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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba 417

Posted by timothy
from the so-very-giving-of-them dept.
First time accepted submitter illtud writes "From April, UK passengers flying to Mexico, Eastern Canada or Cuba will have to submit their details at least 72 hours before boarding to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for pre-flight vetting (as all passengers to the U.S. itself have had to do for a while). If they find against you, you're not getting on the plane, even though you're not going to the U.S. The Independent (UK quality newspaper) has the story."
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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

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  • Re:Haha, good one. (Score:5, Informative)

    by s0litaire (1205168) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @07:29PM (#39537707)

    Guess you never seen the date of the article in question

    was posted on "March 26th"

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @07:50PM (#39537819)

    The article starts out with...

    New rules require British Airways and other airlines flying to certain airports outside America to submit passengers' personal data to US authorities. [...] Even if the flight plan steers well clear of US territory, travellers whom the Americans regard as suspicious will be denied boarding.

    Emphasis mine. This statement is what is supposed to re-assure us that it's ridiculous.
    ( Not to say that it isn't, but keep reading... )

    Washington has extended the obligation to air routes that over-fly US airspace, such as Heathrow to Mexico City or Gatwick to Havana.

    Emphasis again mine. So here's the twist. If you fly through a particular nation's airspace, are you 'steering clear of' that nation's territory?
    Wikipedia (don't worry, dictionaries appear to agree) states...

    "Airspace means the portion of the atmosphere controlled by a country above its territory, including its territorial waters or, more generally, any specific three-dimensional portion of the atmosphere."

    Emphasis once again mine.

    Their airspace, their rules. Some flights not too long ago were probably barred from entering Polish airspace as well and had to skim along its borders for its flight.
    ( http://twitter.com/#!/flightradar24/statuses/128071958293266432 [twitter.com] )

    It's still ridiculous because it makes little sense. Not just because of the notion that you wouldn't actually set afoot in said territory, but because the few cases in which you might (such as an emergency requiring diverting to one of that nation's airports) also apply to many other routes that don't cross that airspace but still come close enough for the pilots to decide to, or be forced to, land there - security clearance issues or no security clearance issues.

  • by beaverdownunder (1822050) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @08:16PM (#39537951)

    Australia already does this -- you have to clear immigration to leave. They make you fill out a card specifying who you are, if you're coming back, when, where you're staying overseas and so forth.

    Having emigrated here from Canada, this got my freedom-deluded ire up at first, but I've since become used to it. It also prevents criminals from fleeing the country, so once again it comes down to that whole liberty vs security equation.

    In a way, though, the US already has 'emigration' clearance itself -- since all flight passenger manifests must be cleared by the TSA, they could keep you from leaving if they wanted to.

  • Re:Already happening (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @08:52PM (#39538139) Journal

    The news here is that this now applies to flights that do not go through US airspace. From TFA:

    "Even if the flight plan steers well clear of US territory, travellers whom the Americans regard as suspicious will be denied boarding."

    In particular, flights from UK to Halifax don't touch US airspace (check the map).

  • by rwade (131726) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @09:03PM (#39538183)

    you can't fly to cuba from the US directly anyway, so canadian flights for example must go around US airspace.

    Flights between Canada and Cuba are not required to travel around US air space. That is not at all required.

    One example is a recent Air Canada flight [flightaware.com] from Toronto to Havana. I'm not sure how long this link will work beyond today, but the flight clearly travels over
    New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

  • by sabernet (751826) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @09:36PM (#39538303) Homepage

    Not a gag. This isn't an April fools trick. Read about this earlier in the week. It's just that Slashdot was late in reporting it. Just more US gov't exported bullshit.

  • by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @10:17PM (#39538475)

    That depends on which city you are flying to. For example, part of Canada is actually south of Detroit, Michigan. Imagine that, if you want to go from Windsor, Ontario to the US, you have to travel north.

  • Re:April fools? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @10:20PM (#39538479)

    you can't fly to cuba from the US directly anyway

    You can now, actually. One of the first things Obama did was relax the travel embargo rules [state.gov] to allow exactly this.

    You can go there without a license if you are:

    • Persons visiting a close relative (any individual related to a person by blood, marriage, or adoption who is no more than three generations removed from that person or from a common ancestor with that person) who is a national of Cuba, and persons traveling with them who share a common dwelling as a family with them. There is no limit on the duration or frequency of such travel. (According to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, third country nationals who reside in Cuba are considered Cuban nationals.)
    • Journalists and supporting broadcasting or technical personnel (regularly employed in that capacity by a news reporting organization and traveling for journalistic activities).
    • Official government travelers on official business.
    • Members of international organizations of which the United States is also a member (traveling on official business).
    • Full-time professionals, whose travel transactions are directly related to research in their professional areas, provided that their research:
      1) is of a noncommercial, academic nature
      2) comprises a full work schedule in Cuba
      3) has a substantial likelihood of public dissemination.
    • Full-time professionals whose travel transactions are directly related to attendance at professional meetings or conferences in Cuba that are organized by an international professional organization, institution, or association that regularly sponsors such meetings or conferences in other countries. An organization, institution, or association headquartered in the United States may not sponsor such a meeting or conference unless it has been specifically licensed to sponsor it. The purpose of the meeting or conference cannot be the promotion of tourism in Cuba or other commercial activities involving Cuba, or to foster production of any bio-technological products.
    • Employees of a U.S. telecommunications services provider or an entity duly appointed to represent such a provider traveling incident to: 1) the commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing of authorized telecommunications-related items; or 2) participation in telecommunications-related professional meetings for the commercial marketing of, sales negotiation for, or performance under contracts for the provision of telecommunications services, or the establishment of facilities to provide telecommunications services.
    • Individuals regularly employed by a producer or distributer of agricultural commodities, medicine, or medical devices or an entity duly appointed to represent such a producer or distributer traveling incident to the commercial marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied deliver, or servicing in Cuba of such items.

    For every other reason/visitor you need to get permission from the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control.

  • Re:April fools? (Score:5, Informative)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @10:48PM (#39538563) Journal

    All these planes are landing in the US (a fact the summary conveniently leaves out just to stir the pot, and send you up.

    The article does not just leave that out, it contradicts it, and goes further, mentioning that it applies to flights that do not enter US territory, so do you have a citation that this only applies to flights that actually land in the US?

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by spasm (79260) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @10:53PM (#39538581) Homepage
  • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@hotm a i l .com> on Saturday March 31, 2012 @11:04PM (#39538611) Journal

    Direct flights that do not enter US Airspace would not be affected.

    No, you're quite mistaken. While the U.S. previously only demanded passenger information for flights entering U.S. airspace, this new policy now covers flights that never overfly U.S. territory. The article notes that direct flights from the UK to the Canadian cities of Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto are affected, and the U.S. authorities intend to include western Canadian destinations in the near future.

  • by budgenator (254554) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @11:07PM (#39538621) Journal

    These passengers are flying to the US, regardless of their final destination. As such they will likely be in a plane full of US citizens, over US cities. I suspect that in all these cases the plane will land in the US before continuing to their destination.

    Direct flights that do not enter US Airspace would not be affected.

    Are you sure?; the article

    New rules require British Airways and other airlines flying to certain airports outside America to submit passengers' personal data to US authorities. The information is checked against a "No Fly" list containing tens of thousands of names. Even if the flight plan steers well clear of US territory, travellers whom the Americans regard as suspicious will be denied boarding. Planning a trip to Canada or the Caribbean? US Immigration may have other ideas... [independent.co.uk]

    doesn't seem to back that up. It's highly possible the a liberal British tabloid might be sensationalize something more reasonable, or at least making one of the TSAs outrageous intrusive hare-brained ideas even more outrageous and intrusive than it is.

  • by dryeo (100693) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @11:09PM (#39538631)

    These passengers are flying to the US, regardless of their final destination. As such they will likely be in a plane full of US citizens, over US cities. I suspect that in all these cases the plane will land in the US before continuing to their destination.
    No, they've been doing the TSA thing on planes flying over US territory for a while. This is planes flying to places like Halifax, 150 miles from the States according to TFA, soon to come to all major Canadian airports. The shortest route from the UK to Canada, especially the west, is over the arctic.
    Basically this is America intruding on other countries sovereignty. As a duel Canadian and UK citizen they can stop me from traveling simply between the two. I don't think there are many ocean liners anymore and from experience I can say it can be a crappy way to spend a week.

  • by MadMaverick9 (1470565) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @11:23PM (#39538673)

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/agents.shtm#secflght [tsa.gov]

    Secure Flight Program: Overflight Overview and the Overflight Table for Third-Party Providers

    http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/SFP_Overflight_Overview_Table.pdf [tsa.gov]

  • by orzetto (545509) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:34AM (#39539397)
    I guess you would take the chunnel to France and then a plane from Paris CDG. Or a plane to any major hub in continental Europe with a flight to Canada (e.g. Frankfurt or Amsterdam), then buy another ticket with a non-British company. Or wait for April Fool's day to wear off.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @04:29AM (#39539543) Journal

    This applies to Canada from the UK, if you had a brain and ever got out of your mothers basement you would know that you fly to the American continent via a northern route even if you got to go to the South of USA. Now, Canada is WHERE on the American continent? Why would you fly PAST Canada into the US on your way to Canada?

    This is NOT about passing over a country or landing at an airport, this is about a flight that doesn't cross US territory and the US demanding to have anything to do with it. These UKCanada flights won't even appear on US traffic control radar screens.

    It shows just how much of a control freak the US has become and how of a lapdog the UK is.

  • Sadly... (Score:4, Informative)

    by denzacar (181829) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @06:41AM (#39539867) Journal

    Or wait for April Fool's day to wear off.

    Sadly, the article is dated 26th of March. It was also shared on Twitter and commented on that day.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Halo1 (136547) <jonas.maebe@elis.[ ]nt.be ['uge' in gap]> on Sunday April 01, 2012 @07:35AM (#39540021) Homepage

    Being from Belgium, I can confirm that you are right to a certain extent. But at the same time, there is in general quite little love for the US (or US army) left today. My generation (I'm 33) was brought up with all the wonderful stories about how the US protected us from the evil USSR and how they were the beacon of freedom in the world. That image has disappeared almost completely over the last 15-20 years or so and neither my parents' nor my generation is generally a big fan anymore of the US these days...

    It doesn't mean that we're not thankful for what the US (and UK, and others) did in WWII, but those were decisions of the people in charge back than. I think that abstract or unconditional loyalty to a nation is silly or even dangerous, because while past actions and traditions obviously have some effect on current and future behaviour, I believe that the most important factor that determines behaviour is the people that are in charge.

  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @08:36AM (#39540299)

    Christ how many idiots are going to say this as if it were what the story is talking about?

    REPEAT AFTER ME NUMBNUTS: This story is about US DHS controlling who is allowed on flights which DO NOT originate in the US, terminate in the US, OR AT ANY POINT cross over the US.

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