FBI doesnt want you to know what is in the National Biometric Database

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is attempting to suppress information about a massive database which contains fingerprints, palm prints, iris, voice, and face scans, as well as other biometric data, of millions of Americans.

United States has in place a legislation called Privacy Act which makes it incumbent upon the federal agencies to give people access to the records that have been collected concerning them “allowing them to verify and correct them if needed.”. The Department of Justice wants to bypass this very act. According to a new proposal being floated in early by the Department of Justice, FBI seeks to exempt the biometric database from public disclosure. The proposal states the Next Generation Identification System (NGI) should not be subject to the Privacy Act and escape scrutiny from American citizens.

The proposal states that allowing individuals to view their own records, or even an account of those records, could compromise criminal investigations or national security efforts,” potentially reveal asensitive investigative technique,” or provide information that could help a subject avoid detection or apprehension.”

The NGI database contains biometric information on people who have provided fingerprints to employers, or for licenses and background checks, as well as of all the criminals convicted in United States and those that have been suspected of wrongdoing even for a short period of time, according to Underground Reporter.

Essentially the FBI is arguing that it will prevent individuals from knowing if their information is in the massive database if the release of information would “compromise” a law enforcement investigation. Next Gov first reported about the proposed changes being sought by DoJ.

“Letting individuals view their own records, or even the accounting of those records, could compromise criminal investigations or “national security efforts,” potentially revealing a “sensitive investigative technique” or information that could help a subject “avoid detection or apprehension,” the draft posting said.

Another clause requires agencies to keep the records they collect to assure individuals any determination made about them was made fairly. Arguing for an exemption, the FBI posting claimed it is “impossible to know in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely and complete” for “authorized law enforcement purposes.”

Although very little is actually known about the NGI database, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and EPIC have been able to uncover that the FBI would like to track every individual as they move from one location to another.

It remains to be seen whether FBI and DoJ’s proposal is accepted by the US congress and FBI is allowed to protect its dirty closet from prying eyes.