May 11, 2015
Former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak has added another accomplishment to his bloody résumé now that he has accepted a new position with startup biometrics firm, FST Biometrics.
Barak recently joined the board of FST after the company received a $15 million investment from GMF Capital, which is headed by Gary Fegel, a well-known Swiss investor. Barak will now serve as FST’s representative to GMF Capital on GMF’s board.
FST products are a combination of facial recognition and behavioral analytics and its clients include corporations and governments.
The founder of FST is Aharon Zeevi Farkash, a former head of Israeli Military Intelligence.
Ehud Barak is obviously most well-known for his stint as Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel but was also able to achieve notoriety for his ability to pass as a woman during the midst of a military operation that allegedly saw him assassinating three PLO figures along with other Israeli terrorists assisting him.
Barak has long been a war hawk and a leader in the genocide of Palestinians.
Ehud Barak’s original name was Ehud Brog, a Lithuanian name held by his family who had emigrated to settle Palestine and drive out the local inhabitants in 1932.
Of course, that Barak would be appointed to a high-level position in a surveillance and biometrics company like FST is not surprising considering that Israel has been a large proponent of such technologies and given Barak's previous track record in the realm of freedom and human rights.
As Justin Lee writes for BiometricUpdate.com,
Initially passed by the Knesset in December 2009, the Biometric Database Law mandates the collection of fingerprints and facial images from all Israeli residents, as well as integrating these biometric details in domestic ID cards and national passports.While it will be interesting to see the role that FST plays in the implementation of such a system in Israel, the company will no doubt cash in on the global movement to install and enforce a technological control grid and surveillance society based on biometrics the world over.
The legislation also called for the creation of a biometric government database for the purpose of managing access control, identification of individuals and to help law enforcement officials locate criminal suspects.
The law is intended to curb identity theft, as well as the loss, theft and destruction of the current blue ID cards issued by the Interior Ministry.
In a report submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office and to the Knesset Chairman, Erdan emphasized the importance of implementing the biometric system and said the transition would be gradual.
“Smart biometric records that cannot be faked […] will lead to the full protection of the identity of Israeli citizens,” Erdan told Channel 10. “It will provide a balance between our duty to ensure the security of citizens and our duty to protect their privacy. We will promote a gradual transition to mandatory biometric documentation.”
The first phase of the biometric identification system was implemented in June 2013, and since then, some 640,000 people have volunteered to submit their biometric details to the database, said Erdan.
With the proliferation of biometrics-based technologies used for identification, convenience, and security clearance, FST is merely getting in on one of the lower floors on what will unfortunately be one of the leading industries in the Western world soon enough.
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