The US gets braver and newer

AP is reporting:

[Incoming Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy], business travelers and privacy advocates expressed outrage Friday over the unannounced assignment of terrorism risk assessments to American international travelers by a computerized system managed from an unmarked, two-story brick building in Northern Virginia...

The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years. Some or all data in the system can be shared with state, local and foreign governments for use in hiring, contracting and licensing decisions. Courts and even some private contractors can obtain some of the data under certain circumstances...

Almost every person entering and leaving the United States by air, sea or land is assessed based on [...] analysis of their travel records and other data, including items such as where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meal they ordered. [emphasis mine]

I can hear the choruses of "If you have nothing to hide ..." already. It's amazing how so many people can miss the point.

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"[W]hat kind of meal they ordered" is probably a surrogate for religious profiling. Anyone who orders halal, kosher, or even vegetarian meals is flagged. Clearly, anyone who refuses the mystery meat put in front of them is not a "normal" American.

Indeed. But just try to film a law enforcement officer and use the "If you have nothing to hide..." line. Funny how that logic applies so selectively!

Amazing how much faith some people put in the government's ability to do something like this without ever making one single mistake in cross-referencing or something...

I wonder how seat preference indicates anything? "Terrorists like the aisle, drug dealers like the window."

By PhysioProf (not verified) on 03 Dec 2006 #permalink