Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Government The Courts Your Rights Online News

US Visitor Fingerprints To Be (Perhaps) Stored by FBI 503

Posted by Hemos
from the probably-not-at-this-point dept.
stair69 writes "Since 2004 many visitors to the United States have had 2 fingerprints taken under the US-VISIT scheme. Now there are new plans to extend this scheme — under the proposal all 10 fingerprints will be taken, and they will be stored permanently on the FBI's criminal fingerprint database. The fingerprints will also be made available to police forces in other countries. The scheme is due to be introduced by the end of 2008, but it will be trialled in 10 of the bigger airports initially." Of course, it is worth pointing out that given the recent change in Congress, I suspect that a number of countries will get a "bye" on this round,
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Visitor Fingerprints To Be (Perhaps) Stored by FBI

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:49PM (#17509676)
    I am a US citizen.

    (or am I just fooling myself)

    Fricken scary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ettlz (639203)
      I thought you'd've realised by now that the US has no citizens, only consumers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rahlquist (558509)
      Hell if Disney can do it why not the feds! I always knew the government was a little Mickey Mouse....
  • Hilarious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by symbolic (11752) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:50PM (#17509696)
    I guess they just haven't learned the difference between quantity of information, and its overall quality. They're dealing with a very low signal-to-noise ratio when 'plans' like this are implemented, and that in itself will become a major impediment to dealing with any true threats. I can't help but wonder if this is coming from the Democrats or the Republicans. If it's the Dems, I'm thoroughly disappointed - I thought the idea was to *reverse* the damage done by the Republican party, not add to it.
    • Well, the signal:noise ratio is not really good (actually, it's frigging pointless in the first place, you will not reduce the number of crimes committed by a single digit number), but then again, computers can nowadays compare fingerprints with ease, so it's no big deal.

      In fact this means that everyone who's ever flying has his prints taken. And that's the point behind it all. Not that the US become a safer place, but the part that this info will be shared with other countries does imply that other countri
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by BSAtHome (455370)
        > I have the hunch that the next fashion fad for privacy concerned people will be gloves.

        Surely, a) your sweat in the golve can combust, and b) your fingers are then a concealed weapon. Conclusion: gloves are for terrorists only and are to be banned.

        Go figure...
      • by shaneh0 (624603) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:38PM (#17510548)
        "computers can nowadays compare fingerprints with ease"

        Yes, but since it has to display the photo of the person in order to properly do the print match, won't we get to a point where we can't go any faster? I mean, the human eye is only so fast. The whole notion of finger-print matching just wouldn't feel right if you don't see 10,000 faces stream across the screen before finally finding the match.

      • by joto (134244)

        that this info will be shared with other countries does imply that other countries have a certain interest in the prints of their citizens

        Well, technically, it only means that the US has an interest in sharing it with other countries.

        I have the hunch that the next fashion fad for privacy concerned people will be gloves.

        What for? If you already have a trail of FBI against dusting and fingerprinting everything you touch, it's probably a bit late to start worrying about privacy, no? Sunglasses and trench

    • Re:Hilarious (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:01PM (#17509884) Homepage
      If it's the Dems, I'm thoroughly disappointed - I thought the idea was to *reverse* the damage done by the Republican party, not add to it.

      Well, yes, but they aren't simply going to undo everything, as National Security is still a major issue that the Dems cannot afford to appear weak on. They won largely because the Reps were doing such a bad job of actually executing on Security. The degree to which the objections both of the Dems and the voters were based on the Reps leading us towards a police state is debateable but I'd say limited, especially among the elected officials. The "damage" is stupid, failed policies, not evil anti-Democratic policies. So the Dems still want to have an effective and most likely invasive National Security policy, and the question is: Are they in fact any smarter than the Reps in terms of making an actual effective working policy?

      My educated guess: No.
    • Well, when some bozo blows up a building and leaves fingerprints, they'll be able to find out his passport #! Yay!
  • by Tom (822) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:51PM (#17509712) Homepage Journal
    Welcome to the home of the suspected criminals, land of the bold (if they dare to speak up).

    How does it feel being considered a criminal by default? Heck, in my day job I teach people to treat every input with suspicion and every unknown as if it were malicious, but at least I'm speaking about data, not humans!
    • They'd be trying to force ID cards on the whole population, and part of the information they collect for your ID cards are you fingerprints that are then passed on to the police. (They also fingerprint kids in school here, and they would have to be passed onto the police too).

      Think yourself lucky you got the Bush part of the Blair Bush combo.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        They'd be trying to force ID cards on the whole population, and part of the information they collect for your ID cards are you fingerprints that are then passed on to the police. (They also fingerprint kids in school here, and they would have to be passed onto the police too).

        Uh, I don't know what planet you're living on, but the USA on my planet has already been doing all of these things for literally years. You can't do shit without a birth certificate, driver's license, and social security card (or t

    • by Phillip2 (203612)

      How does it feel?

      Well, entry into the US has always been unpleasant. You get large number of questions, the customs people tend to be fairly aggressive and, in recent years, the photography and fingerprints are making the situation worse. I'd much rather go to Canada or Australia (well or the EU, but as I am an EU citizen, I guess this is quite different).

      However, the main feature of how it feels after 8 hours on a plane is boring and irritating. You just want to get out of the airport, out of conditioned a
  • by rjdegraaf (712353) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:51PM (#17509716)
    1984
  • by AVee (557523) <slashdot@NOspAM.avee.org> on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:53PM (#17509748) Homepage
    ...to never ever vistit the 'land of the free'. I wouldn't do it currently because of all 'security' measures allready in place. But it's reassuring to find out I was right about that.
  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:55PM (#17509766) Journal
    Of course, it is worth pointing out that given the recent change in Congress, I suspect that a number of countries will get a "bye" on this round,

    What the heck is that supposed to mean? What countries? And why? And, for that matter, how is congress going to get involved at that level of detail...especially since they're already claiming they can't even do anything to stop Bush from escalating the war, despite the fact that by most accounts they were elected to do just that?

    Was part of this remark clipped off (note the trailing comma) or am I missing some interpretation that is less senseless than the obvious?

    --MarkusQ

  • Fingerprint databases are a very useful crime-fighting tool. The only objection to fingerprinting everyone (somewhere in elementary school) is the indignity of (mis)treating every citizen as a (potential) criminal.

    Americans, however, are surprisingly tolerant of the government-imposed indignities — judging, for example, by their willingness to stand barefeet and beltless (belt's buckles are often metallic, you see) on the dirty floor in front of the TSA officers... Removing your footwear for inspection used to be optional (you could elect to be searched instead), but is now required since no one was objecting — except for a few freaks, like yours truly.

    Fingerprinting non-citizens will not even raise the proverbial eye-brow of the nation...

    • The only objection to fingerprinting everyone (somewhere in elementary school) is the indignity of (mis)treating every citizen as a (potential) criminal.

      But isn't everyone a "potential" criminal?

      My only problem with fingerprinting is the chance that I will get ink on my shirt. As long as it applies to everyone, there really shouldn't be an indignity from this, but I understand how some can feel dirty after going through airport security. It may also help if the fingerprint database is not referred to as a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        All of which is lovely, until someone makes a mistake.

        And then your life is shattered if it's your fingerprint they mismatched.

        Do you think your government would ever make such a mistake?

    • Fingerprinting non-citizens will not even raise the proverbial eye-brow of the nation...

      As well it shouldn't. Before we let a random person into our country, we need to verify his identity to make sure he's not a criminal or terrorist. Biometrics are one way to do this since documents can and will be forged. There are a lot of people who hate us, perhaps justifiably. Given this, we need to protect ourselves. Border security is one of the least intrusive ways to do this compared to domestic spying and

    • Fingerprinting non-citizens will not even raise the proverbial eye-brow of the nation...

      And don't forget, it's only the terrorists who have anything to worry about, according to the article: 'We will have a world in which any terrorist who has ever been in a safe house or has ever been in a training camp is going to ask himself or herself this question: have I ever left a fingerprint anywhere?' Chertoff said.

      After all, everyone who has ever been in a building or location that is later identified as a "safe
  • Which Airports (Score:3, Informative)

    by mattwarden (699984) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:57PM (#17509818) Homepage
    Anyone have a list of airports? I need to put them on my personal no-fly list, along with the airports participating in the "trusted passenger" trial (e.g., MCO).
  • Whatnow? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Upaut (670171) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:58PM (#17509830) Homepage Journal
    Of course, it is worth pointing out that given the recent change in Congress, I suspect that a number of countries will get a "bye" on this round.

    I was under the impression that the recent change in congress was motivated by the people of this fine nation tired of America breaking all the rules of decentcy, rights of the people, and other things of that nature... So how would some countries get a "bye"? What is a "bye"? Is it a general banning? If so, most Democratic Party methods of increasing money and lowering debt is raising tarrifs and increasing tourism... Banning the richest, although terrorist prone, nations is not something they would want to do.

    Or is it that with the recent change in Congress, this bill will go "bye"? That America will no longer rubber-stamp a Big Brother nation into being...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mr Z (6791)

      A "bye" in this context means "they will be excluded from the requirements." So, if you're flying from certain countries and you're a citizen of that country—e.g. Great Britain—you might not have to give a full print set, but if you're from others, you will. It's sense #1 in this definition. [reference.com]

  • back at ya (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tuxette (731067) * <tuxetteNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:59PM (#17509846) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how many other countries will follow suit, that is, fingerprint visitors from the US and store their fingerprints and personal data in their criminal database. Brasil already fingerprints and photographs US citizens (and only US citizens) visiting Brasil...
  • My experience (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DimGeo (694000) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:00PM (#17509870) Homepage
    I had little choice but to visit the US when I was offered the job of my dreams. Here I am, my two index fingers and thumb prints in who knows what govt databases. With my country now in the EU and my gf back home... I wonder what on earth I'm doing here, but I'm beginning to like it in a strange way.
  • Avoiding the USA..? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:00PM (#17509872)

    If this goes ahead, before visiting the USA I want to know:

    1) What is the chance of a false positive with this system? i.e. what is the chance that it might think I am someone they are looking for?
    2) What is the procedure then for someone who is not an American citizen?

    I can imagine what hell you might go through if this system identifies you as a wanted terrorist - not a chance I want to take, even if the odds of it happening are very low.
    • by cHALiTO (101461) <elchalo@gma i l . c om> on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:31PM (#17510404) Homepage
      That's not how it works. AFIS systems, especially criminal ones, don't take -ANY- sort of decision by themselves, they just do some matching on the DB, and produce 'candidates' list (ie: the list of prints that look the most like the one(s) you searched.) then an expert looks at the results, and resumes the identification visually, as they've been doing since fingerprint identification was invented. The system is mostly a HUGE time saver for identification experts.
      So, it's quite unlikely that they'll be checking your airport-scanned fingerprints against the whole database while you wait, as they can't possibly have as many experts checking prints, and would have to automate the process (allowing the system to declare HIT/NOHITs automatically, which means there'd be an error margin). If they did automate the process and actually look for your prints in the whole database, they should be trained and informed that any result from such a system is NOT definitive, and subject to an expert's confirmation to be taken seriously.

      If they're doing anything else than just taking the prints and storing them (no, didn't read tfa.. will do later), most probably they'll be doing authentication rather than identification. That is, the first time they take your prints, store them on a DB related to your passport number for example. When you pass thru the airport again, you're re taken your prints, and they're searched on the DB by your passport number... if your record on the DB says there's your prints there, it will compare the prints it just scanned to the ones on the DB, if they match, no problem, if they don't, houston we have a problem (auth is way more accurate than ident when done automatically, and of course orders of magnitude faster).

      but that's not the problem.. what really scares me is that they're (according to the summary) adding them to a CRIMINAL database!.. that's outright illegal in some countries, and it should well be!! Normally there's a civil database, which is used for civil ident (like say on a bank, or to get a new document or something), and only uses 2 or 6 fingers, non-rolled, which are not fit for matching against crime-scene-lifted partial prints (btw, its quite rare to find a complete, perfect print on a crime scene a la CSI or worse, national treasure.. BS). And then there's criminal systems which keep all 10 fingers, rolled, which can be used to search against crime-scene-lifted partial fps. Mixing the two sucks. Sadly It's also done here in Argentina when you get a passport, as they only have one AFIS system for the federal police, they use the same one both for criminals and for civilians.. (apparently we can't afford 2 systems). Records belong to one scope or the other depending on the ID type. The criminal record (if there's any) is kept elsewhere, on another system, and it's only referenced manually with a common key.
      Still sucks :(
    • by bheading (467684) on Monday January 08, 2007 @08:04PM (#17516796)
      1) What is the chance of a false positive with this system? i.e. what is the chance that it might think I am someone they are looking for?

      The chance exists, because I am one of those people. In 2005 I was visiting New York for a week with my girlfriend. I'd visited the US several times before with no hassles, it didn't occur to me that the heightened security measures might pose a problem.

      After my fingerprints were scanned at the US immigration point in JFK, the rather ignorant and not overly friendly DHS official told me that the computer informed him I was for "special attention" and that I must follow him. He put my passport and green visa waiver form into a bright red envelope and took me down the hallway to this rather dingy room at the back, and told me to wait there. I politely asked if I could have a moment to explain the situation to my gf, but he refused and told me to just wait. There were rows of seats with lots of people, clearly of many different nationalities, waiting to be processed. At the front of the room was a raised desk with three or four DHS officials, tapping away at computers and slowly working their way through the files, calling people up to the desk. I went up to the desk to listen.

      Some of the people being called up were told that they had violated the visa waiver conditions on their last stay - ie they'd stayed in the country for less than 90 days, or they'd failed to hand in the green visa waiver slip that lets them know you've left. At that point I began to get scared. What if my slip had got lost by the airlines on my last visit, and they thought I'd outstayed my welcome ? I'd have been shipped right back home. While I was contemplating this, more and more people were getting processed. Some were getting through, others were not; in particular they'd caught a guy who apparently had drug convictions. They allowed him in the country but arranged a court hearing which would hear the case for his ongoing residence. In many of the cases the DHS officials were speaking with quite stern and unfriendly voices, which was somewhat intimidating. I was wondering what could have happened. I'm squeaky clean and don't have so much as a parking ticket to my name. I've never been arrested or even spoken to strongly by the cops.

      Finally, after around an hour and a half, they got to my folder, and called me up. The guy tapped his computer for a few minutes, then handed me my passport, gave a friendly smile, and told me I was free to go on. I took a risk and asked nicely, what had happened ? He explained that the fingerprint scanning system flags it up when fingerprints look similar to someone who is not supposed to be in the country, and whenever this happened it was checked and recorded. He assured me that it should not happen again.

      At the time I was quite shocked and almost made up my mind never to return to the USA again. My poor gf was waiting outside the whole time - there was nobody to ask what had happened to me, she didn't know if I was going to get out or if I'd been deported or what. Surely they could have found a way for people to hook up with the rest of their group and explain things, so that they could wait back while the background checks were done ?
  • by Yonzie (516292) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:04PM (#17509934) Homepage

    And I've spent more than a year living there. However, I'll be damned if I'll set foot in a country that brands me as a criminal the instant I step off the plane. It's no surprise the RIAA/MPAA comes from the same place... It's bad enough with the ridiculous video [youtube.com] branding me when I just bought the damn movie.

    Paranoia is nice under some circumstances, but this is just ridiculous. Like they actually think it'll do any good? It'll be really nice to know who blew up WTC v2.0 after the fact, yeah...

  • by ameline (771895) <.ian.ameline. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:06PM (#17509954) Homepage Journal
    As it is now, I avoid travelling to the US -- No, I don't appear or sound middle eastern -- I just don't like the way things are headed south of the border, and I will not spend a single tourist dollar in a country that will illegally deport a fellow Canadian citizen to be tortured in Syria for a year.

    At the moment, I will travel on business -- but if they want my fingerprints for a criminal database -- then I will not travel to the US at all. I will not consent to being fingerprinted for criminal database purposes just because I'm on a business trip.

    (And I'm not one of the left leaning bleeding heart liberal types :-) I tend to lean right -- but this police state crap has got to stop.)
    • I suspect that the way this program would be implemented is similar to the "no-fly list" where the airlines fingerprint you when you buy a ticket or check in. It's SOOOOO easy to add a fingerprint scanner to the automated check-in machines, non-scanners get denied boarding, or maybe even to get yuour prints from your credit card company if you pay with the card (some cards are requiring biometric ID or will soon). First it will be US Flag carriers, then to get admission to US Airspace the foreign flag carri
  • Holy hell (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DigitAl56K (805623) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:07PM (#17509968)
    It's bad enough that the FBI might want to store your prints permanently in a criminal database without cause, but to then share that information with who knows how many other countries?

    How is any individual supposed to protect themselves when you can't even keep track of who has your fingerprints?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BCW2 (168187)
      If you have ever had your prints taken by any law enforcement agency in the U.S., the FBI got a copy for their database. Guess what, thats been going on since the 1930s. The same holds true if you were in the military, thats how they got mine 31 years ago. Has there been any problem from that? No! If my prints ever get lifted from a crime scene there will be a problem, so I don't commit crimes. Real easy solution. This is such a non-story that I'm really surprised it got posted.
  • by Anon-Admin (443764) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:08PM (#17509980) Homepage Journal
    Just use a belt sander with 80 grit paper on it.

    Turn it on, place fingers on sand paper, hold as long as you can stand it. Repeat until prints are gone. No problem.

    Finger prints are only 1/32 of an in deep. It is dead skin and serves no real purpose. I started sanding mine off several years ago when the state went to mandatory fingerprinting to get a drivers license. It is easy and the look on the persons face when you say "I don't have finger prints!" is just something else. :)

    The other thing you can do is to cover the tips of your fingers with super glue. It works quite well and does not come off for some time.

    • the look on the persons face when you say "I don't have finger prints!" is just something else.
      Is it anything like the looks you get when you pick up an orange and immediately pass out from the agony?
      • by JavaRob (28971)

        Is it anything like the looks you get when you pick up an orange and immediately pass out from the agony?

        You misunderstood. He's not talking about no SKIN on his fingertips, just no PRINTS. Those ridges don't go all the way down, and it's possible to remove them (albeit not permanently) with no blood involved. My prints on my left hand fade out at the tips and in the middle of one finger just from playing guitar (and building up callouses which have replaced the standard-issue fingerprint skin there).

        There are also certain occupations -- cutting up pineapple was one, I think -- where the workers fingertips

    • by new death barbie (240326) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:16PM (#17510144)
      "I don't have finger prints!"


      So... any time there's no fingerprints at the crime scene... that was YOU?
    • by malraid (592373) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:30PM (#17510386)
      I'll send a letter to my senator asking him to ban sanding paper. Only terrorists and kidie-porn freaks use sanding paper. Would someone please think of the children?
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:46PM (#17510700) Homepage Journal
      Just use a belt sander with 80 grit paper on it.

      80 grit? That's like a rough file. Even 180 grit is rougher than necessary.

      80 grit is what we use to take paint off of auto body (hint: taking plastic off of steel, you often benefit from a very rough surface) and to shape bondo. It's what we use to rough wood into shape, because it's fast. It's not what we use to do detail work. Your fingerprints, as you say, are maybe 1/32". I think some 220 grit would probably take them off nicely.

  • by littleRedFriend (456491) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:23PM (#17510250)
    I travel from Europe to the US on a regular basis (once a month) for work. It's getting worse and worse. They track everything about you. I get held up when trying to enter. They're asking me more and more pointless questions. Like where do you work, what kind of work do you do, when will you going back, when was the last time you visited, where do you stay. I can't book any internal US flights from Europe anymore, since they can't verify my European credit card anymore (this started last month). Welcome to the US, land of the guilty until proven innocent.

    At some point I'm not going to put up with this Bullcrap anymore. I'm just going to stay in Europe. And you can forget about my business.
  • The first is Chertoff's assertion that thi will deter the "unknown terrorist." If they are unknown, then we probably don't have their finger prints. The second was the addition of the word "crime" along side terrorism. First, not everything that is a crime in one country is a crime in another. For example, it's against the law to spout Nazi propagand in Germany, but not a crime to do so in the US. Who's standard would we apply when determining someone is a criminal? Would we arrest and detain Chinese
  • This is a major breach of privacy. Its not so much that I care about them taking my fingerprints and storing it in a database. Its about sharing the information with other countries. Is this to say that without my prior knowledge and consent, that most any country would / /could have my fingerprints on file?

    I'm equally concerned about false accusations. There is ample case history of fingerprint and DNA mismatches in the US and Canada abroad (mostly due to really sloppy procedures). I'd rather they use the
    • by iPaul (559200) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:57PM (#17510858) Homepage

      I think that's the most disturbing part for me. Imagine getting picked up when landing in London because you were accidentally tagged as a "money launderer" by the Spanish. It would probably take weeks to get sorted out. In the mean time you could kiss your job good-bye. On top of that with so many databases sharing so much information, you might never be really "cleared." You might land in the US again and get detained for days while they sort out the fact that the Spanish tagged you as a "money launderer," even though it was fixed on the British copy of the Spanish database.

      I saw a news item recently about a girl who'd been held for 30 days for having condoms full of flour, which airport official claimed were drugs. (Apparently filling condoms with flour is how the girls at her school make stress releaving squeezies - odd but eccentricity is not a crime). She spent 30 days in jail while substance was re-tested, only to discover it was, in fact, flour.

      Another example is the US no-fly list. It has literally cost people their livelihoods when they were no longer able to fly. The worst part is they use really poor matching techniques like name matches - so anyone with certain names were not able to board airplanes! Another man interviewed by the Daily Show was labeled as Saddam Huessein's *dead* son, whose age would have required Saddam to have sired him at the age of 11!.

      Here's another delicious example. People who buy large boats that were siezed as part of drug raids often get boarded by the coast guard. The identification number on the ship is almost impossible to change, and the coast guard decides to board the ship based on the registration number. Even though the original owner was arrested and his property was siezed.

      Is this really a good idea?

  • by ghostlibrary (450718) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:46PM (#17510682) Homepage Journal
    In some ways, this shift from 2 fingerprintes taken, to all 10, is a relief. Previously, terrorists were forced to only use 4 fingers on each hand, in a sort of 'pinky out' high tea fashion (although with their pointing finger, not pinky). This resulted in hazardous RSI conditions which crippled the more active terrorists. For those skeptics reading this, try just hacking into an NSA account, picking a lock, or even spinning a safe combination dial without using your pointing fingers.

    Feel the pain? There you have it, RSI. Now, under this new scheme, at least the terrorists can relax and use all 10 fingers, knowing there is no more false security in those missing 8 records to enjoy. And the US will benefit-- I anticipate that there will be no more class action suits against the US to deal with the former health crisis due to 2-finger exception techniques.

    That said, as a taxpayer I assume the gathering of all 10, instead of just 2, will only incur a moderate 5x cost in upgrading airports and training personel. A bargain!
  • by origamy (807009) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:46PM (#17510692) Homepage
    Well, maybe this time they will integrate databases and realize, for the 6th year, that I am not a US Citizen. Maybe they will stop sending me Jury Duty requests and will also stop sending me Elections related ads and documents, including requests for me to register to vote, which I can't because I am not a citizen.
  • How Apt (Score:4, Informative)

    by Roger W Moore (538166) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:51PM (#17510768) Journal
    ...some countries will get a bye this round

    Yes, likely a "good bye" from all their citizens who are already ticked off enough at the US. Certainly I've noticed a huge drop in the number of scientific conferences held in the US. Partly because the visa rules prevent - or at least pose severe problems - for some of those attending and partly because there is a noticeable minority of people who now refuse to travel to the US because of the fingerprinting. I can only imagine that this will swell their ranks.
  • You're funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:51PM (#17510770)
    "Of course, it is worth pointing out that given the recent change in Congress,"

    Yeah, a whopping 5% of seats actually changed hands! Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!

    95% of the people who voted this stuff into place to begin with are still there. Don't expect anything to change.
  • by catdevnull (531283) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:47PM (#17511638)
    All these paranoid comments about privacy and Big Brother assumes that the government is actually organized enough to actually do handle all this information. I'd be more worried about the profiteers coming forward to "contract" the management of all this than the government itself.

    In the mean time, just relax and do what I do: dip your finger tips into sulfuric acid. It doesn't seem tohave anny negattttive effectsss at alll.
  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Monday January 08, 2007 @02:48PM (#17511656)
    There's a simple solution - Don't got to the USA! I'm not an American citizen, and if I don't like the rules for getting into the US, I won't go. When I wanted to visit Egypt and Jordan I had to submit a photograph of myself - No idea where that photo is now, but that was the price of admission.

    Some might argue you need to transit through American airports to get to various destinations (i.e. Spain => South America), but that's a very rare case and you can usually use Canada as a transit point.

  • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Monday January 08, 2007 @03:25PM (#17512216)
    I live and work out of Canada... in the past I have visited the USA as part of some contract work. I often go to conferences in the states. I've also considered relocating to the United States for my job as the pay is marginally better down there.

    The post-9/11 world has changed my views on this, and it just keeps getting worse!

    There is no way I will go to the United States to work! I am even avoiding it for the holidays. 10 years ago, we used to just drive south of the border for shopping or recreation - day trips. It's becoming a scary police state and now I'm avoiding travel down south whenever possible.

    I guess that's the intended effect of these xenophobic laws, right... keep the law-abiding professional workers (and wealthy tourists) out of your country. Good thing the US economy is so healthy. Ooops
  • by Zaatxe (939368) on Monday January 08, 2007 @04:10PM (#17512924)
    Many people don't know, but Brazil diplomacy works with reciprocity in all cases (that's why americans are required a visa to enter Brazil). About 3 years ago, the USA started to photograph every foreign citizen arriving to its territory. Based on diplomatic reciprocity, all americans citizen were also photographed and identified at entering. Then in January 24th, 2004, Dale Robbin Hersh [terra.com.br], an American Airlines pilot decided to have some fun at the brazilian authorities expenses by discretly flipping his middle finger when photographed, as you can see in his pic. He was immediately arrested for disrespect towards authority and released after paying a US$15,000 fine. Back to the USA, he was suspended from his work for some time. Why did he do that? Because the identification of americans was slow, he was tired after a long trip and had to wait about 2 hours in a line to be identified. He thought this identification was bulsh*t (and it really was, the risk of an american terrorist trying to enter illegally in Brazil to do something wrong must be below zero), but the law is the law. And the americans were just getting here the same treatment brazilians were getting in the USA. If you want respect, you have to give respect back.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

Working...