It Has Begun: DHS Now Scanning Americans’ Faces at Airports

The Department of Homeland Security is implementing a new plan that will give Americans even less privacy while traveling abroad. Under the new system, Americans leaving the country will be forced to pass through biometric scanners that will scan individual faces.

While this program has not yet been fully implemented, there are already at least six airports that are currently running the program, and some of them have been using it for several months. The airports where you can currently expect to get scanned are in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, New York City and Washington, D.C. However, the Department of Homeland Security has been very clear that they hope to roll this program out nationwide by January 2018.

Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University, said that this program was initially only targeted at people entering the country, not leaving. However, DHS allegedly decided to broaden the scope of the program and target even more people, including Americans leaving the country.

“Congress authorized scans of foreign nationals. DHS heard that and decided to scan everyone,” Bedoya said. “That’s not how a democracy is supposed to work.”

DHS is using a 2004 biometric-tracking law to justify this new program, but experts say that the original law was never intended to target Americans.

Harrison Rudolph, a Georgetown legal fellow, told Ars that, “Americans expect when they fly overseas that their luggage is going to be looked into. What they don’t expect is their face is going to be scanned. This is an expansion of a program that was never authorized for US citizens.”

Regardless of how legal they actually are, these scans are taking place anyway, and they have been happening for several months, at the very least.

One of the first public reports of the scans came back in February when economist Jeffrey Tucker was leaving the country to travel to a conference for a lecture. When he attempted to leave the airport in Atlanta, he was shocked to find US Marshalls demanding that he submit to a biometric face scan.

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Writing on his website after the flight, Tucker described his experience:

“We had already been through boarding pass checks, passport checks, scanners, and pat downs. At the gate, each passenger had already had their tickets scanned and we were all walking on the jet bridge to board. It’s at this point that most people assume that it is all done: Finally, we can enjoy some sense of normalcy. 

This time was different. Halfway down the jetbridge, there was a new layer of security. Two US Marshals, heavily armed and dressed in dystopian-style black regalia, stood next to an upright machine with a glowing green eye. Every passenger, one by one, was told to step on a mat and look into the green scanner. It was scanning our eyes and matching that scan with the passport, which was also scanned (yet again).”

Tucker went on to say that he felt like a prisoner in his own country and that many of his fellow passengers felt the same.

In May, John Wagner and Michael Dougherty with the Customs and Border Protection made a statement to a House subcommittee about the program’s test run in Atlanta, and defended the program against its critics.

“US Citizens are not exempted from this process for two reasons: first, it is not feasible to require airlines to have two separate boarding processes for US citizens and non-US citizens, and second, to ensure US citizen travelers are the true bearer of the passport they are presenting for travel. If the photograph captured at boarding is matched to a US citizen passport, the photograph is discarded after a short period of time.

In essence, for US citizens the document check has been transformed from a manual process by airline personnel or CBP officers into an automated process using a machine. It is important to note that CBP is committed to privacy and has engaged our privacy office at every step in the process to add biometrics to the departure process from the United States,” The statement read.

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However, privacy experts and advocates are not convinced by this argument. Alvaro Bedoya, another law professor at Georgetown, pointed out that “When you [land at] the airport, you are directed into two lines; there’s a line for US citizens and green-card holders, and there’s everyone else. We’ve determined that it’s OK to treat Americans differently on entry, why is it not OK to treat them differently on exit?”

By the end of this year, it is expected that this program will be operational in airports across the United States.

Courtesy of The Free Thought Project

John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page.John is currently battling cancer, and will be working to help others through his experience, if you wish to contribute to his treatments consider subscribing to his podcast to support .

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  • Crystal Stingray

    There is a very easy way to solve this problem: BOYCOTT ALL NON-ESSENTIAL AIR TRAVEL. PERIOD. Until that happens, Americans are sheep being led to slaughter.

  • Crystal Stingray

    And yet, “they” can’t require a photo ID for voting . . .

  • RockyMtn1776

    Forget people leaving, nail the ones coming IN !!

  • carpkiller

    There will be thousands who will not have to do this. Money,friends,gov. who knows what else.

  • bodica

    The photos “will be discarded…” Where have we heard that before. And how do we know they’re not selling DNA to ghoul labs for bizarre experimentation?

  • Rob

    Ever notice those small innocuous cameras on the corner posts of intersections. They have been doing facial rec. for a long time….it just has not been publicized. So, next time you see a camera box remember the book 1985.

    • bodica

      1984 – yes, they waited until that date had passed and POUNCED with their garbage. Funnily enough, when their morlochs engage in felonies, the cameras are never used to provide evidence against the State.

    • RockyMtn1776

      Yes, there are also many of them hidden as you go through an underpass on the highway.

  • Neva

    We should do this when voting in all elections! First good idea since 9/11.

  • wsurfs .

    In our AMERICAN history, we have never been conquered….!! Now, these new “security measures” (read mandates) are ALL little….and big….steps in the conquering of the United States of America from within..! Barack INSANE Obama the so-called “president” for eight very long years NEVER promoted, supported or advocated for us, he did not try to help Americans, on the contrary, he tried to CONQUER us…!!

    Now if we, as UNCONQUERED AMERICANS, don’t begin to fight against these subversive acts to conquer us, WE WILL BE CONQUERED..!! WE are AMERICANS, LET’S START TO BEHAVE LIKE AMERICANS and FIGHT AGAINST THIS MADNESS…! Scan the enemy…the bad people….monitor the bad people….unmask the bad people….NOT US…!! WE are AMERICANS….!!

    And, on another note, who knows what these scans could do to our brains…!! We definitely need more investigation and research into the possibility that these scans are physically harmful..!! Five years from now……who knows…….they may tell us: “Oops…we didn’t know they would scramble your brains like that”…!! UGH…!!!

    • Neva

      You sincerely have a point! Gov has control of food, medicine, vaccines, water, land, camps built, all to control population or depopulate. Now maybe brains….

      • Warrior Spirit

        They don’t control my food. I live out in the country, and have private lakes all around me. One way in, one way out… unless by air. I am HEAVILY ARMED, and have easily made it so that traps and deadly protective measures can be implemented easily, when the time arises. I have deer, cattle, and all sorts of seed for vegetables, and food for human consumption, NOT altered by genetic means. I will NOT allow them to be taken from me, I can destroy many trying to do so, and will when I need to. I am PREPARED to die for my country, and prepared to defend it until Christ returns, and I am his warrior…. I will prevail, and I will conquer invaders to my land!!!!!! SO HELP ME GOD!!!!!!

        • lloyd Lisco

          God bless you and yours.

        • Crystal Stingray

          It sounds like Nirvana where you live. I mean that sincerely.

      • wsurfs .

        I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I would like to see the research on this type of technology and the benefits or dangers to us and make my own decision..!! At the moment, I don’t even go through the BIG scanner at the airports….I always request a personal pat down because I have a history of cancer in my family..!! Way too risky for me..!! They may also tell us five years from now that they didn’t know THOSE big scanners were dangerous…Who knows..!!

        • lloyd Lisco

          Of course they are dangerous, Equivalent to 12 Chest x rays each time you go thru one. Many machine operators dying with cancers.

          • wsurfs .

            I want THAT research released..!! YIKES…!!

        • Neva

          You have a great point. Most everything the gov does is not to benefit American people. With all the other “chem trails”, poisonous vaccines, and other ways to depopulate our society, Satan is ruling here. Sometimes first thought is always a good thought (me).

        • Neva

          NOT always a good thought. Typing is rough. LOL!

  • Paulus

    Great idea! Hopefully we will soon be able to scan the brains ( where they exist!) through the beards and burkhas of Muslim
    travellers to establish whether they are carrying explosives, knives, too many copies of the Koran and their innermost plans for the Islamification of the world. My suggestion is that the scan should be applied NOt for those who are leaving, but for those who are arriving. (Tongue firmly in cheek!)