CIA’s Secret Fear: High-Tech Border Checks Will Blow Spies’ Cover

EyeScanThe Watchmen’s tools working against the Watchers? Jeff Stein writes on WIRED’s Danger Room:

When Tom Cruise had to break into police headquarters in Minority Report, the futuristic crime thriller, he got past the iris scanners with ease: He just swapped out his eyeballs.

CIA agents may find that just a little beyond the call of duty. But meanwhile, they’ve got to come up with something else: The increasing deployment of iris scanners and biometric passports at worldwide airports, hotels and business headquarters, designed to catch terrorists and criminals, are playing havoc with operations that require CIA spies to travel under false identities.

Busy spy crossroads such as Dubai, Jordan, India and many EU points of entry are employing iris scanners to link eyeballs irrevocably to a particular name. Likewise, the increasing use of biometric passports, which are embedded with microchips containing a person’s face, sex, fingerprints, date and place of birth, and other personal data, are increasingly replacing the old paper ones. For a clandestine field operative, flying under a false name could be a one-way ticket to a headquarters desk, since they’re irrevocably chained to whatever name and passport they used.

Read More: WIRED’s Danger Room

8 Comments on "CIA’s Secret Fear: High-Tech Border Checks Will Blow Spies’ Cover"

  1. Hadrian999 | Apr 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    I very much doubt this will effect government spies, they don’t need fake documents, they can use “real” passports that have been created for their particular “legend” and I would bet money that the worlds spook shops all have ways of defeating biometric scanners 

  2. If all this type of “biometric scan” does is compare a picture of your eye to one on record, spies would just have someone access the records and have a contact lenses made with whoever irises they needed, or you know, have their iris temporarily connected to whatever fake id they’re using. If a poor uneducated person can cross a border undetected, a spy would have no problem.

  3. Oh please. James Bond goes around blowing things up and telling everyone who he is. Maybe these so called spies should learn how to para-ski on a tidal wave!

  4. Auto5734955 | Apr 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

     It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of bastards.

  5. I can see how many people know nothing about technology from reading these comments

  6. The CIA gets inconvenienced?

    Tough motherfucking shit.

  7.  and probably smaller budget then, less intrusive then, and more effective then the t.s.a

  8. tailorthis | Apr 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm |

    Passing that vaginal swab scan is going to be tougher than I expected anybody got a spare eyeball?

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