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December 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: fingerprints

Russian Hackers May Have Access to FBI’s Fingerprint-Analysis Software

Fingerprint analysis, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

A Russian firm with close ties to the Kremlin created the code used by the FBI’s fingerprint-analysis software, raising concerns that foreign hackers may be able to obtain sensitive biometric information on millions of Americans, according to documents and two whistleblowers.

Authorities also are worried that Russians could compromise national security by infiltrating the FBI’s computer systems, BuzzFeed reports

The software also is used by roughly 18,000 of other law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

The Russian code was inserted into the fingerprint system by a French company, a former subsidiary of the Paris-based conglomerate Safran, which concealed Russia’s involvement from U.S. officials.

Judge Forces Woman to Unlock iPhone with Fingerprints, But It Doesn’t Work

Apple-iphoneBy Steve Neavling

When the FBI couldn’t open an iPhone in Los Angeles, a judge made the controversial decision to let the bureau force a woman to unlock the phone with her fingerprints.

But it didn’t work, CNN reports. 

The case involves Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, the girlfriend of an accused gangster. 

“They forced her to use all 10 fingers to unlock the phone. But it didn’t unlock the phone,” said George G. Mgdesyan, the attorney who represented the couple.

Turns out, the Touch ID feature expires if it’s not used within 48 hours.

When that didn’t work, the FBI tried another route.

“They asked for a password. She said, ‘It’s not my phone,'” Mgdesyan explained.

New Technology Will Enable Law Enforcement Officers to Quickly Analyze DNA Swabs

By Steve Neavling

Awaiting DNA results can be frustrating for law enforcement.

But the FBI hopes to change that by expediting the process using the government’s new biometric identification database, Biometric Update reports.

The FBI is accelerating the collection of DNA profiles for the Next Generation Identification System. Law enforcement officers will be able to take DNA swabs from suspects using a portable machine that is designed to create matches within 90 minutes.

That means officers will be able to run tests while temporarily detaining a suspect.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that police officers have the right to capture and analyze a cheek swab just like they have the right to take fingerprints or photographs.

FBI’s Facial Recognition System Reaches ‘Full Operational Capability,’ Ready to Use

By Steve Neavling

The FBI’s new facial recognition system is now fully operational, the bureau announced Monday.

The Next Generation Identification System also will replace the FBI’s fingerprint identification system.

“The IPS facial recognition service will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities,” the FBI said in a press release. “This effort is a significant step forward for the criminal justice community in utilizing biometrics as an investigative enabler.”

The system has been criticized by civil rights groups who claim the people without criminal records are going to be turned into suspects.

The civil liberties group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, argues the system is an invasion of privacy.

“Law enforcement agencies, probation and parole officers, and other criminal justice entities will also greatly improve their effectiveness by being advised of subsequent criminal activity of persons under investigation or supervision,” EFF said in a press release. “The IPS [Interstate Photo System] facial recognition service will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities.”

FBI Insists It Destroys Fingerprints During Expedited Airport Screening Process

Steve Neavling

There’s good news for travelers: They can expedite the slow screening process at airports.

The bad news: They’ll have to give up a set of their fingerprints to ensure they are the person they say they are, the Chicago Tribune reports.

But the FBI said there are no privacy concerns because law requires the bureau to delete the prints or return them to the TSA.

The ACLU expressed relief.

“If they say that, I believe them that they’re not using this as an enrollment” into the fingerprint database, Jay Stanley, an ACLU senior policy analyst, said. “And I think that’s good.”

Retired FBI Fingerprinting Supervisor Elizabeth Eaton Dies at Age 103

fbi logo large
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Eaton, a 30-year veteran of  the FBI, who retired in 1972 as the unit supervisor in the fingerprinting division, died last month in Washington at age 103 from atherosclerosis, the Washington Post reported.

The long time Washington resident was born in Cortland, N.Y. and moved to the Washington area in 1927, the Post reported.

She was a member of the Chevy Chase United Methodist Church and held cookie-decorating parties in her neighborhood, the Post reported.

Baltimore Fed Judge Allows Fingerprints, Reversing Ruling that Let Suspected Murderer Go Free

The ruling by the county judge was controversial to say the least. Was it based on sound reason? A federal judge apparently didn’t think so.


By Tricia Bishop
Baltimore Sun reporter
BALTIMORE — Fingerprint evidence from a 2006 murder case will be admissible in federal court, a U.S. district judge in Baltimore ruled Tuesday, rejecting a decision by a Baltimore County judge that shocked prosecutors and set the defendant free.

Brian Keith Rose, 25, is accused of killing Warren Fleming, a Cingular store owner at Security Square Mall, while trying to steal his car.

He was linked to the crime by partial prints left on the Mercedes and a stolen Dodge Intrepid that police say was used by Rose and his accomplices in the January 2006 incident.

For Full Story

Homeland Security Launches Tests at 2 Airports to Verify Travel of Foreigners


The good news is that Homeland Security is continuing to work on airport security. The question is how effective this will be and how long will it take to carry this effort out nationwide? And so far the airlines have refused to participate in this.

By Chris Strohm
WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department launched test programs at two airports today in an attempt to verify when foreigners and legal permanent residents leave the country, but federal officials remain at odds with the airline industry over the effort.

The objective is to develop a system in which fingerprints are collected at every airport from non-U.S. citizens departing the United States. The fingerprints would be used to verify that visitors have not overstayed the time they are allowed to remain in the country.

Congress has been demanding the implementation of such a visa-enforcement process since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The test programs began today at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and will last for 35 days. The testing will compare the process of collecting fingerprints at checkpoints operated by the Transportation Security Administration to having Customs and Border Protection collect fingerprints at gates.

But what is missing is a test to determine the feasibility of having the airlines, as opposed to the government, collect the fingerprints. Congress asked for such a test in its report accompanying the FY09 Homeland Security appropriations bill.

For Full Story