Thursday, September 30, 2004

Visit the U.S.A. and become a criminal

Australians, "who are allowed to travel to the United States without a visa", will from today have to give fingerprints and have a photo taken when they arrive at US airports and ports.

At your peril! Remember this evidence can and no doubt will be used against some of you in a court of law. So much for the right to privacy and silence?

Up to now citizens of 27 countries - including 15 of the European Union countries, Australia, New Zealand and Japan - were exempt from the security controls imposed on other visitors since the start of the year.

About 13 million people enter the United States needing no visa, using just a passport.

They say the new entry rules "add minimal time to the process - an average of 15 seconds in most case," according to the US Department of Homeland Security.

But not if they make a mistake because you could be held up indefinitely if they do?

How is Guantanamo Bay Cuba for about 3 years?

Immigration agents will take digital imprints of both index fingers on an inkless scanner, and a digital photograph.

The data will be checked with the passport information and cross-referenced against existing "no-fly" lists and "crime databases".

The biometric identifiers also protect the visitors, according to a Homeland Security statement, "by making it virtually impossible for anyone else to claim their identity should their biometrically-enhanced travel documents (such as a visa) be stolen or duplicated".

They say, the information will help authorities cross-check the visitors with a list of wanted criminals.

US border controls tightened considerably after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when terrorists hijacked and crashed four passenger airplanes, killing nearly 3,000 people.

They allege that since the new US security measures were introduced in early January at 115 airports and 14 seaports "more than 8.5 million foreign visitors have been processed without adversely impacting wait time," according to Homeland Security.

They say, since the new measures have been in place authorities have discovered of more than 280 suspected criminals and people travelling with false documents, officials said. [?]

But that's just a good way to convince some people of the need for this invasion of privacy.

No doubt if checked these are just lies by authorities to convince the uncertain that it's all right to breach your privacy and take your particular "features" as a sample?

Based on fear they want visitors to give up their rights why? "Because these criminals and terrorists are out to get you if they don't ".

Doesn't say much for "Liberty" and "Land of the Free".

Starting December 31 the new measures will be extended to 50 US border crossings, and will be in place at all border crossings by the end of 2005.

By Privacy 30 September 04

THE DOG: Since the new measures have been in place we are told what authorities want to tell us and that's all! I hope people avoid the place like the plague. If the economy is affected then people who think up intrusive policies like this one will have to make a choice between the 'Welcome Mat' and the 'Offensive Mat'.

I think most people would be offended to visit someone and be treated like a common criminal regardless if they've broken any law. People who don't have any conviction have the most to lose if the become victims of either mistakes made by authorities or used as fodder for some terrorist conspiracy. Now we've never heard of any conspiracies by authorities in the USA have we? Trust the U.S. they know best?


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