Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tagging Visitors

Regardless of how passive the methodology, there is a significant amount of freedom lost whenever any segment of the population is placed under 24-hour surveillance. Consider the latest move by Customs and Immigration - (CNN: Radio tag testing at Canadian border crossing> )

Ostensibly being introduced to ease congestion at border crossings, this technology also opens the door to GPS style surveillance not unlike that used by home confinement ankle bracelets. Legitimate visitors to the US are already photographed and fingerprinted. Welcome to the Land of the Free. Now they'll be handed documents with radio tags embedded in them. All of this comes in the name of Homeland Security and is designed to give us the false impression of added safety.

It bears reminding that none of these methods would have prevented the 9/11 attacks that precipitated our sudden interest in additional security measures. Instead, the constant erosion of our basic freedoms signifies another victory for those that would seek to forever alter our way of life. Every security camera placed in a major city or on our highways is a victory for the terrorists. Fingerprinting tourists coming to the US for legitimate reasons is a victory for the terrorists. Requiring travelers to remove their shoes for scanning at an airport is a victory for the terrorists. How much liberty are we willing to sacrifice for the false impression of security? For me, they crossed that line years ago.


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