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Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the come-now-citizen-what-are-you-hiding? dept.

United Kingdom 337

New submitter pefisher writes "The British are apparently admitting that they track their citizens as they travel the world (through information provided by intelligence agencies) and are arresting them if they have been somewhere that frightens them. 'Sir Peter, who leads the Association of Chief Police Officer's "Prevent" strategy on counter-terrorism, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that those returning from Syria "may well be charged and investigated, but they will be put into our programmes".' The program seems to consist of being spied on by the returnee's cooperative neighbors."

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337 comments

No (4, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 3 months ago | (#46076125)

The Iron Curtain kept people from escaping from oppressive regimes. This article is just talking about prosecuting people who have been fighting for terrorists, and scrutinizing those suspected of hanging around with terrorists. It has auras of creepy surveillance, but definitely is not an Iron Curtain.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076163)

There are certain places in the world that if you go you should be setting off alarm bells.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076303)

Exactly. Like the United States. They start or get involved in many, may wars, spy on every other nation on earth and even track their own people like dogs with microchips under their skin.

If you're traveling to the US your intentions surely must be questioned.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076395)

You forgot some pertinent facts: The U.S. has a long history of funding terrorists, supporting coups, and undermining democracies.

Re:No (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076433)

You forgot some pertinent facts:

Indeed I did.

The U.S. has a long history of funding terrorists, supporting coups, and undermining democracies.

Indeed they do.

Re:No (3, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#46076559)

Then we must all persuade those who are visiting, or working in the U.S. to leave. The sooner the better. It's to fight terrorism; and save their babies.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 3 months ago | (#46076733)

The U.S. has a long history of funding terrorists, supporting coups, and undermining democracies.

Nation-state acts to further its own perceived self-interests. News at eleven!

Oh, I'm sorry, did you want more than a sarcastic one liner? Geopolitics make for strange bedfellows. Democratic Finland allied itself with Nazi Germany during WW2. That doesn't make them Nazis. My country has done some very regrettable things throughout the course of history, some of which were understandable in the context of the times (particularly the Cold War, something few people around here can truly relate to), some of which weren't. Either way, we didn't do anything every other nation-state hasn't done and continues to do.

Realpolitik is a bitch sometimes, isn't it? When you're fighting for national survival you're going to side with the despot that will ally with you over the democracy that won't.

Re:No (1, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#46076865)

True.. the US did the dirty work of NATO, so europe could have someone to blame if/when it goes bad. The russians also tried their hands at 'nation building', and failed spectacularly as well.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#46077287)

"There are certain places in the world that if you go you should be setting off alarm bells."

I see. Guilt by association is now okay? That's news to me.

I don't give the slightest damn where people go. It's what they do when they get there that matters.

While it might not be like an "iron curtain", per se, it certainly IS like a dictatorial police state.

Re:No (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076219)

The Iron Curtain itself was only possible because of information networks like these surveillance efforts. A modern version of it would not take the same form, but could meet the same ideological ends (keeping people from making any moves not condoned by their regimes, including leaving them).

Just saying they're not the same right now isn't good enough, even if they will never be exactly the same thing.

Re:No (2)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#46076453)

If it is an "iron curtain" is a whole different question that, "would it assist the implementation of one if they tried."

I would argue that if you're worried about that happening in the future, being honest about the current situation is more valuable than hyperbole and propaganda that intentionally overstates the situation.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076629)

And I would argue that few people will even have a discussion until they are drawn to it by hyperbole and/or propaganda. But I do agree that Slashdot is full of people who miss the point altogether and just focus on the narrowest and most useless parts of the conversation, so it might not be the best place to start the discussion with hyperbole.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076443)

Depends on what your definition of terrorist is.
Right now, according to those running these programs it's "There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt."

Re:No (4, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about 3 months ago | (#46076635)

Fighting for terrorists? Like the ones sending drones to schools and weddings? The club may be far bigger than you think.

Re:No (4, Funny)

crutchy (1949900) | about 3 months ago | (#46076959)

The Iron Curtain kept people from escaping from oppressive regimes

oh you mean like the united states government

This article is just talking about prosecuting people who have been fighting for terrorists

oh you mean CIA operatives

scrutinizing those suspected of hanging around with terrorists

oh you mean congressmen

Tell that to the Uighur of China !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077365)

The Iron Curtain kept people from escaping from oppressive regimes. This article is just talking about prosecuting people who have been fighting for terrorists, and scrutinizing those suspected of hanging around with terrorists. It has auras of creepy surveillance, but definitely is not an Iron Curtain.

Please tell that to the Uighur of China !

China is also using the same "terrorism" excuses to suppress its Uighur population.

Isn't that a bit too hypocritical for the West to criticize China while they themselves are preparing to do the same thing to their own Muslim citizens ?

For everyone who said "what do you have to hide?" (5, Insightful)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 3 months ago | (#46076137)

In discussions about government spying and surveillance, there is often a vocal group who says "if you don't have anything to hide, then this spying should not bother you."

The counter argument is that governments have tended to take information they are given and when the right person is in power, or the right sentiment strikes the public, those programs are expanded and distorted beyond their original intent.

I'm sure in the 1970s and 1980s when these programs were first beginning to be set up, they had noble intentions of only ever targeting known criminals and spys, and eventually were justified by saying that if makes people feel more secure in a post-9/11 world.

But the reality is, even without these programs, we live in the safest time that humanity has ever seen. The odds of dying of a freak accident like choking on a grape are more real to the average person than terrorism, or crime.

This is not the right solution to this invented problem.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (5, Insightful)

tapspace (2368622) | about 3 months ago | (#46076361)

Spot on. I just lost my modpoints, or I wouldn't be commenting, I'd be promoting.

Like all rational policy, there needs to be some sort of risk/reward analysis objectively performed on the "security" aparatus in the West. For 100 years of claiming superiority as the "first" world, we seem to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater at an alarming rate seemingly in reaction to the various growing pains in the "second" (and, in some cases, "third") world. What happened to our example? Even more frighteningly, what WILL happen? The massive security aparatus of the West (and, obviously, the US first and foremost) represents an enormous risk to future security of the freeman. And, it counters an absolutely miniscule risk in comparison. This is no sensible policy. I pray to God (literally) that this is reversible.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (3, Interesting)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#46076471)

The US is not "first and foremost," the UK has 100% information sharing with the US. We are fully and entirely the same team in this.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077145)

... the UK has 100% information sharing with the US.

riiiiight. mini me, you complete me!

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076963)

I pray to God (literally) that this is reversible.

I see. Well, thanks for nothing. Some of us are trying to do something about it. Maybe you could help instead of chatting to your invisible friends about it...

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077207)

Some of us are trying to do something about it. Maybe you could help instead of chatting to your invisible friends about it...

Just so as you are aware, sounding off all indignant on Slashdot (and coming off sounding all ignorant) is about as productive as chatting to invisible friends.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077107)

What happened to our example?

In the good old days, the feds seized and read all communications entering or exiting the border. All people of Japanese ancestry were sent to concentration camps because some of them may have had sympathies to the Emperor. Obscenity and sedition were crimes as they always had been, and the Supreme Court recognized them as exemptions to the First Amendment. Homosexuality was a crime as God intended. Need I go on?

Getting back to the topic, anybody who came back to the US or Britain after volunteering for the Wehrmacht in the middle of the war would have been shot after a very short trial.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076723)

The odds of dying of a freak accident like choking on a grape are more real to the average person than terrorism, or crime.

"Stay tuned for the weekend weather, but first: Silent Killers could be Lurking in your Kitchen, waiting to Strangle you and your loved ones. As troops receive a warm welcome home, the President is actually calling for an increased budget to prevent what Leading Threat Analysts call a War on gRape."

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | about 3 months ago | (#46076765)

The counter argument is that governments have tended to take information they are given and when the right person is in power, or the right sentiment strikes the public, those programs are expanded and distorted beyond their original intent.

You don't even have to look at surveillance programs to prove this point. My favorite example? The US Census was used to assist in the rounding up of Japanese-Americans for internment. It was also given to General Sherman during the Civil War and helped his Army identify productive areas of the South to destroy during the March to the Sea. Neither usage was condoned by the laws in force at the time the data was collected. The usage to track down Japanese-Americans wasn't even legal at the time and remained secret for decades after the war.

I get my census form and they get one piece of information: X number of people live here. Race? "Other: American"

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077033)

I did that in 1990, and they called me back on it.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (1)

dwater (72834) | about 3 months ago | (#46077219)

what happened then?

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (3, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 3 months ago | (#46077289)

Don't know what happened to the poster to whom you're responding, but I always answer the census form only with the number of people here. I've gotten personal visits from census takers; I tell them, "I've told you all I'm going to tell you, good day." I have not yet been dragged off to Gitmo for doing so.

The Constitution authorizes an enumeration, not an interrogation. Other demographic information that the feds may legitimately desire -- it is useful to base policy on data, after all -- can be obtained via voluntary anonymous surveys.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (1)

dwater (72834) | about 3 months ago | (#46077253)

iinm, something similar happened in the UK too, if you can count the Isle of Man as the UK :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl... [bbc.co.uk]
"Isle of Man church service marks Manx link to Holocaust"

"The Manx Holocaust memorial service is a "poignant" reminder of the Isle of Man's role as an internment centre during WW2, said organisers.

Between 1940 and 1945 thousands of Jewish refugees were held as "enemy aliens" in six island internment camps."

Shameful. Kind of reminds me of Gitmo...

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (2)

hjf (703092) | about 3 months ago | (#46077275)

How about the one of... i don't know what country, which recorded peoples' religions so they could give them proper burial. Until they were invaded by the nazis. You know how germans love efficiency, you can only imagine what a happy day it must have been for them.

Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (2)

dido (9125) | about 3 months ago | (#46077273)

Very well put. What I like to say to people who say that they have nothing to hide is a quote from Cardinal Richelieu: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." This massive trove of surveillance data can and will be used against anyone whom the powers that be don't like, and it is very easy to twist casual remarks and jokes out of proportion, to destroy the credibility of someone who may rock the boat. God forbid you are actually be doing something perfectly legal that isn't socially acceptable. If you stay one of the proles, sure you have nothing to fear, but if you try to do something useful like, oh, try to run for public office with a mind to changing how the government does things, those six million lines and counting describing everything you've ever said and done will be examined, and they will definitely find something in them which will hang you.

Irony (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076165)

That Britain is the place where 1984 actually happens.

Re:Irony (4, Insightful)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 3 months ago | (#46076249)

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

More seriously, it is getting a bit that way here and the idea that you can be held simply for travelling to a country the government of the day doesn't like is outrageous.

For a start anything you do outside the country is none of their damn business. Secondly people may well have very legitimate reasons for going, perhaps they have friends/family there, perhaps they're working for an aid agency, amnesty, independent media or doctors without borders? This country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Additionally, this scumbag government is trying to get rid of the human rights act and withdraw us from the european convention on human rights, the tabloid fodder they're using to justify it is that prisoners may get the vote if we stay in. (which they should have anyway, they're supposed to lose their liberty, that is all, not be tortured/raped/beaten in private prisons or detention centres and not disenfranchised.)

Re:Irony (2)

hjf (703092) | about 3 months ago | (#46077315)

Some countries (i think the US) have laws against sex tourism. So if you go to another country, where it's legal, and have sex with a prostitute, you could be prosecuted for that. Yes, I know, the point of the law isn't that. It's about discouraging sex tourism to places like cambodia where people go to have sex with children. But really, even with that, it's really a bit too far fetching. The intentions of the law may be good... but punishing people for what they do outside their own sovereignity isn't the way.

The problem with laws is that they're just words written in paper. And the constitution is just another law. They could just as easily make an ammendment to the constitution allowing for "secret laws" you have to follow, but you can't know about (based on the principle that ignorance of the law is not a defense). Like the soviets did.

Re:Irony (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 3 months ago | (#46076673)

This Britain is where 2014 is actually happening, and is making 1984 look outdated, and optimistic.

If you go to Syria, then rats will eat your face. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076177)

You will love the Party.

Iron curtain? (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 3 months ago | (#46076179)

The notion of this being an Iron Curtain is a bit silly IMHO.

However every country on Earth has laws against their citizens defecting to the enemy, and serving as enemy combatants. Why should Muslims get a free pass, because it's currently unfashionable to call them out on antisocial and illegal behaviour (under the rubric of "anti racism")?

You don't, as a Muslim or anybody else, move to the land of milk and honey, take advantage, and then go and wage war against your country's interests. If you do so, then your adopted country is well within its rights to deal with you as they would any traitor.

Re:Iron curtain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076215)

But that's what this article is trying to point out. The west opposes assad. These guys oppose assad. Shouldn't they be given a hero's welcome?

Re:Iron curtain? (3, Informative)

benjfowler (239527) | about 3 months ago | (#46076261)

They are, by and large, joining al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups.

If that doesn't constitute treason, then I don't know what is.

This hasn't been lost on the good proportion of our elites, who have wisely seen this, and have decided that Syria is best left well alone. A self-cleaning oven, if you will.

Re:Iron curtain? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076295)

I don't see how joining the rebels in Syria as a Brit makes one a traitor. So long as your actions are not directed against the UK, it would not be treason, at least in the classical sense.

Re:Iron curtain? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 3 months ago | (#46076979)

They are, by and large, joining al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups.

If that doesn't constitute treason, then I don't know what is.

try telling that to john mccain

Re:Iron curtain? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 3 months ago | (#46077331)

They are, by and large, joining al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups.

U.S. servicemen in WWII fought on the same side as the Soviets. Therefore, joining the U.S, Army is joining a Communist-affiliated militant group.

"Many news outlets and analysts frame all foreign fighters as terrorists or al Qaeda-aligned. The reality is more complex. As mentioned above, not all rebel forces in Syria are jihadist in orientation, nor are all the jihadist groups linked to al Qaeda. Furthermore, not everyone who has joined a jihadist group has been motivated by a fully formed jihadist worldview.... Based on the sheer scale of recruitment that is currently taking place, European security services are well advised to monitor the situation closely and adopt an intelligence-led, highly discriminate approach towards dealing with returning fighters." -- http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/european-foreign-fighters-in-syria [washingtoninstitute.org] [emphasis added]

Re:Iron curtain? (1)

top_down (137496) | about 3 months ago | (#46076457)

A hero's welcome ha ha.

What would the festivities be like? Letting them bomb a few buses?

Most people in the west oppose both Assad and Al-Qaeda.

Re:Iron curtain? (5, Interesting)

greenbird (859670) | about 3 months ago | (#46076745)

The notion of this being an Iron Curtain is a bit silly IMHO.

You're right. What they're doing is far more oppressive and effective than anything the creators of the Iron Curtain ever dreamed of.

However every country on Earth has laws against their citizens defecting to the enemy, and serving as enemy combatants.

Those laws are supposed to be applicable when the country is at war, at least in a country with rule of law. I wasn't aware that Britain was at war with Syria.

Why should Muslims get a free pass, because it's currently unfashionable to call them out on antisocial and illegal behaviour (under the rubric of "anti racism")?

So now what you're saying is that "antisocial behaviour" is the equivalent of serving as enemy combatants.

The Western Democracies are so far down the slippery slope people like you can't even see the top anymore. They've got their propaganda machines cranked up to a level that would leave Goebbels in a highly admirable daze.

As someone further up posted, your chances of dying from choking on a grape are far higher than dying from a terrorist attack. Yet here you're defending the government monitoring and oppressing a group simple for have what you define as "antisocial behaviour".

Re:Iron curtain? (1)

dwater (72834) | about 3 months ago | (#46077291)

> what you define as "antisocial behaviour".

Perhaps he/she was just being literal - I think it is literally correct, no? Perhaps he's English who are famed for their use of 'understatement'.

Re:Iron curtain? (1, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 3 months ago | (#46077241)

Why should Muslims get a free pass, because it's currently unfashionable to call them out on antisocial and illegal behaviour (under the rubric of "anti racism")?

Because the vast majority Muslims who either enter or leave "the land of milk and honey" are not enemy combatants or terrorists or intending to fight any kind of war. For every genuine terrorist in the Muslim community, there are approximately 250,000 who have nothing to do with it. What you seem to be arguing is that we should oppress 249,999 innocent people in order to catch the 1 bad person.

My guess is that you don't know any Muslims personally. I've known a few over my life, from a bunch of different areas of the mostly Muslim world (Kurdistan, Bosnia, Lebanon, Algeria, Jordan, Pakistan, and home-grown American). They fundamentally want what you want: A nice place to live, a good job, education and opportunities for their children, political freedom, and hope that their lives will be better in a decade. And to think otherwise is simply bigotry.

Is this article a bunch of nonsense? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076185)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines

Nuff said

Re:Is this article a bunch of nonsense? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077173)

How is this insightful? Sometimes a question is just a question, and the point is to have a discussion. If anything, ending this with "nuff said" shows just how intellectually bankrupt you are. I guess you just weren't fast enough to say "first post!", huh?

Abuse of power... always (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076221)

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said "The objections to despotism and monopoly are fundamental in human nature. They rest upon the innate and ineradicable selfishness of man. They rest upon the fact that absolute power inevitably leads to abuse."

Look at what happened to people's politicians like Tony Blair and Obama, or government goons like Clapper and Alexander who defile the Constitution and flip us the bird. History as far back as we know it shows absolute power is always abused, to the point now where politicians and government workers are never held to account. The answer is to roll back government to the bare minimum necessary: I have no need to be led. People have to stop letting those who abuse power off the hook so easily and to punish those who violate our rights severely and decisively with impeachment.

This does not make for an "Iron Curtain" (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46076225)

The Iron Curtain's primary goal was to keep the information (about West's superiority) out — and own citizenry in.

As long as the British are free to leave their country, things are Ok... Letz [wikipedia.org] , I believe, once said: "A country you can leave is the country you can live in."

Re:This does not make for an "Iron Curtain" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076413)

What? That's the only bar you set? Being able to leave your country? What does it matter if you're being spied on no matter where you are? Welcome to the new millennium.

Re:This does not make for an "Iron Curtain" (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#46076493)

You fail to comprehend that there can be something bad that isn't an "Iron Curtain."

Other bad things have different bars. That is expected.

Re:This does not make for an "Iron Curtain" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076911)

Then might I suggest wording your statements next time to not sound like an Iron Curtain is the only thing that will stop British folk from leaving their country? Or that anything (bad or otherwise) can happen and it would still be fine as long as British folk could leave Britain? I don't think it's my comprehension that's failed here, it's that you failed to communicate your actual thoughts.

Re:This does not make for an "Iron Curtain" (1)

dogandpants (3398905) | about 3 months ago | (#46077385)

Perhaps not. But there are similarities and is that not enough to tell you that the West has changed in an evil way? I think it does, and I also think that similies aren't meant for close inspection. The NSA and parallel happenings in Britain *do* remind *me* -unhappily- of the vilified (rightly so) practices of East Germany and the USSR.

Next Up: NSA Youth (0, Flamebait)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 3 months ago | (#46076233)

All children between the ages of 6-18 should be allowed to volunteer for our patriotic service program where they can learn to surveil and report on friends, family and neighbors to help keep our country safe and protect our freedoms.

Well, duh... (5, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 months ago | (#46076241)

Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

Gee, ya think? What has it been, like over a decade since the Patriot Act and people are just now figuring it all out?

I'm glad that the totalitarian impulses of the global elite are finally starting to penetrate peoples' realityTV-addled brains. Maybe pretty soon they'll figure out that it's just a mechanism to promote the redistribution of wealth upwards.

Then it will get interesting. I can't really fault people for taking a long time to figure out that ubiquitous surveillance and a corporate/government surveillance regime is a bad thing. I didn't want to believe it myself until around the middle of last decade, when it became impossible to deny.

But it's one of those things that once you see it clearly for what it is, you can never un-see it. Now, it's impossible to see practically any major news story without seeing the effect of developed, industrial nations turning into gulags.

Re:Well, duh... (2)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#46076531)

I can't really fault people for taking a long time to figure out that ubiquitous surveillance and a corporate/government surveillance regime is a bad thing. I didn't want to believe it myself until around the middle of last decade, when it became impossible to deny.

Considering that there is still substantial disagreement and debate about if it is good or bad, I don't think you're going to persuade anybody by telling them that their opinion is impossible.

I think a better approach is to communicate why it is bad. You're probably going to need to figure out how to get that message into a "Reality TV" format in order to get through to most people.

Re:Well, duh... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#46076787)

I'm glad that the totalitarian impulses of the global elite are finally starting to penetrate peoples' realityTV-addled brains. Maybe pretty soon they'll figure out that it's just a mechanism to promote the redistribution of wealth upwards.

So you are suggesting a scheme along the following lines?

1) Track people going to terrorist training camps / fighting alongside terrorist groups
2) Arrest them when they return home
3) ???
4) Profit!

I'm not sure what #3 is, and how it leads to meaningful profit for the "global elite."

Does arresting something on the order of 40 people for this over the last 2 years really make Britain a gulag?

Re:Well, duh... (1)

ewibble (1655195) | about 3 months ago | (#46077087)

Here you go
1. Track people
2. If they do anything that you don't like arrest, them terrorism is a convenient starting point Really a very small problem.
3. Track any exchange of information, knowledge, can't have the people owning knowledge that is the domain of super rich. Evil pirates you know.
4. Charge people for using, that information
5. Anybody who runs for political office against you have a convenient database of information against them and/or their family.
6. If that fails you know exactly where they are and what their habits are so you an arrange an accident.
5. Profit.

This is all for the good of the country, we don't want those, communist, terrorist, insert current group you don't like here, running the country they will ruin it, its worth sacrificing a bit of freedom.

I am serious about the last part I believe that these agencies truly believe they are doing it for the good of the nation.

Re:Well, duh... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 3 months ago | (#46077247)

There isn't much profit to be made in trying to corner the market on training to fire an AK assault rifle.

I think very few people that fight along with al Qaida are going to be running for office in either the US or UK. There isn't much profit in trying to exploit them either.

Re:Well, duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077387)

Holy shit how does drivel like this get +5 insightful? Clearly, you have no conception of what the Iron Curtain was like. This is what the Iron Curtain was:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pUmfKX3C04

We're a long way from that. If you think otherwise get a clue and get off the computer for a change.

Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076257)

House neighbours or country neighbours?

Queens SUBJECTS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076267)

Citizen in the UK doesn't mean what you think it means. You are ruled by a Queen, and yes she DOES have POWER, not just a picturesk queen.

Curtain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076269)

We must ascertain whether the curtain matches the drapes.

british citizens detest zionist nazi facism too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076285)

as do the genuine isreal folks & the rest of us billions of unchosens. only the greed fear ego based WMD on credit perfect baiance genocide cabals require gestapo tackdicks everywhere

Re:british citizens detest zionist nazi facism too (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#46076541)

Sorry, but I'm not sure your English is good enough for me to take seriously you telling me what British citizens do or do not detest.

Re:british citizens detest zionist nazi facism too (1)

dwater (72834) | about 3 months ago | (#46077317)

Wow, I was thinking the same thing. The punctuation is terrible and makes it painful to read. I have to parse a few of those points at least twice - I didn't bother after the first few.

slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (4, Insightful)

julian67 (1022593) | about 3 months ago | (#46076323)

There are British citizens or residents who, in a private capacity, engage in armed conflict abroad, often due to alliegance to ideologies and religious beliefs that deem their home country to be a target, and they come to the attention of the state, and other states who also fear being targeted by the same people for the same reasons. They may have to explain themsleves on their return home, and may be arrested if suspected of criminal activity. In the mind of some slashdot submitters and editors this can apparently be equated to the imprisonment of hundreds of millions of people, and the killing of many hundreds or even thousands simply for trying to travel abroad.

Dear fucking cretins at slashdot,

here is a small hint: there was no equivalent of Heathrow or Gatwick airports or Dover or Southampton ferry ports in the DDR, the USSR, or any of the other "people's" republics. If you're British and you want to travel abroad do you know how hard it is? You go to the ferry port and get on a ferry. You need some money and some ID such as a driver's license. That's it.

I'm pleased that people who train for and engage in murder and kidnapping are actually faced with the prospect of being held to account, whether they do it here or in Syria or Pakistan or Ulster or anywhere else.

So if you think just getting on a boat or aplane and crossing a national boundary should amount to a license to do as you please and some kind of immunity then just fuck off and get a clue or if that is too difficult maybe you can ask mommy, but please stop whining and regurgitating your misunderstandings, half truths, and flat out lies.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076495)

Translation: everything's fine now, so let's ignore the future! Anyone who gets one aspect of a discussion wrong is a fucking cretin, and that discussing is null and void because I said so!

Look, if you don't like people discussing such issues, then don't join in. Simple as that. There's no need to be a gigantic asshole about it. You're like all those massive boneheads who see a question mark and immediately invoke Betteridge's law of headlines like it's the only relevant thing that needs to be considered. There are other aspects in this discussion worth discussing, and limiting it to such a narrow aspect doesn't exactly show your superiority.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076513)

I think you mean "Grow a brain, morans!"

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076957)

It's 'get a brain morans'. Get it right.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (4, Insightful)

Aighearach (97333) | about 3 months ago | (#46076595)

Yeah, this is no different than Americans traveling to Northern Ireland in the past, and having their finances examined when they get back to check if they gave money to terrorists.
I say that as a Celtic-American with Irish Republican sympathies. I can imagine being on either side of this sort of issue, in the right circumstances. My country should check me out if I come back from a conflict region. That is simple and practical.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076605)

> If you're British and you want to travel abroad do you know how hard it is? You go to the ferry port and get on a ferry.

Here in the US it is a hell of a lot harder. You have to get the government's permission to travel. You have to get a passport, and they are routinely denied or delayed. It took me over six months and the intervention of a member of the US house of reps to get mine when I applied in 2007. I have the same name as a well-known GOPper nutcase so the bureaucrats that run that part of the government that are typically Democrat did not want to give me permission to travel. Also, several former coworkers lost their jobs because they couldn't get permission to travel so they couldn't visit some of our restaurants that are outside of the US.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 3 months ago | (#46076789)

I have the same name as a well-known GOPper nutcase so the bureaucrats that run that part of the government that are typically Democrat did not want to give me permission to travel

I'm calling BS on this. I'm holding my DS-82 in my hands right now, just gotta get the photo done before I send it off for renewal. You're compelled to release your SSN when applying for a passport, in part to prevent such incorrect identification. Your passport was probably held up for bureaucratic reasons, I highly doubt there was a deliberate attempt to do you harm.

In my case I don't even have any immediate travel plans, but mine expires in March and I'd like to have it current just in case something comes up. Ya never know. :)

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077037)

Agreed. It is way too hard in this country to get permission to travel. We should not have to get their permission to leave just as we shouldn't have to to get married, but the Democrats are supporting more restrictions, more fees, and more oversight of marriage. Some of the marriage "freedom" proposals like the one here in CA contained hundreds of new pages of laws. Yes, they are correctly supporting gay marriage, but they are also much more greatly limiting and adding more government control to marriage. I wish the Democrats would just stay the fuck out of our rights to travel and to marry.

I was first granted the right to travel during the Clinton administration. That was a fourteen month battle that required dozens of phone calls, about $4k in legal fees, and two trips to the office in Atlanta, GA. The first trip was a waste because they said my required "proof of travel" wasn't strong enough. I just looked at their web site.(http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/where-to-apply/agencies/atlanta-passport-agency.html), and it still states that they will refuse you a passport without sufficient proof of travel. That problem still hasn't been fixed. Even after all of that, I still had to pay a $60(IIRC) expedite fee. That really pissed me off. Paying extra for an "expedite" fee when it took fourteen months was just over the top.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (2)

hubie (108345) | about 3 months ago | (#46077293)

I've been through a passport application and two renewals. All it took was filling out the form and sending it in with a couple of pictures. I never needed to ask permission to travel, and all three times I sent in paperwork, I did not have pending travel. I am not sure what you mean by "get permission to travel." From whom are you asking permission and why?

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077327)

I call BS. First off, it you don't already have your passport it's no big deal to get one. Second off, if you want to travel without a passport, grab your ID and your credit card. Go to Mexico. From there you can go to just about any Central or South American country with a few greenbacks.

Re:slashdot: idle speculation for ignorant morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076993)

So...just need your "Papers, please"?

Brown Curtain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076333)

I thought that was the idea behind the border fence/patrol. To keep all the southern nig^H^H^H Mexicans out.

Well, we had a good run (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076363)

After WWII, technology grew by leaps and bounds, and lots of naive optimism about how we'd have a leisure society or end world hunger. Instead we're regressing to how humans have always behaved: high school students with armies.

Re:Well, we had a good run (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076815)

I was thinking the same thing. You'd think with all this amazing technology The World would be becoming a better place, but it seems quite the opposite. Makes me wonder if we'll ever graduate to adulthood

is the west... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076501)

You still need to ask?

Democracy can be totalitarian. (1)

hessian (467078) | about 3 months ago | (#46076521)

Do you have freedom?

There are ideas that get you thrown out of your job, ostracized by others and possibly arrested or publically censured.

If you don't toe the line and you lose your job, you probably don't have the money to hold out for long.

We have the same totalitarian state as the Soviets, we just found a decentralized method to control it.

moron trashing others opinions & status (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076569)

it's not new the same guise hltler clone pr firm tackdicks have been here serving us since old berlin making sure we have the right opinions. stay tuned for dark matters IV 5 things we need to know about being unchosen again... never ends... hopefully

The UK is such a repressive country... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076579)

I truly hope it falls to ruin.

Ghandhi Jesus impersonator from Canada shackled (0)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 3 months ago | (#46076727)

Just got deported from Panama for challenging their gender politics during an election, fortunately I didn't challenge any of their other fundamental failings. They were very upset the men I riled up killed several women which I knew nothing about. I was there to meet a non-vocal indigenous tribe, very un prime directive but entirely my fault.

Anyway something that felt a lot like the hand of government came down and scooped me up and put me custody. I can take questions at deliverancelev 4 2 hotmail dot com. And will be writing a book on it over the next few days if you'd like to hear about it. Check out information regarding Bocas Del Torro and Changinola revolution over the last 5 days. My revolution wouldn't have been violent but I was too locked up to help.

Re:Ghandhi Jesus impersonator from Canada shackled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077003)

take your 'gender politics' somewhere else.. people are tired of the 50+yo 'women are repressed' refrain.

We should Reconsider it's Immigration... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46076985)

I really think we should reconsider I policy of allowing the less crazy people to emigrate from difficult countries. We are in many cases allowing a condensation of people we are irrational and hate us. We then wonder why this countries get worse and worse every year and more people want/need to leave this countries because it's gotten too crazy for them. Another problem is that some of the truly crazy come in a family package or some of them come in-order infiltrate but most of them are people who just want to escape into a more peaceful life.

3......2......1 (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#46077011)

What is the average number of comments before any problem can be blamed on or deflected to the US? Must be something like 3 or 4.

Betteridge's Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077085)

If it is within my rights as a commenter (or even if it isn't), I request that slashdot stop it with the headlines written in the form "absurd accusation framed as a question." It's starting to feel like Gawker with all that sensationalist dreck.

this FP for; GNAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46077129)

turned over to yet no matter how a full-time GNAA yes, I work for around return it community. The then Jordan Hubbard than this BSD box, May disturb other the last night of Raymond in his the above is far we don't sux0r as goals I personally Dim. If *BSD is fucking percent of Continues to lose If you have for election, I lube is wiped off by BSDI who sell has brought upon from within. of user base for hype - BSD's and enjoy all the The BSD license, - Netcraft has handy, you are free gone Romeo and to foster a gay and About outside Baby take my Fly They looked they're gone 5Came conversation and in ratio of 5 to don't be afraid states that there something that you than a fraction GNAA (GAY NIGGER of user base for of HIV and other
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