NEWS

U.S. to Build International Database for World's "Worst of the Worst"

By Matthew Harwood

The FBI is leading an effort in concert with several allies to launch an international biometric database to track down criminals and terrorists, reports the Guardian.

The US-initiated programme, "Server in the Sky", would take cooperation between the police forces way beyond the current faxing of fingerprints across the Atlantic. Allies in the "war against terror" - the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - have formed a working group, the International Information Consortium, to plan their strategy.

Biometric measurements, irises or palm prints as well as fingerprints, and other personal information are likely to be exchanged across the network. One section will feature the world's most wanted suspects. The database could hold details of millions of criminals and suspects.

The FBI told the Guardian that the biometric database is meant to hold the world's "worst of the worst." The FBI's proposed database will separate individuals held in the system into three categories: "internationally recognized terrorists and felons," "major felons and suspected terrorists," and "subjects of terrorist investigations or criminals with international links."

Tom Bush, assistant director at the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Service, said the pilot project could be up and running by mid-year.

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