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Date: 2001-05-31

Biometrics versus ECHELON

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Husch, husch Kinder - geschwind besorgt euch ein
patentiertes Verschlüsselungsprogramm auf Basis von
Gesichtserkennung gegen das böse ECHELON-System.

Dies rät euch dringend euer guter Onkel Elmar Hilgers, ein
Bock, den man auch "Gärtner" nennt.

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From: "E Hilgers" <> To:
<> Subject: ECHELON - The
biggest threat ever to your privacy Date sent: Thu, 31 May
2001 17:33:31 +0100

Encryption keeps big brother at bay

Computer security was high on the agenda throughout
Europe this week following the publication of a European
Parliament committee report urging individuals to encrypt all
their emails. The report was published as a result of an
inquiry into allegations about the use of the Echelon spy

Initially launched as a tool to gather military intelligence
during the Cold War, Echelon has recently come under fire
from privacy groups and computer specialists who believe
that it is now being used for other – more sinister –
surveillance activities. Among the rumours has been the
accusation that Echelon can read all phone, fax and Internet
traffic to distribute secret commercial information between
rival corporations.

Elmar Hilgers, Managing Director of Northamptonshire-based
biometric company IdentAlink Ltd, commented: “When we
send emails to our friends and business associates, we all
need to feel confident that what we are saying is not being
read by an anonymous third party. For many of us, it’s not
just a question of security; it’s also a question of privacy. If I
send a letter to a colleague, I don’t expect its contents to be
read and discussed by a third person, so why should email
be any different?”

Email encryption is the best way of ensuring that only the
sender and the intended recipient have access to the
contents of a message. By adding biometrics into the
encryption process, security can be combined with ease of
use to ensure that Big Brother doesn’t have access to
individual personal information. As Hilgers said: “Passwords
and Pin codes cannot provide all-round security. They are
easily compromised either by accident or deliberately. The
beauty of biometric face recognition is that you can’t lose or
forget your password because your face is your key.”

IdentAlink Ltd has recently started shipping its FaceMail™
product, which allows users to encrypt and decrypt their
electronic mail using their facial template. For the user, all
complex functions and encryption/decryption steps are
handled automatically in the background, thus providing the
highest possible security with no added inconvenience. In
addition to the obvious advantages that FaceMail™ brings to
email technology, its software can also be used to encrypt all
other confidential data on a PC. FaceMail™ is simple to use.
Just by standing in front of a web cam for recognition by high
quality software, an individual’s identity can be verified to
encrypt his or her documents.

FaceMail™ works under WIN98, WIN ME, WIN NT 4 SP5
and WIN 2000. It can be downloaded from and tested free of charge for a period of
21 days. The only additional requirement for use of
FaceMail™ is the installation of a web cam – which can be
obtained for £40 – and can, of course, also be used for other
multimedia applications.

Note to editors: For further information, or to test FaceMail™,
contact Elmar Hilgers: or telephone +44 1536 483000

About IdentAlink Ltd IdentAlink Ltd is one of the UK’s leading
identification technology companies. Founded in 1997, the
company initially provided solutions to the UK healthcare
industry for staff security and drug control problems. Using
facial and fingerprint recognition technology, IdentAlink Ltd
now offers secure and reliable identity verification in a variety
of global applications. The company’s proprietary
technologies – IdentAcar
d™ and BioUPI™ are used in conjunction with next generation high capacity barcodes, smart cards or proxycards for operation in secure access or monitoring situations.

About Biometrics Biometrics replaces something we know
(such as a password or PIN), or something we have (such as
a card or token), with something unique to us (physical or
behavioural characteristic such as face, fingerprint,
signature). Unlike passwords, cards and tokens, biometrics
have the advantage of being difficult to forge, steal or abuse.

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2001-05-31
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