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Big security hole at US points of entry.

  1. Nov 15, 2006 #1


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    Just now on Al Jazeera TV, Ronald Noble of Interpol was interviewed. Interpol maintains a database of stolen and lost passports and has millions of them on file. He is concerned because they set up a database with which any government can check the validity of people passing through customs. Only two countries do so. Switzerland checks comprehensively, and they apprehend 100 people every month with stolen or lost passports. France checks passports against the Interpol list only at Charles de Gaulle airport.

    The question he poses is why are people forbidden to take liquids and gels on airplanes and why are they subject to more extensive searches since 9/11 if the countries involved won't take the time to even check the passports of international travelers. Noble says that "governments will fall" if another serious terrorist attack occurs that could have been averted by detecting people traveling with passports that have been reported lost or stolen. According to him, customs can very cheaply and easily access the Interpol passport database, so why are we not doing so?
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  3. Nov 15, 2006 #2
    Last spring a number(not disclosed) of blank Afghanistan passports were stolen.:confused: One would think that such documants would be kept very secure.


    Luckily for us, those trying to use the passports will supposedly be caught by the NSA's 5 billion dollar surveillance system when the those bad guys phone grandma in detroit.:rolleyes:
  4. Nov 15, 2006 #3
    I'm surprised at this thread. I thought it was obvious long ago that politicans have no interest in addressing the most basic security issues - only pulling expensive stunts for votes. Since the majority of the population is attention-deficient enough to go along with them, what's the point in discussing any of this? :confused: :frown:

    Case in point: no political will to secure the remaining thousands of loose ex-Soviet nukes - at a cost of a few billions.


    There's been a long back-and-forth between Moscow and Washington about this - almost two decades already. We'd like to have all that fissionable material secured at Oak Ridge or something - we're just too lazy to budget for it. Petty disputes have been stalling this absolutely critical venture for years, and will presumably continue to do so until those nukes get impatient and travel over here on their own two feet. Ending up in a cloud of actnide salts, of course.

    It's infuriating. This would cost less than one percent as much as SDI, or the Iraq War, and those particular initiatives did squat for national security. :grumpy:

    "If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity." -John F. Kennedy

    "I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully." -George W. Bush
  5. Nov 15, 2006 #4

    You have a point, but it doesn't discredit the OP.
    The terrorists didn't use those twenty year old Russian nukes on 911.

    The point here is that despite the billions that we have spent on secret wire taps and data mining, there is still a very obvious way for terrorists to enter this country.

  6. Nov 15, 2006 #5
    My point is very general - there's no point in discussing trivia when the biggest issues will inevitably go unresolved. It's a waste of worrying.

    But to address your specific point - so what? Foreign terrorists might as well enter legally and avoid suspicion (the 2001 hijackers did that). Terrorists could be born American citizens even. These are rather superficial measures being discussed.
  7. Nov 15, 2006 #6
    It is really disturbing that the NSA is busy pouring over mega tons of data, while the back door has been left open by DHS.:rolleyes:

    This tends to indicate govenment agencies still have an inability to communicate with each other.
  8. Nov 15, 2006 #7
    For the 5 billion bucks spent to prevent this from happening , they are not superficial.
  9. Nov 15, 2006 #8


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    I work with (not for) the Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Patrol, and I can't really say anything, except, these people are not a bunch of numb nuts, the bureaucracy they have to deal with is so deeply entrenched, getting approval for the slightest change is nearly impossible.
  10. Nov 15, 2006 #9


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    I can't see how this bears any resemblance to the passage you quoted.
  11. Nov 15, 2006 #10
    the thing that comes to my mind is 'what are the intentions of these huge projects when they can easily be abused and there are simpler routs (the interpol passport thing for example) that are so much cheaper, not abusable and already set up?"

    if i was living in the usa, these sorts of things would really bother me
  12. Nov 15, 2006 #11


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    Did you read what I said? It is the very restrictions that US Citizens supposedly WANT that prevent them from getting what they need.
  13. Nov 16, 2006 #12
    americans want to know they are safe. personally i think americans would feel less safe if they thought their government was over looking effective, cheap and simple resources for their safety, while at the same time warrentlessly recording their phone calls and spending huge sums of money to do it.

    i can see how a person might feel safe while they feel big brother's gloved hands doing a routine cavity search, but i think those people are a smaller portion of the population
  14. Nov 16, 2006 #13
    I did not mean to imply that the NSA, DHS or the individual persons working for the agencies are incompetent. Edward trying to get foot out of mouth : The problem lies with the inexperienced political appointees who are selected to run the programs, and the infighting that always seems to follow.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
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