Saturday, December 22, 2007

USELESS AIRPORT SECURITY AND FBI BIOMETRICS DATABASES...

A couple of stories I've noticed the past couple of days that are related...

First, a story about a study which shows that airline security is more about control than safety:

Airport security lines can annoy passengers, but there is no evidence that they make flying any safer, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.
A team at the Harvard School of Public Health could not find any studies showing whether the time-consuming process of X-raying carry-on luggage prevents hijackings or attacks.
They also found no evidence to suggest that making passengers take off their shoes and confiscating small items prevented any incidents.


Since there's no evidence that such "security" measures increase safety, then I'm sure such practices will be discontinued, right? Fat chance of that. It's like Alex Jones often says--the point was never to keep us "safe," the point is to inure us to being searched, to get us used to being subjected to pointless, petty invasions of our privay and submitting to authority for no good reason.

This is how a police state is created--slowly, gradually, almost imperceptibly, until the police feel they no longer need the subtlety. And the police state feels no need to justify itself, as the article points out:

"The U.S. Transportation Security Administration told research teams requesting information their need for quick new security measures trumped the usefulness of evaluating them, Eleni Linos, Elizabeth Linos, and Graham Colditz reported in the British Medical Journal."


Basically, the police state says, our "security measures" are effective because we say so. Even if they obviously aren't effective.

So we'll just scan everyone's face!


And that leads us right into the FBI's gigantic new biometric database!

"The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad."


My, how safe we'll be when we can all be tracked to the four corners of the earth!

Think that such a system would only be used on "terrorists?" Think again:

"But the FBI is planning a "rap-back" service, under which employers could ask the FBI to keep employees' fingerprints in the database, subject to state privacy laws, so that if that employees are ever arrested or charged with a crime, the employers would be notified."


Why might one be arrested? For participating in an antiwar demonstration, maybe? Why should one's employer be notified of that? Why should the government be telling employers such things? Would an employer be notified if one were charged with the crime of speeding or running a stop sign? What is the employer supposed to do with such information, anyway? Penalize an employee? What the hell is going on here?

Think the FBI won't abuse this database? Anybody remember the national security letter debacle? Let's refresh our memory:

"An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism."


Speaking of abuse of power--J. Edgar Hoover's mass arrest proposal!

Speaking of the FBI and abuse of power, how's about this from ol' Queen Hoover:

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.


Though this Hoover letter is from 1950, it sounds awfully familiar:

"For a long period of time the FBI has been accumulating the names, identities and activities of individuals found to be potentially dangerous to the internal security through investigation. These names have been compiled in an index which index has been kept up to date. The names in this index are the ones that have been furnished to the Department of Justice and will be attached to the master warrant referred to above. This master warrant will, therefore, serve as legal authority for the FBI to cause the apprehension and detention of the individuals maintained in this index."


No-Fly List, anyone? Hoover only had 12,000 "potentially dangerous" people on his list? What, was he soft on terror or something? The no-fly list has at least 20,000 people on it.

1 comment:

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