The background of this was a plot point in a Jack Reacher book. I know, hardly authoritative. But there was a significant amount of focus on it as a plot point, and it seemed so weird to me that I started to wonder how this stuff really works.
Anyway. In the book, there is a Bad Guy, a US citizen in Germany, who
- is embroiled in some kind of ill-defined terror-related plot that is the primary focus of the novel
- has recently murdered someone.
The local chief of police has a fingerprint from the crime scene in #2, and Reacher offers to run it through US databases via his connections with US military/CIA/State dept. (its a real hodge-podge). At the time they don’t realize they’re actually looking for the same person.
A big todo is made in the book that this is super illegal. Like, court martial, international incident, do not pass Go illegal. You can’t just take a finger print from the German police and run it through US databases! Because…and here it is not very explanatory. You just can’t.
So, the question: Is this actually illegal? I was sort of under the impression that if some allied country had a fingerprint or a blood sample or whatever from some crime scene and they asked, say, the FBI if it matched anyone, we might just run it and see? But maybe not. I have no idea.
How does this stuff work in general? Given the incredible complexity of international agreements on things, I’m guessing that there are going to be a lot of details and corner cases.