Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More no-fly list nonsense

In Terry Gilliam's apocalyptic movie, Brazil, which he would have preferred to name 1984 1/2, a hapless bureaucrat investigates a mistake in a ridiculously counterproductive terrorist tracking system that has confused an innocent Mr. Buttle with a terrorist named Tuttle. Buttle is arrested and killed. It was a typing error.

Glenda Hutton, a 66 year old retired elementary BC school secretary, never arrested, has joined the ranks of 5 year olds and US senators whose names have mysteriously appeared on some no-fly list or other, preventing her from fulfilling her lifelong retirement dream of world travel with her husband.
Apparently her name resembles that of someone else on a list, although she cannot find out which one.

As Julie Morand of Passport Canada explained to her, "In fact … you should always be questioned since a name similar to yours appears to be on an American list."

Excuse me? A similar name on an American list?

An Ottawa Citizen article, no longer available, from Sept 2006 reported that :
"Air Transport Association of Canada uses the US Homeland Security no-fly selectee list to screen passengers even on domestic flights from one point in Canada to another. They do this despite Transport Canada's statement that there is no requirement for them to do so. There are reportedly 70,000 people on that list."

And that was two years ago.

Thirteen months after Glenda Hutton was stopped while boarding a domestic Air Canada flight from Comox to Calgary, Transport Canada, the Dept of Foreign Affairs, the Dept of Public Safety, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have all for their various reasons been unable to help her.

Note to actual terrorists : Don't use the name Glenda Hutton. Or Glenda Button.

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