US Security Agencies to Discuss Biometrics at Informal Summit

tumblr_naormproWz1qfirfao1_1280The FBI is getting ready to join a number of other prominent government security agencies in an informal, off-the-record conference on border security. The Defense Strategies Institute’s “Town Hall” Border Security and Intelligence Summit will also feature the representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and a number of other organizations.

The overall aim is collaboration and cross-pollination as the organizations concerned anticipate new and emerging threats to border security. In a statement, Defense Strategies Institute Senior Partner Monica Mckenzie explained that the summit “will bring together a variety of stakeholders in order to build out two days of discussion and debates that tackle many of the areas involved in enhancing effective and efficient intelligence sharing and operational capabilities amongst the border security community.”

Given the breadth of the issue, a range of topics will be covered at the summit. Among them will be intelligence gathering, fighting human trafficking, expanding “homeland security beyond our borders”, as the DSI put it in a press release, and biometrics, particularly with respect to “maximizing mobile and multi-modal technology innovation at the border and ports of entry”.

The discussion of biometric border security seems particularly salient given SIBA’s recent call for such measures in wake of the November 13th terror attacks in Paris. Given that the DHS is already testing biometric security in an airport setting and the US Customs and Border Protection Agency is proceeding with a biometric identification pilot project at the US-Mexico border, it appears there is already strong interest among US security agencies in these kinds of solutions.

December 2, 2015 – by Alex Perala