Friday, November 19, 2010

TSA in the USA

I'm not your typical traveler. I suffer from general anxiety disorder and so my reactions to the TSA's recently implemented security measures probably mess with me more than your average person. When my wife and I started talking about taking a flight to her SWIM program classes in Montana, I decided to do some looking around the intertoobs about the state of air travel. For me, it had been awhile.

Frankly, I'm more afraid of having to go through the TSA screening process than I am facing the prospect of being on a flight about to be hijacked. At least with terrorists I can take action, have recourse and some idea of their intentions. The TSA appears to have immunity and powers that regular law enforcement (with ten times the training) does not have. At least with terrorists, I can rip an armrest off my seat and try to cave in their skulls providing them independent oversight and myself some measure of recourse.

Is the hit to your civil liberties and dignity worth the false sense of security the TSA grants? 20 million air travelers this holiday season think so. Do those who sacrifice their liberty for security really deserve neither? I'm not really sure.

I think it really departs from being a privacy issue in the world we currently live in. We opt out of our privacy every time we activate the location services on our iOS device, log on to our Facebook Accounts, use Gmail, buy a car with GPS or Blog online about it. People relinquish their privacy all the time without giving it a second thought. I'm no different in that respect.

Even with all the reading and research I've done recently, the thing about the TSA's practices that bother me have little to do with the TSA. I think my overall disgust isn't with them or the way in which they do their jobs. Mostly, I can't believe I've inherited a world where such a thing is even necessary.

Politicians keep telling me and my fellow citizens that the military actions we've taken overseas is making for a safer America. 20 million people this holiday season are okay with the fact that our government has utterly failed to deliver on that promise. I'm not angry with the TSA, I'm angry at the people whose actions created the conditions whereby the existence of such an agency became necessary.

Take the Combating Online Infringement & Counterfeits Act that was adopted unanimously by the Senate's Judiciary Committee. It's not the stupidest thing to come out of our nation's capital in the last twelve months, but it's top 5. Do I think people should pirate and hack media for mass redistribution online to the detriment of the original creator? No.

Do I think this piece of legislation would have fixed the problem? It doesn't matter. Ultimately the outcome would be the US looking stupid as they tried to open foreign markets to homegrown and legit internet/online content and services. 40 of those foreign markets already engage in rampant online censorship. Censorship our government should allegedly oppose. Something about free speech being a part of our way of life. It's there somewhere, look it up.

Even if the legislation had worked (laugh, giggle, chortle, LoL, etc) we'd have ended up hurting our own case to aid legitimate online services entering foreign markets. Stupid? Self-defeating? Ill-conceived? I give you the majority of the United States Legislative Branch. There are so few people in the Senate and Congress with a clue, I'm terrified to see what they'll do next.

It's like watching someone throw gasoline and rage-virus infected baboons on a train wreck.

Thank God Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat from Oregon) had the sand to stand up and say no to COICA.

No comments:

Post a Comment