Current Shamrock Missive

From the Publisher's Desk
December 2007

"Tyranny is the exercise of some power over a man, which is not warranted by law, or necessary for the public safety. A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power sufficient to any other power in the state."
- Noah Webster


The NEW inquisition?

The UK government's plan to massively invade the rights and privacy of ALL persons traveling to, from and within the UK is beyond belief. The article from the (UK) Daily Mail below outlines the 53 most intrusive questions and personal details I or you could possibly imagine. And the government, as usual, is going to make YOU pay for this!

If the UK implements this law and it probably will, then I am going to stick two fingers at the UK government. The UK will have seen me for the last time and I'll never spend a pence there again. My holiday and business money will be spent in far less intrusive countries henceforth. What about you?

The craziness and government invasiveness continues.

Terror crackdown as passengers forced to answer 53 questions in airport inquisition
- Daily Mail

Travelers face price hikes and confusion after the Government unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.

For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights. The e-borders system will monitor every passenger traveling into or out of the country:

Random bag searches for rail passengers in Brown's Fortress Britain.

The information, taken when a ticket is bought, will be shared among police, customs, immigration and the security services for at least 24 hours before a journey is due to take place. Anybody about whom the authorities are dubious can be turned away when they arrive at the airport or station with their baggage.

Those with outstanding court fines, such as a speeding penalty, could also be barred from leaving the country, even if they pose no security risk.

The information required under the "e-borders" system was revealed as Gordon Brown announced plans to tighten security at shopping centres, airports and ports. This could mean additional screening of baggage and passenger searches, with resulting delays for Travelers.

The e-borders scheme is expected to cost at least �1.2 billion over the next decade. Travel companies, which will run up a bill of �20million a year compiling the information, will pass on the cost to customers via ticket prices, and the Government is considering introducing its own charge on Travelers to recoup costs.

Critics warned of mayhem at ports and airports when the system is introduced, beginning in earnest from mid-2009.

By 2014 every one of the predicted 305million passenger journeys in and out of the UK will be logged, with details stored about the passenger on every trip. The scheme will apply to every way of leaving the country, whether by ferry, plane, or small aircraft. It would apply to a family having a day out in France by Euro tunnel, and even to a yachtsman leaving British waters during the day and returning to shore. The measure applies equally to UK residents going abroad and foreigners traveling here.

The information will be stored for as long as the authorities believe it is useful, allowing them to build a complete picture of where a person has been over their lifetime, how they paid and the contact numbers of who they stayed with. The Home Office, which yesterday signed a contract with U.S. company Raytheon Systems to run the computer system, said e-borders would help to keep terrorists and illegal immigrants out of the country.

For the first time since embarkation controls were scrapped in 1998, they will also have a more accurate picture of who is in the UK at any one time. The personal information stored about every journey could prove vital in detecting a planned atrocity, officials insist.

But the majority - around 60 per cent - of the journeys logged will be made by Britons, mostly going on family holidays or business trips. Ministers are also considering the creation of a list of "disruptive" passengers, so that authorities know in advance of any potential troublemaker, such as an abusive drunk.

David Marshall of the Association of British Travel Agents said: "We are staggered at the projected costs. "It could also act as a disincentive to people wanting to travel, and we are sure that is not what the Government intends."

Phil Booth, of the NO2ID group, warned Travelers would pay a "stealth tax" on travel to pay for the scheme. He added: "This is a huge and utterly ridiculous quantity of personal information. This type of profiling will throw up many distressing errors and problems for innocent people. "We have already seen planes turned around mid-flight because a passenger's surname matches that of somebody on a watch list.

"When the Government talks about e-borders, it gives the impression it is about keeping bad people out. In fact, it is a huge grab of personal information, and another move towards the database state."

A pilot of the "e-borders" technology, known as Project Semaphore, has already screened 29million passengers.

Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: "Successful trials of the new system have already led to more than 1,000 criminals being caught and more than 15,000 people of concern being checked out by immigration, customs or the police." But Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, said: "The Government must not use legitimate fears or dangers to crop vast amounts of private information without proper safeguards."

John Tincey, of the Immigration Service Union, said: "The question is are there going to be the staff to respond to the information that is produced? "In reality people could be missed. Potential terrorists could be coming through if there are not enough staff to check them."

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "While e-borders could be a useful tool to secure our borders it will not be up and running for at least another seven years. "And given the Government's woeful record on delivering IT based projects, it may well be over budget and over time.

"In the meantime our borders remain porous. The Government should take practical measures to secure our borders, such as answering our call to establish a dedicated UK border police force." Restrictions on hand luggage carried on to passenger planes will be lifted from January.

"Starting with several airports in the New Year, we will work with airport operators to ensure all UK airports are in a position to allow passengers to fly with more than one item of hand luggage," Gordon Brown said. The single bag rule was introduced in August last year after police said they foiled a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

It caused chaos at Heathrow Airport and drew complaints from airlines. Restrictions on carrying liquids are expected to continue. The list is

1. Full name
2. Gender
3. Date of birth
4. Nationality
5. Type of Travel document
6. Travel document number
7. Issuing country of travel document
8. Expiry date
9. Registration of any vehicle used to travel
10 Place of birth
11 Issue date of travel
12 UK visa or entry clearance expiry date
13 BOOKing reference number
14 Date of reservation
15 Date of Intended travel
16 Passenger name (if different to full name)
17 Other passengers on same booking
18 Passengers address
19 Form of payment, Including any credit card number
20 Billing address
21 Contact numbers, Including hotel or relative being Visited
22 Travel Itinerary and route
23 I Frequent flyer Information (mileS flown and addresses)
24 Travel agency
25 Person at travel agent who made booking
26 Reference number of any shared booking
27 Status of booking e.g. confirmed, wait-listed
28 DetailS of passengers on booking with a different Itinerary
29 E-mail address
30 Ticket number and date of Issue
31 Any other Information the ticket agent considers of Interest
32 Number on ticket
33 Reserved seat number
34 Date ticket issued
35 No show history
36 Bag tag numbers
37 Details of whether travel arrangements are 'flexible'
38 Names of any Infants or staff in traveling party
39 Is traveler an unaccompanied minor?
40 Details of who made the booking
41 All historical changes to travel arrangements
42 Number of Travelers In party
43 Seat Information, Including whether first class
44 Is the ticket one-way only?
45 Any other biOgraphical information
46 Cost of fare
47 Check in time
48 Actual seat number
49 How much luggage checked-In
50 Check-in agent's Initials
51 OUt-bound travel Indicator
52 Where did journey begin, if not first-leg of trip
53 Group Indicator of whether a party is a family or friends etc.

See you next issue

Shamrock

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
- Edmund Burke, 1784

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