What's Your Terror Score?
So you're probably aware that the US forces foreign government's to grant access to overseas databases in order to profile you when you fly internationally. You're probably also aware that if you pay a fee, you can get cleared for express passage through security--a sort of "No I'm not a terrorist. Really!" certification. But what you may not know is that over the last 4 years the feds have been compiling a huge database of travelers, each of whom are assigned a "terror score" that can be used to single them out for extra scrutiny or to deny them passage. But, as if that weren't enough, the so-called (A)utomated (T)argeting (S)ystem has these other delightful aspects:
- You don't get to see your score (in fact they won't even tell you if you have a score)
- You don't get to challenge your score
- The feds intend to keep the scores around for the next 40 years
- The feds have asserted that they can, and will, share this information with...state, local, and foreign governments, law enforcement, the courts, Congress, and government contractors
- The feds have even gone so far as to suggest that the data be used when making hiring decisions, contract awards, licensing decisions, or for granting clearances
Get this. My 5-year-old grandson was on the no-fly list. FIVE YEARS OLD.
The insane are running this country.
TPM, "89" sounds like a score from the The Wine Spectator, you sure you're not allowed to go to Estonia? Not ever for those fine Estonian vintages?
HillCountryGal, too true. It's almost as if when one program is exposed, they come up with another...double quick.
"He hasn't flown in over two years. There can be only one reason he is getting on an airplane today...."
I think we need to expect to do a lot more long-distance walking.
And as I read these things, I fear those who have promised there will be no impeachment. What can we possibly lose by impeachment? This kind of stuff?
The silence emanating from the DP on these issues scares me as bad as this stuff.
Spys on it's own citizens
Arrests people and holds without charges, without benefit of counsel and holds them incommunicado secretly
Actively works to control the media
Considers anyone who disagrees to be a "traitor"?
(d) Both A and B
On the bigger picture, this is flat out scary and I agree with the comment about the silence from the DP being really scary. They should be flexing their muscle now, while they have a chance.
That's always bothered me that a few WoT hawks on the right have never understood the truly disturbing fact that this administration has made brown people who "look like terrorists" disappear for a few years into Gitmo or render them to Egypt to be tortured - simply because they're brown people.
Peacechick, in fact the GOP and GOP proposals have become so ridiculous that I have a hard time working up the energy to waste keystrokes on them.
E4E, not sure you're missing much. Flying has become such a trial (and not just because of security) that I sometimes question the necessity of a trip.
Sewmouse, Betty, sad isn't it. Everytime one program gets exposed another comes along. It's neverending.
Karena, see what I said above to the KnightErrant, and...don't go and order the tofu!
R-bE, funny you should mention that. My last name once showed up on a British watch list (for suspected IRA terrorists). The Frogette actually got stopped and held at Heathrow because of this. But ironically, the name is actually English!
I'm going to copy and paste this one. (with proper credit of course).
My net was down for most of 3 days and I've fallen behind - again.
My (now ex) husband has lived and worked in several Arab countries, including Iran and in predominately Muslim Indonesia. I have accompanied him on some travels and also lived in an Arab country. I corresponded with Arab friends for many years and had them visit me here in the States. And once even wired money to an Arab friend in an Arab country (as repayment of a quickie loan to buy a carpet in another Arab country). I have Arabic artwork in my home. Ye gods! Does that look bad for me or what?
Does my walking cane qualify as a weapon? Would they allow it on the plane? It is a hollow aluminum one; would it be seized for examination to determine if it contained bad stuff? Would I be dragged off to detention, sans cane, while it was examined and they ran investigation on me? Would my anti-bush, anti-war, anti-fundie rhetoric on my blogs label me a terrorist?
If I come up missing over the holidays.....
But talking about flying Kvatchie, let me tell you, we have new neighbours two houses down and they're originally from Yemen. The men, an elderly doctor in his 6os, has been in the US for 15yrs and has become American. He is not a practicing Muslim (wife is), and can't stand extremists. When he wants to buy a plane ticket over the internet, it will allow him to do that, but he cannot get a seat assigned until he gets to the airport. He also is not allowed to do curbside check-in. He has to go inside to check in. When he lived in South Texas close to the Mexican border, he and friends (before he got married, he just got married) would cross the border for dinner from time to time. All of the sudden, he would be held at customs for 45minutes or so. When he would ask why, they'd apologize and tell him that they 'have to do that'. He's even gone so far to go the FBI HQ in TX to complain and say, hey, what do you expect me to do? Take me off this list.
To no avail.
Well, I guess 'we're in it together aren't we,whether we know it or not..
and Worried, you better not be missing!!
Worried, I feel for you. The Frogette was on some watch list for a while. At every checkpoint she and her bags would be searched, even just before boarding a plane. Then it stopped, somewhat suddenly, about a year later. And about your cane. I think you're safe. I mean steel knitting needles aren't considered a weapon, right?
I'm just waiting for the day when they turn me back.
This will not meet the same fate as "Safe Flight" because only 25% of Americans have passports. That is to say, us international travelers just don't carry enough political weight to make this go away.
I was allowed to fly during the summers of 2004 and 2005, so I'm really probably not on any lists... but one never knows. If it can happen to Hillcountygal's five-year old grandson, it can happen to anyone.