Are you a US citizen? Do you ever embark on international travel
alone? Do you wear loose fitting clothing for the flight? Do you
often arrive at international airports without a bag full of
souvenirs? If so, be careful – you fit the US customs profile of a
A 50 year old woman (a US citizen born in Columbia) recently traveled
to the US from Hong Kong. She was traveling alone, wearing loose
fitting clothing and carrying none of the souvenirs typical of the
On this basis, and because she was judged to have answered some
questions in an “evasive” manner, she was taken in to a side room,
patted down and ordered to strip. Her body cavities were probed and
she was forced to take a series of laxatives, which induced 28 bowel
movements over an 8-hour period.
No drugs were found – but this is unlikely to bring about any changes
to a system under which almost every international traveler could be
drawn under the spotlight as a possible drugs courier and subjected to
intrusive and degrading treatment at the hands of the authorities.
Is Your Bank Account Part Of The Public Record?
I am a financial services professional and as such, am offered lists
of peoples names (for sale) all the time. These ‘list vendors’ usually
tell me that they can pinpoint everything from income to net worth.
Okay, that’s not good. However, last week, it got even worse. A woman
called me and offered a list which, she claimed, was straight from the
SHE: I can sell you names and give you their income, and deposits at
I: How do you know it’s accurate?
SHE: We collect information and separate them by demographics and incomes.
I: Where do you get this information?
SHE: From the banks themselves.
I: Why, do they turn over the names of their clients to you?
SHE: They don’t, it’s part of the public record.
I: How’s that?
SHE: When banks merge, the Gov’t does an audit. They audit everything
from mortgage apps to deposits. Those mortgage apps have, of
course, every bit of financial information about someone. The
government audit is public record.
I: And you can give me the value of these individual accounts?
SHE: No, the government groups them into brackets, like $100,000 to
I: So you get the brackets? Or the actual values?
SHE: We get the brackets. Only the banks and the governments know the
values. So, do you want to buy the list or not?
I: I honestly don’t feel that I can support that.
Boy, do I feel better now, knowing that the government adds my bracket
to the PUBLIC RECORD!