Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is looking to connect its facial recognition program with a gang intelligence app that was developed by a district attorney’s office in Pennsylvania in an effort to improve data collection and coordination.
As NextGov reports, the Gang Intelligence Application (GIA) — developed by the Office of the District Attorney of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, via a $1.1 million grant from the Homeland Security Department (HSD) — was released last year by local app developer Computer Aid Inc. and the county’s Regional Intelligence and Investigations Center following three years of development.
According to the application filed, ICE officials are aiming to secure a one-year contract that includes the “software development, data analytic support, and cloud migration of a web-based application for use by Homeland Security Investigations to identify, track, disrupt and dismantle transnational gangs.”
GIA is currently used to fight gang operations in Virginia, West Virginia and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and while ICE and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) currently have access to the app and its database, their use is limited by what information can be securely uploaded and shared.
Through the application it filed, ICE aims to have more control over the data it uploads and stronger security protocols that will enable it to safely connect the GIA interface to HSD networks, while also connecting its facial recognition system to GIA, which it currently cannot do.
“In order to meet these requirements, ICE requires architectural modification of the GIA including migration to the GovCloud environment to enable secure integration of HSI gang specific data into a secure ICE compartmentalized tool, increased analytical and data support, and facilitation of secure sharing and future interfacing with ICE systems to further its mission to target transnational criminal organizations,” the application says.
With access to the GIA database, ICE aims to counter criminal efforts by having an enhanced ability to search for people, vehicles, weapons, property and phone numbers, as well as better documentation and identification of transnational gang trends and patterns.
March 31, 2020 – by Tony Bitzionis