Disney Count support may be spotty from here. We apologize for the inconvenience.

RFID on Foreign Nationals

http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000303052688/

"So apparently if you’re crossing the border from Canada to our fair land at one of three crossings and don’t actually happen to be of Canadian origin, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has stepped up the requirements for entry, which now includes a stipulation that those crossing not only carry with them RFID tags with their identification and biometric info, but that those tags be readable from 40 feet."

You just gotta love the department of homeland security. "I didn't steal anything, I set off your alarm system because I'm from Finland. Really."
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
So where do I get one, how much is it going to cost me, and how long will I have to wait? How many tourist dollars is this going to cost per year? And how, exactly, is it going to help keep the US safe?

I guess I won't be visiting again, anyway...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
"Visitors to the U.S. will get the card the first time they cross the border and will be required the carry the document on subsequent crossings to and from the States."

It will have biometric information embedded in it too. Fun fun fun.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
This is for those that don't have their passports updated to include the biometric information, hence our updating of the passports and the specious ID cards.

I wonder if anyone has calculated the cost in tourist revenue or are they complacent in the knowledge that Disneyland is more important than the increased irritation at just entering the country.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
And, of course, it will never occur to the terrorists to toss the RFID tag.

Morons.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 8th, 2005
"And, of course, it will never occur to the terrorists to toss the RFID tag."

That's the first thing I thought when I read this, but I think it's targetted towards policing the border crossing process and not you once you've entered the country. A quick scan and you can download someone's police records in an instant.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
Uh-huh, and the two seconds per person it will save comparing to scanning in their passports (which are already equipped with machine-readable database keys, even the old ones) is going to be an enormous help.

Especially considering the fact that you'll need to actually issue the RFID tags to people.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 8th, 2005
All I know is I got my passport a few years ago, and crossing into Canada & back was a simple matter of having someone look at my passport (no scanning) and ask me a few really dumb questions. Of course, I never entered the US as a non US citizen, so I don't know what that process is like.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
Entering the US as a foreigner is long, painful, and tedious. The INS inspectors seem to be universally humourless and give the impression that if they could find *anything* that would stop you from entering the country it would make their day. (More so post 9/11, but even 10 years ago I was always filled with dread whilst queing up behind the yellow line. I've even seen them send people to the back of the queue because they happened to have some portion of their body or luggage over the line and it's probably a deportable offence now!)

When I was about 16 I flew out with my younger sister (she was 9) and the INS guy asked if we were married. I laughed as I made the error of thinking he was cracking a funny, but it turns out he was deadly serious. Fucking moron...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
The US is very suspicious of anyone entering via Canada. My first ever visit to the US was for work in LA and as the company provided computers to Air Canada at the time the MD had arranged tickets with them, so I flew to LA via Toronto. This was entirely moronic.

Going through US Immigration in Toronto, since its treated as a domestic entry in LA, took a considerable time convincing them that there was a sane reason for this route.

But then many years later I was in Buffalo and decided to go take a look at Niagara Falls and drove across the Peace Bridge, apart from a cursory check on the US side the Canadians were the ones that gave me a hard time (Canadian Immigration always seems to give me a hard time), I drove around to Niagara (it was Winter, it was just me, some guy feeding birds and a lot of rushing water), and just zipped through US immigration on the other side.

It would probably be different today.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
Related and slightly off-topic

About a decade or so ago, I was in year 11 at school. 12th standard is High School Completion. During the long summer break I was asked by my school principal to take part in a national essay competition for children under the aegis of UNICEF. I wrote a two page essay on violence vis-a-vis non-violence. And I was chosen to represent India for a two-week international youth conference in the U. S. of A, all costs borne by the UN.

I approached the US Consulate in Madras, my home town, for a visa. All paper work including the invitation from UNICEF, my parents' financial standing, etc. were produced. I was refused a visa. I reported to UNICEF that I cannot make it. They faxed the consulate their invitation plus an undertaking that my return to India is their responsibility. I went back. I was refused again. The grounds for refusal was "you are a young man all of 14 years old from a middle class Indian family who is yet to finish High School. You will be an illegal migrant". This time I made a long distance call to UNICEF, told them the situation and apologised for not making it. I get a call from the consulate for a 3rd interview. A large gentleman interviewed me with the opening lines, "You sir have a lot of explaining to do. Just why is the head of UNICEF calling me for a visa for you?". I showed him a copy of my essay and started to walk off without saying a word. I was young enough to act haughty and be dramatic. I was granted a visa.

It so happened that my cousin was in the UK. He suggested that since I already am going to the US, why don't I stop over in London for a few days. With all the excitment and blood rushing into my head over the honour and the praise, I could not have said anything but "OK". So next stop has to be the UK consulate. Same story. "Come back tommorow morning with 2 children in primary school, then we will believe you when you say you will not overstay your visa". I wanted to walk off from here as well. But on second thoughts, I spoke at length explaining why this very same attitude is the reason I will _not_ stay back. I got the visa. I did not overstay in either nation. Later, I was offered a job in the U.S. on an H1B. I did not take it. Now, I am not even visiting as a tourist.

My conversation with the US Consul included, "Sir, keep this up and the U.S. of A will be the first modern nation to make 'guilty until proven innocent' the law".
Permalink KayJay 
August 8th, 2005
"The US is very suspicious of anyone entering via Canada."

Yeah... Oh I was going to say something about this, but didn't have exact facts so I put it aside. We can send people through customs if they come in through our own airport, but Canada is a weakness in our security system. If you couldn't enter the US for any given reason via one of the normal ways you could enter Canada and then come across the border where security is more lax.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
It's a sad irony that whilst the USA was built on economic migrants, it has the most tortuous immigration process in the entire world.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
Ah, but the original economic migrants were brave and fearless, pressing on into the great unknown to seek fame and fortune against overwhelming odds. This new lot are just looking for an easy ride, and they're *foreign* too...
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
It would be interesting to see what would happen if we relaxed the borders completely.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 8th, 2005
Something resembling a free market in labor.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
I'd be interested in seeing what would happen in the next election if we relaxed the borders completely.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 8th, 2005
Absolutely everything would be blamed on the immigrants. They're the ultimate political scapegoat, since they have no political representation.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
A few years ago there would have been a huge influx into the States. Not today. Thanks to the relentless efforts of the U. S. Of A. there have been enough advances in the rest of the world, especially since the economic reform of China has begun, for people to pursue the "American Dream" in their hometowns. That is not say there would be no influx at all. But certainly not at the scale it is feared.
Permalink KayJay 
August 8th, 2005
See, my dad's an economic migrant to the US -- he moved out about 20 years ago as his employer was setting up an office in Miami, and he's still there. (He's now CFO of hollywood.com) Because he doesn't *look* like a foreigner no-one seems to really consider him an economic migrant, nobody begrudges him his job or wants him to leave... It's only people who look different and/or are ble-collar workers that seem to stir ire in those people for whom immigrants are a scourge. Funny, that. Who'd have thought race had anything to do with it? :P
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 8th, 2005
There was an estimate I heard on the radio yesterday morning before going off to the Test that there were around 10 million illegal immigrants within the USA, the vast majority coming through the Mexican border.

Now if there were no border controls _anywhere_ then I think it would be interesting and there would be more of a free market in labour. This would still mean that if you were Mexican you'd end up washing dishes for some Californian Princess. It would also mean that companies wouldn't have to jump through hoops to hire the people they wanted either.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
I have crossed into the US as both a Dutch citizen and a Canadian citizen. (I hold dual citizenship now.) It is a hell of a lot easier as a Canadian. 

Dutch citizens are required to have a visa or fill in the green form at the border (and hand over $6 US). Filling in the green form means parking the car and going into the INS building. The INS people assume that anyone coming into their building should be ignored for 10 mins, belittled for 10 mins and then refused entry if at all possible.

Canadian citizens need to show ID and are basically waved through. I do have a passport so there may be more check if you try to go through with only a drivers license.

All that said, I try to go into the US as litlle as possible...
Permalink O Canader 
August 8th, 2005
What's so great about a free labor market? With limited jobs, the guy not working will always be willing to work for a dollar less. The wage will end up being a nickel an hour, at that rate.
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
There are plenty of unemployed people in the US *now* and that's not happened...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 8th, 2005
Not so far as you know.

:-)
Permalink muppet 
August 8th, 2005
>What's so great about a free labor market? With limited
>jobs, the guy not working will always be willing to work for
>a dollar less. The wage will end up being a nickel an hour,
>at that rate.

As things currently stand, the lack of freedom in the world labor market means that companies are able to play one national workforce off against another and drive down wages for both.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
I suspect this is the Hamptons perfecting their border defences while Warbucks shifts fortune to a more understanding environment like Lichtenstein.

You'll get used to it. Restrictions that is. Hunger, perhaps not.
Permalink trollop 
August 8th, 2005
"Absolutely everything would be blamed on the immigrants. They're the ultimate political scapegoat, since they have no political representation."

Except immigrants=hispanics, and hispanics apparently outnumber caucasians in the US these day.
Permalink Flasher T 
August 8th, 2005
Only they dont'.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 8th, 2005
In the past, in Florida, rental cars had different license plates than the cars that "natives" drove. There were about 200,000 Floridians with concealed weapons permits. No out-of-stater would be having a concealed weapon permit that would be valid in FL (it has since changed so that some other states' CCW permits are valid in FL). So the muggers could clearly identify who would be guaranteed weaponless and who might not be weaponless. Tourists leaving Miami, West Palm Beach and Orlando airports would have their cars rammed and when they got out, some would be killed while being robbed. Japanese tourists were the favorite since travellers checks and credit cards weren't as popular with those tourists as with others. So if you robbed a bank, you'd get, on average, $3,000. As well as the local, county state and federal police chasing you. If you robbed a Japanese tourist, you'd get, on average, $15,000 in cash. And only the local police might chase you.

Other countries were starting to tell their citizens to avoid going to dangerous third world countries like Afghanistan, Colombia and Florida. And Disney got bent about that so they started applying pressure to the state to do something.

The simplest cure was to change it so that rental cars no longer had "lease" stamped in the place that the county would go on the license plate, and to stop issuing license plates that started with the letter "Y" only to rental car companies. It didn't stop robberies, but the opportunistic predators switched to other prey.

Making tourists wear RFID badges that are readable from 40 feet away is a new way of painting targets on tourists. We've been there before, and don't seem interested in learning from history. Our current policies towards "security" are more of a kabuki play than real security. Looking good is more important than working. And stubbornness is considered a virtue, rather than thinking.
Permalink Peter 
August 8th, 2005
The most ironic part of all of this is that while this thread has been going on, 3,000 illegals and 4-5 tons of controlled substances have crossed the Mexican border alone.

But that's ok, because we need cheap laborers who don't get those pesky disability and health benefits.
Permalink Duff 
August 8th, 2005
As a US citizen, I believe that I have plenty of reasons to fear Canada.

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/lists/20SeanCarman.html
Permalink Snark 
August 9th, 2005
> Never had a "disco phase."

Not so!
Permalink If you want my body and you think I'm sexy come on baby let me k 
August 9th, 2005
That's right, yankees. We whipped you last time (ok, it was the war of 1812, but it's the principle, you know), and we can whip you again.

Bwa ha ha ha ha ...
Permalink Mongo 
August 9th, 2005
Why do we insist on making life miserable for ourselves?

Why is it so hard to accept that death is the price of life?

Blow us up... truth is, we really don't care. Just don't blow ME up.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 11th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: August, 2005 Other topics: August, 2005 Recent topics Recent topics