Stupid Security

I’ve written before about my dislike for certain countries ideas about security, and I picked up a link to Stupid Security blog from Joe.

I started reading about Peter Kaiser’s experiences dating back to 2003 when he got refused entry to the USA. This guy is a UN aid worker, holding three passports, on his way to Chair a meeting about aid at the UN, and was refused entry.
Mark Shuttleworth also has a tale of how he now gets detained every time he enters the USA

I’ve had one or two brushes with immigration in the past, once being detained for a while re-entering Singapore from Malaysia, and once re-entering the UK from Dubai – “You have a beard, are you a Muslim convert” – ooh that makes me feel so confident in the security of our country if that is the line of questioning of British Immigration officials.

Standing in line for immigration entering the USA a few months ago, I felt somewhat nervous. Fortunately, there was no problem other than the obligitary hour long wait, which almost caused me to miss my connecting flight. Oh, and the over zealous security on the way out of the country. It wasn’t actually much quicker getting back into the UK when my flight landed – at least they get one right in the USA – if you’re a citizen you’re given priority at immigration. When I landed, everyone went through together, which resulted in very long lines and waits as it appeared that half the desks weren’t manned most of the time as well.

This guy had a real problem when he came back into the UK, mind you he did appear not to have all the paperwork that he should have in place.

Yes, I am off travelling again later this week, but this time I’m only off a short distance to the Isle of Man, and I’m taking the ferry – some of my colleagues suggested that I might fly, but apart from the nastiness that causes in the upper atmosphere, I think the ferry will be more enjoyable, and I get to take my car to somewhere with no national speed limit.

Of course, I should be taking the bike, but due to double booking with the Corris Railway training weekend, I will be away from home for a reasonable time, and will have to be taking railway related paraphernalia, plus I don’t really trust the weather at this time of the year.

I did start the bike over the weekend, after a couple of months it needed the battery charging – yes I know I’m a fair weather biker, but hey, I can be so why not? I still need to do a service on it, and then it’ll be ready to get back on the road regularly for the summer.

Enough brain dump for now.

2 Replies to “Stupid Security”

  1. Well, the US have lost *my* future tourist dollars, that’s for sure. Entering LAX as a skanky backpacker, I made sure I shaved and put on my best (albeit creased) shirt for immigration. They still gave me the third degree, emptied my bag clean out, and fingerprinted me of course. I also got a second, harsher military-style grilling – some jumped up little #### barking at me inches from my face – on reentering a second time from Canada.

    You can almost smell the fear and mistrust there; I won’t be going back if I can help it.

  2. Stupid Security. You have to love it.

    Thankfully all of my flying is within Europe. Security at Birmingham is really rather tight but at the other airports I’ve been through recently (Bristol, Geneva, Brussels International) Everyone has been considerate and well mannered. Its worth nothing that most of my flights are in and out of the EU between the UK and Switzerland (EFA) so there are many immigration issues in Switzerland but their attitude is far better than the US.

    With a bit of luck I’m off to San Diego in September to attend FOSCON, perhaps I should grow a beard before I go…. 😀

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