Tourists would have been hard-pressed to miss the crowd of FBI agent trainees wandering around the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial near the Tidal Basin Monday, up from the academy in Quantico for the day and clad in matching khakis and polo shirts, but they almost certainly missed the tour’s significance.

One of the first visible changes to the century-old law enforcement agency by new FBI Director James Comey was his decree, in April, that new agents would tour the memorial as part of a lesson highlighting one of the bureau’s darkest chapters, when founder J. Edgar Hoover abused the rights of the civil rights leader, illegally monitoring King and later even attempting to blackmail him into giving up his quest for civil rights.

Those tourists at the King Memorial surely also missed a little-noticed FBI announcement that same day that its Next Generation Identification system had achieved “full operational capability.” Almost no one outside the bureau—and few even inside it—understands the full scope of NGI, but the facial recognition system is designed to be the next evolution of its vaunted fingerprint database, incorporating new forms of biometric data and more than 50 million photos of Americans—including by next year at least 4.3 million photos pulled from non-criminal settings like job applications—aimed at spitting out names of possible suspects based on source images like surveillance cameras. [Read more] – Michael’s Blog