Notable: No Fly Lists

A UK immigration officer decided to get rid of his wife by putting her on the no-fly list, ensuring that she could not return to the UK from abroad. This worked for three years, until he put in for a promotion and — during the routine background check — someone investigated why his wife was on the no-fly list.

Okay, so he’s an idiot. But the real piece of news here is how easy it is for a UK immigration officer to put someone on the no-fly list with absolutely no evidence that that person belongs there. And how little auditing is done on that list. Once someone is on, they’re on for good.

That’s simply no way to run a free country.

-Schneier on Security

How hard do you think it would be for politicians to get their opponents, or detractors, on the no fly list, if this man can get his wife on there as a form of virtual divorce? How often do we think, “well, they work for the government, so we can trust them?” We treat “the government” as if it were some form of “other,” or self existing organism with pure motives and faults only of innocence.

This one story should illustrate how wrong we are.

Government that isn’t by the people is still by people; if you can’t trust the crowd, and you can’t trust your neighbor, then you can’t trust the government.

Comments are closed.