I spend *way* too much time in a strangely enjoyable battle of wits and such with a group of die hard freepi and theocon types with time and anonymity on their side at Topix.
One of the reasons I'm often there is that it has one of the greatest news collections for LGBT stuff I've ever seen.
You can get the newswire rss for it here: http://www.topix.net/rss/wire/news/gay
That will give you an pretty unedited version.
One of the recent stories is an interesting one out of the UK. It appears that the US and the EU have reached an agreement to share information about travelers entering into the United States from abroad.
Lots of information.
The plans involve upgrading information which is already sent by airlines to the DHS on the 4-million-plus Britons who visit the US every year, including payment details, home address and the passengers in-flight meal choice.
The agreement adds 19 possible new categories, including information on ethnic origin, political and philosophical opinions, credit card numbers, trade union membership, sex life and details of the passengers' health.
The part that's laughable is that the inforamtion — and you'll note that some of it is the kind of stuff one writes entire books about — is provided by the one person that you'd think they'd turst the least to provide that information:
update below the fold
Now think about that for a second.
The ostensible reason for getitntg his sort of informationwould be, of course, to ensure the health and well being of American citizens.
It most certainly isn't, though. It can't be. Someone who wanted to actually do something would, siply enough, put something seemingly innocuous.
But wait, it gets better — it appears this whole deal is an under the table one.
Last week, the European Parliament said it noted that sensitive data will be made available to the DHS and that these data may be used by the DHS in exceptional cases, leading to, “a significant risk of massive profiling and data mining, which is incompatible with basic European principles and is a practice still under discussion in the US Congress.”
It emerged over the weekend that neither Hustinx nor the European Parliament knew about the final draft of the plan.
Check the article for more –it appears that even the person in charge of this stuff didn't know it was being done, and expressed a great deal of concern over it.
In light of this, the “Real ID” act suddenly gains a bit mre of a question in my mind –although of course that's just abit of paranoia brought about by living in a culture that is built on fear at this time.
Update: There is apparently even more inforamtion about this. Now this data will be saved for 17 years. Here's another article on it.
Information will be used only for preventing terrorism and “other serious offences that are transnational in nature”, according to a statement from the Commission.
But it will be accessible by any US law enforcement agency in pursuit of ” serious crimes”.
This from people who regularaly monitor every single iternet and phone transation in the Country.
but wait — it gets better:
The agreement has been accompanied by an Exchange of Letters wherein the DHS sets out to the Commission how the data will be handled.
However, procedures for monitoring the agreement to ensure that the US is not misusing the data will not be proposed by the Commission until October.
It is, however yet another reason we need to press for change from *anyone* who refuses to continue the practiceof using fear to drive America.