The FBI announced last week that its new identification system has reached its initial operating capacity. Known as Next Generation Identification (NGI), the Lockheed Martin-built program serves as an incremental upgrade of the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS — which will revolutionize law enforcement’s ability to process fingerprints.
NGI provides automated fingerprint and latent search capabilities, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints to more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice partners 24/7. Upon completion, the system will have the ability to process fingerprint transactions much more effectively and accurately.
“The implementation announced today represents a tremendous achievement in enhancing our identification services. Already, we’re seeing how the NGI system is revolutionizing fingerprint identification in support of our mission,” said Louis E. Grever, executive assistant director of the FBI Science and Technology Branch.
“Lockheed Martin was there supporting the FBI when IAFIS went live in 1999, and we’re thrilled to be here for NGI today,” affirmed Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions. “Technology like this is a powerful tool when it comes to protecting America’s citizens, and we’re proud to serve as a partner in that mission.”
“While IAFIS has been effective, criminal and terrorist threats have evolved over the past decade. Today’s environment demands faster and more advanced identification capabilities,” said Assistant Director Daniel D. Roberts, of the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division. “NGI represents a quantum leap in fingerprint identification that will help us in solving investigations, preventing crime, and apprehending criminals and terrorists.”
Lockheed Martin, the nation’s largest recipient of defense industry contracts, and a leader in the field of biometrics, says that the new technology enhances the FBI’s background-check programs by giving investigators expanded and more timely access to fingerprints. They also note that they see the FBI contract as a means by which biometric surveillance can be increased: a press release from the defense contractor states that “[W]hile this meets the challenges of today, tomorrow holds the possibility of developing iris scanners, genetic scanners, and other advanced biometric solutions.“