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I guess the 3-1-1 rule was not enough

September 20, 2007

According to a Wired magazine article, the Department of Homeland Security has been quietly compiling quite a bit of information on the passengers passing through TSA security checks in airports:

Privacy advocates obtained database records showing that the government routinely records the race of people pulled aside for extra screening as they enter the country, along with cursory answers given to U.S. border inspectors about their purpose in traveling. In one case, the records note Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore’s choice of reading material, and worry over the number of small flashlights he’d packed for the trip.

As someone who just this month was on an international flight reading this book this revelation is slightly disturbing. I have been “randomly” chosen for extra questioning several times, so I wonder if the government has a file on me and my choice of reading materials.

On the way home from work yesterday a caller to NPR, commenting on a different, but equally disturbing story, said, “If you ain’t no criminal, you shouldn’t worry about the government watching you.” I want to be safe when I fly, but I am not so sure that this program makes me any safer. Really, as long as I am not violating any of their rules, the contents of my carry-on bags should not be important to the TSA.

One Comment leave one →
  1. K-Diggity permalink*
    September 20, 2007 8:00 pm

    don’t worry the gov’t doesn’t care that you’re bringing a fleshlight on the plane, trust me

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