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Monday, 24 March 2008

Nothing to fear.

"You have nothing fear if you do not break the Law." Is the oft heard mantra of two distinct sets of people. One set has those who are set to profit from the constant fear mongering by our government. Set two has those who do not care about freedom or rights even after they have had it explained in words of 2 syllables or less just how their freedom and rights are being eroded slowly but surely. Set one has everything to gain , money and power, wealth and privilidge, and simply loves set two. Set two refuses to acknowledges set one existence.

The latest incursion on our freedom and basic rights is that the all new and shiney British Airways Terminal 5 owned by the BAA are planning to take finger print swabs off every person, man, woman and child, who passes through that terminal. More here.

If this not an infringement on our rights as a British citizen that I do not know what is. The implcations of such a gross misappropriation of our basic rights and freedoms I do not know what is. What makes this incursion all the worse is the fact it does not come from a government agency but from an everyday retailer that people trust with ther lives every time they fly. They are a common business. No more, no less.

The future implications of such an act is enormous. They claim they will keep the data for 24 hours after which it will be deleted. But, it does not take a genious to work out that because they say they will delete the fingerprint information does not mean they will actually do so. They could keep the data for years. they could be forced to hand over the information to the police within that 24 hour window. Thereby giving the police the biometric data they are so desperate to hold about every citizen in this country. They could cross reference the data they are holding with foreign countries breaking every Law in this country in the process but do you seriously think they worry about such piffling things?

"It is for your own good." They claim. "You have nothing to fear if you don't break the Law." They claim. They use a prefabricated rubbish about terrorists in and effort to make you see they are not after you but after 'them'.

I bet the police, which is becoming more and more politicised as time goes by, will be watching this one closely and if the BAA get away with it and implement this then it is only a matter of time before everything to do with traveling implements something similar. But, it is not you they are after. It is those prefabricated terrorists that exist only in the minds of politicians.

The Data Protection Act was devised as a means to stop such as this but companies with the power to do so have a total disregard for these rules. They think that the people who fly will just roll over and do whatever they are told to do but I think the BAA have gone too far this time and the people will speak by either using an alternative airport or by using alternative transport. There is enough bullshit about climate change and carbon footprints to nudge people away fron flying as a means to get from A to B. Especially, on so called short hop flights like London to Manchester etc.

It is bad enough that the goverment themselves trample all over previously designated privacy rules but when we have companies doing it then it sets a dangerous precident. A very very dangerous precedent indeed.

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