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Old 09-21-2007, 04:26 AM   #1
TadW
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U.S. Airport Screeners Are Watching What You Read

Wired writes:

Quote:
International travelers concerned about being labeled a terrorist or drug runner by secret Homeland Security algorithms may want to be careful what books they read on the plane. Newly revealed records show the government is storing such information for years.
And:

Quote:
"They are noting people's race and they are writing down what people read," Scannell said.

It doesn't matter that Gilmore was reading a book about drugs, rather than Catcher in the Rye, according to Scannell. "A book is a book," Scannell said. "This is just plain wrong."
Question is, will their system be able to track what we read on our e-book reader as well?
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:42 AM   #2
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That's exactly the kind of thought that I had after seeing this on boingboing.

Maybe scribble "catcher in the rye" on the cover and you won't raise any suspicions?
Wait, but wasn't that book banned a couple of times in the US? It might not be the best idea after all...
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:29 AM   #3
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Banned a few times in the past but now required reading for some schools in the US.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:33 AM   #4
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Given the education level of the screeners I'm wondering how the decision is made on what is 'suspect' reading. Oh, wait, given our paranoia, probably anything not in English.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:34 AM   #5
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I'll just take my Sony Reader and read books they cannot see.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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I remember being highly amused some 10~12 years ago to see Soldier of Fortune magazine in the airport newsstand. It's not there any more, but you can still pick up Guns & Ammo as of last Wednesday.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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We've known about this for a while, though. There was a BoingBoing article about someone getting stopped for carrying a book with a "suspicious" title months ago. (At least, I think it was on BoingBoing. I can't find it now.)
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:20 PM   #8
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Rather than a suspicious title you would think they would worry about some 1000 page honer you could whack someone over the head with.
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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Please don't encourage them ... or give them any ideas that won't actually make a difference, but look good on paper -- they come up with enough of those on their own.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
Please don't encourage them ... or give them any ideas that won't actually make a difference, but look good on paper -- they come up with enough of those on their own.
I'll give you the short version of one of my many travel tales.

Long before 9/11, trying to mail something in Newark while connecting to Europe. Can't from inside security. I groused, went out, mailed the envelopes, came in, and questioned the guy watching the scanning machines.

Me - "Why can't you mail"

Security expert "big security risk".

Me - "But I'm already IN the secure area, where is the risk".

SE - "No, big risk, can't do it"

Me - "You know, in Heathrow, they consider that big trash can right beside your desk a big risk - you throw stuff on the ground and it gets picked up immediately by the airport cleaning people. Worried about bombs in the trash cans".

The next time I went through security at Newark they had moved the trash can.
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Old 09-21-2007, 04:27 PM   #11
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See? That's exactly what I mean about giving them ideas!
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