U.S. Customs and Border Protection (UCBP) screens the over 250 million tons of cargo that crosses America's borders each year, seeking to detect material that could be used for terrorism-related or other criminal activities. To enhance collaboration among UCBP and its partners, PM-ISE is supporting efforts to develop cross governmental cargo security standards and architectures—built on existing systems—to address terrorism-related secure cargo information access, data distribution, and sharing. As a result, personnel will be better prepared to detect, prevent, or mitigate terrorist attacks and criminal activities.
Improved Person Screening Using Biometrics
Given the inevitable spelling and duplication errors inherent in name-based screening processes, the federal government, private sector, and international allies are harnessing the science of biometrics to modernize personal identification methods using face, finger, and iris recognition.
The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management led an interagency effort to develop the NSTC Policy for Enabling the Development, Adoption and Use of Biometric Standards, and an associated Registry of U.S. Government Recommended Biometric Standards. This effort ensures that common biometric standards are adopted across federal systems, support interoperability, and are potentially extensible to non-federal systems. As participants in these early efforts, PM-ISE is ensuring the development of interoperable ISE standards.
Biometrics use is expanding at the state, local, and tribal government level as well. Law enforcement agencies in the National Capital Region can now use a handheld tool to wirelessly access biometric data and arrest history, a capability that integrates two regional information-sharing programs: the National Capital Region Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) project and the National Capital Region Law Enforcement Information Exchange. The ABIS project compares an unknown subject’s fingerprint wirelessly against the database of biometric information. The Law Enforcement Information Exchange System provides search tools that allow local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to access data on arrests, booking information, citations, and other important law enforcement information.
National Targeting Center‐Passenger (NTCP)
The NTC-P is responsible for coordinating with Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) field-level activities related to anti-terrorism efforts and plays a vital role in the identification of individuals who pose a national security concern at 327 U.S. ports of entry and over 30 Border Patrol checkpoints throughout the U.S. The NTC-P is the CBP focal point for all possible Terrorist Screening Data Base (TSDB) encounters with CBP field entities and is the primary contact between CBP field offices and other government agency case agents on all positive TSDB encounters.
NTC-P uses several automated enforcement data processing systems that are focused on detecting and preventing terrorist access to the United States including the Automated Targeting System-Passenger and the Intelligence Operations Framework System. These systems allow NTC-P to screen passenger manifests and related information prior to a passenger’s arrival in the United States and to respond to terrorism related alerts and provide time sensitive research and support on any issues related to international passengers and travel at and between U.S. ports of entry.