Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good News: Feds Are Tracking Your Border Crossings!

If you travel internationally and return by land, you'll be pleased to know about a newly announced federal weapon in the war on terror -- a program which has already begun recording (and will continue to record) all your land entrances into the US in a database designed to protect the nation from people like you.

You know who you are, don't you? You probably drive a car, or maybe you ride on a bus or a train. You go to Canada or Mexico, for day trips or vacations.

You don't go to Europe or Asia, or the Caribbean, not to mention Australia or New Zealand. You can't afford to travel by plane, and you don't own your own yacht, so you must be up to no good. Or at least that's what we have to assume.

By enabling the government to track when, where and how often you return to the US, the national database will help to protect us from indescribable dangers which can only be averted by enabling the government to track when, where and how often you return to the US.

By keeping this data over a long period of time and mining it aggressively, the government will be able to identify the dangerous people who cross the border often, or seldom, or at the same time every day, or at different times every day. This sort of analysis works best with a massive collection of data, so you will be very happy to hear that this is exactly what they're building.

Fortunately, the information gathered by border inspection officers and stored in this national database will be kept for at least fifteen years, so we can all be confident that the enormous effort devoted to data collection and storage won't be wasted -- instead the data-mining opportunities will be maximized.

Fortunately as well, the information in the database will not be selfishly hoarded by the federal government; on the contrary, it could be made available to foreign governments trying to decide whether or not to let you in, corporations trying to decide whether to hire or fire you, and/or law enforcement officers trying to decide whether or not you're an unlawful enemy combatant. These provisions will help keep us safe from hazards so awful I'd prefer not to describe them.

Furthermore, you'll be thrilled to know that the newly announced federal program is not a violation of your right to privacy. You actually have no such right, and you never did.

So don't worry about it -- just enjoy!

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