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Canada's Airlines Face a Privacy Dilemma 457

Posted by timothy
from the our-way-and-the-high-way dept.
Interoperable writes "Canada's airlines are caught between a rock and a hard place in the face of new US regulations that require them to collect and hand over personal information about passengers. Handing over information regarding a passenger's name, gender and birth-date may violate Canadian privacy laws but merely flying over American airspace is conditional on doing exactly that. It seems that the long arms of the TSA are eager to grope at Canadians taking a shortcut to Toronto; no doubt to prevent any terrorist attacks on Lake Huron."
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Canada's Airlines Face a Privacy Dilemma

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:43PM (#30625840) Journal

    .. to do exactly what they say, or suffer?

    Now I didn't see this one coming.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:53PM (#30625928)

      ... and then they wonder why they're fast becoming a 3rd world country when nobody else wants to deal with them any more.

      It's strange to watch, in modern times, an empire committing suicide through paranoia.

    • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:58PM (#30625984)

      Isn't that exactly what we used to criticize the Soviet Union for doing? We stared into the abyss all right, but the abyss stared right back into us.

      • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:26PM (#30626242)

        We used to criticize the Soviets for everything, be it rational or not. :)

        BTW we criticized them for not letting people LEAVE their borders, not for controlling their own airspace and controlling border ingress.

        A country belongs to its people, not other people. Not its neighbors.

        Those not liking how it runs its internal affairs or controls access to its territory are free to express their discontent by boycott and routing around the problem.

        • by David Jao (2759) <djao@dominia.org> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @07:31PM (#30627412) Homepage

          We used to criticize the Soviets for everything, be it rational or not. :)

          BTW we criticized them for not letting people LEAVE their borders, not for controlling their own airspace and controlling border ingress.

          Interestingly, we're already at that point: U.S. readies plan to ID departing visitors [washingtonpost.com], Nov. 8. 2009.

          Now, granted, it doesn't say that people will be prevented from leaving, but I suggest you think about it for a moment. What is the purpose of identifying people who leave, other than to control who leaves?

        • by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @12:37AM (#30629300) Homepage Journal

          A country belongs to its people, not other people. Not its neighbors.

          He said in defense of one country telling its neighbor to disregard their own privacy laws.

    • by gbutler69 (910166)
      Yeah, no other country other than the U.S. enforces their own laws within their borders. RTFA!
    • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:21PM (#30626196)

      Airspace is sovereign territory. Requiring conditions of those who enter it may be onerous, but it isn't odd.

      Don't like the conditions, don't go there. Boycott the US.

      • by JohnFen (1641097) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:34PM (#30626338)

        Don't like the conditions, don't go there. Boycott the US.

        This is about flights that are only traveling through US airspace, not landing in the US, so they are already not going there.

        The US is certainly within its rights to do this, but it is a very odd thing to do nonetheless: it doesn't increase US security at all, and further tarnishes our already very tarnished image.

        The world is increasingly boycotting the US, and things like this simply accelerate the trend. That is a bad thing, since we rely on the cooperation of the world to maintain our standard of living, technology, and, yes, security.

        • by furball (2853) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:51PM (#30626490) Journal

          This is about flights that are only traveling through US airspace, not landing in the US, so they are already not going there.

          Someone hijacks a flight passing through US airspace but not landing in it to pull off an attack similar to the attack on the World Trade Center. That's the reason for the condition. Whether the existence of the condition is necessary or not is up for debate, but that's the reason those conditions exist.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by JohnFen (1641097)

            Yes, I understand that. But it's pointless, as someone could just as easily hijack a Canadian (or Central American, for that matter) flight that was not intended to enter US airspace -- and therefore not subject to US "screening," then make it enter US airspace and pull off the same stunt anyway.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by furball (2853)

              Aircrafts not intended to US airspace is handled by NORAD. Aircrafts we know will be entering airspace is checked at the anal probe line. Aircrafts that we don't know about that enters US airspace is handled by shot-range air-to-air missiles after sufficient warnings have been given over radio.

          • Someone hijacks a flight passing through US airspace but not landing in it to pull off an attack similar to the attack on the World Trade Center.

            To be honest with you, I just don't care anymore. If someone crashes a plane and kills a few thousand Americans, I no longer see that as adequate justification for the nonsense millions of air travellers have to put up with every single day. Sure have your minutes silence at the UN. Have a few for all those victims of starvation and genocide while you're at it.

            But please, let me get a flight my country to another country and back without having to take off my shoes and belt, step through a perv machine, give up all my data to third party TSAs, and sit for an hour without a book, drink, mp3 player, laptop or the right to take a piss, just because you think you're so important that I might just hijack the plane, fly it across the Atlantic and crash it into your local Wal-mart.

            • by JohnFen (1641097) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:46PM (#30628014)

              I'm an American, and I actually agree with you.

              I don't want to see anybody die, but it's all about acceptable risk. We make decisions about acceptable risk all the time, and one of the ones we make is to drive and allow others to drive -- in spite of the fact that orders of magnitude more people die each and every year directly because of this behavior than because of terrorist acts.

              Our response to the risk of terrorist attacks is completely out of proportion to the actual risk.

              • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @09:46PM (#30628370)

                Our response to the risk of terrorist attacks is completely out of proportion to the actual risk

                Even worse, the new measures are only marginally more effective than the old measures.

                The only things that went wrong with the 9/11 attacks were policy issues - like what passengers/staff should do in the event of a hijacking, how the military should respond in the case of losing contact with an airplane that has changed course, and locking the cockpit for the duration of the flight.

                The rest of what needed to change were behind the scenes intelligence stuff - the TSA is all for show, it does basically nothing to improve our security, as the most recent event indicates. All it does is harrass American citizens to try to make them feel safer. It's bullshit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrphoton (1349555)
          I would agree with the above post, in my field (academia) one does see the world boycotting the US to a degree. The example I have is that it is _much_ harder to get people to attend conformance in the US than in Asia or Europe. One conformance I attended is usually over subscribed when it is not in the US, and when it is in the US numbers are very close to the break even point. I think this is at the subliminal level more than anything else. The general consensus is that it is a lot of grief to get in
      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        And what about the poor people in the USA who then suffer from reduced visitors, whether academic, tourist or friends and family? When the US government's laws affect other nations, the US pays the price as well. The people of the US are victims of this too.
      • by PPH (736903)

        Meanwhile, in other news, Canada requires all US airlines using their airspace (for great circle routes to Alaska as well as Europe) to post full body scan images of all passengers on a publicly available website prior to entering Canadian airspace.

        Some terrorist might bring a US airliner down on Shivering Moose, Alberta and that's got to be prevented at all costs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pnewhook (788591)

        First, these are airlines not landing in the US.

        Second, this is a slippery slope. It's perfectly legal for Canadians to travel to Cuba, and many do for vacations. It's not that much of a stretch for the US to gather names of Canadians travelling to Cuba and then ban them from entering the US for that reason. (maybe not under a Democrat president but probably under a Republican one).

        Basically it's none of their freakin business where I decide to travel to if I'm not stopping in their country.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So I say ever other country starts finger-printing and frisking Americans just as a matter of policy.

    See how long before the state departments starts whining about that.

    This is precisely why I won't fly into a US airport. Fuck 'em, you country no longer interests me.

    • by tresho (1000127) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:53PM (#30625930)
      This is precisely why I won't fly into a US airport. Fuck 'em, you country no longer interests me. I admire you attitude. If you want to overfly Rome, you better do as the Romans demand, otherwise, go somewhere else.
      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:01PM (#30626598)

        Actually, when I flew from the UK to Rome a few months ago, it was very noticeable that the staff on arrival were friendly and helpful, and the visible security consisted of a perfunctory passport check and one guard with a dog.

        Flying home to Stansted in the UK, we were greeted by long queues and a passport check by someone looking down their nose at us as though it was beneath them to grant us entry to our own country, under the watchful eyes of several armed police officers who hadn't been properly trained to point their weapons somewhere safe when not using them.

        I don't know where it all went wrong in the UK and the US, but the Italians are clearly doing something better than we are.

        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          Same when I went to Belgium. Get off the Eurostar in Brussels, quick and efficient and welcoming. Coming back to the UK, lines of miserable people being funneled past a grim little checkpoint. The contrast was quite stark.
          • That's because the UK is still pretending it is an independent country, while Belgium and Italy have both accepted that they are just subject states in the EU.
    • by KalAl (1391649) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:57PM (#30625970) Homepage
      Japan already fingerprints and photographs [bbc.co.uk] all foreigners when they enter the country.
      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        But you do not even need to enter. This applies if you're even flying over US, lets say Canada->Mexico.

        • Some domestic routes (eg Toronto to Vancouver) fly over US territory. A lot of travellers heading to the 2010 Winter Olympics are going to be ticked!
        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          I don't think the article mentioned it, but the posted story did. Flights to/from YYZ (Toronto) may cross American borders on approach or departure. They do run flights down to Mexico and Cuba, which I'm fairly sure transit over American airspace.

          I know the Canada Cuba flights already have the US Government's interest though. If there's an American on board without permissions (like, most of us won't have), we'll get nailed because of the ongoing embargo. While they did c

      • by Tellarin (444097)

        But Brazil only fingerprints and photographs people from the US. And that is reciprocity for having its citizens fingerprinted and photographed in the US.

        Other countries (Peru, Panama, Bolivia, ...) charge more fees if you're from the US to cover for immigration and customs procedures.

        • by HungWeiLo (250320)

          And Argentina just recently started charging US passport holders $131 for entry, as reciprocity for the same treatment of Argentines entering the U.S.

      • This is why I stick my fingers up my ass before entering Japan. It's the small things that give you pleasure.
    • Your country never interested me!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617)

      I hope more people from outside of the U.S. finds ways to pressure the U.S. government to behave itself. I'm getting increasingly ashamed of my government. It simply doesn't serve the interests of the people. And it's not "paranoia" driving this, it is paranoia that is drummed up to gain support for this. In reality, I don't believe the people of the U.S. support what is going on any longer... hell, most people don't have any idea what's going on. But the first time that people of the U.S. travel to an

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151)

      "So I say ever other country starts finger-printing and frisking Americans just as a matter of policy."

      Go ahead. I'd be fine with that. Run background checks too. Lock down all borders and protect exclusive access.

      I don't fly anywhere I'm not welcome, I'm not interested in becoming an illegal immigrant, I'm not a terrorist, and I'm fine with the deterrent model for containing international flow of people.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:48PM (#30626454)

      So I say ever other country starts finger-printing and frisking Americans just as a matter of policy.

      See how long before the state departments starts whining about that.

      This is precisely why I won't fly into a US airport. Fuck 'em, you country no longer interests me.

      You obviously don't get out much. Most countries do far worse than the US. There's a lot of anti American sentiment on Slashdot. Try flying into Saudi Arabia with an Israeli passport or even more fun vice versa. If you listen to some people on Slashdot the US is worse than the Soviet Union ever was. I grew up during the Cold War and that's just plain silly. I've also traveled to many foreign countries and trust me the US isn't that bad and most of the bad was in response to foreigners attacking us. We also have one of the more open immigration and residency policies. Virtually anyone can work here, legal or not, yet oddly enough few countries welcome Americans to work there. I've known many Brits, Australians and Dutch, just examples, that constantly bemoaned how awful it was getting work permits here or how bad the country was yet oddly enough they were working here. I wouldn't be welcome in any of their countries without changing citizenship. Canada has an open immigration policy yet Americans aren't allowed to work there. I work in the film industry and oddly enough it's flooded with Canadians both actors and crew but I can't work there. As a writer I need a Canadian to share writing credit to have a film shot there and it's tough as a director even to work there when it's my script. The whole point is for all the bad things done the negative aspects of the US are ALWAYS overstated and the good points generally ignored. We help support a lot of other countries and economies and we're simply expected to with little or no acknowledgement. We get blasted for using too many resources yet we are also attacked for not buying enough from other countries, odd given our trade deficit. Also we export a large percentage of the food grown here then get blasted over biofuels and that we use too much food. What happens is cherry picking. It's childsplay to find bad laws and bad policies, every country has them. With the US it often seems that's all anyone outside the country wants to see. Most Americans don't agree with their government policies but it's a problem that exists in most countries and is hardly unique to this country. We got blamed for the Bush years but few pointed out the majority of Americans voted against him. He won by a technicality. It's ridiculous to blame each one of us for everything our government does. Just because we get stuck with a certain leader doesn't make us all rightwing conservatives like flipping some cosmic switch. Each country has had their political crosses to bear. You don't have to come to the States just hop on a plane to some other countries around the world and actually see what's out there. If it isn't the utopia you pictured then try the US and see if it's as bad as you thought. Ya gotta leave your parent's basement some time.

      • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:57PM (#30627106) Homepage
        I am an American who opted to move to the UK and I was in no way asked to give up my citizenship and when I did get my citizenship I did so because I get to have my US and UK citizenship and now I have access to work anywhere in the US or EU which is rather handy! Perhaps things were different for you, I do know immigration laws change over time but for at least the last 10 years you could have both citizenships in the UK.

        Being a writer you don't even need a work permit as long as you don't intend to do work outside of your field. http://www.skillclear.co.uk/permitfree.asp [skillclear.co.uk]

        I would have said the other places are probably the same but to be honest some countries are getting tired of their people being treated like shit when going to the US so they're returning the favour and I don't blame them to be honest.
  • Great circles? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GWRedDragon (1340961)
    Flying around US airspace between Canadian cities isn't as bad as it looks on a flat 2d projection map. They should probably just avoid any issues and stick to Canadian airspace.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But France must have been in charge at the time as we surrendered without a fight.

  • Toronto is on Lake Ontario

    • by codegen (103601)
      And Lake Ontario is south of lake Huron. A lot of the flight paths from Western Canada to Toronto cut below Superior and Huron Crossing upper Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, putting in danger from terrorist attacks such places as Iron River, Ishpemming, Petosky, and Gaylord.
    • by JustOK (667959)

      Thought it was BESIDE Lake Ontario.

  • by msauve (701917) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:11PM (#30626092)
    Chaper 2, article 5 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation [wikipedia.org]? I believe both the US and Canada are signatories. (actual document can be found here [icao.int].

    Each contracting State agrees that all aircraft of the other contracting States, being aircraft not engaged in scheduled international air services shall have the right, subject to the observance of the terms of this Convention, to make flights into or in transit non-stop across its territory and to make stops for non-traffic purposes without the necessity of obtaining prior permission, and subject to the right of the State flown over to require landing. Each contracting State nevertheless reserves the right, for reasons of safety of flight, to require aircraft desiring to proceed over regions which are inaccessible or without adequate air navigation facilities to follow prescribed routes, or to obtain special permission for such flights.

    Now, I suppose the US could legitimately demand that any flights crossing its territory make a landing, hence subjecting passengers to inspection per Article 9(b-c), but that's only supposed to be available on a temporary basis.

    • by copponex (13876)

      Since when has signing international treaties caused us to abide by them? We'll invent a legal loophole and continue to pretend that everything is justified by the never ending war for Freedom and Democracy.

      Everyone knows that only Americans are righteous enough to defend such lofty ideals from lawless barbarians.

  • by jjh37997 (456473) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:14PM (#30626122) Homepage

    If we block them they block us and soon we'll be traveling to Alaska via Russia (which I've heard you can see via some of the houses on the coast)

    • by Pretzalzz (577309)

      I suspect the US has no problem handing over the information to the Canadians for similar flights.

      • by dkf (304284)

        I suspect the US has no problem handing over the information to the Canadians for similar flights.

        The way to get back at the US is to require all flights over Canadian airspace by US carriers to stop at a Canadian airport and deplane all passengers and cargo for "security checks" including passing customs. A lot of flights to and from the US go over Canada right now and going round is impractical and expensive.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mpe (36238)
          The way to get back at the US is to require all flights over Canadian airspace by US carriers to stop at a Canadian airport and deplane all passengers and cargo for "security checks" including passing customs.

          Are there any flights between Europe and the US which don't pass through Canadian airspace? At least in the Westbond direction.

          A lot of flights to and from the US go over Canada right now and going round is impractical and expensive.

          Including many flights out of Detroit Metro. The most notable, s
    • ahh, I finally understand. It's a grand conspiracy so that Palin can legitimately says he's seen Russia soil.
  • Vote On It ! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by b4upoo (166390) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:22PM (#30626206)

    Since we are not allowed to know if even one, single, lone, terrorist attack in the US has been thwarted by these information lists just what can a citizen do? Sending mail to a congressman or voting according to a position on more of this information collection is absurd as we simply are not allowed to have a clue as to whether this tactic works at all. For all I know perhaps this nonsense simply creates jobs that fat cat politicians hand out to their buddies.

  • Toronto (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Ask any Chinese person in the USA how they got to the US, and they will say thru-Toronto.

    Ask any Celebrity how they managed to visit Cuba, they will say thru-Toronto.>

    Watching Toronto Airports seems prudent.

  • by Xeno man (1614779) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:35PM (#30626346)
    I think I have a solution. We as Canadians should just reclassify all flights over American air space as Cargo Flights. No passengers to report. It's not like the plane is going to land in the States or they are going to pull over an aircraft for an inspection. Of course in an emergency situation where one does need to land in the states, it will be an unfortunate clerical error that lead the incorrect information to be given to the US.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    War Plan Red [wikipedia.org] is Go!!!

    Invade Canada!

  • Trust the T.S.A. They're Federalized [TM] which is howcome they're so smart. I mean they might have missed the underpants bomber who wasn't on the no fly list that the late Senator Ted Kennedy was on, but they nearly nabbed this guy. [storymash.com] Now move along nothing to see here. We must protect ourselves from Polish^H^H^H Oceana^H^H^H Canadian agression.
  • What privacy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rastos1 (601318) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:44PM (#30626422) Homepage

    My country has a bill that puts limits on handling of my personal data. It was passed because the EU demands that. But it also demands that my bank passes info about my money transactions to USA [slashdot.org]. It would be pretty difficult to live without bank account and legally impossible to run a business without bank account. My privacy is screwed and I can't even vote to change that - short of convincing EU to challenge US.

    We had stories about US demanding [slashdot.org]data [slashdot.org] about air travelers before [slashdot.org]. Well, you don't have to travel by air. You can use cash and not wire transfers. You can live without internet if you don't want ISP to log who/when you talk to. You can have your privacy - if you live back in the woods. Thanks God, the war on terrorism works so well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Thanks God, the war on terrorism works so well.

      Unfortunately, the terrorists are indeed doing spectactularly well: our nations are perpetually living in fear, our governments appear to be running around in a blind panic trying to ensure an impossible level of security, and worst of all, the bad guys hardly have to lift a finger to achieve this because our own governments and the media are doing all the legwork for them.

      I still don't understand why we use terms like "terrorist" that somehow seem to elevate what they do, instead of just calling them what

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:47PM (#30626452)

    Handing over information regarding a passenger's name, gender and birth-date may violate Canadian privacy laws

    What's worse is that the TSA can't even get any of those three facts right in many cases.

    Last Name [tsa.gov]: "Alphabetic, no numeric or special characters, except dash ( - ) and single quote ( ' ). Do not include suffixes (e.g., jr.). Truncate names longer than 35 characters to 35 characters".
    First Name [tsa.gov]: "Secure Flight allows first initial only;" otherwise, same as last name. Honorifics are not to be placed in the name.
    Middle Name [tsa.gov]: same as first name.

    So if any of your three names doesn't perfectly fit this convention, you will be hit with a $100 Change fee [schneier.com], including if you don't have a middle name. This is particularily problematic for asian, greek, or many other nationalities whose names include special characters or when translated to english result in a name longer than 35 characters.

    Gender [blogspot.com]: Once again, the TSA fails to account for any manner of diversity in the human population. Anyone who doesn't conform to the gender stereotype fixed to your official documents will be subject to additional (unwanted) attention. I wonder if they'll be offering sensitivity training for the crossdressers, transgendered, butch lesbians, and intersexed amongst us. And god help you if the Driver's Bureau screws up, or you live in a state that won't alter birth records after surgery, or one of a dozen other very real problems.

    Birthdate: Did you know a lot of people who immigrate to this country don't know when they were born? In fact, in developing countries, it's quite common for people not to know their actual age. People assume a person's date of birth is a fixed thing -- how could you screw that up? And if you live in this country, you don't have to worry about this anyway. Well, remember that until the mid-90s the Social Security Administration wasn't so on about immediately registering newborns -- and did you know some people choose to have their kids at home? Some people don't get a birth certificate until they're five years old because parents just plain forget -- and for a variety of reasons, sometimes they fudge the actual date. Try getting this changed later -- it's fun.

    In short, there's no real security being added here. All of it can be defeated quite easily in any event by putting a gun to the head of your wife, kid, or anything else you don't feel like losing. And as we make these security restrictions increasingly ethnocentric, the terrorists will adapt their strategies accordingly, because the payoff is so damn good! They sucked the US economy of trillions of dollars and all they had to do was crash four passenger planes. We offer the best "bang for the buck", literally and figuratively. It doesn't matter if they make it ten thousand times more difficult and expensive to pull another 9/11 job -- it's still an amazingly good deal for the terrorists.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @05:52PM (#30626504) Homepage Journal
    Canada started using U.S. data a couple of years ago [startribune.com]. Sadly Canada this is the downside of our arrangement with you. You don't get just the good part of this arrangement.
  • Just say NO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sukotto (122876) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:30PM (#30626836)

    Speaking as a Canadian...I think we should tell those paranoid xenophobes to go fuck themselves.

    Jean Chrétien had a lot of flaws, but at least he had the balls to tell the Americans to stop pushing us around.

    If they are concerned about passenger security then they can damn well set up more of those "you're guilty until proven innocent" security-theatre checkpoints on their own soil and search people getting off the plane. Hell, they can even build special security airports at the borders to inspect people's shoes and water bottles.

    (Sad to think that would probably be a better use of their funding than most of the stupid crap they've wasted their money on in the last 9 years)

    Go ahead and mod me down American nationalist zealots ... I have karma to burn and I'm tired of putting up with America's bullshit.

    [/rant]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Jean Chrétien had a lot of flaws, but at least he had the balls to tell the Americans to stop pushing us around.

      When he did so, he was mostly trying to make Paul Martin's job harder.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bziman (223162)
      Um, I'm American, and I agree with you.
  • Like many people, I think that the USA should be worth visiting but...

    I have no wish to be treated like a criminal. Even domestic UK flights are barely tolerable and it is getting worse.

    I am not being driven away from your country by the scumbag terrorists. I am being kept away by all that I hear about the security tripe.

    You allegedly lost the next Olympics because of it. It can't be helping your economy. Billions spent on the TSA and other useless rubbish as well as an indeterminate amount not collect

  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Sunday January 03, 2010 @04:37AM (#30630372) Homepage Journal
    Hi, I'm an American. One of the first families, in fact. That said, I'd like to say that I do not approve of what's been going on over the recent past in regard to "preventing terrorist attacks." If the "dividing line" is the 9/11 attack on New York by those Saudi Arabian criminals then it's worth noting that there have been exactly as many attacks on American soil since then "thanks to the increased security" as there were in all the years of air travel preceding this awful day.

    Unfortunately, our elected leaders don't see the insanity. They don't see that they're doing the terrorist's job more effectively than the terrorists ever imagined. They don't see how many airline and TSA employees are using this as an excuse to lie and steal. They have the right to go through your baggage - but you don't have the right to keep your personal property if they want to take it. Do they have rules and regulations to follow? Don't ask - it's none of your business, citizen. Do these people know how foolish they look? No.

    I've taken every opportunity to vote for people who said they would not perpetuate this nonsense - but there doesn't seem to be any way for a simple American citizen to stop this lunacy. I know that I do NOT want to travel on any airline these days - and if I have to, I know not to take a laptop or IPod along - or anything else that the watchers may find suspicious or desirable.

    What I'd really like to tell them: Hey, I'm an American citizen - who gave you the right to harass the citizens of this country? But they won't answer and it seems that our so-called representative government is more concerned with preserving and improving the status quo than doing the job they were elected to do.

    Sheesh; Bush was a disaster and Obama promised to undo the extremes and provide more transparency. Yeah, right - so Obama lied to us and is following the Bush plan. As a citizen, I'd like to apologize to those in other countries for the behavior of our government. We didn't ask them to act this way and we can't seem to find a way to get them to stop.

What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

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