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Visitors To US Now Required To Register Online

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the e-papers-please dept.

Privacy 734

mytrip sends a reminder that starting today, visitors to the US from 35 visa-waiver countries will be required to register online with the Department of Homeland Security in advance. The DHS is asking people to go online for the ESTA program 72 hours before traveling, but they can register any amount of time ahead. Approval, once granted, is good for 2 years. DHS says that most applications are approved in 4 seconds. If an application is rejected, the traveler will have to go to a US embassy and get a visa. CNet reports that information from applications will be retained for 12 years, and eventually up to 75 years.

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734 comments

America, for one, welcomes... (5, Funny)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431473)

Johnny Foreigners, as long as they've filled in the right form!

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (4, Insightful)

oliderid (710055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431509)

As a potential Johnny foreigner, I will spend my hard won Euros somewhere else.

GNAA Announces Project to Port Slashcode to ASP.NE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431563)

GNAA Announces Project to Port Slashcode to ASP.NET
GNAA Announces Project to Port Slashcode to ASP.NET

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| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | Gary Niger
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Re:America, for one, welcomes... (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431609)

As a potential Johnny foreigner, I will spend my hard won Euros somewhere else.

If you are going to be deterred from coming to the US over the requirement that you register online and cough up some fingerprints I suppose you really didn't care that much about coming in the first place anyway, did you?

I think this program is security theater more than anything else but our entry/exit requirements still aren't that onerous compared to other countries I can think of. In the end you'll have to weigh them against your reason for coming here. I'm in love with Italy and Italian culture -- I'd cough up my prints if that was the requirement to go there. New York State already has them anyway.....

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431703)

My wife and I were looking at holidaying in the US for the first time in 5 or so years. We'd previously decided not to based on the Presedent, now we probably won't because of the queues at the entry barrier.

The requirements may not be onerous compared to other countries, but that doesn't mean they aren't too onerous to attract people.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431855)

I'm sure you'll find things much different at your ultimate destination.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (4, Funny)

armie (32968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432141)

I'm sure you'll find things much different at your ultimate destination.

So getting past Saint Peter is easier than getting into the US...

Compared to other countries? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431719)

"I think this program is security theater more than anything else but our entry/exit requirements still aren't that onerous compared to other countries I can think of."

Care to provide more details, or was that pure rhetoric?

Re:Compared to other countries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431827)

Germany, Italy, Egypt... the list goes on.

Herd instict (5, Insightful)

LuckyStarr (12445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431739)

If you are going to be deterred from coming to the US over the requirement that you register online and cough up some fingerprints I suppose you really didn't care that much about coming in the first place anyway, did you?

Afaik, no state on this planet has my fingerprints yet, and I do not plan on handing them over any time soon. If that means not to travel to foreign countries where I would love to go to, so be it. I'll watch documentaries instead.

I have my principles, and a change of law will not change them!

Re:Herd instict (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431817)

Afaik, no state on this planet has my fingerprints yet, and I do not plan on handing them over any time soon

I had to hand them over just to get a job (New York State requires them if you work for an OMH licensed facility) so I'm already "screwed" in this sense. I don't happen to agree with most of these policies but I do understand the motivation behind them. To each their own I suppose -- but I wouldn't be deterred from coming to the EU if I had to cough up my prints and/or a picture.

In any case, the outrage over this article is completely misplaced. RTFA -- they aren't requesting any information beyond that which is already requested on the paper forms you fill out in-flight. It seems to me that filling them out online 72 hours in advance isn't particularly burdensome.

Re:Herd instict (3, Interesting)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431921)

Afaik, no state on this planet has my fingerprints yet, and I do not plan on handing them over any time soon

I had to hand them over just to get a job (New York State requires them if you work for an OMH licensed facility) so I'm already "screwed" in this sense.

For my contract at a school district in Pennsylvania I had to do a child abuse background check (Which had to be mailed in with a $10 money order, no personal checks), a $10 State Police background check, and $40 to have my prints put on file with the FBI/checked with the FBI via the local intermediate unit. It's widely required at other places of employment, as well.

Re:Herd instict (3, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432059)

pffft, if you think that's bad, those bastards took MY finger prints, and all I did was rob someone! What cunts!

Re:Herd instict (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432153)

It's widely required at other places of employment, as well.

And for many types of licenses -- liquor licenses, insurance agent/broker licenses, teacher licenses, CPA license, medical license, pistol permits, etc, etc, etc. People rarely complain about any of those but all of a sudden if the government wants to verify the identity of people crossing the border it's a burden and a sign of the impending police state?

Re:Herd instict (2, Insightful)

ThaReetLad (538112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432205)

What if you forget, or need to travel at short notice?

Re:Herd instict (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431997)

Guess you're not going to Japan, either:

'All foreign nationals entering Japan, with the exemption of certain categories listed below, are required to provide fingerprint scans and be photographed at the port of entry. This requirement does not replace any existing visa or passport requirements."

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431743)

If you are going to be deterred from coming to the US over the requirement that you register online and cough up some fingerprints I suppose you really didn't care that much about coming in the first place anyway, did you?

This is a fallacy. If he cares about not handing over his fingerprints to foreign Governments, that doesn't imply he doesn't care about going to the country. On the contrary, if he didn't care about going, why would he care about the requirements?

but our entry/exit requirements still aren't that onerous compared to other countries I can think of.

Ah, it's the "But there are worse countries!" argument. Well sure there are worse countries - not exactly a ringing endorsement. Chances are the OP doesn't go there, either.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431753)

The one true problem with this is that it is basically a one-sided reintroduction of a visa-requirement. The visa-waiver countries are in bilateral agreements not to require visas from each other's people for short visits. Since the new requirement isn't just an "at the time of entry" border security procedure, but instead requires the visitor to get a permission to enter the country at least 3 days prior to the visit, it is essentially a form of visa-requirement.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431917)

It's slashdotted anyway - must be a "terr'rist cyber-attack" :-)

"Connection Interrupted

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431823)

It's more that we don't want a foreign (potentially hostile at some later date) government having/losing our biometric data along with our other personal details - or having them pop up as a false-positive in a burglary investigation in Utah

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431859)

our entry/exit requirements still aren't that onerous compared to other countries I can think of.

Comparing something bad to something worse doesn't make it any less bad.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431949)

When I first traveled from Germany to the US in 1988 no Visa Waiver Program was in place. You had to apply for a visa, pay an application fee (~$80), mail your passport, completed form, and passport pictures to the embassy/consulate and wait for two weeks to receive your stamped passport by return mail. If your application was rejected you had to appear in person.

Today, the process does not incur any cost, is almost instantaneous, and you do not have to surrender your passport, answer intrusive questions during a life interview that that could go anywhere, depending on your answers and whims of the interviewer.

The incremental change is that you have to be fingerprinted on your arrival in the US.

I think that the new system is an improvement over the old one. You all seem to forget that international travel used to be much more restrictive and intrusive.

Travel within the EU - while without any apparent border controls - is tightly controlled, over a much wider area, with tight cooperation from police, customs and other agencies. It only appears on the ground to be open and free.

Talk to people that traveled in Europe and beyond in the 70's and 80's about travel restrictions. Not to mention Eastern bloc countries...

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432131)

You may think it's security theater, but remember that the US has said that it will share the data with various agencies.

I wouldn't be surprised if the UK governement certainly takes a look at all this information and uses it to populate our police databases to subvert the population.
They are taking us down the road of national ID by any means possible.

Our DNA database contains thousands of people who have never been criminally convicted. It even has the data of people who have volunteered their DNA to exclude them from murder enquiries.
They were never suspects!! The fishing expedition was to find people unwilling to give their DNA and then concentrate policing on why.

Want privacy? Expect to be investigated then.

There are going to be false positives. Someone is going to get screwed out of all of this.
What really appauls me if that the UK and I think most of the other 35 countries are not giving the Americans a taste of their own medicine.
We should be stopping y'all at our borders, subjecting you to a search of your luggage, kidnapping your laptop and fingerprinting y'all.

I'm sure many Americans would be up in arms and calling XYZ from your vaunted constitution.

I've travelled to old Soviet countires and the Mid East. No one is this demanding.

USSR called, they want your papers please.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (1)

rundgren (550942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432219)

As a potential Johnny foreigner, I will spend my hard won Euros somewhere else.

If you are going to be deterred from coming to the US over the requirement that you register online and cough up some fingerprints I suppose you really didn't care that much about coming in the first place anyway, did you?

I think this program is security theater more than anything else but our entry/exit requirements still aren't that onerous compared to other countries I can think of. In the end you'll have to weigh them against your reason for coming here. I'm in love with Italy and Italian culture -- I'd cough up my prints if that was the requirement to go there. New York State already has them anyway.....

But the US rules _are_ onerous compared to other countries. The US demands that everyone wanting a tourist visa need to have a clean criminal record. (And I'm not talkin about having done jail time, everything more serious that a traffic ticket and you're disqualified.)

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (2, Interesting)

rundgren (550942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432139)

As a potential Johnny foreigner, I will spend my hard won Euros somewhere else.

So will I! The U.S. makes it so damn difficult getting into their country that it hardly seems worth the effort any more.. The worst part is that they deny visa (even 3 months of tourist visa) to ppl like me who have a small thing ($400 dollar fine) on our criminal record. A US citizen with the same record I have will have no problem entering my country (Norway).

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431805)

It's nice and friendly - look what you get as a pop-up as soon as you visit the registration page:

"You are about to access a Department of Homeland Security computer system. This computer system and data therein are property of the U.S. Government and provided for official U.S. Government information and use. There is no expectation of privacy when you use this computer system. The use of a password or any other security measure does not establish an expectation of privacy. By using this system, you consent to the terms set forth in this notice. You may not process classified national security information on this computer system. Access to this system is restricted to authorized users only. Unauthorized access, use, or modification of this system or of data contained herein, or in transit to/from this system, may constitute a violation of section 1030 of title 18 of the U.S. Code and other criminal laws. Anyone who accesses a Federal computer system without authorization or exceeds access authority, or obtains, alters, damages, destroys, or discloses information, or prevents authorized use of information on the computer system, may be subject to penalties, fines or imprisonment. This computer system and any related equipment is subject to monitoring for administrative oversight, law enforcement, criminal investigative purposes, inquiries into alleged wrongdoing or misuse, and to ensure proper performance of applicable security features and procedures. DHS may conduct monitoring activities without further notice."

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432095)

You are about to access a Department of Homeland Security computer system. This computer system and data therein are property of the U.S. Government and provided for official U.S. Government information and use. There is no expectation of privacy when you use this computer system. The use of a password or any other security measure does not establish an expectation of privacy. By using this system, you consent to the terms set forth in this notice. You may not process classified national security information on this computer system. Access to this system is restricted to authorized users only. Unauthorized access, use, or modification of this system or of data contained herein, or in transit to/from this system, may constitute a violation of section 1030 of title 18 of the U.S. Code and other criminal laws. Anyone who accesses a Federal computer system without authorization or exceeds access authority, or obtains, alters, damages, destroys, or discloses information, or prevents authorized use of information on the computer system, may be subject to penalties, fines or imprisonment. This computer system and any related equipment is subject to monitoring for administrative oversight, law enforcement, criminal investigative purposes, inquiries into alleged wrongdoing or misuse, and to ensure proper performance of applicable security features and procedures. DHS may conduct monitoring activities without further notice.

My emphasis. I think that with the way the sentence is structured (in particular the "or" clauses) it's valid to emphasise that as a statement claimed by the text. So don't read the webpage you're visiting or you might end up in Federal prison.

Re:America, for one, welcomes... (1)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431839)

Well, apart from the stupidity of submitting this stuff over the Intertubes (no idea if this site uses encryption or not), this should not be different from the green paper form we had to fill out on the plane uo to now. Lucky those who brought a pen on board.

[ ] Are you or have you ever been a member of a terrorist group?

ahahahah! (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431485)

Given the pollution, the crisis, the idiots that rule and your mood, I'd rather visit online only.
Justb play in a microwave instead of bombing countries and/or supplying bomb to roguestates!

*sigh* (4, Insightful)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431497)

Yeah, so much for "your huddled masses" :( Additionally, watch Americans be completely surprised when these countries reciprocate the generosity.

Re:*sigh* (5, Informative)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431523)

I was horrified when I went to Japan recently and had to let them take my fingerprints and a picture. I was even more horrified when I complained to my Japanese friends and they let me know that America has the same practice.

Re:*sigh* (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432223)

Actually, most practices of border guards are directly inspired by American ones. Out of curiosity, two years ago I spent some time in Asia including Japan. I never left any fingerprint anywhere. When was it ?

Re:*sigh* (1, Insightful)

ImOnlySleeping (1135393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431755)

That would involve Americans travelling.

Re:*sigh* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431895)

1) Hey, we Americans "travel". How do you think we escaped Europe?

2) We travel, just not so much outside of North America (which is 5 times+ larger than Europe to begin with).

3) Who cares? Why do consider moving from one place to another for short periods of time to be a point of pride? Wow! You paid for a plane ticket. I know I'm impressed.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432015)

well, nobody expected that cultural trips could ever make a dent in the American way of life. keep safe under that rock!

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431769)

Sadly, the losers are the people who have to deal with these arbitrary controls, as well as the mindless accusations from people in other countries (as if the common man has any say in whether or not to subject foreign travelers to this pointless hassle).

The winner, as usual, are the governments, and the people who make their fortunes in the business of government. Not only does this give them reason to spend (pulling more revenue through the hands of the power elite), it builds upon the precedent of universal surveillance / total control which is a huge asset to those who wish to further expand government in terms of both revenue and power over the people.

Poetry is not a good basis for immigration policy (1)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431947)

Yeah, so much for "your huddled masses" :( Additionally, watch Americans be completely surprised when these countries reciprocate the generosity.

Hate to break it to you, but the "huddled masses" wording is part of a poem, not the US immigration policy.

I'd further like to note that this requirement is for people traveling under the visa waiver program... ie. it's an alternative to getting a visa. There's nothing new to stop travelers from getting a visa from a US embassy the old fashioned way.

Re:Poetry is not a good basis for immigration poli (2, Interesting)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432073)

The waiver program was supposed to be a way that citizens could get from their country to a friendly country without much hassle or processing times (aka a visa). It's supposed to go both ways, but now the US has put up a tiny roadblock to that smoothness. Here's to hoping the other countries don't reciprocate in classic xenophobic style.

Wasn't going before.... (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431505)

and I'm doubly not going now.

Re:Wasn't going before.... (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431581)

A looong time ago I had a notion of wanting to visit America one day.

Now my wish to never visit America has increased to magnitudes of that notion of wanting to visit.

Re:Wasn't going before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431637)

See, that's why this discussion is purely academic. The people who do travel to America don't care. To them it's just the electronic version of a bizarre but well known procedure. The only people who are opposed to this are people who won't be affected anyway.

Scaring tourists away much? (5, Interesting)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431557)

Do people still visit that country?

I mean I don't even get a shopping card from our local supermarket because I don't think it's necessary for them to have my personal information...

I'm not a criminal, and I don't want to be treated as such. It would be would be debatable if they kept personal information for say a year or so and you could trust them to delete your information afterward.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431723)

I mean I don't even get a shopping card from our local supermarket because I don't think it's necessary for them to have my personal information...

So? Lie on the supermarket form. Or pick a name & address out of the phone book.

It's more fun to pollute their marketing database with incorrect data.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431731)

Did anybody bother to RTFA?

Derwood Staeben, U.S. consul general in London, said nearly all applications would be approved in less than 10 seconds. He said travelers would not be required to give any more information than is already requested on the paper immigration forms, which are being replaced.

This information was already collected. Are we really supposed to believe that collecting it in advance instead of in-flight is really that burdensome? If this is all it takes to deter you from coming to the US then I'm guessing you weren't that serious about coming in the first place.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (4, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431841)

I've visited the US several times for a month at a time. This was both pre- and post-"9/11". However I stopped going once the draconian identification measures got introduced at the border.

Now you might be a member of the crowd that goes "If you're innocent then you've got nothing to hide" but I'm more of a guy in the "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither" crowd.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431913)

Now you might be a member of the crowd that goes "If you're innocent then you've got nothing to hide" but I'm more of a guy in the "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither" crowd.

I'm not a member of the former crowd. I'm actually a member of the latter crowd. Dive into my posting history if you care to do so.

I also recognize that every government on this planet exercises sovereignty over their borders and that said governments have a legitimate interest in preventing known bad actors from entering their country. It has nothing to do with "if you are innocent you have nothing to hide". Given the ease with which one can obtain falsified identification documents are you really that surprised that they've expanded the entry/exit process into biometrics?

Canada will deny you entry if you've been convicted of drug possession or DWI -- even if said conviction was a misdemeanor/civil affair if your home country. Why don't I see anybody complaining about that?

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432061)

Canada will deny you entry if you've been convicted of drug possession or DWI -- even if said conviction was a misdemeanor/civil affair if your home country. Why don't I see anybody complaining about that?

Because nobody cares about Canada.

Really.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (1)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432089)

That's a lie, considering that they ask for your fingerprints. That is absolutely new information.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431751)

Do people still visit that country?

Yes. I live in Florida, USA, near some of the best beaches in the world. As such, we still get LOTS of international tourists. It's not unusual to go walking in the touristy areas and hear people speaking German, Finish, Norwegian, French, Italian, Spanish and Portugese.

I mean I don't even get a shopping card from our local supermarket because I don't think it's necessary for them to have my personal information...

Increasingly, supermarkets here in the US are phasing out these shopping cards in favor of data warehousing systems similar to what Wal*Mart uses.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431815)

It would be would be debatable if they kept personal information for say a year or so and you could trust them to delete your information afterward.

Its not deleting the information I'm worried about, its them losing it. Governments have shown that they're just as inept at keeping our data secure & private as the worst companies. The only difference is that if they lost your data they'd bury the news reports under a ton of national security letters so you'll never find out.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (5, Interesting)

qazsedcft (911254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431919)

I'm a Canadian citizen. Naturalized, to be honest, but having lived in Canada for almost my entire life. I've had my car searched, my cell phone searched, my photo and fingerprints taken. I have been delayed for hours, having had to give lengthy explanations to arrogant border agents. I have even experienced attempts at intimidation. One border agent has stopped me when I was about to go back north and tried to force me to admit to having worked illegally in the US (which I have not), and tried to force the same kind of admission from my 12-year-old step-daughter. He wasn't just warning me. It was direct intimidation - his exact words were "I will fuck you. I will ban you from visiting my country".

I have long ago given up on ever going back to the USA for any reason whatsoever (not because I can't but because I don't want to). And now this. They have the insolence to pretend that they have a right to preserve my personal information for the duration of my lifetime. That is too much. Now I am absolutely certain to never want to have anything to do with that country ever again.

Re:Scaring tourists away much? (1)

DerCed (155038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432087)

I am a young male unmarried software engineer who likes to explore other countries and cultures and is willing to pay good money for it, but I have removed the US from my list of "countries to visit" a few years ago and this probably won't change so soon.

And another reason not to visit the US (4, Interesting)

Boetsj (1247700) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431559)

... too bad, I'd really liked to have seen those miracles of nature within the US borders. Ohwell, I'll pour my money into another country's economy. Northern Spain is pretty nice in spring, I've heard.

Registration not as bad retention time (2)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431601)

"CNet reports that information from applications will be retained for 12 years, and eventually up to 75 years. " Like as in, This will go on your permanent record!

smells foul (1)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431639)

Either this is a naive dumb solution to a real problem or it's a bureaucratic means to reject any undesirable stereotypes with citizenship from the above 35 nations. Why not just use the passport scans upon entry? Perhaps the systems are not integrated or the time is not sufficient to cross check your identity against the massive data we've collected about you :) Apart from creating a few jobs, what good can this bring? Please answer!

It is a deep shame.. (5, Insightful)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431665)

..especially as I find the American people on the whole some of the most freindly welcoming and interesting people to visit. Sadly however I simply cannot stomach the attitudes and actions of their Govt. I made up my mind never to visit again after a 5 hour wait in Dulles to get through immigration, and was greeted by the most pig ignorant downright hostile group of people I've ever met at the DHS/TSA desk or whatever. You want my fingerprints, you want my details, sorry. Convict me of a crime first. Wanting to visit and spend my dollars in your country is not a crime I'm afraid - I'll go visit Canada instead.

Re:It is a deep shame.. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431813)

I find the American people on the whole some of the most freindly welcoming and interesting people to visit. Sadly however I simply cannot stomach the attitudes and actions of their Govt.

Quite a few Americans share your opinion of our government.

-jcr

Re:It is a deep shame.. (1)

anto (41846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431829)

I'm glad I am not the only person to have suffered at the hands of Dulles Immigration.

From discussions with various people - you get that if you make the mistake of landing there... (or being diverted there like I was...)

Sadly visiting Canada probably isn't a solution - for some reason flights which transit through the US end up having to go through US Immigration.

Not that new (4, Informative)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431675)

The test itself isn't new, it's just online now. I've been filling out those forms for years, and might actually welcome the new procedure. I've frequently been told by flight attendants that the slightest mistake requires to fill out a new form. That includes the different ways some digits are written (1 and 7), writing in the wrong line etc. I've gotten used to it, but for some people it takes five or more tries to get it right which is highly annoying when they're seated next to you.

BTW: the questions are obviously ridiculous ("Are you traveling to the US to commit a crime?", "Have you been involved in a genocide?"). I guess the goal is to have more legal ammunition if you want to deport someone later.

Re:Not that new (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431733)

got a copy you can post somewhere? I'd like to see it

Re:Not that new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432005)

that's the I-94W people are talking about
there you go

http://usadutch.com/images/I-94_front.jpg
http://usadutch.com/images/I-94_back.jpg

Re:Not that new (2, Informative)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432007)

rtfa.. on the last line there is a link.

Extra help: always answer : no.

I will quote the relevant part (after you filled in that data identifying you) :

"Do any of the following apply to you? (Answer Yes or No)
Please select if you need additional help on any of these questions.
A) Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder; or are you a drug abuser or addict? *
                    Yes No
B) Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities? *
                    Yes No
C) Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved , in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies? *
                    Yes No
D) Are you seeking to work in the U.S.; or have you ever been excluded and deported; or been previously removed from the United States or procured or attempted to procure a visa or entry into the U.S. by fraud or misrepresentation? *
                    Yes No
E) Have you ever detained, retained or withheld custody of a child from a U.S. citizen granted custody of the child? *
                    Yes No
F) Have you ever been denied a U.S. visa or entry into the U.S. or had a U.S. visa canceled? *
                    Yes No
If yes: when
where
G)Have you ever asserted immunity from prosecution? *
                    Yes No

Waiver of Rights: I have read and understand that I hereby waive for the duration of my travel authorization obtained via ESTA any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to my admissibility, or to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.

In addition to the above waiver, as a condition of each admission into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, I agree that the submission of biometric identifiers (including fingerprints and photographs) during processing upon arrival in the United States shall reaffirm my waiver of any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to my admissibility, or to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.

        * Certification: I, the applicant, hereby certify that I have read, or have had read to me, all the questions and statements on this application and understand all the questions and statements on this application. The answers and information furnished in this application are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

For third-parties submitting the application on behalf of the applicant, I hereby certify that I have read to the individual whose name appears on this application (applicant) all the questions and statements on this application. I further certify that the applicant certifies that he or she has read, or has had read to him or her, all the questions and statements on this application, understands all the questions and statements on this application, and waives any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to his or her admissibility, or to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program. The answers and information furnished in this application are true and correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge and belief.
"

Re:Not that new (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431877)

I was thinking this too - given that this is "instead of filling out paper forms in flight or at the airport", then that does have some advantages. As well as your point, being refused beforehand would at least be not as much hassle as being refused when you've already travelled to the US (I always thought that was a dumb system). Also, one can attempt to handle issues that are shown up in advance when you're safely in your own country - as opposed to fearing that you might be searched/arrested/etc if you happen to say the wrong thing.

I guess the downside is people who don't know about this, or what if you have confusion over a question - will there be terminals available at airports to fill these in? And what about the 72 hour requirement?

Re:Not that new (1)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431969)

Best thing is (from TFA):

There is no fee for the service, he said, and the travel authorization is valid for two years.

So instead of having fresh forms each flight, they get information that's up to two years old. What if i join a terrorist group in the meantime? Oops, no need to tell.

MOD PARENT UP (2, Interesting)

da_matta (854422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432035)

This is just an electronic form of the I-W94 Visa waiver form (or something like that) that you have to submit each time. Having this would actually be better than filling that paper thing.

Silly part is that now there are three "entry notifications": this, the paper form, and the notification you either do at the checkin/gate or is done by the travel agent. I guess they'll eventually be unified...

Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (4, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431691)

Ok, time to cue the "I'm not going to the U.S. now" comments... this should be predictable.

The thing is, besides the inevitable furor from the tin-foil hatted crowd, is this policy a step in the wrong direction, or just a return to slightly stricter times? When I came to this country in the early 1970s it was required that we get visa's and passports, present them at the U.S. border, fill out extensive forms documenting our stay etc. And yet we were still thrilled to come here, despite some pretty awful things that had happened in the 60s. We had no doubt that our information was kept on file, and yet it was definitely worth it to come here.

So I am not sure if this policy is just a return to slightly stricter immigration control. If it is, can the policy work and is it necessary? Let's have some constructive discussion instead of whining please.

Re:Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431787)

When I came to this country in the early 1970s it was required that we get visa's and passports, present them at the U.S. border, fill out extensive forms documenting our stay etc.

Sure - but saying that the political clock's been turned back 30-40 years isn't exactly something to be thrilled about. That's an immense step backwards. I'd like to think we'd move towards a society with easier movement in time, especially given that there is far more intercontinental communication between people (both business, and personal) than decades ago.

Re:Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (2, Informative)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432135)

It's actually a return to the exact same. You already have to fill out these forms. They just made it electronic now.

Re:Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431807)

I'm not going to the U.S. now.

Oh, hang on, I wasn't going to the U.S. anyway. As you were.

Re:Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (0, Troll)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432027)

Multiple speeling error's detected.

When I came to this country in the early 1970's it was required that we get visa's and passport's, present them at the U.S. border, fill out extensive form's documenting our stay etc.

Their, fixed that for you.

Re:Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (2, Interesting)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432055)

You've just made it harder for people to visit - hope that goes down well with your tourism industry. Most countries I can just turn up and get a 60 day tourist visa when I turn up - NZ, Argentina, etc. Of course, all the EU is open to me as well, as a British passport holder. Now the pound has tanked against the dollar, and the long standing shitty treatment of visitors by CBP, it's getting harder and harder to justify a trip to the US to myself. Not saying it's evil and wrong, but visitor numbers will drop further.

Re:Cue the "I'm not going now" comments... (2, Insightful)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432169)

I can travel around the entirety of Europe without needing anything like this, just show ID. Nothing recorded, nothing logged, no database of my movements, nothing. Admittedly I am a dual national like all EU members are but the benefits to travel, employment opportunity, tourism etc are immense. To deliberatly restrict such momement does seem somewhat backwards that's all.

Quotas (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431709)

If not done already, I can see the politically correct crowd demanding random flagging quotas in the name of "fairness". What a huge PITA this is going to be for business and family travelers.

Re:Quotas (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432001)

They do flag people randomly for special screening, or whatever you call it.

uh... (2)

mach1980 (1114097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431717)

Got this when I tried to surf the apply for a ETA:

You are about to access a Department of Homeland Security computer system. This computer system and data therein are property of the U.S. Government and provided for official U.S. Government information and use. There is no expectation of privacy when you use this computer system. The use of a password or any other security measure does not establish an expectation of privacy. By using this system, you consent to the terms set forth in this notice. You may not process classified national security information on this computer system. Access to this system is restricted to authorized users only. Unauthorized access, use, or modification of this system or of data contained herein, or in transit to/from this system, may constitute a violation of section 1030 of title 18 of the U.S. Code and other criminal laws. Anyone who accesses a Federal computer system without authorization or exceeds access authority, or obtains, alters, damages, destroys, or discloses information, or prevents authorized use of information on the computer system, may be subject to penalties, fines or imprisonment. This computer system and any related equipment is subject to monitoring for administrative oversight, law enforcement, criminal investigative purposes, inquiries into alleged wrongdoing or misuse, and to ensure proper performance of applicable security features and procedures. DHS may conduct monitoring activities without further notice.

Does this mean that they are implying that I'm hacking a DHS server just by following a link to it?

Why would anyone want to come to this shithole? (0, Flamebait)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431741)

Unless you have to for business reasons?

So this is that then (5, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431763)

When I started college 3 years ago I was actually planning on spending a year in the US just to see what the standards and discussions are like and to see whose history I'm studying here. Since then, each year, the American governments makes one shit move after another and my interest in actually visiting this country dwindles with every one. I'm not having my fingerprints be stored for almost two decades in your "potential foreign sleeper terrorist" list and I'm not going through the silliest questions ever invented -again- (the actually DO have that "Did you come here to kill the president" question, I had to answer that when I was 14).

One more time the bigotry triumphs. Leader of the world, biggest and strongest army ... locked away in his castle on the hilltop shooting at the mailman scared for his life. Congrats America, if that's what your freedom looks like ... no wonder "they" hate it. I do too. The USA used to be a symbol for immgration, diversity and -hell- freedom. Now it's become a symbol of lies, deception, bigotry, intolerance and paranoia. It makes me sad actually.

Re:So this is that then (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432195)

Because everyone cares what your 20 year old self with oh so many life experiences thinks?

Still not visiting (0)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431765)

After I heard the horror stories of families that went, were arrested and badly treated all because of a computer glitch I'm still not visiting the US.

However, I would like to go some day, but not until I can be sure I won't be butt probed upon arrival then thrown into a holding area with real criminals like UK families were.

Re:Still not visiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432077)

Oh, so you read the Daily Mail, then? :-)

All for you (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431779)

America is a real turd pile. I hope it enters into a new isolationist phase and stops fanning its constituent matter everywhere.

I just love the questions (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431783)

Do any of the following apply to you? (Answer Yes or No)

A) Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder; or are you a drug abuser or addict?

B) Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or have been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or have been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?

C) Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved , in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?

D) Are you seeking to work in the U.S.; or have you ever been excluded and deported; or been previously removed from the United States or procured or attempted to procure a visa or entry into the U.S. by fraud or misrepresentation?

E) Have you ever detained, retained or withheld custody of a child from a U.S. citizen granted custody of the child?

F) Have you ever been denied a U.S. visa or entry into the U.S. or had a U.S. visa canceled?
If yes: when where

G)Have you ever asserted immunity from prosecution?

Hey! Where's the "Are you a terrorist?" one?

Re:I just love the questions (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431843)

C) Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were you involved , in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?

Does that include being a victim?

Cutting it fine (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431797)

From tfa [google.com] : Travelers are being asked to fill out the forms at least 72 hours in advance of travel. .... Travelers filling out the online form will be told whether their request is authorized, denied or pending, he said. Those who are marked "pending" must check back in 72 hours to see if they have been approved, he said.

No fly list (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431799)

Hi,
no problem, the US are on my "no fly list" for some time now. Unluckily i'm not allowed to talk about how the US could get removed....
Regards, Martin

Doesn't bother me, since I never plan to go. (-1, Flamebait)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431803)

After America started running headlong towards a police-state, it just wouldn't make sense to go there.
In the same way that an American Jew wouldn't have gone to Germany in 1938.

Call it trolling if you want, but it's the truth. There are minorities out there who would consider visiting the US to be too dangerous. It's a country that can arrest and detain without warrant, without charges, without representation and without trial. And it believes in torture. And the death penalty.

The odds of anything happening to me are slim, sure, but seriously, why even take the risk? So I can get mugged in Times Square? Visit the Creationist museum at the Grand Canyon?

Re:Doesn't bother me, since I never plan to go. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432019)

After America started running headlong towards a police-state, it just wouldn't make sense to go there. In the same way that an American Jew wouldn't have gone to Germany in 1938.

Yes, because America is confiscating the property of a minority group while condoning violence against said group and laying long term plans for the extermination of that group. Your comparison is totally legitimate and not trolling at all. Mod parent up!

It's a country that can arrest and detain without warrant, without charges, without representation and without trial.

Yeah, if your caught on a battlefield while engaged in hostilities against US forces. Do you have a single citation for that happening to somebody at the border or are you just blowing smoke?

And it believes in torture

Apparently you haven't been watching the news lately?

And the death penalty.

So I take it you won't be visiting Japan either then?

So I can get mugged in Times Square?

New York City is one of the safer cities in the United States and probably in the World. Nice way to stereotype though.

Visit the Creationist museum at the Grand Canyon?

How about the Museum of National History in NYC? How about just going to see the Grand Canyon? You gonna tell me the US is the only country in the World with religious nutjobs?

Re:Doesn't bother me, since I never plan to go. (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432147)

Yes, because America is confiscating the property of a minority group while condoning violence against said group and laying long term plans for the extermination of that group. Your comparison is totally legitimate and not trolling at all. Mod parent up!

Joke is on you my friend.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AFJKQq9tLI8 [youtube.com]

Re:Doesn't bother me, since I never plan to go. (1)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432201)

Are you serious? New York is one of the safest cities in the world. You wouldn't get mugged.

Contradictory notices: (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431861)

The popup alert - and YES the obviously never heard of "\n" - it's all_one_long_paragraph:

"You are about to access a Department of Homeland Security computer system. This computer system and data therein are property of the U.S. Government and provided for official U.S. Government information and use. There is no expectation of privacy when you use this computer system. The use of a password or any other security measure does not establish an expectation of privacy. By using this system, you consent to the terms set forth in this notice. You may not process classified national security information on this computer system. Access to this system is restricted to authorized users only. Unauthorized access, use, or modification of this system or of data contained herein, or in transit to/from this system, may constitute a violation of section 1030 of title 18 of the U.S. Code and other criminal laws. Anyone who accesses a Federal computer system without authorization or exceeds access authority, or obtains, alters, damages, destroys, or discloses information, or prevents authorized use of information on the computer system, may be subject to penalties, fines or imprisonment. This computer system and any related equipment is subject to monitoring for administrative oversight, law enforcement, criminal investigative purposes, inquiries into alleged wrongdoing or misuse, and to ensure proper performance of applicable security features and procedures. DHS may conduct monitoring activities without further notice."

Elsewhere:

"Is this Web site secure and private?

Yes. This Web site is operated by the United States Government and employs technology to prevent unauthorized access to the information you enter and view. Additionally, this Web site operates under the rules and regulations as specified by the United States Privacy Act and this Privacy Statement to insure the privacy of your information."

So, since we can't "process national security information on this computer", and our application is made pursuant to national security requirements, aren't we in violation if we apply?

Also, as they point out, you waive your expectation of privacy on use.

Really comforting ... (well, actually, not.)

Countries have every right to set the terms for other people to enter their borders. This, unfortunately, is just security theatre. Then again, expect this to be required (along with a dna sample) of US citizens 10 years from now when they want to send their kids to the local school, or get a bank account, or fly on a plane, or buy a cell phone or get Internet access (restricted by the Great Firewall of America, of course) ... they'll do it "because they can."

!canada (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431867)

Canadians don't have to do this.... yet. We do however need two pieces of ID.

Re:!canada (1)

jbradley19 (580742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432033)

Yes, however, only if crossing the border at a land crossing by private vehicle (and also note that this requirement expires this year - July I believe, after which time a passport will be required). If you go by boat, bus, train, or aircraft, a passport is required for entry.

Missing the main annoyance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431887)

Random rejections - They also say that they will randomly reject people for 'quality control' purposes, forcing them to go get a visa at the nearest US embassy (with all the trouble that entails).

This is not currently possible because you fill out the form while in-flight at the moment, and they can hardly randomly deport you. (Plus, last time I flew, US Customs said that you will still have to fill out the waiver forms even with this new system)

Landing Card from Hell (2, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26431935)

One of my big annoyances with travelling to the US, especially under the visa waiver programme, is that evil landing card that they make foreigners fill out. It's worse because that form is 1) badly designed and a pain in the arse to fill out and 2) everyone warns of dire consequences for not filling it out correctly.

It does have to be said that getting into the US, even for Australians and Brits (like me), is still a bigger pain in the arse than for many other countries. This is before you count in things like privacy issue, having to go through two security checkpoints to *ENTER* the country, the nuisance factor of having your fingerprints and photo taken, having to 'scan out' at those dinky little Homeland Security terminals upon leaving the country, that sort of thing.

A curious situation for a country which prides itself on being the 'Land of the Free'!.

So visa preapproval over the net, to do away with the horrible landing card (and having it valid for several years), in my book, is actually a slight improvement on the way things were.

How will it affect Canadians? (2, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432069)

Being Canadian and having family that cross the border on a regular basis, how will this affect Canadians? Will we have to register online?

Canadians entering the states (who are driving, not flying) do not need anything other than a valid drivers license and a clean criminal record (which they look up upon entering).

If you are flying in, all the rules for everyone else is the same.

So, to reiterate, do Canadians driving into the country have pre-register online?

Re:How will it affect Canadians? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432185)

I just checked the official program site and this program does not apply to Canadians.

I can just hear the eurowhiners ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432091)

"Your papers please, I mean, your IP address".

The sad thing the Eurowhiners all come from countries where they refuse to breed, can't defend themselves and wonder why they're being over run by illegal immigrants.

And they think our customs are silly.

I see no problems with ESTA. (1)

duwde (665187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432109)

I see no problem with ESTA, I filled it a month ago and I was approved immediatly, no problem whatsoever. It's way better than have to fill those forms manually or in the airplane/border. A lot of people from other countries can't enjoy the ESTA "easyness" and have to get a proper USA visa, and be sure it is not easy to get one... so I'm still very happy with ESTA.

They waive visa, you waive rights. (4, Informative)

Moskit (32486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432127)

Waiver of Rights: I have read and understand that I hereby waive for the duration of my travel authorization obtained via ESTA any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to my admissibility, or to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.
In addition to the above waiver, as a condition of each admission into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, I agree that the submission of biometric identifiers (including fingerprints and photographs) during processing upon arrival in the United States shall reaffirm my waiver of any rights to review or appeal of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer's determination as to my admissibility, or to contest, other than on the basis of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program.

So if you decide to travel, you do not have any right to question/appeal decision of the officer at the arrival airport. If he says you go back, you go back, without any possibility to talk with supervisor or explaining your case (you just waived that by submitting online request).

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