Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A predictable outcome

Last month, Canada introduced a US-style "no-fly" list to protect it from democrats and greens "terrorists". And it's had the predictable outcome:

Two boys named Alistair Butt, one from Saskatchewan and one from Ontario, were stopped while trying to board flights last week because their name matches a name that appears on a no-fly list.

Both were eventually cleared by security and allowed to board, but its now clear that they will be facing this problem every single time they want to fly. Effectively, they've been deemed guilty and punished with a significant restriction on their freedom of movement by executive fiat, on the basis of nothing more than sharing a name with someone who the government claims to be a terrorist. And to add insult to injury, one of them was told that if he wanted to avoid this problem, he should change his name. Marvellous.

I am so glad that we do not have a system like this in New Zealand. But given the government's sudden interest in punishment without trial and desire to appear "tough on terror", it's probably only a matter of time.

(Hat tip: Scruffydan)