.
 
2012-04-12 09:52:30 AM  

dittybopper: Interesting article, and something I hadn't really thought of, not having been in the HUMINT business.


Sure. I believe you.

;-)

/ The golden cow walks on the Casbah.

// Ahem.
 
2012-04-12 09:53:54 AM  
I'd wager the Science and Technology guys already have it taken care of.
 
2012-04-12 09:53:55 AM  
Yeah, because otherwise white guys from the Ivy League just blend right into the landscape.
 
2012-04-12 09:54:52 AM  

fireclown: nickerj1: The CIA tech guys will have contact lenses that'll fool those scanners in no time.

Wouldn't fool face-it. IIRC, it uses the distance between your eyes and other features.




Affirmative, you need prosthetics (usually easily picked up, though) or reflective/absorbing materials. Mud only works on Predators.
 
2012-04-12 09:55:57 AM  
The spooks did not anticipate this when governments created the biometric passports and related programs. And these people are protecting the free world.
 
2012-04-12 09:57:49 AM  
3.bp.blogspot.com

respect the biometrics!
 
2012-04-12 09:58:53 AM  

Private_Citizen: Seems like the spooks are re-learning a few very old lessons; be careful what you wish for, you might just get it - and - a knife cuts both ways.

/the days of anonymity - for anyone - are rapidly drawing to a close.
//yes, I get the irony of my handle.


This. I hope everybody enjoys their sophisticated, convenient little world. Just don't try to get away from it all. It will look suspicious.
 
2012-04-12 10:00:08 AM  
Sorry, but if you don't see how bad RFID chip in passport is, you should pick up a book sometime. No tin foil hats needed here, this shiat isn't a theory.
 
2012-04-12 10:00:44 AM  
This is what they want you to think!rewardslink.info
 
2012-04-12 10:05:17 AM  

Make More Hinjews: dittybopper: Interesting article, and something I hadn't really thought of, not having been in the HUMINT business.

Sure. I believe you.

;-)

/ The golden cow walks on the Casbah.

// Ahem.


No, I was a SIGINT guy. Google "ditty bopper".
 
2012-04-12 10:06:55 AM  

PirateKing: gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.

Well, if those agents hadn't tainted the unicorns in the first place, they'd never have been kidnapped by Tim Curry.


Great, now all day I'm going to have a mental picture of unicorn taint.
 
2012-04-12 10:09:12 AM  

fireclown: nickerj1: The CIA tech guys will have contact lenses that'll fool those scanners in no time.

Wouldn't fool face-it. IIRC, it uses the distance between your eyes and other features.


You *CAN* fool, or at least thwart, facial recognition software with makeup.
 
2012-04-12 10:10:32 AM  

Because People in power are Stupid: So the CIA doesn't hack the databases that store these identities and change them?

Amateurs.


I think that's what they said they said was the plan, or one of them.

FTA

they were gearing up to make a request for CIA officers to recruit foreigners with access to immigration databases...

Or better yet, introducing malware into the computers of foreign immigration and border control services, to change data on demand.
 
2012-04-12 10:11:28 AM  
Private_Citizen: Seems like the spooks are re-learning a few very old lessons; be careful what you wish for, you might just get it - and - a knife cuts both ways.

/the days of anonymity - for anyone - are rapidly drawing to a close.
//yes, I get the irony of my handle.


Ameria will never be a truely free country till the last corrupt Washington politician is hanged from the entrails of the last Rothschild banker
 
2012-04-12 10:12:19 AM  
Funny, as I was just talking to a friend of mine about how long from now it will be before the banking systems and other other forms of payment/ID will just scan your iris instead of a bank card and.... well, you have $15 in your checking account. Let's just hope everyone doesn't get pink eye.
 
2012-04-12 10:14:07 AM  
First time:
1. Travel to country under alias 1
2. Book a hotel under alias 1
3. ???
4. Profit

Second time:
1. Travel to country under alias 1
2. Book a different hotel under alias 2
3. ???
4. Profit

Or:
1. Travel to country under alias 1
2. Have someone rent a condo for you in exchange for cash
3. ???
4. Profit

Sure, you'll be seen entering and leaving the country, but you won't show up in between. If only there was some kind of system in which people with some sort of immunity could get the documents into the country for the big switch.
 
2012-04-12 10:15:13 AM  
Well isn't that just too bad,the CIA can`t travel incognito to interfere in other countries...isn`t karma a biatch
 
2012-04-12 10:16:49 AM  

eeeleeet: Funny, as I was just talking to a friend of mine about how long from now it will be before the banking systems and other other forms of payment/ID will just scan your iris instead of a bank card and.... well, you have $15 in your checking account. Let's just hope everyone doesn't get pink eye.


I've no idea, but I can tell you one thing for sure and certain:

Blow jobs will always be the pearl necklace standard of black-market currency.
 
2012-04-12 10:18:42 AM  
So to keep us safe they need to block technology that is intended to keep us safe?

Their intellect is truly dizzying.
 
2012-04-12 10:20:07 AM  

duffblue: Sorry, but if you don't see how bad RFID chip in passport is, you should pick up a book sometime. No tin foil hats needed here, this shiat isn't a theory.


I am sincerely curious. Can you summarize the issues?
 
2012-04-12 10:20:54 AM  
All this really means is that the baksheesh you have to pay to Abdullah's cousin to get the information changed in the system will go up, and there will be several more people who have to be bribed.

Also, it means that everyone wants the world's new biometrics systems to be running on Windows machines.
 
2012-04-12 10:20:58 AM  

dittybopper: No, I was a SIGINT guy. Google "ditty bopper".


Oh, snap! Thanks for your service. I'll bet you have some fun stories to tell in ITU. :)
 
2012-04-12 10:24:13 AM  
So one good teleport machine will solve this for a Brazillion Dollars. Pass border, collect $200.

i875.photobucket.com
 
2012-04-12 10:25:45 AM  
When the electric snail spycams come online, no-one will need deep cover agents. Seriously, electrified snails, powering spycams. Heinously transparent threadjack, but electrified SNAILS!: Link (new window)
 
2012-04-12 10:34:34 AM  
Information Intelligence and Security is a paradox. Think about "telepathy" for a moment. Think about if we were going to technologically develop simulated telepathy---I'm using it because it's a perfect illustration of the paradox.

What would the requirements spec out to? Technology that could allow us to communicate an infinite distance with our friends with no possibility of anyone overhearing us or even knowing we were talking to our friends AND technology that would also allow us to read other people's minds and know what they're thinking even if they wanted us not to.

In other words, the "specs" for telepathy are absolute communications facility and security for me and mine and absolute penetration of any and all attempts at information security by you and yours.

But of course we'd all be sweet and ethical and nevar take advantage of other people's information vulnerability--except when it was the right thing to do---that's why we want the ability to read other people's minds so bad, right?

Biometric passports---we want absolute border and information security, but we want the ability to penetrate other people's borders and information security at will.

Intel is always a paradox, and it's always a war of everyone against everyone else, and since all information is not wanted with equal intensity or withheld with equal determination, it makes for alliances---but sometimes strange and shifting ones.
 
2012-04-12 10:40:38 AM  
Seems like the obvious solution would be to sneak your agent in on his permanent id, the cover id in on a burnable asset, and then swap papers once in country.
 
2012-04-12 10:43:52 AM  

Make More Hinjews: dittybopper: No, I was a SIGINT guy. Google "ditty bopper".

Oh, snap! Thanks for your service. I'll bet you have some fun stories to tell in ITU. :)


You don't have to thank me: You paid me (or your parents did).

As for the stories, I've got some interesting ones that I can talk about, and some I can't, but to be honest, looking at it from the outside, much of the classified stuff is about as interesting as reading a phonebook. It's dry, and much of it doesn't mean much in and of itself. We used to compensate by getting all stupid in the SCIF, tagging each other*, crawling under the false floor to paint wite-out smiley faces or put paper spurs on people's boots, having paperball fights, sending nugs to go get a box of line bearings or collect EMHO reports, that sort of thing.

That, and we'd get drunk after work. A lot.

*Tag: A note attached to a strip of tape that can be deftly 'flipped' on to the back of a fellow soldier, often with a humorous phrase or caricature of the person.
 
2012-04-12 10:44:22 AM  

DerAppie: First time:
1. Travel to country under alias 1
2. Book a hotel under alias 1
3. ???
4. Profit

Second time:
1. Travel to country under alias 1
2. Book a different hotel under alias 2
3. ???
4. Profit

Or:
1. Travel to country under alias 1
2. Have someone rent a condo for you in exchange for cash
3. ???
4. Profit

Sure, you'll be seen entering and leaving the country, but you won't show up in between. If only there was some kind of system in which people with some sort of immunity could get the documents into the country for the big switch.


They covered that in the article. In some cases, you're screwed under scenario two. If immigration is keeping a database of everyone entering the country and the hotel is checking arrivals against that database, if you don't show up as entering the country, but are trying to check in, that would raise red flags and alert the police to something fishy.
 
2012-04-12 10:45:13 AM  

gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.


Fair enough, but remember that Minority Report was based on a book written by Philip k. Dick.
 
2012-04-12 10:48:17 AM  
so they'll have to stop flying domestic.
 
2012-04-12 10:49:42 AM  

dittybopper: Make More Hinjews: dittybopper: No, I was a SIGINT guy. Google "ditty bopper".

Oh, snap! Thanks for your service. I'll bet you have some fun stories to tell in ITU. :)

You don't have to thank me: You paid me (or your parents did).

As for the stories, I've got some interesting ones that I can talk about, and some I can't, but to be honest, looking at it from the outside, much of the classified stuff is about as interesting as reading a phonebook. It's dry, and much of it doesn't mean much in and of itself. We used to compensate by getting all stupid in the SCIF, tagging each other*, crawling under the false floor to paint wite-out smiley faces or put paper spurs on people's boots, having paperball fights, sending nugs to go get a box of line bearings or collect EMHO reports, that sort of thing.

That, and we'd get drunk after work. A lot.

*Tag: A note attached to a strip of tape that can be deftly 'flipped' on to the back of a fellow soldier, often with a humorous phrase or caricature of the person.


Hehe. Sounds like a life well-lived.
 
2012-04-12 10:56:24 AM  
The video of the dubai hit was interesting to watch.

That could easily be a Burn Notice episode.
 
2012-04-12 10:58:18 AM  

dittybopper: Make More Hinjews: dittybopper: No, I was a SIGINT guy. Google "ditty bopper".

Oh, snap! Thanks for your service. I'll bet you have some fun stories to tell in ITU. :)

You don't have to thank me: You paid me (or your parents did).

As for the stories, I've got some interesting ones that I can talk about, and some I can't, but to be honest, looking at it from the outside, much of the classified stuff is about as interesting as reading a phonebook. It's dry, and much of it doesn't mean much in and of itself. We used to compensate by getting all stupid in the SCIF, tagging each other*, crawling under the false floor to paint wite-out smiley faces or put paper spurs on people's boots, having paperball fights, sending nugs to go get a box of line bearings or collect EMHO reports, that sort of thing.

That, and we'd get drunk after work. A lot.

*Tag: A note attached to a strip of tape that can be deftly 'flipped' on to the back of a fellow soldier, often with a humorous phrase or caricature of the person.


Do you, or did you, know of W6TNS?

I worked for the guy a long time ago. Really awesome guy. Great stories and, I might add, a freaking genius.
 
2012-04-12 11:17:29 AM  
So until retina scanners are used, basically biometrics is fingerprints? Didn't James Bond solve that problem decades ago?
 
2012-04-12 11:32:31 AM  

Digital Communist: gopher321: If an article starts off referencing a Tom Cruise movie, I'm just not going to take it seriously.

Fair enough, but remember that Minority Report was based on a book written by Philip k. Dick.


Short story, iirc. Dick wrote a lot of short stories, and a good short story is just about the right size idea for a decent movie.
 
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