- Are we sliding headlong down an accelerating curve of social
madness and state sanctioned discrimination and prejudice?
All visitors to the United States of America are now required by law to be fingerprinted on entry and to carry passports with biometric/machine-readable identification details, though a short waiver period has been granted on the introduction of the latter to allow countries to put the necessary systems in place. The measures have been introduced by governments as part of the "war on terrorism" and to ‘protect’ the security of nations. They perhaps far surpass any of the oppressive futuristic visions conjured up by science fiction writers.
In the UK compulsory ID cards are being introduced for the first time since the two World Wars and biometric identification is mandatory on all new passports, which must also be ‘machine readable’. Such passports will include digitised images and some states are including digitised fingerprints in addition to facial images.
We should all be familiar by now with the ease with which State imposed bureaucracy and legislation can slide into discrimination regardless of whatever good intention motivated it. Such discrimination takes place widely enough.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has taken steps to agree an international standard for facial recognition on all new passports.
The plans have already gained the full backing of the US government and the European Union. Privacy International has raised concerns over the plans and warned that they could create a global database of over a billion people by 2015.
Yet what can be truly achieved through the introduction of such measures? Those who might seek to bypass such ‘security’ for illicit purposes will do so regardless. No security measures will deter those determined enough to find a way through. So just who will be ‘caught’ by such security?
The danger of course is that innocent travelers may find themselves caught up in a jungle of bureaucratic regulation. And just who will be nominated as trusted to sit in judgment on who is deemed an ‘acceptable’ traveler and who not?
Such security is unlikely to trap genuine terrorists or those up to illicit activity. You can be sure that if the avenues of normal entry into a country are closed to such people, they will find an alternative means of entry. In effect it will encourage such people to further refine their techniques.
Those who stand to be penalised by such security measures are those who are deemed to have black marks against their character for whatever reason. That reason could be as simple as being tagged as having an ‘undesirable’ background. To pretend that such discrimination might not or simply could not happen is to act like an ostrich with head buried in the sand. And that is not to imply that such treatment may be intentional. The fact that it could happen purely as a result of bureaucracy constitutes the real danger.
Such security measures must set in place a vetting system that will rely on accumulated data. It is pointless to deny this, for any such system could not work in any other way.
Although the motives behind such ‘security’ measures may be good, it does represent a certain triumph for those who have aligned themselves against society in that the measures will impact broadly on civil liberties and the liberty of the individual, as well as causing real difficulty to many.
Afghanistan | Africa | Albania | Algeria | Andorra | Angola | Anguilla | Antigua | Argentina | Armenia | Aruba | Asia | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bahamas | Bahrain | Balkans | Bangladesh | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Benin | Bermuda | Bhutan | Bosnia | Bolivia | Botswana | Brazil | Brunei | Bulgaria | Burkina | Burma | Burundi | Cambodia | Cameroon | Canada | Cape Verde | Caribbean | Cayman Islands | Cen African Rep | Chad | Chile | China | Christmas Island | Columbia | Comoros | Congo | Cook Island | Costa Rica | Croatia | Cuba | Cyprus | Czech/Slovakia | Denmark | Djibouti | Dominican Republic | Dubai | East Timor | Ecuador | Egypt | El Salvador | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Estonia | Ethiopia | Europe | Faroe Islands | Fiji | Finland | France | Gabon | Gambia | Georgia | Germany | Ghana | Greece | Greenland | Grenada | Guadeloupe | Guam | Guatemala | Guinea | Guyana | Haiti | Holland | Honduras | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Indonesia | Iran | Iraq | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Ivory Coast | Jamaica | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Kenya | Kiribati | Korea | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan | Laos | Latvia | Lebanon | Lesotho | Liberia | Libya | Lietchtenstein | Lithuania | London | Luxembourg | Macau | Macedonia | Madagascar | Malawi | Malaysia | Maldives | Mali | Malta | Marshall Islands | Martinique | Mauritania | Mauritius | Mexico | Micronesia | Moldova | Monaco | Mongolia | Montenegro | Montserrat | Morocco | Mozambique | Namibia | Nauru | New Zealand | Nicaragua | Niue | Niger | Nigeria | Northern Ireland | Norway | Oman | Pakistan | Palau | Palestine | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Pitcairn Islands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Romania | Russia | Rwanda | Samoa | San Marino | Sao Tomé | Saudi Arabia | Scandinavia | Senegal | Serbia | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Singapore | Slovakia | Slovenia | Solomon Islands | Somalia | South Africa | South Americas | Spain | Sri Lanka | St Kitts | St Lucia | St Pierre | St Vincent | Sudan | Suriname | Swaziliand | Sweden | Switzerland | Syria | Taiwan | Tajikistan | Tanzania | Thailand | Tibet | Togo | Tonga | Trinidad | Tunisia | Turkey | Turkmenistan | Turks & Caicos | Tuvalu | Uganda | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States | Uruguay | Uzbekistan | Vanuatu | Venezuela | Vietnam | Virgin Islands | Walli & Futuna | Yemen | Zambia | Zimbabwe | World
Human Rights | Science | Journalism | Music | Showbiz | Sport | Technology
Clickable News Globe
Privacy | Forum |
Sounds | Links
| Publicity |
On-line Editing | Publish news | Guestbook | Site Status | Site Map