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Flying To the US? Pay In Cash

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the emerging-details dept.

Privacy 452

pin_gween writes to point us to a report in the Telegraph that British travelers using a credit card to purchase their ticket may now have their credit card and email accounts inspected by US authorities. This has been true since October, when the US and the EU agreed about what information the US could demand from airlines and how this information would be handled. But details of the agreement only recently came to light following a Freedom of Information request. The US says it will "encourage" US carriers to reciprocate to any requests by European governments. From the article: "[T]he Americans are entitled to 34 separate pieces of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data... Initially, such material could be inspected for seven days but a reduced number of US officials could view it for three and a half years. Should any record be inspected during this period, the file could remain open for eight years...'It is pretty horrendous, particularly when you couple it with our one-sided extradition arrangements with the US,' said [a human rights activist]. 'It is making the act of buying a ticket a gateway to a host of personal email and financial information. While there are safeguards, it appears you would have to go to a US court to assert your rights.'"

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Better yet (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423808)

Just dont go to the US. Screw them and their 'information' requirements.

or don't travel period (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423878)

Looks as though the EU will have similar access on US citizens. The entire world is descending into fascist utopia created by government think tanks and multinationals.

Re:Better yet (0, Flamebait)

blanddragon (713514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423950)

Yes stay in your own country. With a camera on every corner and a gunless cop in every box. If you choose not to follow the rules stay home!

Re:Better yet (2, Insightful)

WiFiBro (784621) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424142)

"If you choose not to follow the rules"
commonly voiced opinion but I disagree. Every person has some right to privacy. I find paying by creditcard no valid reason to invade that.

Re:Better yet (3, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424180)

With the kind of idiots and little hitlers that seem to get hired as policemen in britain these days I'm damn glad they don't have guns.

Re:Better yet (-1, Troll)

Phil-14 (1277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424166)

If only Mohammed Atta et alia had made such a decision.

sounds good (-1, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424216)

Stay home, too many foreigners here anyway, most of them here ILLEGALLY. We don't want you or your money. Go somewhere else.

Re:sounds good (2, Funny)

animaal (183055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424454)

Stay home, too many foreigners here anyway, most of them here ILLEGALLY. We don't want you or your money. Go somewhere else.
Who is the "We" you mention? When I visit the U.S.A. I find almost everybody to be extremely polite and welcoming.

Re:Better yet (5, Insightful)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424290)

I decided not to go to the US ever since they started wanting my finger prints, and told me they'd smash locks on my suitcase in order to inspect it, so I shouldn't use them(If you want to look inside it, ask me and I'll unlock it, however I'm not going to let thieves have it easy). With Paris, Berlin, Rome, Prague etc. all under an hour away, and tickets from as little as 99p why should I spend my money in the US, when it's cheaper to fly to mainland Europe? Throw in the extra "Romance", History and Culture* of the major Europian cities what does the US have to draw my tourist £££s any more?

*No offence meant, the US has it's merits and is unique in it's own way, but American culture is very different from European culture; When some one says "American culture", my first thought is of McDonalds if some one talks about "European culture" I think of the Renaissance. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just a very different one. As for History, this link sums up my thoughts: http://www.fatbadgers.co.uk/Britain/old.htm [fatbadgers.co.uk] ;)

Re:Better yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424372)

Throw in the extra "Romance", History and Culture* of the major Europian[sic] cities

Well, that perception of culture is a really stupid one that only a European could have (and I'm German, by the way). What Europe can give you, except for those cheap airline tickets (yay!), is lots of old houses that some mighty rulers/dictators once built. What the US can give you is not McDonalds (and I've seen many many more McD in Europe per area/people than in the US, which seems to enjoy a more diverse restaurant/fast food scene), but accomplishments by the best of people. Instead of things that were "built" by dictators (i.e. built by slaves, basically), you have buildings designed and built by and for ordinary people, who weren't under some stupid command. (Ok, that's beginning to change, with government stealing more houses from people under "eminent domain".)

Instead of some houses some rulers liked you can see buildings that people deemed useful or elegant.

Re:Better yet (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424396)

As one who is broadly (though not completely) supportive of the various efforts against terrorism and both current wars overseas, I actually recommend that you follow through with this, because the economic pressures brought to bear could be one of the few things that can reverse policies like this.

We got through the Cold War not only maintaining but enhancing our rights as individuals and groups, knowing the KGB agents were in the country and planning (and perhaps even executing subtle forms of) sabotage. I'm fairly certain that the Soviets posed a significantly greater threat to the people of the US and Europe than do any set of terrorist groups.

That would not help (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424410)

The ATnT NSA spying case shows all email is monitored anyway and ATnT will cooperate for their own benefit. It isn't just the emails of the passengers that is captured, everyone's is and they filter for anyone they care to.
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/29/04 0225 [slashdot.org]

The Vodaphone Greece spying case shows that mobile phones can be tapped with simple software at the switch.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6182647.stm [bbc.co.uk]
http://www.mindfully.org/Technology/2006/Bove-Tsal ikidis-Bugging22aug06.htm [mindfully.org]

The recent FBI case shows the mobile phone is a microphone that can be turned on at any time, it means they don't just monitor telephone calls, but all conversations. The greek spying case was probably much bigger than announced, and may well have been more than just telephone calls.

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/04/04 56220 [slashdot.org]

The SWIFT case shows that any large corporation will hand over any information is it is threatened in any single market. That means that SWIFT may be handing information over to the Russians, but we would never know unless it leaked out.

(EU condemns swift spying)
http://cryptome.org/eu-swift-hit.htm [cryptome.org]

Re:Better yet (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424424)

Interesting how on Slashdot all you have to do is US bash to get a good mod.

Re:Better yet (1)

ratz2 (1045646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424538)

Yeah if you all stay home we will find the terrorist because that will be the only people flying.

Cash (1)

hisstory student (745582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423822)

Sorry .. cash is not acceptable payment.

Just when paying? (3, Interesting)

GC (19160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423826)

Some airlines only allow you to do Online Check-in by confirming your identity with your credit card number.
Some express-check-in's require you to either insert your credit card to get your boarding pass printed (or your frequent flyer card).
If I want better fares by booking online I will have to use a credit card too, not seen any airlines accept Paypal etc...

In short it seems that to take advantage of any fast-track system that saves on man-power and hassle for both the customer or airline I now have to give up my life's credit history.

Glum.

Re:Just when paying? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424154)

And you honestly believe that you havent already done this?

Mutual legal assistance (2, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423828)

Guess I'll be the lone dissenting view, here...

Nothing is going to be "inspected" by US authorities, and if anything is "inspected", it's not at-will and not arbitrary.

This is an agreement for mutual legal assistance, and is a framework for submitting legal requests and subpoenas for information about an individual via established legal channels, as well as guidelines information to which US authorities are entitled from EU air carriers.

No one automatically has access to bank records or email accounts; a legal request must still be made to a bank or internet provider. This is a framework for making such requests to EU entities by the US.

Things like email address and forms of payment are part of the almost-two-decade-old Automated Targeting System [wikipedia.org] (ATS), which uses metrics to attempt to determine in an automated fashion when an individual warrants further scrutiny. This is part of larger ongoing efforts to secure the information assessed by ATS.

If an email address is available, it is part of that set of information, among numerous other pieces of information. If something triggers an additional investigation, a legal request could, for example, be made to an internet service provider for the contents of an email account. Note that this is a court-ordered action, and not unlike a similar request that could be made by US authorities to a US company or entity; the difference, again, is that there is now a mechanism for the US uniformly making and EU entities responding to such requests.

Re:Mutual legal assistance (3, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423870)

This is an agreement for mutual legal assistance, and is a framework for submitting legal requests and subpoenas for information about an individual via established legal channels, as well as guidelines information to which US authorities are entitled from EU air carriers.

Sort of like how telephone calls can be monitored only if certain procedures are followed ... oh wait...

Re:Mutual legal assistance (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423872)

all terrorists have mohammed@al-qaeda.org email addresses and they all used the same credit card to purchase those two tons of fertaliser the other week.

Re:Mutual legal assistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424258)

On that note, I'm still waiting for Barack Hussein Obama to be mistakenly (or not so mistakenly?) arrested because of his name. . . .

As for the email addresses, just don't use gmail or google checkout for the ticket. :)

Re:Mutual legal assistance (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424272)

This is an agreement for mutual legal assistance,

From the summary, it doesnt't look too mutual to me.

It is pretty horrendous, particularly when you couple it with our one-sided extradition arrangements with the US,' said [a human rights activist].

I'd like to know if its only the UK doing this, or all EU states? I know Ireland has done some remarkable ankle grabbing in that field for the US lately, which is the target of an ongoing campaign to make people aware of it, but AFAIK the EU forbids transfer of such information to the US because of the far weaker privacy laws there. Is the UK doing this in defiance of EU directives?

No one automatically has access to bank records or email accounts; a legal request must still be made to a bank or internet provider.

With the USD still being the de facto currency for international trade (for now), and control of name allocation among other things still resting with the US, can you see any bank or ISP refusing to hand over this information? This is a disgraceful infringement on the rights of people in the UK, although its nothing new, in fairness. Blair has been tonguing president pubes since he came into office, although what he hopes to gain is anyone's guess. Maybe he's trying to be a hinge point between the US and EU or something. All he seems to be doing is making the UK into a chattel state for US interests.

Re:Mutual legal assistance (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424366)

"Mutual legal assistance" [google.com] is a generic term for this type of arrangement, and doesn't speak to the balance of such agreements.

Re:Mutual legal assistance (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424578)

"Mutual legal assistance" is a generic term for this type of arrangement, and doesn't speak to the balance of such agreements.

Oh, well that makes your post much more reasonable, then. Sort of a "glass beads for that island", type of an effort, eh? Your dissenting opinion is looking increasingly groundless.

Re:Mutual legal assistance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424630)

Yeah, yeah, whatever. From where I'm sitting, I won't be visiting the US any time soon regardless of whether or not these measures are justified, and regardless of whether they're a fair, transparent, immune to systematic weaknesses or whether there's some s00per sekrit CIA plan to gather DNA from everyone on the planet... I just don't care. It's too much hassle. (And incidentally I'm unlikely to change my mind if Obama or Clinton wins in 08 and revokes all this crap law. ) Six months ago or so I foolishly signed up for the LA Times' daily headline mailshot, and have become obsessively completist about reading every story I find interesting that they mention in the mailshot (typically 4-10 per day I guess.) It's been a really interesting exercise, not least because although it's the foreign news I expected to be most interested in, the domestic stuff just curls my hair. (Just to pick one example, google up something like [site:latimes.com California prison [google.com] ]. ) Now things are pretty grim here, too, but I have a lot more of a right to complain about (and to try do something about [no2id.org] ) here than stuff in the US. A shame, as I've always wanted to see the desert (Utah, Nevada) and I'm now in a job where I get paid to attend Defcom.)

fly to canada (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423840)

Instead of paying cash, fly to Canada or Mexico and then take a ground route into the US...

brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424206)

doesn't look suspicious at all

Re:fly to canada (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424492)

Instead of paying cash, fly to Canada or Mexico and then take a ground route into the US.

as someone who lives on the U.S.-Canadian border. let me offer you some free advice: it ain't that easy. nothing is more likely to end in you spending some quality time with the friendly folks of the Border Patrol.

Sorry World! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423856)

Whatever we do over the next two years- just ignore it. This is not America.

Re:Sorry World! (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424002)

I would like to add that neither is it "sha la la la la".

Re:Sorry World! (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424284)

Whatever we do over the next two years- just ignore it. This is not America.

Nonsense. The Democrats are no better, John F. Kennedy even spied on the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, a civil right leader! Whatever administration is in power will be pretty motivated to make sure nothing happens on their watch, *especially* if the current administration is successful at keeping the crazy bombers busy overseas.

TO our european friends (5, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423858)

I would like to apologise on behalf of our idiotic politicians. Remember not all of us are Dubya-worshipping sheep, and that many of us think that American foreign policy is every bit as stupid as you think it is. Perhaps instead of visiting America and spending your tourist dollars here, you might decide to visit South America or Asia first, or perhaps Canada, and when you do write letters to politicians at the Federal and local levels here explaining that you really wanted to visit America, but cannot in good conscience spend your vacation dollars on a nation which is going backwards rather than forwards where civil and privacy rights are concerned, and you might want to voice your opinion on American-made goods as well. Dollars speak louder than anything else.

Re:TO our european friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423940)

Apology accepted (although not neccesarily on behalf of the entire continent).

It's okay. A lot of your countrymen are lovely people. We really don't hate you. Just your stupid paranoid right wing government.

Re:TO our european friends (0, Troll)

stevew (4845) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424044)

The funny thing is - when you KNOW someone is trying to drop your airplanes out of the air - and this isn't being paranoid - that big hole in the ground in New York supports the claim, then taking precautions to try and identify problem passengers BEFORE the plane takes off seems only prudent doesn't it?

As for any claims by other posters about our "fascist" government. Go look up the term "fascist." We're a long distance from it - and don't forget, we were part of the solution the last time such REAL nasty people took over Europe with plans of conquering the rest of the world.

How soon they forget.

Re:TO our european friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424124)

I think it is you who don't know what "fascist" means. Please prove me wrong.

Re:TO our european friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424148)

The funny thing is - when you KNOW someone is trying to drop your airplanes out of the air - and this isn't being paranoid - that big hole in the ground in New York supports the claim, then taking precautions to try and identify problem passengers BEFORE the plane takes off seems only prudent doesn't it?

Yes. And I look forward to seeing measures taken that will prevent this sort of thing from happening. I just don't think tracking all this information helps.

About the only thing they've done that will actually be helpful is prevent people travelling with sharp objects. Although I suspect that if they tried the same again, people would be a lot less passive if their plane was hijacked.

Actually US and EU data mining successful (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424354)

Yes. And I look forward to seeing measures taken that will prevent this sort of thing from happening. I just don't think tracking all this information helps.

Actually law enforcement in the US and Europe have been quite successful at such data mining operations with respect to developing associations between people, developing an understanding of how communications and money flows with criminal and terrorist organizations.

Re:TO our european friends (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424218)

The funny thing is - when you KNOW someone is trying to drop your airplanes out of the air - and this isn't being paranoid - that big hole in the ground in New York supports the claim, then taking precautions to try and identify problem passengers BEFORE the plane takes off seems only prudent doesn't it?

Knee-jerkers like you always leave off the most important qualifier when talking about "taking precautions" - namely that of effectiveness. All the data-mining in the world won't stop terrorism because the characteristics that you can mine for produce way too many false positives to be effective.

Then realize that airplanes aren't the only possible target [cnn.com] and that if you really want to apply these useless data-mining techniques to protecting all possible targets, we will have to go way past that dictionary definition of fascism to pull it off.

Re:TO our european friends (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424428)

Knee-jerkers like you always leave off the most important qualifier when talking about "taking precautions" - namely that of effectiveness. All the data-mining in the world won't stop terrorism because the characteristics that you can mine for produce way too many false positives to be effective.

Actually both Interpol and the FBI have software that has been quite successful at data mining and developing associations between organizations and individuals. It has been helpful in unraveling the communications and finances. In such systems the more data it processes the more these connections stand out from the noise. Hence the voracious appetite for more data.

The problem is not as big as you suggest. The software does not analyze an entire population and toss out names of suspect terrorists, rather one person comes to the attention of law enforcement through conventional means and the data mining analyzes those who have contact with that person.

Re:TO our european friends (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424566)

The problem is not as big as you suggest. The software does not analyze an entire population and toss out names of suspect terrorists, rather one person comes to the attention of law enforcement through conventional means and the data mining analyzes those who have contact with that person.

Which is an entirely different problem than mining passenger data in a futile attempt at stopping terrorists from getting on board an airplane with a bomb.

Demonstrably FALSE (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424616)

ALL the terrorists of 9/11 and the many follow on plots or successes have ONE major thing in common.

They were ALL MUSLIMS.

In addition, many had traveled to Pakistan to take place in jihad training in the various madrassas in places controlled by Al Qaeda and the Taliban (namely, Waziristan).

Someone who's credit card history has charges related to travel to Pakistan should be a RED FLAG demanding intense scrutiny.

Considering that MI 5 head and Sir Ian Blair (Metropolitan Police Head) have estimated that Al Qaeda has about 12,000 active jihadis and a hard core set of supporters in the 200,000 range or so, this is a serious issue. Particularly "Western looking" Muslims recruited to generate mass casualty terror plots.

Make no mistake. Muslim jihadis aim to kill you. Thereby sending the central message of Islam: submit to Islam or die. The death sentence on Rushdie, the murder of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh, the plots against the Danish cartoonists, Israeli civilians, Jews in Buenos Aires, New Yorkers and others on 9/11, Madrid and London commuters, and Thai New Year's Eve celebrants in Bangkok are all part of the same global movement by Islam which can't succeed in the modern world and therefore wants to destroy it.

It will continue long after GWB is gone.

Given the ease in which various chemical and nuclear weapons can be used (imagine Sarin or an aerosol Polonium spray in the NYC subways) this threat is not trivial.

Giving Pakistan connected Brits intense scrutiny may well save not just thousands but tens of thousands of lives. Potentially from Litivenko's horrible death. Checking their credit card history is a sound practice. Those that object can visit elsewhere. Perhaps Iran's Holocaust Denial fest might be more their liking.

[More proof if needed on the general lack of reality comprehension skills and emotional immaturity of the average slashdot reader can be seen in the comments putting other nation's perceptions above physical safety from horrible deaths plotted by British jihadis]

Re:TO our european friends (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424236)

But when you consider that airport security were so busy looking out for people of vaguely Asian appearance trying to blow up planes with water and toothpaste that they didn't notice some Russians bringing nuclear material onto the planes, you realise that current airport security procedures are worse than useless.

Re:TO our european friends (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424352)

How soon they forget.

Yes, I'm sure the countless peaceful peoples around the world butchered by the British Empire in machine gun versus spear duels haven't forgotten you, either. What solution were you striving for there, exactly?

Re:TO our european friends (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424464)

But what if they don't use their real names or email addresses how will you catch them.

Re:TO our european friends (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424582)

"Go look up the term "fascist.""

Ok. Here's the wikipedia description: "the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism, corporatism, anti-liberalism, and anti-communism."

You were saying?

"we were part of the solution the last time such REAL nasty people took over Europe"

Most of the solution the last time were the Soviet communists under Stalin. Does that make the communists 'good', or that Europe should ignore the rest of what Stalin did?

The sad thing is that it'll be hard to find someone to free the Americans when they need help getting liberated.

Re:TO our european friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424674)

Yes, Herr Goering, we know the gypsies and the homosexuals and the non-Christians are out to eat our children, and we must give all power to Herr Fuhrer to safeguard our lives, and only the undesirables and funny-looking people and wrong-believing people, and geneticially defective people will be tortured.

Midwest votes, not dollars. (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424328)

Dollars speak louder than anything else.

No they don't. Votes do. And more specifically, votes in the middle of the country.

  • Ever been to the midwest? They have the nicest highways, "community centers", police and fire departments.
  • Farmers are paid to grow crops people will never eat; food is thrown away by the ton, or bought by the government to rot in warehouses (powdered milk is a great example. Google that one.)
  • Corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup has largely replaced sugar in much of America's "prepared" foods. It's horribly bad for you: because it's a slightly different sugar, your body's mechanisms for "I feel full" aren't triggered, and you over-eat.
  • 10% of every drop of gasoline you put in your car's tank is ethanol that is produced by the most wasteful, expensive method: corn. Brazil is producing huge amounts of ethanol off of sugar cane, which produces eight times more energy. You can't import Brazilian ethanol, though. US won't allow it, because it endangers corn-based ethanol.
  • Defense Department bases with little or no strategic value keep barely-educated young people "employed".
  • You have the midwest to thank for SUV emissions exceptions: it was originally intended for farm vehicles. Had midwestern senators voted for emissions standards that would force ma+pa kettle to dump $1k into their tractor so it doesn't spew nitrous oxide and unburned hydrocarbons- they would find themselves unemployed next election.
  • Midwesterners get hail that destroys their crops, and Uncle Sam is there to hand them a big fat check. Hail damages my house or destroys the car I need to use to get to work in the northeast, and Uncle Sam says "gee, sorry to hear that."

Whoever brings home the most bacon and has "good old American [Christian] [family] values", gets votes. In the midwest, the government works for you. Everywhere else, you work for the government. The south is much of the same- the Tennessee Valley Authority? West and Northeast tax dollars giving southerners cheap electricity. Air conditioning is a luxury: heat in the wintertime in the northeast IS NOT. Guess what happened last year? Republicans drastically cut fuel assistance programs in the northeast.

The majority of midwestern voters are ignorant and uneducated (especially in civics issues). Come election time, they don't give a damn about anything outside their town, or anyone except themselves and their family. Most of the reason they're all pissed off about the Iraq war now is because their sons and daughters are coming home in body bags. It has nothing to do with the fact that we arrogantly invaded a sovereign nation plunging it into a civil war...

Re:Midwest votes, not dollars. (4, Insightful)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424686)

"Dollars speak louder than anything else."

No they don't. Votes do. ...


You are absolutely correct. ...And more specifically, votes in the middle of the country. [snipped long winded nonsensical attacks on midwesterners]

Now you go off the deep end. As someone who has lived in dense urban areas of the east coast and the west coast I can testify that there is no shortage of dumb-ass sheep showing up at the polls, there is no shortage of pork projects (civil and military), etc. You merely seem to prefer your sheep of one political orientation over the other. Secondly, you seem woefully ignorant when discussing strategic military issues. Your suggestion that putting military assets in the middle of the country has no strategic value is nonsensical. The center of a nation *is* a strategic point, coastal assets are far more vulnerable. Finally, while pork projects certainly do exists bases in the midwest are not inherently pork. Coastal land has always been far more expensive to acquire, and selling such expensive land and relocating to inexpensive land makes financial sense. I'd say some local bases have stayed in coastal states as pork. In short, I think the pork is fairly evenly distributed across the nation.

Pay in cash, get a cavity search (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423862)

Paying in cash is a sure way to single yourself out for inspection. Few people pay with large sums of cash these days, and for good reason.

Re:Pay in cash, get a cavity search (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424050)

Paying in cash is a sure way to single yourself out for inspection. Few people pay with large sums of cash these days, and for good reason.


I'd rather get physically searched for explosives than have my bank records searched. At least the physical search is open rather than covert and actually does something to prevent terrorism. Actually, the best solution would be not to allow any baggage and have baggage fly by separate pilotless airplane.


-b.

Re:Pay in cash, get a cavity search (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424446)

Then again I am fly to the US in three weeks time for a skiing holiday, and I paid with a cheque or a check if you cannot spell :-). Why, well the holiday company wanted to make a 3% surcharge for paying by debit or credit card. It would have been the equivalent of 100USD so I told then to forget it and wrote a cheque instead.

Flying to US? Take off your tin foil hat. (3, Insightful)

deicide (195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423906)

Paying with cash is a sure way to attract more attention to yourself, not less. Don't be silly, government is not after you.

Additionally, most credit cards provide with additional lost luggage and life insurance when you use them to buy your ticket.

Re:Flying to US? Take off your tin foil hat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423952)

Paying with cash is a sure way to attract more attention to yourself, not less. Don't be silly, government is not after you.
If you're right, it doesn't matter if I attract more attention to myself, does it?

Re:Flying to US? Take off your tin foil hat. (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423984)


You're entirely correct. There is however an even simpler option: Refuse to travel to the US.

let me make it simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17423908)

This is all just using 'fear' of some kind of external agent so that we need to get the goods on everybody to make the 'fear' go away.

The fear has been artificially inflated to the point where ordinary well thinking humans are now giving up their rights with a smile on their face.

I'll resist this trend to the bitter end for a simple reason. 1000's of people die each year in car accidents. Yet no such privacy invasion has been justified to alleviate the risk of bad drivers (arguably a lot bigger risk to society than the few terrorists out there).

Until these measures are applied equally to all 'dangerous' activities which on a yearly basis get many orders of magnitudes of people in an early grave you can have my data over my dead body.

jacquesm posting as ac because I can't remember my login and I'm too lazy right now do
do a retrieval...

happy new year to all you slashdotters

Places to avoid (5, Insightful)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423932)

I try hard not to travel to countries such as North Korea and USA where there is a basic assumption that I am a criminal and not to be trusted.

Re:Places to avoid (2, Interesting)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424394)

I don't know where you're from, but I think you should add my country, the UK, to that list. It's only when people stop coming to these shores due to overly restrictive laws will our government realise the real damage that it's doing to this country. We have to hit them where it hurts: in the pocket.

Re:Places to avoid (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424626)

I try hard not to travel to countries such as North Korea and USA where there is a basic assumption that I am a criminal and not to be trusted.

It is the basic assumption of the border guard or customs agent anywhere, anytime.
You learn very quickly that you every reason to be cynical. I'm sorry, but that is just the way it is.

Well (1)

Swimport (1034164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423936)

When your up to no good you should be paying with cash.

Police State Logic (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423962)

I could be wrong ...

But I thought the standard logic in Police States (we can argue whether the US is a Police state another time) was that if you were unwilling to lose your privacy you must have something to hide. Hypothetically speaking, if you (heaven forbid) were a minority which could perhaps be from a Terrorism supporting country and you payed by cash wouldn't that ensure that you got the long trip through security?

Re:Police State Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424034)

++

Why stop with minorities and terrorism supporting countries? You're a fool of any nationality or ethnicity if you think paying for an expensive airline ticket *in cash* will result in less scrutiny towards you! That's true under the current administration and likely any other as well.

Bit tricky to pay for anything in cash in the UK (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423964)

You tend to end up as the subject of a money laundering investigation. (He says having just been given £800 cash which he's somehow got to get into a bank account.)

Having said which, I solve the original problem by simply choosing not to visit the USA. It's too much hassle, and there's plenty of other bits of world to go to.

Re:Bit tricky to pay for anything in cash in the U (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424194)

You tend to end up as the subject of a money laundering investigation. (He says having just been given £800 cash which he's somehow got to get into a bank account.)

If you're that worried, just spend it as is and the money never existed. Gradually spend the money on stuff like food and simply reduce your other expenditures.

BTW, is the UK really that paranoid? I've got cash payments in excess of $1000 from business clients before and deposited them in the bank. As well as a graduation gift after college. I haven't jbeen audited, jailed, stalked, or shot yet :) This is in the US, though.

-b.

Re:Bit tricky to pay for anything in cash in the U (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424298)

You are not allowed to accept cash payments of more than 15,000 Euros without doing lots of ID checks and registering them with the appropriate authorities - HM Revenue and Customs in the case of the UK.

Re:Bit tricky to pay for anything in cash in the U (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424416)

You are not allowed to accept cash payments of more than 15,000 Euros without doing lots of ID checks and registering them with the appropriate authorities

This is #800, though, which is approx 1600 Euros. Not even close. In the US, the limit is $10,000 - it's not that you have to register with anyone, but if you deposit more than $10,000 at once, it's reported to the IRS.

-b.

Re:Bit tricky to pay for anything in cash in the U (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424708)

BTW, is the UK really that paranoid?

Nah, not really, I exaggerate somewhat, a grand is no problem.

But don't sell a house for cash and try to deposit it in a bank account!!

The UK (5, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423988)

Isn't the UK the nation that has video cameras monitoring the streets? Given it's pervasive CCTV surveillance of citizens, this news would seem like a breath of fresh enlightenment.

p.s. For all you knuckleheads out there, I am not agreeing with this move! I'm only commenting on the irony of the UK bitching about it.

Yes (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424074)

we have CCTV in public places - this is based upon the obviously warped logic, that if you do something in a public place, then you shouldn't expect it to be private.
In some places CCTV is going a bit far, but there are numerous occasions where it is a definite benefit. If you're wating for a taxi, withdrawing money from an ATM or merely just walking home alone late at night - then you're safer if there's a CCTV camera covering you and the possibility somebody's watching.
In fact the more I think about this, the more ridiculous your point sounds - do you object to the police patrolling in public places?

Re:The UK (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424098)

Don't forget the speakers and microphones!

Re:The UK (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424600)

Amen and thank you. I get tired of the US bashing especially from the UK with their under the microscope approach to privacy.

privacy? What privacy? (3, Insightful)

WeeBit (961530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17423990)

This is just one of the many things the USA does to violate your privacy. There are many top secret areas too. If you find checking emails and such appalling, just imagine what is never disclosed. Pity that they do this to their own citizens, and there is hardly anyone balking at this. Power grants you many things. All you have to do is make up a valid excuse and people will fall for it. Fools are plentiful in the USA, or their are plenty of blind eyes. The thing is none of them will balk about privacy issues until it happens to them. Then it's too late.

This is screwy... (2)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424014)

Isn't paying in cash and flying one-way into the United States supposed to be a red flag? They're sure are taking the fun out of being a tourist pretending to be a terrorist pretending to be a tourist.

Re:This is screwy... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424138)

Isn't paying in cash and flying one-way into the United States supposed to be a red flag?

I don't understand why, either? Now that it's known that it's a red flag, any halfway competent terrorist would just buy a round-trip ticket with a credit card. Credit cards are not hard to come by, and what's an extra $500 if you're planning mass mayhem? Remember that Al Qaeda is pretty well funded...

-b.

Re:This is screwy... (1)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424370)

I'm not trying to be a troll here, though I may be modded as one. However, you said "Al Qaeda is pretty well funded", and I am curious as to how you know this. Obviously they are not submitting their financial records to the tax office on a yearly basis. I've also not seen any evidence of huge amounts of money in any Al Qaeda terrorist attack, though they will probably have many hidden expenses just to keep running. In as least troll-like way as possible, would you please give me some evidence to support your assertion? (I agreed with the rest of your post though. Paying in cash is something that would be done to preserve anonymity, something that any suicide bomber would not be too worried about as far as I can tell)

Re:This is screwy... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424462)

However, you said "Al Qaeda is pretty well funded", and I am curious as to how you know this.

I've heard cost estimates between $400 and $500k for the 9/11 attacks. Another $500 x 20 people = $10,000 doesn't seem like a big deal with that kind of budget. If anything, after Iraq you have more pissed off people willing to give money to radical Islamic groups than before. It's not only a religious thing now, it's an Arab nationalist thing.

-b.

Re:This is screwy... (3, Funny)

norfolkboy (235999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424506)

What's an extra $500 if you're planning mass mayhem
Make that an extra few thousand dollars, naturally, if you're going to fly into a building, you might as well fly first class - it's not like you'll be around to settle the credit card bill.

Re:This is screwy... (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424640)

if you're going to fly into a building, you might as well fly first class

Not to mention that it's a shorter walk to the cockpit usually.

-b.

Re:This is screwy... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424332)

Isn't paying in cash and flying one-way into the United States supposed to be a red flag?

Before the ideologically motivated suicide bomber there was the insurance scam. The million-dollar payout on your accidental death.

Cash and the One-Way ticket has raised red flags for the airlines since the 1950s.

Agree - Don't like the requirements, stay home (3, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424018)

People have to acknowledge that (1) transportation has proven to be the real Achilles's Heel of modern society, and (2) no one is forcing you to travel to the US.

Now some of the government responses, both US and UK, have been very onerous. (Connected through Heathrow lately???)

I for one will not let the threat of terrorism stop me from travelling. And if I'm travelling internationally, I fully expect that in exchange for entry to another country, I'll have to forgoe privacy, etc. It's part of the trade for living in the modern world.

How many people who don't like these kinds of broad-band searches think that targeting/profiling is more acceptable?

    dave

Re:Agree - Don't like the requirements, stay home (0, Troll)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424092)

How many people who don't like these kinds of broad-band searches think that targeting/profiling is more acceptable?

I don't like either. But it does raise an interesting dilemma. If the authorities are not supposed to do some basic searches into everyone's background, what are they supposed to do when the public cries out for security? Are they supposed to place brown skinned people under extra scrutiny? What happens when the threat lies with fair skinned people? Do the people who support racial profiling only support it because they know that it's not them that will be profiled?

Wait until 30 years from now when the US is a much browner country. When white people are the minority, let's see how they feel about racial profiling.

LK

Re:Agree - Don't like the requirements, stay home (2, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424096)

(1) transportation has proven to be the real Achilles's Heel of modern society

And it wasn't before 2001? Sure, there were hijackings, but nothing like 9/11! And something like 9/11 won't ever happen again - on 9/11 the passengers were complacent because they thought that it was a regular hijacking for ransom or transportation abroad - now that people remember 9/11, the next person to attempt to hijack a US plane will be beat to a bleeding crying pulp before the plane ever lands. Look at Richard "shoebomber" Reid - apart from getting arrested, he wasn't in quite the same condition at takeoff as at landing.

-b.

Re:Agree - Don't like the requirements, stay home (1)

Chiny (839355) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424518)

(2) no one is forcing you to travel to the US

That is not how it is seen in the UK, including Telegraph readers. If the US sees a UK subject (no citizens here) as being required in the US, it happens. The UK Courts are in practice helpless.

--

Chiny

Pay in cash: bad advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424020)

If someone pays in cash for a ticket EVERYBODY (the travel agent, the regular as well as the secret police, etc) gets suspcious.

Spending $1000+ in cash in a single payment is the best way to draw attention on yourself. In a few minutes after the payment you are on various black lists (kept by the governments, travel agents, flight companies, etc,etc)

Re:Pay in cash: bad advice (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424192)

While I agree that usually large cash payments seem suspicious, and sometimes worthy to check after, I find it fairly laughable to mention a $1000 sum... is a thousand bucks such a large sum these days that it would draw attention ? If I'd pay an equal amount here, in my countries currency, in cash (not that I would, I use my cards 99%), nobody would raise an eyebrow, maybe 2-3x more would.

Re:Pay in cash: bad advice (1)

WeeBit (961530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424338)

I wouldn't go so far to say you would be black listed. But I bet you would be more inclined to be searched. More searches will be done, on the lower middle class, and poor. The ones using the credit cards to purchase 17 to 3500 dollar airline tickets are upper class. Or rare ones in middle class. So if the identity gets stolen by some crazy unsecured incident. The upper class are the ones to get hit the hardest. With the USA's businesses record for securing data it's a matter of time for this to happen. Then the public will know exactly what data is being gathered, and possibly may balk about it.

"Freedom of Information request" (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424120)

Freedom of Information request

Yup, i.e. you have to give them any information they request, for free, and congratulate them in the process.
 
This payed-with-credit-card trouble is pretty wierd, sometimes you can read they think it's suspicious if someone is paying with cash, and sometimes that it's suspicious if someone pays with a card. And I guess if we'd ask which payment method is less suspicious, that would be the most suspicious.
 
It's a wierd world. You'd go to some friends, family, a conference, for business issues, etc. to find out years later that your mailing has been monitored for years because you dared to pay your hardly earned money for a flight ? An let's say you send some really suspicious letter a few years later, then they can finally jump and sing see-we-knew-it :)
 
These guys come up with more and more transparent "reasons" to monitor everybody, slowly but surely.
 

Re:"Freedom of Information request" (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424134)


"This payed-with-credit-card trouble is pretty wierd, sometimes you can read they think it's suspicious if someone is paying with cash, and sometimes that it's suspicious if someone pays with a card. And I guess if we'd ask which payment method is less suspicious, that would be the most suspicious."

It is *always* suspicious that anyone would choose to travel *FROM* the relative utopia of the UK or Europe, *TO* the US.
Why would anyone even consider doing such an insane thing?

Workaround? (2, Insightful)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424164)

I am not much of a flyer, but would it possible to fly to, say, a city bordering the U.S. in Canada or Mexico or an island, and then take a bus/train/small plane in? I guess it'd depend on your destination... if you're going to the middle of the continent, it would be too inconvenient. Sounds strange, but how would a potential terrorist do it? Seems terrorists and people who want to fiercely guard their privacy have overlapping interests in this case. :-/

Re:Workaround? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424368)

They are going to want to know why you didn't just fly straight into the US. What would you tell them?

Re:Workaround? (1)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424448)

You don't have to tell them your ultimate destination (the US). And presumably if you're, say, driving/boating through a checkpoint, they'll just assume you were coming from Canada/Mexico/Caribean and not from farther away.

Re:Workaround? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424668)

Just tell them what I tell them, "I'm visiting Vancouver but I wanted to come down and see what Seattle is all about." They scan your passport and wave you right through.

umm,... (3, Interesting)

zxnos (813588) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424196)

dont you need, like, a passport or something to fly into and out of the u.s.? doesnt that sorta ruin your privacy? i mean, like, they know you are entering the country as soon as you get here.

sounds like they are trying to be informed about 'bob the nutcase who wants to kill you becuase you are different' before he hits the u.s. soil.

Euro-hypocrites (1)

Cardiakke (953559) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424254)

It is extremely funny to have Europeans, especially Brits, complaining about this. Privacy rights are in a much, much worse shape in Europe. This is just another Bush Bad, Bush Bad, Bush Bad exercise.

Nowt Really new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424264)

The first time I tried to enter the US was in 1975. I was on my holidays after graduating from Uni in the UK. As a present, my parents had given me a return ticket to Toronto and a 2 week Greyhound Bus Pass. I stayed with some friends in Toronto for a few days and then headed off.
I got to Vancouver and then headed south. At the border I was asked how much cash I had and then they wanted to see my return ticket. Opps..... I had left it in Toronto for safe keeping. AFter all, my logic went, if I got robbed all I had to do was get back to Toronto and then I could fly home.
Nope. The ruthlessly efficient border guard was about to stamp by Passport "Entry Refused" when I produced my newly acquired Barclaycard(visa). He saw that and immediatlely assumed that I could afford to fly home.

Back on the subject of now. So what happens when you turn up at the airport and the check your Credit card and find that there is no record of you paying for your ticket in its history. This is very common for business travellers. Are the US Poleitzei going to stop someone from entering their precious country just because they can't find a record of the ticket purchase on the credit card produced by the poor sod trying to fly to the USA? Somehow, I doubt it.
So, for me the real reason is that they can then get the flyers credit history from the likes of Experion. Then ONLY the really credit worthy who are guaranteed to spend lots of $$$$$$ during their visit.
Just my 0.01p worth.
   

Eurowankers worried about wrong things, as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424276)

Why would anyone be interested in your credit card purchases for your pony-tailed ass-rape collection? What the EU lacks viz-a-viz the US is far worse: a free press. When truth is not a defense in a libel suit, you simply do not have a free press. What the EU has is a docile press-release duplication service. In the US has, aside from McCain-Feingold anyway, is the legal right to publish any criticism of our public officials, provided it is based on fact. Given that with a free press we can organize ourselves to oppose any true abuse, we can safely ignore sharing of our purchase history. Why I would get upset over shared credit card data that is already being mined by the credit card companies themselves is beyond me.

e-gold (1)

wikes82 (940042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424308)

the solution is e-gold, when will be airlines accepting e-gold as payment??? and how about a prepaid credit card ?

Due to Terrorism (1)

adbloggers (996663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424326)

I recently traveled over the holidays and had to deal with tight security but I think these are great ideas. That is the price that people come into the US because of what happened with 9.11.
http://www.mobile-ringbacks.info/ [mobile-ringbacks.info]
http://www.american-idol-show.info/ [american-idol-show.info]

Horrendous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17424478)

Horrendous! Britons should be outraged! I bet if we were to look through the government controlled security cameras all over the country there we would see some distressed faces!!!

Amazing (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424504)

What amazes me is that we go to such (potential) lengths to inspect people who are entering the country legally, but we can't seem to deal with the zillions of people crossing into the US or overstaying their visas illegally.

What is the limit ? (3, Insightful)

CoolCat23 (923066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17424664)

For now, the US require passengers to give away personal details, bank accounts, etc.
This is outrageous enough, but who knows what will be asked next ?
My DNA sample ? AIDS test ? My last choice to the last national elections ? If I have non-"acceptable" friends or lectures ?
How far will the Privacy Right be crushed, just to satisfy the US paranoia ?


Concerning the "don't like the rules, don't come here" comments, how would YOU feel if you were asked such private questions by, say, any north-African airlines ?
And if I'm *required* to fly to the US for work, must I lose my job to keep my private life by refusing to comply ?
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