August 20, 2007

Time to leave? Time to become a hermit?

The Real ID Act is making headlines again, although it really should be getting more MSM attention than it has been getting so far. CNN has published an article about what is required for states to comply with the act, and the privacy concerns associated with it. A few states and both the EFF and ACLU have been lobbying against the act, and I strongly disagree with it as well.

Ever since introducing more and more security theater at airports (how can any intelligent person believe a 4oz. liquid restriction is the answer to terrorist attacks), I've been more and more bent on boycotting travel by air. I simply don't want to put up with the stupidness of such things, and feel like agreeing to do so for the purpose of travel is an implicit acceptance of this policy. There should be no restrictions on my travel within the United States, be it by car, bus, train, or plane. Anything less is how you treat a criminal. It's perfectly legal to fly without identification right now, and it should remain so even if you do have to jump through extra hoops.

Bruce Schneier recently interviewed Kip Hawley, head of the TSA, about all of this security theater. A good read for anyone who really wants to understand what the TSA is trying to accomplish, how it is trying to do it, and what some of the real concerns and complaints with their approach are.

So this all leaves me with a question. One that I've been asking myself for a long time, probably over the past four or five years. Should I make real plans to leave the United States? The alternative is to remain in a system where our civil liberties have already been taken away and both domestic and foreign policy has made the U.S. very unpopular (as it has with me). Surviving in such a system requires me to accept the loss of the things I believe in, because once laws and powers are granted in Congress they're almost never repealed. I have little hope that a Democratic President or legislative majority will undo what has been done.

Where would I go, anyway? Many countries are either directly involved or supporting U.S. illegal activity, such as rendition. Although it is heartening to know many countries are conducting investigations into and trying to stop their involvement. I wouldn't be comfortable in a culture that was very different than the one I'm used to. Britian has become the country with the highest CCTV to citizen ratio in the world. Canada is a good possibility though, despite their publicized role in rendition which seems to be a result of trusting the U.S. more than they should have.

Posted by josuah at August 20, 2007 2:59 AM UTC+00:00

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