Tuesday, June 19, 2007



No-fly madness in Canada

Since September 11th, the US has maintained a (now-infamous) "no fly" list of suspected terrorists forbidden to board an aircraft. Now, the Canadian government is making the same move. Unlike the Americans, the Canadians will have an appeal mechanism so people can be removed from the list, and unlike the Americans they are unlikely to use the list to target the political enemies of the government of the day (that sort of thing being less tolerated in Canada than it is in the Home of Freedom). But that doesn't mean its not a problem. While the list itself is small - reportedly only 500 to 2,000 names - the fact that names are not unique identifiers means that there is an enormous potential for false positives - tens or even hundreds per name. This will see thousands of innocent Canadians whose only "crime" is having a name which is similar to that of a suspected terrorist effectively forbidden to fly. And that is simply not acceptable in a free and democratic society.

2 comments:

I don't have the link anymore but the US does know have a mechanism to challeneg your presence on the "no fly list" or check whether or not you're on there before you travel.

Posted by Oliver : 6/20/2007 02:53:00 AM

This anti-terrorist stuff can all be recast as "anti-freedom". Where are all the right wing nutters obsessed about socialism's creeping hand into people's personal lives when, by simply invoking the magic word "terrorist", it seems you can crimp off as many rights as you wish. It's just nonsense. I tell you this too, I am sure that were Thomas Jefferson alive today he'd be shocked at what had become of his Republic. Hamilton and Adams, on the other hand, maybe not so much. They're not remembered for having a sterling record on immigrants. Still, it's weird to me that the USA has dispensed with a range of fundamental freedoms in a deluded frenzy that a few hundred people living in caves can seriously compromise their national interests. I don't know why the USSR bankrupted itself trying to build weapons to best the USA - when a few box cutters and the odd threat of a fertilizer bomb apparently has the potential to bring that country to its knees.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/20/2007 08:31:00 AM