Tag Archives: counterterrorism

Biometric Recognition: Status and Prospects for Security Technology

Recently biometrics has been in the news as a key to identifying the body of Osama bin Laden after the raid in Pakistan. Heightening security concerns around the world are leading to an expanded use of automated recognition technologies for individuals based on their behavioral and biological characteristics. Biometric systems are used increasingly to recognize individuals and regulate access to physical spaces, information, services, and other rights or benefits.

Because biometric systems use sensed traits to recognize individuals, privacy, legal, and sociological factors are involved in all applications. Biometrics in this sense sits at the intersection of biological, behavioral, social, legal, statistical, mathematical, and computer sciences as well as sensor physics and philosophy. It is no wonder that this complex set of technologies called biometrics has fascinated the government and the public for decades.

Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities provides a comprehensive assessment of biometric recognition that examines current capabilities, future possibilities, and the role of government in technology and system development This book addresses issues of effectiveness, design, and uncertainty surrounding broader implementation of this technology.

Who Goes There? Authentication Through the Lens of Privacy explores authentication technologies (passwords, PKI, biometrics, etc.) and their implications for the privacy of the individuals being authenticated. This book offers a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that an individual’s privacy is not unnecessarily compromised, whether by commercial or government organizations.

These books and others from the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board can add perspective and contribute to discussion.

Biometric Recognition
Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities 

Biometric recognition–the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral and biological characteristic–is promoted as a way to help identify terrorists, provide better control of access to physical facilities and financial accounts, and…
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Who Goes There?
Who Goes There?: Authentication Through the Lens of Privacy 

Who Goes There?: Authentication Through the Lens of Privacy explores authentication technologies (passwords, PKI, biometrics, etc.) and their implications for the privacy of the individuals being authenticated. As authentication becomes ever more…
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Summary of a Workshop on the Technology, Policy, and Cultural Dimensions of Biometric Systems
Summary of a Workshop on the Technology, Policy, and Cultural Dimensions of Biometric Systems 

Biometricsthe use of physiological and behavioral characteristics for identification purposeshas been promoted as a way to enhance security and identification efficiency. There are questions, however, about, among other issues, the effectiveness of biometric…
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Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age
Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age 

Privacy is a growing concern in the United States and around the world. The spread of the Internet and the seemingly boundaryless options for collecting, saving, sharing, and comparing information trigger consumer worries. Online practices of business and…
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Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists
Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment 

All U.S. agencies with counterterrorism programs that collect or “mine” personal data — such as phone records or Web sites visited — should be required to evaluate the programs’ effectiveness, lawfulness, and impacts on privacy. A framework is…
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New Books This Week: Data Integrity, Counterterrorism, The Biology Revolution and More

Friday brings us to the close of the week and the usual recap of what’s fresh and new here at nap.edu. Next week’s post may be a little delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday, but if there’s new stuff, we’ll be sure you know.

Featured New Book

Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism (final)


The U.S. military forces currently face a nontraditional threat from insurgents and terrorists who primarily employ improvised explosive devices, and have shown a cycle of adaptation of less than 12 months to responses by U.S. forces to counter these attacks. This constantly evolving threat requires U.S. military forces to adapt and respond more rapidly with modified tactics, technologies, and/or equipment.

In response to this need for new technologies, the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) was established in 2006 to develop technologies that can mature in 6 to 18 months for purposes of counterterrorism. Although RRTO appears to be successfully fulfilling its mission, the agency seeks to understand and address barriers to and opportunities for meeting future counterterrorism needs–including the need to accelerate the transition of technologies for counterterrorism with an eye to countering emerging and anticipated threats. This book reviews RRTO approaches and provides a set of recommendations for potential improvements to help meet these needs for rapid technology development.

All New Books This Week

Disposal of Legacy Nerve Agent GA and Lewisite Stocks at Deseret Chemical Depot: Letter ReportĀ  (final)

Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences (prepublication)

Landscapes on the Edge: New Horizons for Research on Earth’s Surface (prepublication)

Crisis Standards of Care: Summary of a Workshop Series (prepublication)

Review of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Corrosion Prevention Standards for Ductile Iron Pipe (final)

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age (final)

Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008 (final)

A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution (final)

Biographical Memoirs: V. 91

This Week’s New Publications (10/5-10/9)

Every Friday, we run down the publications that hit nap.edu in the past week. Every publication is available to read for free online, so follow the links to read them on our site.

Featured Publication

Approaches to Reducing the Use of Forced or Child Labor: Summary of a Workshop on Assessing Practice (final)



Globally, child labor and forced labor are widespread and complex problems. They are conceptually different phenomena, requiring different policy responses, though they may also overlap in practice. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) was designed to reduce the use of child and forced labor in the production of goods consumed in the United States. The Act was reauthorized in 2003, 2005, and 2008.

In response to provisions of TVPA, the the Bureau of International Labor Affairs requested that the National Research Council organize a two-day workshop. The workshop, summarized in this volume, discusses methods for identifying and organizing a standard set of practices that will reduce the likelihood that persons will use forced labor or child labor to produce goods, with a focus on business and governmental practices.

All Publications This Week

Experimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism (prepublication)

Review of the Methodology Proposed by the Food Safety and Inspection Service for Follow-up Surveillance of In-Commerce Businesses: A Letter Report (final)

Vital Statistics: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Letter Report to the U.S. Department of Education on the Race to the Top Fund (final)

Biographical Memoirs: V. 90 (final)

Sensing and Supporting Communications Capabilities for Special Operations Forces (final)

Toward a Universal Radio Frequency System for Special Operations Forces (final)