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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Reader USC posted a

link to a disturbing article in this morning's Washington Post regarding just how much information the government is collecting on all of us as we travel in and out of the country. This raises the age old question of just how privacy we are willing to give up in the name of preventing a terrorist attack. One is reminded of the two way television monitors on the walls in George Orwell's 1984 where citizens of Eurasia were constantly being monitored. While the US is far from a totalitarian regime, every totalitarian regime justifies forcing the people to give up its rights - particularly the right to privacy - in exchange for security. Unfortunately, when people are scared, they are quick sacrifice their freedoms. Sure, many will say that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But life isn't that simple and we cannot always trust the integrity of those doing the snooping. The challenge is to set limits that allow our government to protect us without our becoming a police state. That includes ensuring that there are watchdogs watching the watchdogs.

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  1. grouchy's Avatar
    I don't know what would happen to our claims of "rights to privacy" when in the future it would never be like the one that everyone enjoys for decades. I think even americans would be affected by this stiff measures.
    This is a bit scary.
    It seems like they stripping you off completely before our very own eyes. And with this, there's no need for them to conduct queries, just tag you as if you belong to a group of terrorist or not because you are already scrutinized by them before you set-foot.
  2. USC's Avatar
    I think what the US is doing is clearly illegal. If a US Citizen takes a cruise from Beijing to Bangkok they are not entitled to PNR information on that since the itinerary does not include any stops in the US. Moreover, I don't believe they are gathering information on any one other than US citizens/residents. For instance, an Afghani or a Pakistani travelling on the same voyage wouldn't have their information handed to the US.

    What the Feds are doing is to put it mildly an outrage!
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