From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Darren Ingram wrote
> I know the list isn't the place for this, and maybe the A part of the
> ARSC justifies it being in America, but I am aware of quite a few
> Europeans who have resolutely refused to go to the U.S. for business
> or pleasure due to the knee jerk security reactions that have
> developed in the land in the past few years.
----- my reason for not going any more (after 21 years of more than once per
year travelling and extended stays) is that I feel that my safety is
endangered by the principle used in identifying me, if I want to enter.
Although having one's every move watched is not nice, you can forget it and
carry on normally. But a fingerprint leaves a physical mark or biological
residue where it is left. That is (yet) not used by the US Homeland Security.
But they are actively comparing the scanned print to whatever they can find
in the way of national or international databases of fingerprints, including
partial prints found at scenes of crime worldwide.
Now, I see a risk in that a partial print somewhere may have features in
common with my prints, and suddenly I have to have an alibi, i.e. the burden
of proof is reversed on me. I may be detained on suspicion, based on someone
else's physical mark in the shape of a (partial) fingerprint. The technology
is not yet so advanced that a simple comparison of the genetic make-up of the
partial fingerprint with my own genetic make-up will instantly exonerate me.
It may seem far-fetched, but why not use another biometric marker that with
certainty leaves no trace: the iris scan. I see no risk in that. However,
with fingerprints the chances of finding "someone" is much larger, and huge
databases were already in existance when the system went into operation in
October 2005. The Federal Register (the US Government official journal
regarding legislation) has very full and open reports on the development of
the homeland security question as well as the rules implemented and status
reports online. To be on the safe side I have downloaded the things I have
come across, were they to disappear at a later stage.
No doubt we shall have similar draconian measures in Europe, and when that
time comes there will no longer be any particular reason ot avoid the US.
................ Even before September 11, the idiocy that was greeting
> visitors was quite unwelcome.
----- here I must disagree: I started out in 1983 with a mulitple entry visa,
and I was always treated courteously by the Immigration officials, I answered
all of the - to me - quite relevant questions of occupation, business, etc.,
to the best of my knowledge and never had a problem. It took time because of
the huge number of people, but that was part of it.