Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving up rights in the name of safety

Everyone agrees you need some airport security although most agree the TSA has become too invasive in screening passengers.  Now we have virtual strip searches and genital molestation "in the name of safety".  Does this mean we will have body cavity searches if a muslim terrorist boards a plane in a muslim country and has a bomb in one or more of his / her body cavities?  When will it end?

Many will give up all of their rights to feel safe - but would you feel safer knowing that anyone can track whatever flight they want in the United States and know exactly where it is and what altitude in real time?  And not only that, they can also know the origin of the aircraft, what airline it is, destination airport, aircraft speed, and heading as well as lat / long coordinates as well as estimated landing time?  A terrorist with a rocket launcher or missile could target any flight they want.

Here is one such source set for Seatac (SEA / Seattle, WA)

Use this link to watch another airport:

Ever since 9-1-1 the government has told us we need to be watchful and alert because of "terrorists" and report anything suspicious.  We were warned our infrastructure is a terrorist target and we are to be careful. Foreign tourists have been arrested taking pictures of tourist attractions and  University professors have been questioned for taking pictures of power lines1.  Yet in 2008 while looking to see if there was a foot bridge in a particular area of Seattle, I stumbled across a PDF document that contained a diagram and engineering study for every automobile and train bridge in the state of Washington.  Totally accessible site to anyone who wanted to look at it or download it.

It appears the government is focusing so much on individual trees they forget the entire forest.  The government needs to stand back and instead of putting so much emphasis on one aspect of safety, needs to take a wholisitc approach to keep us safe without violating our rights.

Next time you fly on an airliner and feel safe because you submitted to a virtual strip search or were molested by a minimum wage TSA amployee (did you know they have hired sex offenders?), just remember a terrorist may be watching your flight on their computer with a rocket launcher sitting on their shoulder waiting for your flight to be in the right location.  How safe do you feel now?



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