Re-posted from archive of infinite ideas machine 2004:
John Leyden’s report Accenture wins $10bn Homeland Security gig ends with some interesting facts that may well start to hit home later this year:
Since January, visitors to the US from many countries have been fingerprinted or photographed. Under the US Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, countries whose citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the United States must issue passports with biometric identifiers no later than 26 October 2004.
Hmm – might this explain the Home Office’s sudden hurry to get biometrics ‘working’ on UK passports?
It’s bad enough that the European Union Commission have (ignoring the votes of the European Parliament!) signed an agreement with the US about the transfer of airline Passenger Name Record data – see Spy Blog and The Practical Nomad for detailed commentary and analysis – but for the US to foist biometrics on us all (even us supposed allies!) as a consequence / requirement of its own shaky ‘Homeland Security’ agenda?
Seems like the global bully-boy is revealing its own deep-seated insecurities, making threats (we’ll fingerprint your citizens) and demands (spend billions on biometric technology – which US firms can supply, of course!) of those it knows will fall into line – with little to no chance of getting the *really* bad boys to comply…
UPDATED 10/6/04: Oops! It looks like an important Congressional committee has voted to strip Accenture (plus Dell, AT&T, Sprint and Raytheon) of their lucrative contract, “because Accenture is a foreign company that uses Bermuda as a tax haven.”