Hint: He looks a lot like Skelator, He’s been a powerful policy maker (co-authored the US-PATRIOT ACT)He is helping the TSA to see you naked and now he’s taking the show on the road and teaming up internationally with a powerful Big Brother Biometrics company!
The Revolving Door That Never Stops Turning
by Mark Lerner
Six years ago I started speaking out about a small company in Massachusetts called Viisage Technology. Not many people paid attention to what I had to say because the company was only a $50 million company. However, after a few quick steps that would rival anything you might find on any of the reality dancing shows on television Viisage has morphed into a billion dollar plus company.
I can provide a number of reasons you should care about L-1 Identity Solutions, the company Viisage Technology transformed into. I will start by mentioning that Louis Freeh (former Director of the FBI), Admiral Loy (former head of the Transportation Security Agency), George Tenet (former Director of the CIA), Frank Moss (former program manager for the State Department’s E-Passport program), and many others who previously held key positions in the federal government all joined Viisage/L-1 as members of the Board of Directors or as paid employees of Viisage/L-1.
It must be really sweet to sign off on contracts worth millions of dollars, tens of millions or more in fact and then turn right around and go on the payroll of the same company that you awarded the contracts to. Sure, Tenet, Freeh and the others may not have had to sign the actual contracts but certainly they are responsible for knowing who the contracts went to when they were in charge of their respective agencies and departments.
L-1 dominates the state driver’s license business. L-1 also produces all passport cards, involved in the production of all passports, provides identification documents for the Department of Defense and has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency in our government. To a large extent it is fair to say that your personal information is L-1’s information. L-1 is the same company that thinks our political party affiliation should be on our driver’s license along with our race. L-1 has a long history starting with its taking over Viisage Technology. It was a great sleight of hand, Viisage morphing into L-1 while Viisage was under investigation by our government.
Viisage settled a class action lawsuit that alleged members of the Board of Directors sold stock in advance of what they knew what be a negative quarterly financial report. Viisage is the same company that had a state driver’s license contract voided by the Georgia State Supreme Court for misrepresentation. Perhaps you attended the Super Bowl in 2001 that was held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Super Bowl that year is referred to as the “Snooper Bowl” because the fans that went to the game had their facial images captured and compared against facial images stored in law enforcement databases. You know all those cameras we see being put up in cities around our country. Those cameras are not pointed at terrorists, they are pointed at you. Through the use of facial recognition technology, a biometric, your facial image can be captured by a camera and then compared to facial images stored in law enforcement databases and in Department of Motor Vehicle databases. If we hurry as a country we can catch up to where the British are at; the average person in London is captured by CCTV (Closed Circuit Television cameras/surveillance cameras) 300 times a day. Better yet, we can do what the Chinese want to do; we can use CCTV and facial recognition technology to identify dissidents. Chinese citizens can thank L-1 for thinking of them. L-1 is a company that supplied a Chinese citizen with facial recognition technology knowing that citizen was going to offer the technology to the Red Chinese government for testing.
Wait a minute; stop the press! We do not have to worry anymore about Viisage Technology or L-1. You see L-1 is being sold to two European companies. One of the companies is buying the division of L-1 that has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency in the United States government. The biometric and document credential divisions are being sold to a French company named Safran. Just think about how happy you can feel now knowing that your personal information including your social security number and biometric information (fingerprints, Iris scans and digital facial images) may soon be available to a French company. The federal government must sign off on the deal before the deal can be sealed. All this brings us back to the topic of the revolving door that exists between government and corporations.