« Frank Costanzo Guest Blogger | Main | The Story of DemocracyFest »



Recently a friend of mine lost his Naturalization Certificate in a fire. This is the one of most coveted documents in history because it grants foreign born citizens a new identity, being an American. In order to replace the Naturalization Certificate, the Department of Homeland Security which now houses the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) denied the replacement certificate pending a Biometric analysis. The notification from CIS included local sites that perform the biometric analysis for a fee.

Biometrics are automated methods of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic.  Some of the features include measurements of; face, fingerprints, handwriting, hand geometry, iris, retinal, vein, and voice.   Biometric technology is now the foundation of a secure identification and personal information data collection system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.

The information is uploaded for various purposes to be utilized by numerous governmental agencies for verification and distribution, all under the premise of increasing security.

In 1903 NY State Prison began fingerprinting prisoners for security purposes and since then the government has systematically proposed various schemes to collect information on the citizenry. Since then, states have been collecting personal information for anyone requesting a driver’s license, professional license, Medicaid or welfare benefits. The Judicial Branch in several states has ruled against mass collection of personal information as a violation of personal privacy.

In Perkey v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1986) the Supreme Court of California ruled that, "The collection of fingerprints for ... unspecified and widespread usage infringes on individual privacy rights." 

Fingerprints, facial geometry, and retinal scans and the communication thereof are protected under the right to liberty and property which is a basic understanding of the US Constitution which has been backed by 200 years of case law, protecting these basic human rights.

The government’s stance is that the war on terror has prompted the need for increased security measures. When the citizenry allows blatant violations of basic Civil Liberties it is the death of Democracy. In Politics Aristotle said, “ The basis for a democratic state is liberty”

We must save our liberty for the democratic state is in an ominous risk of extinction.

Ok everyone; look into the retinal camera for your close-up.

Posted by Narges Niedzwiecki on May 6, 2005 at 08:55 PM | Permalink


In various forms since the 1950s we as a society have been forced to conform to "rules and regulations." Some appeared useful - "find an inside wall and cover your head," while others - soon proved to be manipulative - "we're fighting in Southeast Asia became the 'domino effect' will challenge our mere existence as a free country!" Now we're doing this to ourselves! The good news is that our current form of goverance if about to collapse. And when the lights go out - we, as the citizens of this enlightened country, will have to survive "without" all the electronic forms of "security" information that all of us have become dependent upon for our everyday needs and personal desires. I see upon the faces of every current new generation a profound disbelief in the crude politics of this generation - which continues to use the old failed schemes of the past to control and demean. My advise might be to look into the mirror and decide for yourself to take up the challenge, gathering your allies around you, and making global alliances. Recently I viewed a dance proformance that set the emotional stage for global unity. Please, treat your dreams with tenderness, argue their merits, continue on with spirit, and envision our future destiny as possible. May we become other than what we appear currently to be...

Posted by: bob | May 8, 2005 9:02:57 PM

This is not making me feel any better about having to go to the DMV to renew my license today. LOL.

Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 12:01:11 PM

Just got back from the DMV.

The good news is that Homeland Security now has the best picture taken of me in the last year on file! (Seriously, it's an amazingly good photo!)

I read all the fine print and nothing said that information would be shared with Homeland Security or anyone else, but they probably don't need to disclose that (???)

They didn't take fingerprints or anything, but I guess they have my handwriting, and could have been recording me at the window, and videotaping the waiting room...although I don't see how they would notice me next to Bird Boy (the guy sitting next to me that made bird noises and bird head movements the whole time!)

Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 3:11:20 PM

Anybody here?

FYI, Logo voting is up.


Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 8:06:52 PM

It's an very unfair predictament, because your friend probably feels like he's in no position to protest it. Did your friend contact a lawyer, "forget" to go, or go to the Biometrics analysis lab?

Congrads, Jess, on the good photo! Too funny about the bird guy.

Posted by: Charlene | May 9, 2005 8:09:41 PM

I put in my vote, Jess!

Posted by: Charlene | May 9, 2005 8:11:52 PM

So, what can we do about this? Is there any way to stop the government from collecting this info on us?

Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 8:12:19 PM

I put in my vote, Jess!

Posted by: Charlene | May 9, 2005 08:11 PM

Me too.

They've been talking about it all day on BFA. Somehow the voting being available leaked out ;-)

Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 8:14:07 PM

Hi Jessica - I'm checking in. Had a serious conversation today about how the current administration is trying to reverse history - that's telling Russia "Roosevelt" made mistakes dividing Europe. Well, we're running scared because Russia is making agreements with Japan, China and whomever to secure their future - not ours. I get the sense that many Americans think taking photos, finger printing, and generally making it hard for "aliens" to rummage around the countryside is a good thing. This is truly disturbing, because yesterday victims become "us" tomorrow. True this is a recurrent theme in American, if not global society, but this time we might not survive the onslaught.

Posted by: bob | May 9, 2005 8:17:10 PM

I get the sense that many Americans think taking photos, finger printing, and generally making it hard for "aliens" to rummage around the countryside is a good thing.

Posted by: bob | May 9, 2005 08:17 PM

You mean it doesn't make you feel safer? *snark*

Did you see the poll in the Rutland Herald last month. The majority in RutVegas think we should make the Canadian border harder to cross...

Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 8:22:27 PM

Hey Bob,

Are you going to be at Johnson State graduation on Saturday? My mom is graduating!

Posted by: Jessica | May 9, 2005 8:23:47 PM

I don't know where Narges is. I assume she misunderstood or is having computer trouble. I've emailed with additional instructions in case that's the problem.

Very exciting to hear about your Mom, Jess. Please wish her Congratulations for me.

My Mom is totally upset about the troubles this administration is creating in crossing the border between Canada and VT. She has lived here for 40 years, giving birth to and raising 3 kids, and now they are going to harrass her when she tries to visit her relatives in Canada and vice versa? These are elderly people that I'm speaking of; what sense does it make to harrass them?

I'm trying to get her to write a letter to the editor of the Burlington Free Press to get people thinking!

Posted by: Charlene | May 9, 2005 8:30:13 PM

Hey, Bob! Thanks for spreading the revolutionary thoughts! We need to be reminded to step out of our comfort zones all the time--ok, at least, I do.

Got to sign off. Good chatting with you!

Posted by: Charlene | May 9, 2005 8:32:08 PM

Oh, Jessica - I had a conflict with JSC "doings" and my piano students doing an audition at Skidmore this weekend. They're between 8-14 years, and need my presence. The sad part is both happen at 2pm - yikes. There are 7 very special [now counting 8 with your mom] graduating on Saturday, but I really need to be at Skidmore. Give you mother a "hug-n-a-kiss" for me, and congrats! I'll try better next time...

Posted by: bob | May 9, 2005 8:53:24 PM

Hi Jessica
There is really nothing that can be done regarding the new Homeland Security collection of biometric information. However, at present it applies to all incoming persons, not natural born citizens.

Posted by: narges | May 9, 2005 9:18:21 PM

I made it, my server was down, but now it is back.

Posted by: Narges | May 9, 2005 9:19:41 PM

This just makes me sick. And to think of all the useless Democratic Congress people who did not bother reading either the Homeland Security Act or the Patriot Act before they signed it. What the hell are we paying them 6 figure salaries for?

Posted by: Cheryl | May 19, 2005 5:29:42 PM

The adynamic car lease prices magician seriously polar its hind on chrysler afresh since relentless consumers necktie shifted to phs affluent cars with real mileage.
http://www.erobees.biz/3d-car-free-game-online/map.html All she firmly do is ask, and i'll car lease it to her.

Posted by: RawOpereelype | Sep 28, 2007 11:06:03 AM

kyqezc hgzc ozcvdwq kajsrqotl cyxehjiq nmfoyris junwif

Posted by: hgmvwq moquis | May 22, 2008 8:09:05 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.