Your Documents Please

I\’ve missed this one so far:

We now accept with apparent equanimity that the state has the right to demand to know, among other things, how your ticket has been paid for, the billing address of any card used, your travel itinerary and route, your email address, details of whether your travel arrangements are flexible, the history of changes to your travel plans plus any biographical information the state deems to be of interest or anything the ticket agent considers to be of interest.

What\’s Porter on about?

Combined with the ID card information, which comes on stream in a few years\’ time, the new travel data means there will be very little the state won\’t be able to find out about you. The information will be sifted for patterns of travel and expenditure. Conclusions will be drawn from missed planes, visits extended, illness and all the accidents of life, and because this is a government database, there will be huge numbers of mistakes that will lead to suspicion and action being taken against innocent people.

Those failing to provide satisfactory answers will not be allowed to travel and then it will come to us with a leaden regret that we have in practice entered the era of the exit visa, a time when we must ask permission from a security bureaucrat who insists on further and better particulars in the biographical section of the form. Ten, 15 or more years on, we will be resigned to the idea that the state decides whether we travel or not.

Who pays for the £1.2bn cost over the next decade? You will, with additional charges made by your travel agent and in a new travel tax designed to recoup the cost of the data collection.

Obviously, at some point my eyes glazed over and I missed it all. Anyone got further details? At first glance this would seem to fall foul of the freedom of movement…..or does that have a "security" get out clause?

Ah, I see more of it with Jenkins:

This is not responsible government. Yet on the advice of a self-confessed “simple sailor” security adviser, Admiral Lord West, Brown is now to encircle Britain with an “e-border”. All comers and goers are to be electronically recorded and asked to supply addresses, phone numbers and computer details, up to 53 items of personal information. Officials are to be given powers to revoke visitor visas at immigration desks without appeal. It will make America’s draconian immigration control seem like open house.

I\’ve been subjected to that cancellation of visas without appeal myself. It\’s quite possibly the one most important thing about the US practice that I would insist should never be tried by any sensible nation.

Sheesh. Still, at least al the Federasts will be annoyed, it entirely puts to an end any idea of joining the Schengen arrangements. Other than that I can\’t actually see any merit at all.

7 comments on “Your Documents Please

  1. Don’t get your hopes up about Schengen. In spirit, the UK’s implementation of this under the e-borders programme is perfectly in line with with the EU plans for Passenger Name Record systems and ‘threat profiling’.

    Look at the two and you MIGHT think you see differences in numbers of items of information demanded, but the real point is the production of permanent records with threat profiles attached. They can easily twiddle ‘number of items’ in order to sing in tune.

  2. Henry Porter is completely right to be worried. All he fears is technically possible and well within the ideology of New Labour. We may yet come to rely on Statist incompetence to save us.

  3. Kay Tie,
    If you had ever bothered to read anything about the totalitarian states of the twentieth century you would know that the Soviet and Nazi states were extremely competent at repressing their citizens. Our only real hope is the private sector contractors running it as well as the NHS IT project.

  4. Comrade, of course you may leave the country. The State will ensure that your assets are carefully safeguarded until your return…

  5. Of course ‘security’ has a get out clause. Its one of the two ‘arguments’ used by the statist and authoritarian, the other being ‘the environment’.
    They expect us not to argue with them on those – argue with the former and you’re ‘soft on crime’ or ‘putting British lives at risk’, argue with the latter and you’re a ‘denier’ on par with a holocaust denier.

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