“London” is a reference to…modern day London, which has careened full throttle toward Orwell’s hellscape of 1984 by, as Cory Doctorow puts it, installing a “CCTV camera for every three blood cells.” Ironically, the late Orwell’s old neighborhood is covered with CCTV cameras.
The latest relevant news? It seems New York is going to turn New York City into a mirror of London, taking the first step of tracking all license plates that enter and leave Manhattan:
Security expert “sherri” posted to her blog her adventures of flying home without identification:
See, the official policy of the TSA and DHS, is if a person refuses to show ID, they will be refused admittance to the gates, no matter whether they have a boarding pass or not. But, if a person forgets or loses their ID, oh well then after a few questions and a phone call, off you go! Sherri describes how amazingly easy it is to get through security without ID and how it can be even easier to circumvent security altogether–proving security and cryptography expert Bruce Schneier’s point: “I donâ€™t think any further proof is needed that the ID requirement has nothing to do with security, and everything to do with control.”
Sherri makes a comment that is accurate and pertinent to both the TSA “security” as well as NYC’s Operation Sentinel and any other program which strives to track, monitor, and watch people:
Itâ€™s important for private citizens to be able to travel without being tracked if they wish. I am not a criminal. I just donâ€™t believe itâ€™s anybodyâ€™s business where I go. I understand the need for ensuring the safety of our transportation infrastructure, and as such, searching passengers before boarding makes sense.
The freedom to travel anonymously also underlies our right to peacefully assemble. When a government tracks its citizens and can arbitrarily decide to limit or cut off travel, that threatens our democracy. This is especially true in our global society, where many people rely on air travel, trains and the highway just to see their families.
TSAâ€™s new policy, which is to focus on finding â€œdangerous peopleâ€ rather than objects, poses enormous challenges. It requires that the agency make sweeping judgments about travelers with very little information, and in a very short amount of time. It is simply not feasible to accomplish this accurately.
We need to make sure our airports are safe, but at the same time, we have to be very careful not to destroy the very thing we are trying to protect: our free country.