1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Why are visa and security systems so primitive

Reader comment on item: Security Theater Now Playing at Your Airport

Submitted by Sully (United States), Jan 9, 2010 at 15:21

My bank knows instantly when and where I'm using a credit card at any of tens of thousands of locations using technology that must be fairly cheap per approval given.

Why, eight years and literally hundreds of billions of security expense after 9/11, are visa systems still so primitive that the consular officer in Nigeria wasn't able to instantly call up the file on every U.S. visa holder when the terrorist's father reported his son as a risk? And why aren't those systems available from every airport security counter, as credit card approval systems are available at every airport check in desk?

Had the consular official been able to call up Abmutallab's visa instantly his father could have positively identified him as the exact person he was reporting as a risk. Had that flagged visa then been available everywhere the fellow could manifestly not have boarded a flight to the U.S.

The greatest scandal here is the sheer incompetence of government in developing technical systems to ease the work of on point personnel. Privacy concerns are often put forward as a reason such development is difficult; but visa holders do not have U.S. Passports and they are not U.S. citizens - hence they have no privacy rights under the constitution when they are not actually in the country (at which time they have certain civil liberty rights as "persons").

An article from Dr. Pipes on this subject would be illuminating.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

You make excellent points - the system is a disgrace. But this is not a subject for me, who has no experience with or expertise in the topic, to write on.

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Why are visa and security systems so primitive by Sully

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)