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FBI spearheading drive for international biometric database on criminals, terrorists

[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) [official website] is spearheading US efforts to form an international database of biometrics data on major criminals and terrorists, the UK Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday. The program, called "Server in the Sky," would be a cooperative venture by participating countries to collect and share information such as fingerprints, iris and palm scans, facial images, and video sequences. As envisioned, the database would be three tiered -- separating "internationally recognized terrorists and felons", "major felons and suspected terrorists", and "subjects of terrorism investigations and criminals with international links." Though still in the planning stages, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand have formed a working group to discuss the project.

Several European Union member states have already signed on to a similar plan [JURIST report] to share DNA and fingerprint information on major criminals under the 2005 Treaty of Prum [PDF text]. The Guardian has more. CBC News has additional coverage.

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