Sep 21 2010

ESTA fees: the whole is worse than the sum of its parts

New U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations took effect this month that combine two bad ideas — fees to encourage foreigners to visit the US by charging them more to do so, and fees for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) — in a way that creates new possibilities for travel surveillance and […]

Feb 09 2009

Exit permits, ESTA, APIS, and asylum seekers

According to a recently-released European Commission staff working document, the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is not “tantamount to the … visa … process” required for admission to the European “Schengen Zone”, and therefore does not give cause for the imposition of reciprocal visa requirements for US citizens seeking to enter Schengen countries. […]

Jun 08 2018

“Governance” of the REAL-ID database

We’ve been trying for years to find out who is really in charge of the national ID database being created to enable states that choose to do so to comply with the  Federal REAL-ID Act of 2005. The national ID records system includes the SPEXS database and the S2S data network and system of central-site […]

Mar 30 2018

State Department proposes more surveillance of social media, communications, and travel

Today the US Department of State published proposals in the Federal Register to expand its ongoing surveillance of social media, e-mail, and travel by applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant (tourism and other temporary visits) visas: The Department is revising the collection to add several additional questions for…  visa applicants. One question lists multiple social media […]

Dec 19 2017

“Border control” as pretext for drug dragnet

The latest so-called “Privacy Impact Assessment ” (PIA) made public by the US Department of Homeland Security, “CBP License Plate Reader Technology“, provides unsurprising but disturbing details about how the US government’s phobias about foreigners and drugs are driving (pun intended) the convergence of border surveillance and dragnet surveillance of the movements of private vehicles […]

Oct 18 2017

Civil liberties and human rights groups denounce illegal DHS social media monitoring

The Identity Project and ten other civil liberties and human rights organizations filed comments today with the US Department of Homeland Security objecting to the DHS keeping records of what we say and publish and who we associate with on social media. (See our FAQ: U.S. government monitoring of social media. The DHS isn’t the only Federal agency spying on […]