Monday, October 15, 2012

Limited Freedom

Just going through country customs reminds me that our freedom is limited to the borders of cooperating countries.  Of course the five questions asked on the Declaration sheet (Form 6059B) are important "regulations" for trade/commerce and safety - food, farm products, livestock, money, purpose of visit etc.  That's what we have come to believe.

Our "protection" comes at a cost - privacy, personal invasion, and inconvenience.  As I re-entered the US, my boarding pass was a "4S" and the first checkpoint guard smiled and said "You're Special".  The US customs agent finished his questions and said welcome home but at the next checkpoint, the guard joked "He tried to hide his boarding card" he will need to be checked.  The "4S" on the boarding pass meant that I had been randomly  selected (by Delta) to have a complete search (either body pat down or machine scan).  This also meant that Ellen's bag would be searched (in case I had packed something in her bag). 

We accept these security measures for our combined safety (or the perception of that safety).  The reality is that we have lost some personal freedom.  Many would say - "You should have nothing to hide.  Why not put up with a little inconvenience to find "evil ones".   The answer is simple:

Are you innocent until found guilty  or guilty until found innocent? 

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