|Following in the footsteps of several US counterparts, Sydney Airport recently announced its beta testing of face recognition biometric cameras, aimed at identifying ‘terrorists and other undesirable travellers’ according to the Sydney Morning Herald. As with all biometric technologies, the digital algorithms that make up your facial features are captured and compared with a computer database of criminals. If you resemble an enemy of the state then red flags are immediately coordinated to the operator and your dangerous terrorist activity is brought to a swift halt.
Proponents of this system fail to take into account that terrorist masterminds are hardly likely to use notorious criminals to carry out operations where their movements will be filmed a hundred times over. If there were nineteen hijackers on September 11 roaming around American airports, surely there would be multiple video sequences of their activity? The FBI says so but all they have provided us with is a dodgy tape of Atta with two different time stamps on it. The rest is classified ‘due to the ongoing investigation’.
Another fairly important factor related to facial recognition technology is that it doesn’t actually work. A Boston Globe report, cited by The Register, concludes that a similar test at Boston’s Logan Airport failed miserably. You see, not unlike a toaster that only has two settings – burnt and warm bread – facial recognition technology is either far too sensitive or positively laid back. Either Ahmed and his terrorist chums walk on by unhindered or a mother with a pram is likely to be subjected to an armed standoff. On the non-sensitive setting, anyone who is aware of the technology can avoid it by wearing a pair of sunglasses.
So what other methods will Big Brother present in order to ‘save us from the terrorists’?
In the first stage of what will eventually morph into the behemoth ‘Total Information Awareness’ – the US Justice Department has proposed anti-terrorism regulations that would entail everyone who wanted to fly in and out of the country would be forced to disclose detailed personal information. This report was carried by The Washington Times. Even though the Immigration and Naturalization Service would implement the regulations, the law would apply to American citizens. This at a time when both the northern and southern borders are more wide open than ever. The ACLU, more interested in making sure gay people are allowed to cavort in street parades, have declared no opposition to the proposal.
Some people, perhaps even most, would have no aversion to providing their name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport number, country of residence, U.S. visa number, and address while in the United States. I would certainly support such measures for foreigners if I were under the delusion that our governments had any incentive to prevent terrorism. But what most don’t realize is that this is only the initial stage of a nice little horror that the government has been planning for a year or more.
As can be judged from reports early last year by both The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, these new proposals are merely the first generation in the creation of a centralized government database via the airports and airliners and one which will possibly form the largest chunk of Total Information Awareness.
Federal aviation authorities (power) in alliance with technology companies (greed) eventually plan to delve much deeper into your personal life, right down to your daily activities through to what magazines you read. This, according to Joseph Del Balzo, formerly with the FAA, will enable the government to have, “a pretty good idea of what’s going on in a person’s mind.” Such minute details would characterize an individual’s ‘threat assessment’ – so if you willingly submit to letting the government know how many times you go to the toilet a day then you’ll get a green security grade, cheap airline tickets, fast airport security checks, convenience and consumer love. On the other hand, if you have any semblance of morality or memories of what it was like to live in a free country and refuse the ‘trusted traveller pass’ – you’ll get a red security grade and will be rightly hassled for the subversive that you are.
The government will have a large task on its hands collating all the data, but has already been assured by market research companies that the system is workable. They will willingly pass on the data they’ve collected on you from all those annoying dinnertime calls, just for a small slice of the money pie. Big Brother then quashes our fears by promising us there is no possible scope for abuse of the program. Officials admit that ultimately the system is designed to be integrated into the biometric national ID card. Let me spell it out for you. A mandatory national ID card with your biometric thumbprint scanned on which tells the reader how the government view your behaviour on a scale of ‘submissive and compliant with state demands’ (green) to ‘definite subversive, possible enemy of the state and potential terrorist – 9pm house curfew’. Get the picture?
Just take a glance at how the early ‘security measures’ have played out at airports across the world. Every week we hear stories about 18-year-old zit faced adolescents fondling blonde haired, blue-eyed women because they might be terrorists. Or how obese, greasy old men take 8-year-old Katie aside for some ‘special screening’. Nicholas Monahan, a film producer, related the harrowing tale of how his pregnant wife was forced to expose herself and have screeners touch her breasts in full public view at Portland International Airport. Upon seeing his wife crying her eyes out, Monahan complained and was subsequently arrested and thrown in the airport jail (yes they do have those now). Monahan likened his experience to something out of The Gulag Archipelago. The trauma of the experience contributed to his wife having to have a caesarean section.
Don’t forget for a second that all this is coming from a government that is ‘manufacturing terrorist alerts to keep the issue alive in the minds of voters and to keep President Bush’s approval ratings high’ according to World Net Daily. Go look for the definition of terrorism in your dictionary and you’ll get something similar to, "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.” By this very definition, the only group gaining a political advantage from terrorism or the threat of terrorism is the White House! Who is creating the ‘terrorist threat’ to justify the windfall of power and money that goes hand in glove with new airport security regulations? The very same group pushing the security regulations.
Here’s a solution that would prevent another September 11 from happening, along with preventing our airports from becoming police state processing points. It’s a solution that is loaded with common sense, guaranteed to work, but would make no money for technology companies and wouldn’t contribute to feeding Total Information Awareness, which is just coincidentally why the government has been dragging its feet over implementing it. Arm the pilots.
Paul Joseph Watson is a writer and researcher based in Sheffield, England. He is the webmaster at both PropagandaMatrix.com and PrisonPlanet.com. Watson's new book Order Out of Chaos - published by Dandelion - will be released later this year.
Permission to reprint this article is granted providing the original author is cited and a link to PRISON PLANET.com is included. The views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Alex Jones.
|Targeting Tourists, Not Terrorists: Why Airport Security Is A Charade
By Paul Joseph Watson
The airports of the developed world have been turned into mini prototype police states, with little or no backlash from those forced to pass through them. But of course we’ll suffer any assault on our God-given rights to ‘save us from the terrorists,’ won’t we? This argument is based on the assumption that there are actual terrorists worth worrying about and secondly that the measures being taken in our airports are aimed at stopping their activity. Both claims cannot be substantiated.