May 28, 2009

On not coming in last

Not content with making it as difficult as humanly possible for a person to enter back into his or her own country, now the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol want to scan and store the fingerprint profile of every person exiting the border, even U.S. citizens.

And incredibly, they can't even state why this would be a good security measure:

Michael Hardin, a senior policy analyst with the US-Visit Program at the United States Department of Homeland Security told a Biometrics Institute conference today that the DHS will use the data from the trial to "inform us as to where to take [exit screening] next."

Seriously. He actually said that the only reason they're implementing it to begin with is because they want to see how much they can get away with. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that they only seem to be interested in keeping tabs on citizens' whereabouts...

"We are trying to ensure we know more about who came and who left," he said.

C'mon, Michael! You're not even trying!

You know, there were other countries that pulled stunts like this. Ones that ended up having such a tight grip on their borders and citizens that travel and free movement was effectively impossible. Countries that, if I am not mistaken, we either went to war with or fought against in other ways because we did not want to see the world becoming that kind of place. We did not want America to be the last bastion of freedom. I guess it proves that you have to be careful what you wish for. An anonymous poster on Slashdot said this:

You know, I'm a Canadian, and ten years ago, I would have voted to join the US. I felt that Americans recognised the value of their freedoms and that they had, and would fight to keep, a more free society than just about anywhere else on Earth. Today, I won't even travel there. It reminds me of all those B movies just after WW2 "Achtung! Show me your papers". How could y'all have just let this happen?