Re: TERROISM: Using applied science

From: Dan Clemmensen (
Date: Sun Sep 23 2001 - 14:15:39 MDT

Spike Jones wrote:

> "Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
>>>From Nature 413:238-239 > [technologies] include 'biometrics' for confirming
>>the identity of
>>This would of course be less feasible for foreign citizens
>>who may not have easy access to the required identity cards.
>>This does at least allow you to focus the attention of
>>security on those individuals... Robert
> I didnt understand Larry Ellison's proposal for identity cards.
> He suggested using a thumbprint to verify the card holder
> was the right person. But if you have thumb print ID available,
> why do they need the card? What information would the
> card provide that isnt already connectable to a print or other
> biometrics? spike
Agreed. This is basically the reason that "smart cards" are a dumb

idea. If you are already checking with a remote database,
you don't need anything more than an ID number. The card can and
should be nothing more than a way to automate inputting that number,
as with credit cards today. The nature of the remote data
(central or distributed, government, corporate, or private) is a
completely separate issue from whether or not the card is smart.

My personal favorite is to try to positively identify each person
entering the country and validate them against a central government
database. We alreaady try to do this with passports, etc., so there
is no additional loss of privacy. The reasons for a central database
is to avoid document forgery. for this to be effective, we need to
cooperate with Canada and Mexico, since our borders with those countries
cannot easily be closed or controlled. This approach will not help much
against terrorists born in these three countries, but I see it as the
most cost-effective defense against the most likely real attacks.

I would reccommend both fingerprint and face recognition.

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