Azara Blog: UK government wants to introduce a no-fly list

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Date published: 2010/01/20

The BBC says:

Fresh measures to track terror suspects and strengthen airport security after the attempted Christmas Day bomb plot have been announced by Gordon Brown.

A "no-fly list" is to be set up to stop suspected terrorists from travelling to the UK while other individuals under suspicion will undergo thorough checks.
A new "no-fly list" will identify individuals who will not be allowed to enter the country because of suspected terrorist links.

Individuals who have attracted the attention of the authorities but are considered lower-risk will be listed in a second category.

They will be subject to "special measures", such as more extensive screening, before being allowed to fly to the UK, although officials said they could not divulge what this would entail.

By the end of the year, all UK airports and ports will be covered by the e-borders scheme, which he said meant information passengers provide when buying tickets can be checked against the watch lists.
The Conservatives, who have called for a "radical" rethink of the UK's security approach, welcomed the introduction of a "no-fly list".

This is a typical knee-jerk government proposal. The US no-fly list has been a complete shambles. 4-year old kids and grannies and famous pop stars are routinely harassed. And is there any evidence that even a single terrorist has been stopped? There is no reason to believe that the UK no-fly list will do any better.

The key is in the innocuous BBC reporting. It says "A new no-fly list will identify individuals". How are they going to "identify individuals"? Through "information passengers provide when buying tickets". Information such as name and address. But in the US the authorities seem to filter only on name, and presumably nobody trusts the address, since it is easy to change that. But in any case every terrorist organisation knows that this information is used as a filter, so (surprise) will use people not on the list, or get names and addresses, etc., changed. It is only innocent people, or dumb terrorists, who will be caught by these filters.

Even worse, once you are (somehow) on a no-fly list there is no way you can get off it. The government can decide you are guilty without any trial and without any redress.

And it is unfortunate that the next Tory government is already setting itself up to be just as bad as the current Labour government, because once they are in power, they will no doubt go downhill from their current expressed views.

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