Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Papers please

By Libby Spencer

I just posted on this at Newshoggers, but it's disturbing enough that I want to rewrite it to post it here. Via John Cole's comment section, more proof of the impending police state.

The Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are quietly pushing for a set of crazy new rules. All travellers in the U.S. will be required to get government-issued credentials and official clearance before every flight, both within the United States as well as internationally.

And Monday we received a new political action alert from Edward Hasbrouk, The Practical Nomad blogger who's been fighting the plan (and who testified about it at a TSA hearing). "The international Advance Passenger Information System rules were published, as 'final' effective February 19,2008, with no further opportunity for public comment even on the changes from the original proposal."

That's domestic flights too. How much of a stretch is it really from this, to imagine having to surrender your papers to cross the state line in your car? Or even the city limits?

And then there's this expansion of the terrorist watch list. It has 755,000 names on it right now and it's growing by 200,000 a year. Experts say it's inconceivable that there could be that many terrorists. Judging from the number of academians and other respectable critics of the administration who have been denied entry to the country based on that list, I'd say they were right.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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  • This might be a bit over the top, this interpretation.

    Essentially, all I understand the APIS to be is an advance listing of passengers on a flight.

    In other words, you don't have to get clearance, anymore than you have to get clearance now to fly (and we all know they keep no-fly lists already).

    All this does is force the airlines to reveal passengers lists in advance as opposed to now, when each passenger is screened at check-in.

    By Blogger Carl, at 9:39 AM  

  • Perhaps your right, but looked at as part of a pattern of forcing phone companies, librarians and who knows who else to reveal what they know about what you buy, what you read, where you travel, who you correpond with and who you talk to without probable cause might lead a reasonable person to suspect that something a bit un-American is going on?

    I'm not sure there are any zones of privacy we have left.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:06 AM  

  • Carl, I've learned to never take anything this administration does on face value and a lot of people smarter than me and better versed on privacy issues are alarmed. That's enough to scare me.

    Fogg - exactly. Each little step they take is not so drastic as to cause general alarm but taken in the aggregate, it gets pretty damn frightening.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 11:11 AM  

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