recommended reading

Biometrics blossom in Afghanistan

Afghan police patrol mountains outside Kabul.

Afghan police patrol mountains outside Kabul. // Musadeq Sadeq/AP file photo

The Pentagon and Afghan government are relying more heavily on biometric technology to track and hinder militant movements in Afghanistan, The Economist reports.

The U.S. Army and the Afghan government have built a database of digital records of more than 2.5 million people in the country, according to the report. The data are shared with the FBI, Homeland Security Department and allies.

The database is likely to grow following the implementation of biometric scanners at all border crossings last year.

“Fighting-age males” -- those between 15 and 70 -- can be scanned compulsorily in contested areas. Collecting the fingerprints and scanning irises of the dead are standard practices, as usable scans can be obtained as long as six hours after death.

Nearly 500 Taliban prisoners escaped from Kandahar’s Sarposa prison in 2011. Within a month, 30 had been recaptured because of random biometric checks of the population, according to The Economist.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.