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Air Marshals Place Innocents on Secret Watch List

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-wait-till-a-system-upgrade-mistake dept.

571

An anonymous reader writes "The Denver Channel 7 News reports that federal air marshals are operating under a quota for reporting a minimum number of suspicious travelers which is resulting in innocent people being placed on a secret government watch list. From the article: 'These unknowing passengers who are doing nothing wrong are landing in a secret government document called a Surveillance Detection Report, or SDR.'"

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571 comments

WTF (-1, Redundant)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778812)

That's really all I can say about this.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778851)

So the Denver news is now a reliable source of information? Let's see some Washington Post or NYT article being linked to.


Personally I disagree with quotas in law enforcement, as I do not think that they help catch the bad guys out there. I do think there is a lot more to the story than TFA indicates.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778936)

So the Washington Post or NYT are the only reliable sources of information?

I'm very much worried about the reliablity of my sources also, but rejecting a story just because it isn't from a headlining news source?

That just seem as dead-brained as blindly believing anything anyone says.

Re:WTF (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779023)

While I agree that any kind of quota system isn't helping the system, I do find it a bit odd that Air Marshalls can't find at least one suspitious-looking person on a flight over the course of a month. Aren't these people flying pretty much all the time? I don't fly all that often but when I do there's usually at least one person who approaches the cockpit (trying to get to the bathroom maybe, but during a time when the cockpit door is open, or something). Maybe the policy is to prevent these guys from just sleeping all day on their assigned flights.

Again, quotas seem stupid, and I don't think suspitious activity of a fairly benign nature should put you on some kind of "banned for life" list, I'm just trying to see the issue from all sides.

Re:WTF (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779090)

What is truly remarkable that the article uses the word suspicious, the summary uses the word suspicious and yet you still spell it suspitious more than once.

Please stop showing the world how lousy our public school system is. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779121)


I do find it a bit odd that Air Marshalls can't find at least one suspitious-looking person on a flight over the course of a month.

Why? Just how many terrorists do you think are out there? And of them, how many will be trying to take over a plane? If there were even a handful trying this, then it would be all over the news (as it supports the government agenda). And if someone isn't trying to take over the plane then what on Earth makes them suspicious and worth putting on a watch list? Flying while asian? Reading Noam Chomsky? Not only is the government jumping at shadows, it's now got a quota of how many shadows you have to jump at each month?

Fahrenheit 451 (4, Interesting)

teasea (11940) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779187)

This is in response to All of the Above rather than the direct parent comment.

In this book, they "killed" Montag at the end of the book by finding a random guy walking down the street and shooting him while the live cameras proclaimed that the "dangerous criminal" has been taken off the streets by the ever-vigilant government.

Simple smoke and mirror style politics. We need X number of criminals to justify actions A, B and C.

Obviously this does not apply to an Air Marshall who gets drunk and falls asleep on the plane but is the guy on the De Moines to Bend Oregon run going to find as many suspicious people as the guy on the NY to Boston run?

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778937)

So the Denver news is now a reliable source of information? Let's see some Washington Post or NYT article being linked to.

Yeah, them damn hicks out west don't know squat. Now then, care to explain what makes an eastern paper more credible?

Re:WTF (2, Funny)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778941)

So the Denver news is now a reliable source of information?
Indeed, perhaps the Denver 7 news reporter was under a deadline, and just made stuff up.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778982)

Yeah, because that has never happened at the New York Times....

Oh wait.. never mind.

Whoosh (1)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779018)

It was a joke. A joke. The irony of making up a story about people making up stories... Ah, never mind.

Re:WTF (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779049)

I don't know if quotas are always ineffective I think quotas increase effectiveness for law enforcement where the expected number of law violations is realistically going to be greater than the set quota, like with traffic violations. But with something like terrorist activity where the expected result of terrorist monitoring is one or two suspicious people, tops, the quota is just going to falsely inflate the amount of suspicious behavior reported and going to mislead authorities and ultimately hurt us all. They should be instead concentrating on hiring and training people who are quick and alert - this is a job that takes skill in order to be able to identify true threats.

Re:WTF (2, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778871)

This is always the problem with quotas. If you have a quota that you must meet, and your job can be done well but below that artificial quota, you "pad" it with stuff that no one will notice, just so you can meet the quota, even though you've done your job completely already.

Re:WTF (2, Informative)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778929)

TFA also says that this system only exists in Vegas. They should have no trouble finding strange activity there!

No wonder (5, Funny)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778817)

It was posted anonymously...

Secret government list? (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778824)

Well, I wouldn't call it a secret anymore.

Re:Secret government list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779165)

Well see, its not the existence of the list that is secret, but the contents...

Re:Secret government list? (5, Insightful)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779211)

These unknowing passengers who are doing nothing wrong are landing in a secret government document called a Surveillance Detection Report, or SDR
And WTF is this? Is this like being put on double-secret probation? When you have a government program that, according to the article, withholds bonuses and raises based on quotas, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised when agents just make stuff up. How incredibly ludicrous is this? We've once again managed to build the incompetence right there into the system.

Boy, I'm feeling more secure everyday...Not.

Good thing.. (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778834)

Good thing I'm too broke to fly.

Obvious solution.... (5, Funny)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778837)

The marshalls should just put everyone under the age of 5 on the "no fly" list. Marshall's meet their quota, and the flight is much more enjoyable for everyone else. Everybody wins.

Re:Obvious solution.... (1)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779029)

Until 10 - 15 years later when that person wants to take an airplane trip to a college out of state to start working on a degree.

Re:Obvious solution.... (4, Insightful)

lewp (95638) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779057)

We'll all be on the watch list by then anyway.

Re:Obvious solution.... (4, Funny)

Dr Tall (685787) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779044)

So 20 years from now everyone between the age of 20 and 25 will be on the watch list? You're letting the 26 year-old terrorists win.

IT? (4, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778838)

I'm sort of curious as to why this was placed under IT, and not YRO or Politics...

Re:IT? (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778848)

YRO would be too suspicious. Let's not make their jobs easier, eh?

Re:IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778886)

"I'm sort of curious as to why this was placed under IT, and not YRO or Politics..."

To warn those most likely to end up on the list in order to meet quota's?

Re:IT? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778888)

I'm sort of curious as to why this was placed under IT, and not YRO or Politics...

Maybe they're usin a Beowulf Cluster of iPods to do it?

bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do? what you gonna do when they come for you?

The gov't ruining innocent peoples lives (3, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778847)

Boy, color me shocked.

Sad that this "protection" we all pay for is causing headaches for people who are minding their own business.

Re:The gov't ruining innocent peoples lives (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779061)

I have a relatively common anglo name (like John Doe) which has found its way onto the air watch list. To try and take myself off of the list, I had sent stacks of documentation, my birth certificate, copies of my passport and volumes of other personal crap to the TSA with a request to clear my name. The TSA, after many months, sent back a one page form letter that said they had taken some "actions", but said that those actions may or may not be ignored by the airlines. Some airlines still will not let me check in without going thru the counter and a confirmation phone-call to somebody in the back room somewhere. I don't know if that watch list is the same as the SDR, but it's causing a lot of unnecessary and unwarranted grief.

I'm sure Bin-Hiding is laughing his ass off. He won.

One thing's for sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778849)


If it means free air travel, I'm all for it.

It's not so bad... (5, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778859)

If you're not smuggling drugs, then you should have nothing to worry about with the random cavity searches.

</sarcasm>

Seriously, I can't think of a worse system than quotas to put investigators under. It just screams Civil-Rights-Violation-Waiting-To-Happen.

I just wish... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778860)

that I could say I was surprised to hear this one.

From the Marshall's Journal (5, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778864)

Just got my ass chewed out for being under quota. Gotta keep my eyes open. But look ,over there, by the window. That frail old lady kind of looks suspicious to me. Got kind of an evil look about her. And what's that in her hands? OMG - Holy crap - knitting needles!! Quick, take her down she might just be trying to knit....

(wait for it)


AN AFGHAN!

More From the Marshall's Journal (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778968)

There's... something... on... the WING!

Re:More From the Marshall's Journal (1)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779087)

Marshal: Sweating profusely, attempts to light cigarrette

Smart assed little girl: "N-O-S-M-O-K-I-N-G, Nooooo Smoking!"

rights? (1, Troll)

headonfire (160408) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778873)

We don't need no rights. Thank you for the illegal surveillance, "Homeland Security"!

Fuck you.

Cool! (0, Offtopic)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778885)

I hope *I* made the list. :) Yay!

Justice, in America? (5, Insightful)

schroedogg (596283) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778891)

What would you expect? It's not as if we have a true justice system here in America. A criminal breaks into a home and causes $2,000 worth of damage and what do we do? Feed him and take car of him in a jail while the homeowner is left to clean up the mess and insurance money (paid by the homeowner) takes care of the losses. Or, more often than not, simply let the criminal go with a warning. Then we spend our money falsely accusing innocent people just to keep up a "quota". Greed then drives what we like to think of as justice. It happens more than you think: e.g. officer's needing quotas for traffic violations & arrests and so caring more about their quota than justice in a certain situation. I know, it's not all bad and there are cops and agents that really DO care about justice. It's just the system that is messed up...

Re:Justice, in America? (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778934)

"A criminal breaks into a home and causes $2,000 worth of damage and what do we do? Feed him and take car of him in a jail...."

So what are you suggesting as an alternative?

Re:Justice League, in America? (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778986)

"So what are you suggesting as an alternative?" Space him if you have spaceships with working airlocks. Barring that, keelhauling will do just fine. Arrrr!

Re:Justice, in America? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779112)

If he thinks the treatment the burglar gets is so fantastic, I'm sure he can think of ways to get the same treatment himself...

Re:Justice, in America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779133)

how about we take from the brutal mid-easterners and refine... instead of cutting their hands off, we simply break their hands.

Re:Justice, in America? (0)

nolife (233813) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779219)

Placing them in cages in the center of a busy suburban divided road or in a shopping mall near where the crime was committed. You can place big signs above them with their name, address, and what crimes they committed. This would help in two ways. Gets the criminal into the public view so he can be publicly humiliated and face the public while still in "jail" and let the common folks see that people who commit crimes and get caught really do get punished. Put them in the open so people can see other people actually doing time. It might make that teenager about to do a car jacking remember what happens if he gets caught and he can reevaluate his decision if the crime is worth the punishment. Right now jail time and jail life is completely hidden from view and probably not something people will think about at all. The US had a history of public hangings and I believe many countries still practice that. I am not talking about execution or death to the criminal, just a portable jail cell.

There are some down sides though, the criminal could strip down and start masturbating in front of all the pretty looking teens walking by in the mall and in the center of the divided highway, some of the crime victims might be hiding in the weeds across the street shooting paint balls at the criminal. Obviously not a perfect solution and it needs some work but I think it might work.

Innocence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778893)

These unknowing passengers who are doing nothing wrong...

Ha! Everyone's doing something wrong. We just need to find out what it is.

Re:Innocence (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778940)

Ha! Everyone's doing something wrong. We just need to find out what it is.

The spirit of Tailgunner Joe lives on.

Ayn Rand was an optimist. (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778903)

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

...and when one only has so many laws on the books that the libraries are ready to undergo gravitational collapse into a black hole, and when one has enough criminals that it has a higher incarceration rate than the Soviet Union (the very same dystopian hellhole that spawned Rand's original screed in 1957), and still doesn't have enough criminals, one fabricates them out of thin air.

Homeland Security: Our budget is proportional to the number of terrorists we find. When there aren't enough terrorists, we make them.

Ayn Rand was an optimist.

Re:Ayn Rand was an optimist. (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778995)

Homeland Security: Our budget is proportional to the number of terrorists we find. When there aren't enough terrorists, we make them.

This makes me laugh and cry at the same time. I laugh because it's so utterly hilarious, and I cry, because I worry that it were actually true.

Re:Ayn Rand was an optimist. (4, Interesting)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779159)

It's true though. I had a law professor (business law) tell me that the law is designed so that you are always breaking it at any given time. Then the authorities enforce the law when they feel it is required or they want to "throw the boook at you".

Re:Ayn Rand was an optimist. (3, Insightful)

Cederic (9623) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779176)


I have mod points, but unfortunately there isn't a mod option for "trotting out the same old Ayn Rand quote whether it's applicable or not"

These people aren't being turned into criminals. They aren't breaking laws.

Don't get me wrong, I don't support what's going on. Hopefully it's another step towards the populace finally taking a stand against overly authoritarian government and saying 'no more'.

But please, enough of the Ayn Rand already.

Sweet (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778911)

Next time I fly I will make sure I am doing something just a bit suspicious so I can be in a government document. I think it would be cool actually.

Cause then I will be a part of history, when the government has to open these records (or more likely they are forced open during the next revolution)

Re:Sweet (1)

captainClassLoader (240591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779033)

Tweekster says:
Next time I fly I will make sure I am doing something just a bit suspicious so I can be in a government document.


You mean like sitting in the terminal posting a comment to Slashdot via a wireless connection?

clubhouse (1)

sulfur_lad (964486) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778918)

I want to know where the clubhouse is, I want to join! Seriously, it's like everything 'they' do makes it look more and more like there's a little club 'they' are all in and they just kind of poke their heads out the window every once in a while. I can see the 'no girlz allow'd' sign on the door now. Like pick every 5th kid who walks on the schoolyard to watch all day long. When I fly into the US they'll certainly be making full use of their resources watching me walk from my hotel to the 7-11 to buy some nachos to go with I-Robot on TBS. Whether it's true or not, everything that turns out to be true these days is just this goofy, so it fits the profile, lol. Maybe the strategy is to keep everyone guessing?

you want a funny protest? Get enough people to ring the White House and have them all just stand there and stare. Or just get 50 random people a day to do it for an hour each day. arrested!!

Re:clubhouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779113)

That is a great idea. Let's start the "Stare randomly and blankly at the White House for 10 straight minutes" campaign today! No shouting, no signs, no obvious intent whatsoever. And not necessarily in sync with fellow protesters.

I can't wait! (2, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778919)

Until you get the possessions of the people you denounce. I've got my eye on spiffy leather couch.

Spooky,,, (3, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778925)

It seems a little odd that these guys have such a vested financial interest in finding "something" every month. I'm sure it's just a method of weeding out the slackers who just want to sleep on all the flights and say 'everything was fine'. But couldn't they find a better way to check on these marshals? Like a secret shopper program or something? It works in retail.....

Re:Spooky,,, (1)

Nesetril (969734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779108)

right, i was saying this all along. those air marshals are entirely a dead weight. the least we can do is sneak some snakes on the plane and make sure the marshals personally subdue and tag each one. with a quota of five snakes per marshal.

Re:Spooky,,, (1)

Strolls (641018) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779205)

...couldn't they find a better way to check on these marshals? Like a secret shopper program or something? It works in retail.....
I can just imagine it now:
"Hey, that dude over there in the turban & the false beard looks just like my boss. I guess I'd better file an SDR."

Stroller.

Secure the foil and ditch the scat porn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778927)

The stereotypical image of the tin-foil hat donning conspiracy nut is finally laid to rest, the government really are watching!

Re:Secure the foil and ditch the scat porn... (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779071)

The stereotypical image of the tin-foil hat donning conspiracy nut is finally laid to rest, the government really are watching!

This crap must have to happen every so many years. We had the Commie witch-hunt in the 50's (Ever listen to a radio play, "I Was A Communist For The FBI"?), Nixon's personal enemies list of the late 60's/early 70's (included well known subversive peace activist and pot smoker John Lennon), now under W. You know W's regime is loaded with old Cold Warriors, right? Some ideas die hard. If we don't have an emeny, we create one, thus keeping the public's attention on the War while we loot the treasury.

I'd rather be safe than free (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778951)

How about you?

[neo con parody off]

Re:I'd rather be safe than free (2, Funny)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779177)

Bush that you???

oblig. 1984 reference (5, Funny)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778955)

"Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft ... and they did nothing wrong," said one federal air marshal.

2006.07.25 DenverChannel malsaid "unorthodox" as "suspicious". rectify.

Re:oblig. 1984 reference (4, Informative)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779008)

> > "Innocent passengers are being entered into an international intelligence database as suspicious persons, acting in a suspicious manner on an aircraft ... and they did nothing wrong," said one federal air marshal.
>
> 2006.07.25 DenverChannel malsaid "unorthodox" as "suspicious". rectify.

2006.07.25 cvd6262 malsaid oldspeak "unorthodox" as "facecrime" rewrite fullwise.

It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could igve you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself, anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face, was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime"

ref unbook 1984, author unperson orwell

Paranoia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15778963)

If you have nothing to hide, what's the problem?

This is only to catch criminals, molesters, etc. If you are INNOCENTS person, then NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.

Bullshit (5, Interesting)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779015)

That is utter and complete bullshit.

I am on that list. I don't know why; I have never been arrested or convicted or tried or anything else. I served honorably in the US Army. I fly all the time.

About 18 months ago, I got on this watch list. It isn't so secret if you are a traveller. You can't use the fancy-shmancy self-service kiosks. You have to wait for a representative to help you. They have to make phone calls. The entire process takes an addiotional 10-15 minutes of not only my time, but the service representative, as well.

There was some poor Thai girl in Bangkok. It was her second day on the job, and she freaked out when my name came up as I was checking in. It took them about 20 minutes to make the call to the US and get stuff squared away.

No, I have not been arrested because of it. But, as an innocent person, why am I singled out for bureaucratic harrasement? I am denied the conveniences of other citizens simply because of my name existing on a watch list.

So, I call bullshit.

Re:Bullshit (5, Interesting)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779067)

My 3-year-old nephew is on the list. This has resulted in such events as him getting into a tugging match with a TSA screener over his teddy bear....

Re:Bullshit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779114)

for a while I had the same problem; my name is shared by a Texan who happens to be a convicted pediophile -- landed me in the extra observation lane till they caught the fella and then another 6 months

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779153)

Same story with a member of my family. Apperently they have the same name and birthdate as a known persona-non-grata (at least thats the explanation we get when we ask the poor attendant "Why am I being harrassed like this every damn time I walk into an airport?") You would think that the government would use something more unique than name and birthdate to identify potential suspects (SSN, or if non-US citizen, some form of national ID from home country)

Re:Bullshit (1, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779164)

Oh... there's a reason for it. They want to piss someone off enough that they go ballistic. When they do get pissed off and attempt some act of revolt, then the watchers can say "See, there are revolutionaries. We need more funding to stop them."

Quotas for security personnell (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15778983)

Just how silly is that, I ask? How do you meet a quota when you're looking out for suspicious people? You declare someone suspicious who isn't, how else?

God, just how DUMB are those national security morons? If anything, the NSA makes me feel LESS safe when I'm in the US. I feel like I'm under constant surveillance, being a suspect for being ... well, there.

Is that what you want to accomplish, NSA? Is that the goal? Alienate the rest of the world, even those that used to LOVE your country, turn the rest of the world into your enemy so you can have perpetual war? The US are turning faster and faster into everything I hated about the communist system.

We try (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779034)

" The US are turning faster and faster into everything I hated about the communist system."

We don't yet have slackjawed leaders with eyebrows that look like sewn-on welcome mats, waiting queue line 2 days just to get a box of powdered milk, and the glory of yearly weapon parades on mainstreet. Also, Bush does not yet get in a snit if you don't introduce him as The Great Father of All the Peoples. But we're working on it, give us SOME credit. We're also working hard to get rid of that pesky "freedom on the Internet" thing, but some $#@##@.||.--@.. NO CARRIER

Re:We try (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779097)

Hey, Moscow ain't built in a day. Revel in what you have already. A government that spies on its people because it doesn't trust them anymore. A government that fears everyone from abroad for being a spy or, worse, someone who threatens the "perfect" system. Constant fear that your government might consider your a traitor and send you to some gula... I mean gitmo. Using the UN as a cheap tool to leverage the own agenda while throwing a fit if it dares to consider you some bad guy. More and more emphasis on military and its glory while at the same time not giving a shit about the people in the country.

The list is building slowly, but hey, you're getting there. After all, Marx said already 150 years ago, sooner or later everyone will have communism, all over the world!

I fear he might be right...

Re:We try (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779166)

The day Bush uses his shoe as a gavel, then we know we are doomed.

Mr Kruschev says we will bury you... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779200)

"The day Bush uses his shoe as a gavel, then we know we are doomed"

History does repeat itself. Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw the Great Father of the Peoples of South America (Hugo Chavez) give a speech on C-SPAN. He actually said that he would bury the United States. Oddly enough, he kept his shoes on. Maybe just so no one would cause him Shoeless 'Go.

In Russian Accent (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779210)

"waiting queue line 2 days just to get a box of powdered milk,"

No, in USA, you wait 5 hours in line just for piece of paper that say you can drive car!

Quota (1)

ClayTapes (904294) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779002)

The whole quota system is inherently flawed. Just like speeding tickets, it's a means of revenue. A means of hassling the average american.

Re:Quota (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779163)

The whole quota system is inherently flawed. Just like speeding tickets, it's a means of revenue. A means of hassling the average american.
Quoting a friend in uniform, there is no quote. It's... minimum performance requirement.

oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779010)

In Soviet Russia... hey wait...

How much of what you read do you REALLY believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779020)

How much of what you read is really true? A quota really does not make sense, and if found out, would look really, really bad for the Air Marshals. Of course, this is slashdot and anything anti-Bush or anti-DHS is fair game!

LOL More racial profiling please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779022)

Welcome to the world of the minority. We get racially profiled all the time while driving, minding our own business, etc. Now everyone else will know how it feels to be harassed because of the way you look.

So What ?? (1)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779024)

So what if you get on a list, they can track your every movment as soon as you use your atm or credit card, they know what you eat, what you like and can create an exact profile of you without ever laying eyes on you so it doesn't matter if they do it on plane as well.

So i'm asking, SO What? People want protection on airplanes, if i'm put on a list but at the same time there is guy with a gun that could potentially disarm a terrorist on a plane,i'm all for it if i can land safely and enjoy life.

Protection comes at a price, they cant know for sure who's a risk and who's not, is it a caucasion, ans asian or middle east man, you never know so they have to take a guess and if by doing what they do they come upon a drug dealer, pedophile or other criminal, well i say thankya Big Big gunslinger!

Re:So What ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779185)

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
-Benjamin Franklin

Wecome to Guantanamo Bay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779038)

Welcome to Guantanamo USA. There are people at Gitmo are as innocent as any poor fool who got dinged by an Air Marshals filling a quota. It is truely the start of the slippery slope to tyrrany. Rememeber, this is a secret list, so your will never know if you are on it, and even if yoy knew there is no way to get off it. How long will it be until they start torturing connfessions out of people here in the US? This is not a retorical question, it's only a matter of time.

Jean Pierre Melville said it best (2, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779051)

"All men are guilty. They're born innocent, but it doesn't last." -- from "le circle rouge" (1970)

The wonderful thing about the air watch list (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779053)

is that once you're on, it's almost impossible to get off of it.

I think you're all missing something very bad... (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779068)

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they're required to submit at least one report a month. If they don't, there's no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

If true, these people have just admitted they weren't subjecting innocent people to punishment because they'd lose their job otherwise and be unable to support their family -- an understandable, if still morally weak position. No, they did it because they wanted more money. Or a dental plan. Or a longer vacation. That's what's known as being stunning and embarassingly selfish.

At the risk of godwinning myself, what's that famous quote about the holocause that goes along the line of "there will always be number-crunchers behind the scenes eager to see if they can make the count even higher next time?"

Sheep (3, Insightful)

prophet5590 (866999) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779077)

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them." - Frederick Douglass

Hasn't anyone realised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779091)

that if you give a person a job they will find something to do that fills it? Otherwise they will be out of a job.

When I learnt it it used to be called 'Parkinson's Law' (Northcote Parkinson). Work expands to fill the time available for it's completion.

Hasn't anyone wondered why we still have a lot of fighting in the world? Hint, when the cold war ended the victors did not dismantle their standing armies. So there are a lot of military looking for a justification.

Call me a cynic, but I have had experience of just this issue in the 1990s with a European Security Service. I have a very good idea why there is a continuous (we hope) war on terror going on.

If you are too independent... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779096)

...you'd be on their shitlist too.

Me? I'm a DIY electronics freak with a little too much gear and a motormouth to go.
If I'd be on that plane - they'd have a field day on me. Kind of makes me happy living where I do - phew!

Quotas decrease security of Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779115)

It seems to me that by instituting a quota system, the SDR system is in fact jeopardizing the security of Americans. After all, by filling the list with harmless people, doesn't this decrease the validity and usefulness of the system?

Bigger than the Las Vegas Air Marshll office (5, Insightful)

GlowingWhispers (952001) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779118)

A couple of thoughts. 1. Sadly various 'US no fly lists' are being used by airlines in countries that don't yet have their own list -- e.g. Canada -- in an attempt to reduce liability. Meaning, the implications of this article are greater than some might realize. 2. A key question about no-fly lists is the criteria used to put people on it. Ideally, it should be transparent so, for instance, everyone out there with a criminal record isn't concerned every time they get on a plane that law enforcement officials will descend upon them. Beyond the quota issue, this article points to a series of systemic problems relating to the criteria used to make these lists, which from my reading seem to be: a. arbitrary b. left to individual discretion c. without oversight or review checks and balances d. unappealable, regardless of how flimsy the evidence is. As more and more countries draft their own no-fly lists, such issues are likely to grow in importance and become bigger problems within the international (rather just American) political sphere.

Please read the related article..... (4, Informative)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779126)

There is an article [thedenverchannel.com] linked to from that page about how horribly mismanaged the Federal Air Marshals Service is.

this isnt news for nerds (0, Troll)

khaaela (990992) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779137)

Put your cry baby government complaints somewhere else. This website has gone downhill and half the articles are about how you think the government is fucking you in the ass. Guess what. All governments have, are, and will always screw you, do stupid things, mismanage money, and fuck you over. Nothing will ever change. STFU and post real tech posts.

Quantity or Quality (5, Interesting)

NMagic (982573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779149)

This seems to be a case of education. They haven't invested the time/funds to train the marshals enough to recognize who they're looking for. Instead of fixing the problem, they compensate with higher numbers to keep up with the odds.

This is your typical case of quantity being chosen instead of quality.

Wrong focus (5, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779155)

I think these guys are spending too much time looking for possible terrorists and not enough time on the real threats.

Like snakes.

What I'm really scared of is mothaf*cking snakes on mothaf*cking planes!

This reminds me of... oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15779160)

My old english teachers 2 year old child is named ashmedd, and apparently he is on the international wanted list because of his name. What is worse is that the people at the airport actually ask which person is ashmedd even though the ticket for the airlines and the birth certificate STATE he's still two years old...

no big surprise here (5, Insightful)

jt418-93 (450715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779161)

the system is broken from the top down. the only solution is to format the goverment and reinstall. this image is corrupt.

The people who invented this quota, (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779189)

...I anticipate would never succeed in creating a (working) computer program or come up with a logic chain of mathematical statements. A _quota_ for such a thing?! How flawed isn't that? Like they could know that the number of terrorist (or tourists or whatever they are chasing) always will be greater than, or equal to, the number mentioned in that quota.

Sensationalism (0)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#15779203)

This is even more of a non-story than is usually posted on these boards. Everybody on a 'watch-list' is innocent, as they havn't yet been proven guilty in a court of law (keep your snyde comments to yourselves).

More sensationalist crap, brought to you by /.
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