mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I swear, that's really me...

Why do some people find the stupidist things to complain about? Slashdot has this post in support of a Sun engineer who is suing to not show ID on flights.

I have to show my ID to get into certain bars, to buy beer, to pay by check at almost every retail store, to return items at some stores, occasionally to pay by credit card at some stores, to get an educational discout at the Apple store, and probably a ton of other places. Getting on a method of transportation that can and has been used as a weapon to send thousands to their deaths somehow seems the least unreasonable of any of these.

The slashdot article mentions that the author doesn't understand How mandatory ID even prevents terrorist attacks is also not clear to me; all the 9/11 hijackers had valid government-issued ID.. Umm, actually no, CommanderTaco. They had fake versions of government issued ID.

Checking to see that a person is who they say they are (and that they haven't bought a ticket under someone else's name to avoid a watchlist) seems pretty reasonable to me. Less than 3 years ago we had thousands of people die because of an attack using planes, and this guy wants to reduce the security on planes. He wants to put the lives of thousands at risk so he doesn't have to pull out a piece of plastic with a crappy picture on it.

The thing that scares me is how many people on Slashdot agree with this. Better have a tiny amount more "privacy" than save lives.

I'm not sure what privacy this is. It's not like the person checking ID's is going to remember you. If you value PRIVACY so much, why are you taking PUBLIC transportation where you will be seen by hundreds of people?

The other thing is that I bet if the government dropped requiring ID's tomorrow, I would bet no airline would stop checking them. An airline that didn't check ID's and was hijacked would suffer huge financial losses - both in terms of the plane and in terms of legal liablility - as well as fewer passengers who just wouldn't feel safe.

Tip to those who want to travel anonymously - take a car. You will be seen by way fewer people, and you will only have to show ID if you get pulled over. And the rest of us will be better off too.


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