Feeds

US imposes 72 hour pre-reg for Visa waiver travellers

Lastminuteweek.com

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Europeans and other potential enemies of the US are to be forced to deposit their personal details on the Department of Homeland Security’s computer system 72 hours before they get anywhere near the place.

The new rules will apply to citizens of the UK, and other countries whose citizens can travel to the US under the “visa waiver program”, from January next year. The prime motivation for the scheme is increased concern in Washington that European grown terrorists can exploit the visa waiver program to get into the US and wreak havoc.

The plan comes a year after Europe expressed concern that US proposals to impose a 48 hour preregistration period for visa free travel would have played havoc with business people making last minute commercial trips to the US. The US has clearly taken these considerations on board, and decided to up the pre-reg period to 72 hours.

According to reports, registrations made under the scheme will be valid for two years, allowing multiple entries to the US. Non PC-owning travellers will be able to register through travel agents.

Nevertheless, there are concerns that the scheme will do little to speed entry into the US. According to the FT, Susan Ginsburg of the Migration Policy Institute, expressed concern that no pilots had been conducted and that the move would increase pressure on the creaking US immigration system.

Of more concern to privacy minded Europeans there’s also no clue as to what will happen to non-US citizen’s data once it finds its way into the State Department and Department of Homeland Security Systems.

Clearly, details will be checked against watch lists. However, Europeans will no doubt be concerned that their information will be dispatched to a big data warehouse where it will be mined into oblivion. Previously, the consensus was that the little paper entry cards you filled out on arrival in the US were sent to a physical warehouse and consigned to oblivion.

Apart from unease over the amount of data US authorities will be collecting about other countries’ citizens – the vast bulk of whom will have committed no crime other than wanting to go to Disneyland – there will also be concerns that the immigration database will be a potential goldmine for ID thieves.

The perceived invasiveness of the US scheme will likely dissuade some European travelers from actually crossing the Atlantic. In which case they can stay at home and grumble about the EU’s own efforts to tighten up entry procedures.

The US scheme - electronic travel authorization scheme - has been dubbed ESTA for short. Why? Because someone in Washington realized that ETA is a terrorist group. There’s no clue as to what the S stands for. Slow perhaps? Or simply "sod off". ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.