Europe to fingerprint US visitors

Feb 12th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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What's next...retina scans...

Personally I applaud the Europeans for finally standing up to the paranoia of Chertoff and the rest of the clowns running US Homeland Security. Does anybody really think that any of this garbage is going to stop a terrorist really intent on doing whatever terrorists do?

Next, I think Europe should require visas for all Americans wishing to visit and then have green visa waiver forms which Americans are required to fill out and if the USA pulls this garbage of requiring on line registration to visit the USA, then the European should do the same.

It's all nonsense anyway...

And where was the US "War on Terror" when the IRA was going around blowing up buildings in London, Belfast, Derry and wherever? Many of these very terrorists are now living in safe haven in the USA and when our British friends asked us to send them back, we really helped them out, didn't we.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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In fact, for me the fingerprints thing is a "minor" thing. Here in Spain they take your fingerprints (only one finger , the middle one) to make our ID card. It worries me much more having to fly with an air marsall with a gun on the plane (I wouldn't do it, no way !). They cannot forget that 99'9 % of the people travelling are just common citizens, not terrorists. People has no problem on helping with security if they are properly addressed, I think. Sometimes I feel they are forgetting (in every country, not only the US) that old legal saying "everybody is innocent till guilt can be proved" and think about travelers as "guilty until they can show they aren't"
kenderina is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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<<< If one searches a data base and finds more than one name for a set of fingerprints, does that mean that the database is inaccurate, or that there is a bad guy out there? >>>

Both - or neither.

The more data you hold on a database the more likely that you'll get false positives & negatives because all such systems rely on probabilities - and the quality of the programming

So you cannot say that such a fingerprint belongs to somebody unless you give a much closer scrutiny than you'll have time for when processing hundreds of thousands of people a day

Just look at a program like CSI - even working on quite small databases it takes them a significant amount of time to get a match. Try doing that at an airport where you will have seconds to say you have/have not a match
alanRow is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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It is no fun being treated like a criminal ! And honestly, it is a feeling many Europeans have when facing US immigration officers
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Big Brother has arrived late! Privacy seems to be not just ill, but terminal. Wouldn't it be incredible if those "protecting" us would actually come up with something that would be effective!

I can't fault our neighbors for doing to us what we've done to them, but travel is fast becoming one inconvenience after another: Getting through "security," with our little bags of 3 oz. liquids, etc., the flight itself and now how nice when you leave the cattle car and are treated as if you've committed a crime.
Giovanna is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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xyz123 - I suggest you read the first link carefully about the proposed EU regulations. They are largely similar to the US regulations you are railing against.

Of course, since the EU is proposing applying this broadly, and not just to Americans, it likely suggests they agree with the need/want for such provisions, rather than a petty little tit-for-tat, like you might prefer.

The righteous indignation was a nice touch, though.
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:13 AM
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I believe this stuff from the eu is a response to the US regulations.

Incidentally, Americans still do not need visa to visit the eu....Citizen of the eu all need visas to visit the USA...the USA is proposing that those who travel under the visa waiver program (the green form), should have to register two or three days before departure....I would hope the eu follows through and begins to require visas for Americans visiting the eu although the ability to have the visa requirement waived if they register 2 or 3 days before departure.

And as somebody else said, it's all nonsense anyway; we all know that. A determined terrorist will find a way around these regs and the vermin who pulled the 9/11 atrocity with the help of the idiotic pilots who all they had to do was keep themselves locked in their cockpits, all would have been able to enter the USA under all these regs as they were all "clean" so to speak....also what do these silly regs due about the home grown vermin like those who blew up the London Underground on 7/7 and who surely are already in the USA?

Just my humble opinion.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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I'm old enough to remember when travel really was inconvenient. Used to be our luggage was almost always checked when going to another country or coming home. Not being checked was the exception. The security lines are a pain though.

I even flew when you knew it was probable that several of your fellow passengers were carrying guns. Don't recall any problems with hijackers way back then. Don't recall any passengers going berserk and blowing away everyone on board either. Seems like that the crazies are more willing to act out these days--or there are just more of them with the population increase.
Jake1 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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I have no problem whatsoever with being fingerprinted again.

There are so many licensed professions, never mind the military, and situations (being bonded, serving on a Grand jury) for which you already have to be fingerprinted - that it's just nothing to make a big deal over.

If someone really doesn't want to be fingerprinted, they can stick with places that don;t require it.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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"I believe this stuff from the eu is a response to the US regulations."

If it was, then why does it apply broadly, rather than just to Americans? If it was the EU thumbing their nose at the US, then why would they not do like Brazil or Chile and have Visa/Entry Fee requirements specifically aimed at Americans.

"Incidentally, Americans still do not need visa to visit the eu....Citizen of the eu all need visas to visit the USA..."

This is flat-out false. You can read more about the Visa Waiver Program, here:

This is basically the same system as is in place in Europe for Americans, whereby travel for some predetermined period (usually 90 days or 6 months) is permitted, unless the individual wants employment. Stays beyond that or employment require visas. A green form is not a visa, by any stretch.
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 12th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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For what it's worth, digitally scanning a fingerprint doesn't make it any more reliable than printing it on a piece of paper. There's nothing magic about "digital" anything.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Digitially scanned fingerprints do tend to be clearer than the old ink blots. Not perfect by any means, but better.
Jake1 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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your suggestion of packing your electronics in a checked in bag makes no sense. If you get picked by customs for secondary they will in all probability open any and all bags in your possesion.

btw, you may want to hide your toys when passing through UK customs as well. Here is a BBCNews article, dated 1998:

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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<<< Digitially scanned fingerprints do tend to be clearer than the old ink blots. Not perfect by any means, but better. >>>

And the day your fingerprints are mistaken for those of an Evil Turrist...
alanRow is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Just keep Muslims and Jews off of airplanes and we would have nothing to fear.
MBeethoven is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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this is very funny.

many europeans were smug when america outlawed smoking in pubs ('that could never happen here').

we were also smug when americans got we are fat too.

some were smug when america started it looks like we are going to fingerprint too (and britain has already decided to). some even declared a boycott on visiting america because immigration is too hard (boo hoo).

lesson...don't be too smug. it will come here too.
walkinaround is online now  
Feb 13th, 2008, 02:46 AM
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alanRow--Not sure what your message means. Could you clarify? Thanks.
Jake1 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2008, 02:56 AM
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Just to clarify what I meant in an earlier post and maybe it is just semantics...

For many years, the US required all visitors except those from the Western Hemisphere to have a visa to enter the country...eventually while they never formally dropped the visa requirement, they started the visa waiver program which means they are waiving the visa it what you means citizens of certain favored nations do not need a visa, it is waived if they fill out the green visa waiver form so in that sense they no longer need a visa.

However, the application of this program at times is ridiculous. For example nobody has been more loyal to Bush's war in Iraq than Poland and the Polish Head of State visited the USA about a year ago and reminded the President of Poland contribution to his war in Iraq yet today Poland is still not part of the Visa Waiver Program despite the fact it is part of the eu and Americans can travel there freely without a visa.

I think the US has grudgingly allowed, for some sort of concessions on their part, the Czech Republic to join the visa waiver program but for some reason refuses to allow Poland.

I think I read that the eu wants the visa waiver program extended to all members of the eu and is a bit upset with the Czech Republic for making concessions to Washington on this matter and cutting down their leverage on this (I think that was in one of the articles at the beginning of this thread).....

Also somewhere I read that as part of all these negotiatons between the USA and the eu, the American government now wants citizens of countries covered by the visa waiver program to register on line a couple of days before they fly to the USA so background checks can be made...I would hope if the Americans get their way on this, the eu do the same thing to Americans travelling to the eu.

To the best of my knowledge, Canada does not seem to share this same paranoia so prevelent through the current US administration; hopefully this will change when a new President takes office who understands friendship is a 2 way street.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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<<< for some reason refuses to allow Poland >>>

Just because Poland is loyal to Bush, doesn't mean that Bush wants Poles in the US - he'll be worried that too many Polish plumbers will arrive on VWP then disappear into the black economy.
alanRow is offline  
Feb 13th, 2008, 03:13 AM
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Jake1 - think no-fly list but with the DHS / TSA having "proof" in the form of matched fingerprints that you are an Evil Turrist.
alanRow is offline  

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