Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The War on Privacy


I had forgotten that Dalibor had been asked in Chicago to give information about where he would be staying when he came to Prague in January (my post of 15 January 2006: http://cheekymax.blogspot.com/2006/01/mind-your-own-damn-business.html). I was not asked for any information at all at LAX yesterday, but I don’t know if that was because I have a Czech residency visa in my passport or because the check-in lady forgot or because there really is no such requirement.

But then, while waiting to board my plane, I heard an announcement for a flight to Toronto. It said (paraphrasing): US citizens, you are required to fill out an information card…if you have not already done so, please come to the podium at gate 24A. I can’t remember if they said what kind of information they were demanding, and I don’t know if it was a requirement exclusively for travellers to Canada.

I have just looked around online to see if I could figure it out. I looked at the State Department’s travel website: http://www.travel.state.gov/ and found nothing. I looked at the US Customs and Border Protection website: http://www.cbp.gov/ and the Transportation Security Administration’s website: http://www.tsa.gov/public/ and again (and again) found nothing related to an information requirement.

Has anyone else been asked for information upon leaving the US? Or does anyone know what it is all about?

Interesting things I did find…

· A message on the CBP website: Report Suspicious Activity to 1-800-BE-ALERT.

· You can sign up for TSA critical travel alerts: http://listman.desyne.com/tsa.htm?1

3 comments:

Tits Malone said...

MM,

I think what you heard was a Canada Customs announcement. Citizens from the US (as well as the rest of the world) are required to fill out an information card - it used to be to ensure those pesky Americians wouldn't bring "foreign" plants and dairy products to Canada.

Now, who knows. Although given the fact that most of the gun violence has been blamed on the import of guns from the US, it could be the Mounties saving the country through paperwork. Again. hahaha

Tits Malone said...

MM,

By the way, I think Oscar should be at the top! Elmo is that giggling, vibrating submissive. Oscar is definitely a top!

Besides he lives in a garbage can. How butch is that!

celinka said...

I had to laugh when I saw the US passport control officers wearing blue gloves when handling passports on my way to Fl. I didn't get grilled at all, I got asked the usual questions.
My mum who travels to and from Prague, from Canada gets grilled depending on the Elmo or Oscar rates of terrorism. Sometimes she manages to muggle more slivovice and other times she has to call the cousin to pick it up cause they won't let her bring it across.