back to article Mozilla dev and Curl inventor Daniel Stenberg denied travel to USA

All Daniel Stenberg wanted to do was endure about fifteen hours of air travel from Sweden so he could spend a fun week talking code at Mozilla's all-hands meeting in San Francisco. But the Moz developer and maker of the Curl data transfer tool was denied boarding in Stockholm, en route to London and then The City By The Bay. …

Anonymous Coward

!

That just pisses me off!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: !

All the more reason to have important conferences outside the USA...

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Re: !

Agreed. It's not worth the hassle visiting the US at all anymore. ESTA is wildly seen as a convenient source of income more than anything else anyway.

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Bronze badge

Re: ! (conferences out of USA)

For those of us who were born here here, and have no other citizenship, the problem then switches to coming back _in_ to the U.S.A. Especially if one is cautious enough to not carry ones own laptop, but download (Oh! Noes!, he accessed a US server from a foreign country) onto a locally acquired machine at the conference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ! (conferences out of USA)

That is called a problem of your own making, Mike. ;-)

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Bureaucratic cock-up and incompetence existed long before Trump turned up to make it the bestest in the world. He probably doesn't even get a refund on the ticket, either. Uncle Sam doesn't pay for his mistakes if he can avoid it.

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Anonymous Coward

> Uncle Sam doesn't pay for his mistakes if he can avoid it.

Of course they don't. Those are paid by the aggrieved persons themselves. More precisely, $14 in Stenberg's case according to Mr Sharwood.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Joke

Gotta keep them fuzzy foreigners out ;)

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Gimp

So ESTA can't manage reliable data transfer but its the passengers who get it in the neck.

Because the show must go on. The security theatre show that is.

Seriously. 9/11/01 was 16 years ago.

All of the flights were internal, to either SF or LAX.

So why is the USG 16 years later hoovering up every foreign visitor's travel details (including their credit card details)?

Does it serve any actually useful purpose at all, other than to remind any visitor to a 5 I's country that you are a suspect (just like their everyone who lives t here in fact)?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So ESTA can't manage reliable data transfer but its the passengers who get it in the neck.

So why is the USG 16 years later hoovering up every foreign visitor's travel details (including their credit card details)?

The amount of information demanded by ESTA and the genuine stupidity of the system has been steadily growing too.

When it first started it was a page or so of information which is generally relevant for visa-free admission. It is now 3+ pages of drivel which is nothing but a data sucking exercise. It is also ridiculously stupid at present - it cannot comprehend the idea that I have 3 citizenships, but only 2 passports, because I do not fancy the idea of visiting the embassy of the 3rd one to renew it (nothing personal, just business, I would like to live for a few more years). It has lapsed nearly a decade ago and I like to keep it that way.

Let's look at the actual requirement to have a valid passport for all of your citizenships in more detail.

Most of the diaspora of repressive governments holds dual citizenships. They know that they may never come back (or suddenly develop cancer a few weeks after) from a visit to their "home" embassy. However, the American "stalwarts of democracy" which "support it worldwide" insist that they have a valid passport from the hunta that is currently running the country they bailed from. Fantastic idea of propriety by our American friends. Pure unadulterated genius.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So ESTA can't manage reliable data transfer but its the passengers who get it in the neck.

> It is also ridiculously stupid at present - it cannot comprehend the idea that I have 3 citizenships, but only 2 passports

Which is why I always mention one citizenship and one passport. What they don't know can't hurt them and besides it's none of their business. One has to know better than to volunteer this information to all and sundry.

(If anyone is tempted to say "but they will find out" or stuff like that: a. the jobsworths who deal with these things are too stupid to comprehend, b. as I said, it is none of their business, c. those few who really may need to know will ask you point blank, and they understand why you may not want to be forthcoming, d. if you are intimidated by idiots, you will spend your life begging on your knees.)

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Silver badge

Re: So ESTA can't manage reliable data transfer but its the passengers who get it in the neck.

More to the point

“ESTA” is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and is a pre-screening program for citizens of nations that don't need a visa to visit the United States. Securing an ESTA authorization takes a few minutes on a dedicated web site and costs US$4 to apply and then a further $10 if approved, whereupon the US Department of Homeland Security lets your airline know it's okay for you to board.

That looks and smells like an electronic visa to me.

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Scientists of all countries,

Forget the xenophobic USA, come in the UE instead, you'll be welcome with open arms.

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Black Helicopters

Save the Planet!

Maybe all this extra security is actually a cunning way to dissuade us from travelling, thus saving the planet by reducing the amount of air travel.

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LDS
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Joke

Re: Save the Planet!

Maybe it's a plan to reintroduce coal steamships?

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Re: Save the Planet!

"Maybe all this extra security is actually a cunning way to dissuade us from travelling"

Or a cunning way to disguise bumping overbooked passengers?

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Joke

Re: Save the Planet!

Guess he must not have been flying United. They don't bother with cunning ruses, they'd simply drag him off the plane if they were overbooked!

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Anonymous Coward

ESTA...PITA

Funnily enough just filled out 6 of the bleeding things for our family+friends' holiday to Florida.

Why do they need to know our parents' names?

Why do they ask if under-16's are currently employed?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ESTA...PITA

Because they want to know if you are related to the Prophet Mohammed. If you or your parents have this as your surname then clearly you are related and a threat.

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Holmes

I think I've found the problem

Stenberg jumped through those hoops and was apparently approved for an ESTA, but was informed that something was awry as he tried to board his British Airways plane in Stockholm.

Do we trust BA's IT not to screw things up?

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LDS
Silver badge

Re: I think I've found the problem

At least it was notified in his home country, not in London, or even worse, at the US airport border control...

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Silver badge

Re: I think I've found the problem

Do we trust BA's IT not to screw things up?

To screw things up, the IT has to be running. Current form would indicate that there will be times when that question is moot.

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Re: I think I've found the problem

I've said it before elsewhere but it got rejected. The trick is not to fly BA. Certainly not transatlantic. Rude cabin crew, no space. Horrible.

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Re: I think I've found the problem

Do we trust BA's IT not to screw things up?

Do we trust anybody's IT not to screw things up?

T,FTFY

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Boffin

Missed Opportunity

Surely there could be a country that can make full use of the technical know-how and allow foreign staff to enter and become the second Silicon Valley in the world. I don't mean India where they just use staff as slave labour.

Unfortunately, everyone have put all their eggs in one basket. It is time to spread them around to a place that looks after data security.

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Re: Missed Opportunity

Surely there could be a country that can make full use of the technical know-how and allow foreign staff to enter and become the second Silicon Valley

Like where? The unique thing about Silicon Valley isn't either the silicon, or the tech sector as such, it is a combination of friendly regulation and ready access to investors and capital markets willing and able to throw vast sums of money at tech.

The remaining Five Spies countries are too aligned with US security policy to step out of line much, and don't have access to bottomless money pits. The EU countries are far less accommodating and tech-friendly, and they don't have the money either. Places like UAE, Saudi, and Dubai could find the money and the will, but are intolerant and repressive. Russia and China only seem keen on tech as a means of keeping their own population under the thumb, or causing trouble abroad.

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Re: Missed Opportunity

Ireland seems to be going that way....

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Re: Missed Opportunity

"it is a combination of friendly regulation and ready access to investors and capital markets willing and able to throw vast sums of money at tech."

1. The premise of TFA is the unfriendly regulation of the country as a whole.

2. The money will be thrown at the tech wherever it might be if they can't do that locally. And I believe Switzerland and several Caribbean islands might have money available.

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Re: Missed Opportunity

@Paratrooping Parrot - It's already happening. Silicon Valley software companies are setting up shop in Vancouver BC and moving non-American development and engineering staff there specifically to avoid problems. It's in the same time zone, and a relatively short flight to visit there. It's even closer for companies in Seattle.

Vancouver already has a large tech industry, so there is plenty of talent to draw from. It has a very high quality of life, although expensive due to rising property prices, so companies don't have a lot of trouble persuading other staff to move there. The Canadian government has been expediting work visas for companies who want to do this.

The industry is already one step ahead of you.

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Meh

I guess they do the same for anyone leaving from Sweden - Assange perhaps.

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Anonymous Coward

I do not recall ESTA having a field asking how many fingers do you have. However as it continues to increase in size and approach the style of a USSR "permission to leave the country" questionnaire...

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Anonymous Coward

This illustrates

Two reasons not to travel to the US:

1. Arbitrary, arrogant, intrusive travel policies. This is incompatible with the goals of any business who values reliability¹.

2. They charge you for it! As the article illustrates. I have also seen them make people call premium rate numbers to get an appointment (on top of charging for the visa, etc., etc.).

¹ I guess Mozilla can be let off on this one.

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Anonymous Coward

"Silicon Valley hates that idea as it relies on talent from around the world"

And therein lies the problem. They have the money and they need the talent.

Perhaps it is time to bring the mountain to Mohammed, after all.

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Mozilla dev

Can we toss all of them out of the US? They're a useless bunch of self-important gits in my opinion.

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Happy

Always Look On The Bright Side

At least he avoided being sodomized at the airport by the Traveller Sodomization Administration and then sent back home for no reason.

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