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back to article UK and US agree biometric heavily vetted trusted traveller deal

The UK and US governments are to set up a fast-track scheme for trusted, frequent travellers between the two countries, immigration minister Liam Byrne announced today. So say goodbye to immigration blues? Not so fast - the agreement between the two countries only "sets out the shared determination to develop a swift channel …

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Anonymous Coward

'All ten'?

Recently flew into Miami and through JFK in the US, and only needed two fingerprints each time...

And yes, I do have all ten fingers, so was expecting to be asked for them, plus possibly toe-prints as well

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: 'All ten'?

As I understand it, they're phasing that in airport by airport. SFO, home airport of Reg US, is now collecting all ten.

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Bronze badge

Nice to see UK Gov getting it's priorities right

So, in reality this is going to benefit a few rich business men. Nice to see the government putting it's resources to work in the right area.

Poorer people are going to be hit by back-dated tax on their cars to "cut CO2", while a bunch of rich business men are going to have the extra tax the Gov gets spent on making it easier for them to burn fuel crossing the atlantic.

Oh, one last thing "pre-authorised prior to being allowed". Don't you mean "authorised prior to being allowed"? Or have you taken to American style hyperbole?

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Ash
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Re: 'All ten'?

That's two too many.

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Coat

Typical UK government behaviour

Uncle Sam: "Bend over!"

HM Government: "How far?"

Mine's the one with the Eurostar single ticket in the pocket.

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Stop

When

are we going to start reciprocating the US entry requirements and make American passengers under go fingerprinting, photographs, body cavity searches (in public) and examination (including copying of HDDs) of any computer equipment, mobile phones & MP3 players / iPods.

See how loudly THEY scream.

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Surplus signs

All the old Blanc and non-Blanc signs are probably sitting in a government warehouse in SA.

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Go

Re: Matt

"pre-authorised". I initially winced at this, but decided that, as authorised has no inferred tense, the "pre" suffix is probably acceptable. Could you be authorised without it being in advance? I think the answer is probably yes.

It isn't like the word "booked" where the past tense is inferred. If you turn up and pay on the door, you hadn't booked, so "pre-booked" is unecessary.

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When, indeed...

<<are we going to start reciprocating the US entry requirements and make American passengers under go fingerprinting, photographs, body cavity searches (in public) and examination (including copying of HDDs) of any computer equipment, mobile phones & MP3 players / iPods.>>

Remember, the 11/9 terrorists were living....In the fuc*king US!!

D'oh

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ETA

Isn't that the name of a terrorist organisation?

Surely it should be banned just in case the same name is significant!

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Black Helicopters

Guinea pig, guinea pig let me in...

This confirms what I've suspected for quite a while now... The US are pushing all this biometric/IRIS/Face recognition .etc crap on the UK as a little experiment to see how well it will work with the general public (albeit the wealthy in this case). Our government is the only one on the planet soft enough to actually agree to their "suggestions" (read demands). It's like Britain is the 51st state run by a 16 year-old tea girl who can't say no to the boss man...

Disgrace!

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Anonymous Coward

Blub, blub, blub

As a resident alien in the UK (for 30 years), I'll be one of the first to forced to apply for an identity card -and to produce it upon demand. I'm just hoping that they don't manage to lose the disk with my details on it.

Andus, you forgot that the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, flew from good, old Blighty. Also, the plot to blow up planes with liquid explosives was hatched here too.

Pip, pip!

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@Steve Woods

Uncle Sam: "Bend over!"

HM Government: "What, Again?"

Uncle Sam: "That's right, mate. The first 200 times were just practice!"

HM Government: "But I'm your only friend in the world."

Uncle Sam: "RIght than, just touch your toes!"

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Re: 'All ten'?

IIRC Chicago O'Hare made me give 4 (thumbs & index fingers) last I went through - maybe they're phasing it in finger by finger...

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Happy

Look on the bright side?

Why not look at the positive aspects... Now, when faced with your fingerprints all over the scene of a crime, you can claim with a straight face that the CIA is framing you.

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Stop

You know what this is ...

It isn't that far out to believe that this is the thin end of the wedge that will require us all to have this as mandatory ID. Once it is established that this form of ID is the new Portman proof of age, driving licence and passport all rolled into one, nearly everyone will think they need one to make their life easier. By the time a few million people have them the MPs won't have a lot of privacy concerns left to vote against a Bill to make them law.

My passport says:

"Her Britannic Majesty's

Secretary of State

Requests and requires in the

Name of Her Majesty

all those whom it may concern

to allow the bearer to pass freely

without let or hindrance,

and to offer the bearer

such assistance and protection

as may be necessary"

How do TSA and CBP fulfill that request?

Shouldn't either Liz herself, or the SecState be having a little word with those people who do exactly the opposite of her request?

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Unhappy

I used to occasionally visit friends in the States.

Not any more. What's more my friends agree with me. We now, on rare occasions, meet up in Europe.

P.S.

Switzerland is nice this time of year.

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whiners

To all of you that say we should do this to the yanks and see how they like it, my response is they would take it.

Last time I flew and I had a disc man on me, they made me prove that it was a CD. player. The old guy didn't like NWA. To bad it was not f the police playing .

I watched them make a guy power up his laptop.

When I applied for a US passport I gave them my birth certificate and drivers license.

They sent me a letter saying that was not enough proof of who I am. They wanted five additional pieces of ID.

When you get a DL in my state you must give a thumb print.

So to all you whiny Brits I have this to say to you. If you don't like it don't come here.

With the exception of taking my prints and photo I deal with the same random searches , and having to prove my electronic device is what says it is.If come back from a foreign country they have the right to search my stuff and laptop. Depending on which country its assumed I'm guilty of smuggling some thing.

Lastly , why cant you distinguish US citizens from the government. Some of you act as if being a US citizen means you agree with every thing our politicians do. Some of you would love to see the US economy crash and burn as if that some how is going to take down the evil empire. If you think the US is evil then look at your own country. What does it say about a country that will do any thing another evil country askes it to do.

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Paris Hilton

Whatever

this will all end when both governments get screwed by people wearing contacts that have refractive qualities to fake iris scans. You heard it here first.

Paris, cause she's such a beast and the governments are so stupid.

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@kain preacher ('whiners')

What a spectacularly hypocritical outburst! You're a credit to your nation.

"What does it say about a country ...?"

Fuck all, by your logic. Hoist by your own petard lately?

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Iris, Gatwick

I flew into Gatwick today and while standing in the normal immigration queue, noticed the Iris fast-track booth, which no one was using. As I waited in line, I heard an electronic woman barking orders- "Move closer-Move further away- Move to the right" etc. After 6 or 7 people in my my queue had cleared through passport control, the hapless gent was rejected and made to go to the back of the queue, much to the amusement of the onlookers. My question is; Where can the aforementioned gent obtain valid irises from?

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Anonymous Coward

America is not on my travel plans

And furthermore, I am seriously exploring european travel by train from the UK rather than fly anywhere at the moment. I'm sick of airports and the whole business or security bollocks that is nothing but a weird and stupid exercise. The Bush government is incredibly evil.

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Geoff Mackenzie

My countryis not innocent I never did say that. My point which you missed is the that the UK gov is no better than the US gov but people on this board just love to bash the US.

Once again if the US is so evil why is the UK gov so willing to follow the US?

. I do understand that my government is headed in the wrong direction and come this election I will vote for change. I'm not going to bash UK gov I have not have enough time to do that. Please don't sit here and pretend that you gov is so much better than mine.

Read what I wrote again. I never said that America was better than the UK.

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Stop

Actually he has a point

What it says about our country is that we're willing to take it up the arse whenever the US asks.

Pot, kettle, black. We have just as many simpleton, officious and useless procedures that will do nothing to prevent terrorism in our own airports as they do. I believe we were the first introduce the ban on the horrifying bottle of water, and we were the first to introduce nudity scanners.

We do have many of the same immigration requirements as the US, and our officious immigration officers are just as willing to return them whence they came. I witnessed one poor women, who's only crime was taking a trip to Paris and not realising that traveling through Europe for one month less than her British passport stamp authorised her to, was enough suspicious activity and proof of her intent to emigrate illegally to have her deported.

No one can deny our own country is far worse in terms of rights, surveillance and so on. Shit we just passed laws that say it's fine to lock people up if they look at the wrong type of drawing.

But the thing that annoys me the most is that we seem overly willing to place the blame of the activities of their government on the general population. Don't know if any of you actually met any Americans, but very few of those that I work with agree with most of the things their government does.

Ah yes, but its their fault for electing them in the first place. Well fine, then everything Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or indeed any member of parliament has done is your fault too. You elected them after all. No, I don't want to hear that you didn't vote for them, after all less than 50% of Americans voted for GW, and you're willing to saddle them all with the blame for everything he does.

No, what I see is when someone comes up with a legitimate argument, one that correctly shows how pompous and self opinionated you are, you simply respond with more of the same rubbish.

If American citizens are responsible for everything their government does, then equally British citizens are responsible for everything our government does. Including the invasion of Iraq and a one-way trade of personal information.

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Joke

@kain preacher ('whiners')

"why cant you distinguish US citizens from the government" - for some reason "for the people, by the people" came to mind there.

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Silver badge

Facial recognition

Any bets that all it measures is the amount of reflected light...

Pasty faced pom: the glove.

Dark and swarthy: the glove.

Healthy Californian tan: fast lane.

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Just a thought

> So to all you whiny Brits I have this to say to you. If you don't like it don't come here.

I don't any more

>Once again if the US is so evil why is the UK gov so willing to follow the US?

Because the "government" run by Gollum Brown is fascist - "why cant you distinguish US citizens from the government" same rules apply to this country.

>Healthy Californian tan: fast lane.

As long as it isn't too dark...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pre-authorised

>pre-authorised". I initially winced at this, but decided that, as authorised has no inferred tense, the "pre" suffix is probably acceptable. Could you be authorised without it being in advance? I think the answer is probably yes.

Matt, I think you're being a bit pedantic. And yes it possible for an action to take place and then be authorised retrospectively, though in most cases authorisation should be obtained before executing the action.

So I think the use of the prefix pre is quite valid.

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Boffin

@kain preacher

"Please don't sit here and pretend that you gov is so much better than mine."

I suggest you read comment sections of articles on this site that are related to our beloved governments actions.

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@James Bassett

Fair point. I also felt "pre-authorised prior to turining up" was a bit redundant as you can harldy be pre-authorised after turning up!

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Coat

Facial recognition(Pasty faced pom: the glove.)

Some of us pay extra for that, you know.......

Mine's the leather suspension harness with the red ball gag.

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@ Suspect ref "Gatwick"

They should use some decent kit then, even Panasonic make iris recognition systems that are able to verify who you are while you are walking up to a door so it'll open before you even get there.

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Tim
Pirate

Let's not bicker and argue..... the common enemy is The Man!

Lets get dubya, Blair and Brown (blair's fallguy/whippingboy) in a room and settle this once and for all.....By sending in a few youths from the inner cities to kick/stab/shoot a solution out of our respected leaders.

Nobody knows how bush wangled the first election, and everyone knows he used scare tactics for the second. Blair out-toried the tories to get into number 10, and Brown wasnt elected at all by the people, just by labour party wimps who were too scared to vote against the nasty man of politics.

Who's with me brothers? smash the state and stick it to the man!

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Yes we are all responsible and that's a big part of the problem.

"So to all you whiny Brits I have this to say to you. If you don't like it don't come here."

Indeed. I won't be visiting your country anymore. Canada - yes, Mexico - yes. Not you lot tho. I have American family btw but that doesn't stop me loathing what your country has developed into over the last 60 years. I can't stand the UK anymore either and would emigrate if my wife would agree. Both countries are one degree away from being China style totalitarian states.

At least you have plenty of guns over there so you can always get rid of the scum politicians and officials by force if push comes to shove.

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@ kain preacher

"Some of you act as if being a US citizen means you agree with every thing our politicians do."

It isn't that people assume that Americans all agree with their government, it's more that if Americans start getting treated by the rest of the world the way the US treats foreigners, then "we the people" might get a bit arsey and use some of that democracy that you're so proud of to alter the actions of your government. Maybe if you understood that a reference to a populace as a whole is not to be mistaken for an accurate description of every single member of that populace, you wouldn't get so offended. When I say "the Americans like baseball" I am not assuming that every single American likes baseball.

Although, it does seem to be a peculiarly American trait to translate any criticism into a devastating personal insult and then either rant about independence, start pointing fingers saying "they did it first" or cry about "anti-Americanism" - oh no, the poor merkins are being bullied.

We do complain about our governments as well, but I doubt that get's much airtime in the US. Criticising governments is not a zero-sum game.

"To all of you that say we should do this to the yanks and see how they like it, my response is they would take it."

Just like when Brazil started photographing and fingerprinting US visitors? I think you'll find that the US threw a bit of a hissy fit and there were more than a few indignant travellers who, without a hint of irony, stated "But... I'm an American." when told what to do. Reciprocity is a basic principle of foreign policy but the US seems to follow a policy of "We make rules. You follow rules." and any attempt to suggest that both sides should agree to a common set of rules is seen as interference with US sovereignty.

The problem is that your country has been spoon-fed this idea of anti-Americanism as if you are victims of some kind of discrimination when any foreigner gives criticism. You're not. You just have a government which has the ability to simultaneously piss people off all over the world whereas ours can only mildly annoy Europe and a few former colonies.

Being in government is about making people do what you want - and being a bastard. If you've got the most powerful country, then you've got the biggest bastards in charge so don't be surprised if your country attracts more complaints.

PS. Re-read George's post. He's accusing you of being a hypocrite because you make a generalisation about the British population while complaining about generalisations about Americans, not because you said the US was innocent. You might want to read up on the phrase "hoist on your on petard".

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Unhappy

Yup used to love visiting the US...but now its Canada.

Our lovely yummy tourist dollars will be going north of the border from now on.

We just cant risk going to the US anymore. My gf whilst a UK subject has a lapsed green card/resident visa for the US and so before these immigration checks came into force she was always sent to the 'office' and made to wait for questioning whilst I was left wondering if I was going to be holidaying it alone.

We just dread to think what would happen now. Just not worth the risk.

I am also all in favour of putting in the same checks etc. for US folks visiting the UK. Its really the quickest way to get rid of all this BS.

Two can play silly buggers.

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@jason

I am also all in favour of putting in the same checks etc. for US folks visiting the UK. Its really the quickest way to get rid of all this BS.

Two can play silly buggers.

You're kidding ?? You think the US gov would change its mind on that because Americans were inconvenienced , pissed off ??? If that was the case the whole TSA would of been scraped. Hmm government doing what the people want , never heard of that. On both sides of the pond we have government doing what ever it wants no mater how mad the public gets.

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US immigration

They get a bad press, but it wasn't always so...

In 1981 I visited family in New England and with their help deposited my travel funds in their local small-town bank, assured that I could access them from anywhere in US/Canada. Travelling around I eventually crossed over into Canada at Niagara Falls. I was the only Brit on a bus of many nations and the only one to be pulled up by the french-Canadian border guard. Having only $250 on my person he gave me only a 2 week visa. I have long held no respect for arbitrary authority and being young and confident stayed 15 weeks, including some work. When I crossed back into the States the female immigration officer closely examined the dates and remarked "You spent a long time in Canada" I replied" Well it's a big country". Immediately she stamped the passport and handed it back to me "It sure is!" she said with a big smile.

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Flame

Kain Preache has a valid point methinks...

I think the UK`s state of democracy is lamentable, Bush was honest in what he stood for, evil but honest while Blair was a picture perfect Machiavellian. I believe that its the massive amounts of upper class UK investment in US that leads our fascist government to take one anally on request from the yanks as they cannot afford US economy to crash. Personally I do hope that our upper classes go bankrupt along with the US economy as I see it as the only way that the Middle-East can ever have peace not to mention the massive benefits to the environment, terrorism and eventually UK surveillance that would be gained by our children as a result of this bankruptcy.

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Paris Hilton

Welcome, Trusted Traveller

So, the terrorists bide their time until they become classified as frequent and trusted travellers. Then they bomb the place to buggery and we're back to square one.

These "initiatives" will cost all of us a lot of money and inconvenience and will do next to nothing to combat terrorism.

Paris, because even she can see further than the end of her nose, sometimes.

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@Johnnyboy

Personally I do hope that our upper classes go bankrupt along with the US economy as I see it as the only way that the Middle-East

really then what about ancient tibial feuds and different religious sect.that fight.TO say that would bring piece means you have no understanding of whats going on there. If the US were to pull out today and stop using oil there would still be a mess there.

Thats what I was talking about. Some people want to to see the US economy fail with out think about what it would do to the rest of the world

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