Secure Communities: Backdoor Big Brother Biometric Surveillance Operation Underway
Border control operations have long been a convenient cover for introducing policies and technologies that provide a staging ground for incremental rollout of more surveillance across the United States. The Secure Communities program (S-Comm) is no exception.
ICE announced in February that it would begin using biometric identification as a key component of an information sharing nexus with 58 California counties meant to identify aliens who are booked for crimes by local police. However, a recent Freedom of Information Act request by several justice organizations reveals a program involving extensive Homeland Security coordination to expand the Secure Communities biometrics program to include even law abiding American citizens. Rather than a specific initiative to deport known criminals, this is looking more and more like a sweeping move toward a Big Brother total surveillance grid.
A pattern of deception by the federal government is emerging in the wake of a failed attempt to push a national ID card. ICE is already under investigation for misrepresenting its intentions, and the wider role of the FBI only furthers the suspicion that this latest move has ulterior motives.
According to Bridget Kessler of the Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice Clinic, one of the organizations that applied through FOIA:
“These documents provide a fascinating glimpse into the FBI’s role in forcing S-Comm on states and localities. The FBI’s desire to pave the way for the rest of the NGI project seems to have been a driving force in the policy decision to make S-Comm mandatory. But the documents also confirm that, both technologically and legally, S-Comm could have been voluntary.” (Source)