Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Seems to be a deep instinct in human beings for making everything compulsory that isn't forbidden.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

November 30, 2006

Big Brother Is Checking Your Meal

by Doug Mataconis

Proving that it is on top of the latest developments in terrorist detection, the Department of Homeland Security has revealed it tracks airline passengers based on what meal they order:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Without notifying the public, federal agents have assigned millions of international travelers, including Americans, computer-generated scores rating the risk they pose of being terrorists or criminals.

The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments. The government intends to keep the scores on file for 40 years.

The scores are assigned to people entering and leaving the United States after computers assess their travel records, including where they are from, how they paid for tickets, their motor vehicle records, past one-way travel, seating preference and what kind of meal they ordered.

Let me guess how the Washington guys figured this one. The guy who orders the Halal meal is obviously the next Mohammed Atta.

Does anyone remember that, before they flew planes into buildings, the 9/11 hijackers visited Las Vegas and hung out in strip clubs ? Does anyone think that a truly dedicated al Qaeda terrorist would broadcast his existence by ordering an Islamic meal ?

Does anyone in Washington have an ounce of brains ?

Forget I asked that last one.

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1 Comment

  1. DHS an other agencies are enamored with data mining. Just the number crunching, forgeting that “garbage in” still equals “garbage out.”

    Comment by VRB — December 1, 2006 @ 5:12 am

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