Technology with attitude

US Begins Tracking Foreign Visitors From Canada

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From the Kingston Whig-Standard:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said this week that the crossing between Lansdowne and Alexandria Bay, N.Y., will be one of three Canada-U.S. land borders to require non-Canadians to carry wireless devices as part of a pilot project.

Travellers will be required to carry the devices as of Aug. 4.

The technology is part of US-VISIT, a billion-dollar anti-terrorism initiative launched last December that has kept about 700 criminals, including one posing as a Canadian, out of the States.

So how does it work?

Travellers required to use the technology include landed immigrants living in Canada, Canadian citizens who are either engaged to a U.S. citizen or who have applied for a special business visa.

They’ll have to carry the wireless devices as a way for border guards to access the electronic information stored inside a document about the size of a large index card.

Visitors to the U.S. will get the card the first time they cross the border and will be required the carry the document on subsequent crossings to and from the States.

And by the way…

Canadian citizens are the only people in the world exempt from US-VISIT.

I’ll spare the Orwell jokes, but frankly I’m glad to see more border programs being put in place. Like the article said, our measures have kept out 700 criminals and one person posing as a Canadian citizen.

Now, if we only could do more about Mexico…