The ACTA Threat

Michael Geist’s talk on everything you need to know about ACTA but didn’t think to ask.

Read a new article here about legislators worldwide asking for more information on what ACTA is doing.

The Nigerian Immigration Service plans to build a database of biometric information for reference purposes and will begin registering with African expatriates living in Nigeria.

A statement reviewing its activities in 2009 and projections for 2010 made available to newsmen in Abuja said that in the area of internal security, “the NIS shall commence the biometric registration of non-Nigerians in the country beginning with Africans, in the first quarter of 2010. The purpose of starting with Africans is because the NIS already has a data base for Non-Africans. The equipments have been configured and a test-run, conducted, while operational vehicles have been purchased.

“The objective of the registration is to have a data base of all foreigners resident in Nigeria for reference purpose. It will not be an exercise to remove illegal aliens, but a programme that will be of immense benefit for aliens as there will be official records to prove that they are resident in Nigeria and therefore entitled to Federal Governments protection and other benefits that accrue to them in line with international practices.

The objective of the visa review also includes placing Nigeria in a position to benefit from the global upswing in tourism, divest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to create more job opportunities for Nigerians and reinforce professionalism and work ethics by transforming the entire visa issuance process to be technologically driven, simple and convenient without compromising national security.

According to the statement, the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr. Chukwurah Udeh, promised to consolidate on the success of the e-passport amongst other programmes. “The e-passport will be issued in more Nigerian missions abroad. Very importantly, with effect from December 31, 2010, the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) will cease to be a valid travel document. Consequently, from the January 1, 2011, only holders of the e-passport will be allowed to travel out of Nigeria”.

While this is intended as a way to better track people immigrating to Nigeria and for the Nigerian government to know who is in the country, the removal of all MRPs is a curious one. While MRPs are being phased out, there are still some people who have them from other countries where they do not expire in 2010. My passport, for instance, expires in 2013 and is an MRP. I will not have the new RFID type passport until then. I wonder if I would be stuck in the country if I went to visit and tried to leave again.

With new regulations and longer lines to wait in, celebrities can still get that special treatment. Halle Berry and her boyfriend were whisked to the front of the security line after they asked to move ahead because they had a baby with them.

“The (boyfriend) of Ms. Berry asked if they could go faster through the line because they were late and they had the baby,” said Insp. Jimmy Cacchione, who heads the 36-member unit that patrols the Montreal airport.

So what? Lots of people were probably just as late, even later than Ms. Berry, yet you didn’t see them being put at the front of the line.

An embarrassed Montreal police force issued a directive to its officers Friday, urging them to avoid a repeat of the episode.

The officer involved will not be reprimanded and the police airport unit will institute stricter rules for the future, Cacchione added.

Of course he won’t be reprimanded. The police at the airport will simply tell its officers to be more discreet when dealing with celebrities.

This story was only made known because a journalist witnessed it. The journalist also states that she was in line as well, had to wait like everyone else and barely made her flight. While it is common for airlines to pull people to the front of the line who may miss their flights, they certainly didn’t do it this time. If they had, then the journalist would have noted it.

The majority of commentator on this story claim that it’s not a big deal because Halle Berry isn’t a terrorist. How do they know? Is it because she’s a movie star? Movie stars can’t be terrorists? I also have a zero chance of being a terrorist. Does that mean that I can go to the front of the line? No, I’m no better than anyone else. Halle Berry is no better than you or I.

She should have waited like everyone else. If the airline called her flight and said that people from that flight can go to the front, then that’s fine. If the airline did not do this, and there is no indication that they were going to, then she should wait with everyone else. If she misses her flight, then she needs to prepare by arriving at the airport earlier, just like everyone else, or she has to actually deal with what happens when you miss your flight.

If we didn’t have two Americas, then the rich would see what life is really like and we might actually get real reforms and real security. Until that happens, look forward to spending a lot of time in lines while famous and/or rich people walk by and ignore you. has an excellent list on how to safeguard your privacy. The article, from September 2009, goes into detail with ten solid tips to ensure your privacy on Facebook.

The New Hampshire State House of Representatives have passed, for the third time in four years, an RFID privacy bill that will restrict the use of RFID in driver’s licenses. It has now been sent to the state senate again for a vote.

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