back to article US imposes 72 hour pre-reg for Visa waiver travellers

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 …


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  1. Kevin Ede

    Meanwhile, here in the UK.....

    .....we let anyone in, pay for their house and upkeep, and all the rest of us lose our jobs, rights & identities. Cheers.

  2. evilbobthebob


    And other potential enemies? Wow, the US is getting more paranoid by the day...

  3. Jamie


    As the US knobheads are now buddy buddy with the French again they have went with ETSA (Electronic Travel Schema Authorization) done with a french accent.

    Viva la France

  4. Stephen Cole

    What's good for the goose...

    Why aren't we doing the same then?

    Seems only logcal that we screen USA'ers & force them to register their details if they want to travel to blighty as they may be terrorists as well.

  5. tryrun

    I really Feel Sorry For Them

    I feel sorry for them - I'd hate to live in a coutry with so much fear and dis-trust of the outside world it must be horrible.

    At this rate they'll end up like Burma or China in a few years.

  6. Tom

    Good grief.

    It may actually be easier to get into China or Russia.

    Wonder where my tourist sterling will be spent.

  7. klaus

    At last a sensible policy

    Well done, marvelous idea.

  8. dervheid

    The answer to this is...

    is in our own hands.

    They (or at least their government &/or it's agencies) don't want us there.

    Let's not go there.

    A few weeks without tourist dollars flooding in should focus their attention nicely.

  9. Matt


    Got to the States, get treated like a criminal, hire a car, get shot.

    Think I'll go elsewhere.......

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Just a...

    few more of these stupid regulations and no one will want to fly to the US. Then we can close their boarders and stop the arrogant buggers from coming out.

  11. moonoi

    ETA is already in use....

    by Australia and they don't seem to care about the association with a terrorist organisation :-) suppose the US thinks its the first with this idea again then!

  12. Mike Crawshaw
    Thumb Down

    What's the bet...?

    That if UK/EU turned the tables and said any US visitors had to pass us all their details a few days in advance - to stop the terrorists of course - that it would somehow be "anti-competitive"?

    Assholes. GF has been banging on about going to LA next year, but it sure ain't happening with all the BS rings you gotta jump thru.

  13. Ralph B

    You Say Tomato

    I think it's a problem with Merkin pronounciation ... they heard "War on Terrorism" as "War on Tourism".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oz got there first

    So just like the Australian ETA - Electronic Travel Authority - then.

    AC Obviously!

  15. Mark


    Europeans Shouldn't Travel to America?

    Everyone Suspected of Terrorist Affiliation?

    Expected Sources of Terrorist Activity?

    or perhaps just



    Electronic Scheme for Travel Authorization?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title is required, as are your medical records and life history...

    Wouldn't mind so much if you could easily (and cheaply) get to other places on the American continent (yes, US residents, there are other countries in America) without changing in the US - should a trip to Canada require your details to be registered in the USA? I was under the impression that if you didn't pass through customs, you didn't officially enter the country, so therefore shouldn't have to register, but I may be wrong (in which case it's a stupid system).

  17. Vernon

    Moon on a stick?

    Hmm this is getting silly, we have no control over our own borders, but must conform to EU rules. Perhaps the EU should impose the same criteria on US travellers to the EU, if they bring a laptop, we should copy the harddrive, get their personal details 72 hrs in advance, fingerprints & DNA on arrival. Ask them silly questions, about moral turpitude, ask if they ever donated to NORAID etc, and setup our own Guantanamo in the Falkland islands for any US citizen we don't like the look of!

    All for Justin Case you understand, we won't look for commercial advantage in any of the data oh no.......... it's a security thing!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    ETA is a terrorist group.... is it?

    So is the IRA but they still helped to fund them for decades.

    Besides the US has more "home grown" nutters with a gun than all Europe put together. Including the training camps and financing for them.

  19. Mike Tyler

    Well ...

    Well I hope it's a reciprocal arrangement, that applies to all persons traveling to Europe from the USA. Including the CIA and the military. Won't bother me, I gave up going to the "Land of the Free" when they started to fingerprint all entrants and stopped being the "Land of the Free".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    And this is a problem because......?

    They can damned well introduce what they like, I'll not be setting foot in the dump again anyhow......

    Can someone tell the Septics that they don't need to keep coming up with these "we're gonna make it dang near impossible for you commy bastards to enter our glorious country" measures, as most non-yanks are now so fed up with this crap that we don't want to bother any more anyway!!!

    The important question is, when are the rest of our nations going to have the balls to insist that Americans go through the same crap when THEY travel abroad?

  21. Steven Raith

    Those entry cards - the truth revealed

    "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."

    It is a widely believed fact that those cards are mashed down, mixed with water, and used to repair the scorch marks that keep appearing on the box containing the Ark of the Covenant.

    I thought everyone knew that?

    Mines the one with the snakes - why did it have to be snakes - in the pockets.

    Steven R

  22. Tom Chiverton Silver badge

    Easy solution

    Don't go.

    Tell the folks you *were* going to met in the US why you wont go, and hold the whole thing over video link/Skype/etc.

    Better for your carbon foot print too...

  23. Anthony Eeles

    electronic travel authorisation *scheme*

    Nope, no idea where that rogue S comes from either...

    Mines the one trapped in the X Ray machine

  24. George Johnson
    Thumb Up

    That's nice...

    What about our "special relationship" with our friends the US government? Don't our friends the US trust us anymore? Probably nothing personal. they simply don't anyone anymore!

  25. Paul

    Promoted up the order

    One assumes the S is for scheme that has been promoted up the abbreviation batting order.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Great idea...

    ...Let's impose the same on any US travellers to the EU, so that they too can be safe.

    Anonymous, as I might want to go to the US soon.

  27. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Another reason...

    ... Not to visit the USA!

    Why don't they just build a big wall around the country and save us all the bother?

  28. Geoff Johnson

    Safe at last.

    So that's the US safe from any European terrorists who just happen to be dumb enough to tick the I'm a terrorist box on a web form then.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No skin off my nose

    Just one more reason the avoid the place. all the crap you have to go through just to take your kids to Florida? No thanks.

    What's the betting that soon they will have a huge tourism drive as the numbers are (inexplicably to Washington) down?

    Land of the free*

    *subject to change, mangle or otherwise be open to abuse by those in power.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    S for...

    system, maybe?

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm pretty sure the S stands for..

    SECURE! Anon post because you can't be too SECURE these days.

  32. Antony King

    visa non-waiver?

    So the 'merkins are allowing brits to travel to the USA without a visa, provided they apply in advance for a document that allows them entry. Don't most countries call that a 'visa' ?

    Remind me, is this to stop terrorists or is it 'for the children' - I lose track of which justifications are used where these days.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    As if we needed one, here's our final excuse to avoid the USA and go to Canada instead. Everything you want from North America, without the drawbacks.

  34. Ross

    Lost in the noise

    Eurodisney ftw.

    I wonder what filters the database will have to stop someone randomly spamming it with useless info. Not that I know anyone that would be inclined to such a thing...

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @ Jim Booth - Tourism Drive

    You mean you've not seen the "inspiring" (*koff*) adverts to visit California, starring your favourite cybernetic organism? I nearly went, just out of sheer terror.

  36. Nomen Publicus

    The Hunt for Red October

    Capt. Vasili Borodin: I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck... maybe even a "recreational vehicle." And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?

    Captain Ramius: I suppose.

    Capt. Vasili Borodin: No papers?

    Captain Ramius: No papers, state to state.

    Capt. Vasili Borodin: Well then, in winter I will live in... Arizona. Actually, I think I will need two wives.

    Captain Ramius: Oh, at least.

    It took only 18 years for that quote to change from funny to sad.

  37. AndyC

    So glad already been...

    Managed to hit the states quiet a few times before most of this junk went down. I've seen Florida and Miami before 11/9 and was in Seattle and L.A. a year afterwards. Seen NY last year witch unfortunately meant I had to have pointer fingers 'printed... Shame I had burned them welding a few days before hand... yeah... shame...

    Really cant understand why they keep doing this, well, I can but just dont believe it. They really must want "their" country secure then. I mean, all the terrorists must be coming in right on the planes and not sneaking at all... No thats crazy talk.

    Guessing my trip to NY will be the last time I set anything over there. Lets make the sod's reg the same details with us, you know, "for the children terroirsts" or some such...

    No AC as well, meh, *finger to the states*

  38. Jeff Deacon
    Black Helicopters


    I made the mistake of travelling on a plane that had a refuelling stop in the USA, so had the "privilige" of having my (at that time two) fingerprints taken by border guards wearing Black shirts, who told me that it was all for my own protection! At that point I concluded I was never go back to that place again. Shame, because the people seem to be quite friendly, its just the stinking government that they choose for themselves.

    So when they started taking all ten finger I felt completely vindicated. And now, heartily relieved that I will never need to worry about them selling the information to anyone else, because there isn't much of mine amongst it.

    One day it will get better, but not in my lifetime.

  39. Antony Bircham

    So what....

    It's their country they can do what like with it, pity they didn't take that attitude with other nations on the planet.

  40. iSuff44

    Were all Crims

    Do we have to take a board and get photographed by homeland security against the wall in our Transformers t shirts?

    (providing you don't fly with British Airways from Heathrow)

    Don't grow a beard or look shifty!

  41. RainForestGuppy
    Thumb Up

    Re Aussie ETA

    I don't think Oz is so paranoid about Terrorists, but you just try to get into the country with mud on your boots!!

    I like the Visa scheme they have in Turkey. Fly into Istanbul airport, pay £10, have the nice man stick a visa into you passport and stamp it no questions asked.

    You may be a terrorist but a slightly poorer terrorist, Capitalism at it's best.

  42. Frank
    Thumb Up

    Let them rot

    First of all a few things to note.

    @ first comment-Kevin

    This is the way of the world. Now, dont blame others for coming to your country and taking your job, the simple fact here is that they can only take your job if you are worthless and if you are complaining about it the chances are that you are just that. Be good at what you do and you will have a job no matter what.

    As for the other people saying we should do the same to americans, i only can wonder why. At this time you dont wanna make it hard for americans to come to europe. On the contrary you wanna make it easy. Let them all come here and let america rot. The ones who will manage to come to europe will not be useless rednecks for the most part. We will acquire their brain power and their workforce and leave america with inbreds. Why would you want to prevent that?

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Overreaction maybe?

    And I’m not talking about the US measures; I’m talking about most of the posters here. Virtually everyone buys their ticket more than three days in advance, so for most it surely isn’t a problem.

    So you have to give your name, passport number and place you’re staying in the US on a form that takes a couple of minutes to fill out.

    Sure, so many hoops to go through! Obviously a much greater effort than lugging the kids around Disneyworld for two weeks would have been.

    So much anti-US feeling might just breed a little paranoia in Homeland Security.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    No travel

    Go Notrth to Canada, nice people there, or go South to Cuba, Customs are less up there own backsides and far less paraniod.

  45. Bill Wallace

    Meanwhile, here in Europe

    In February, the EU outlined similar plans for travellers to Europe who do not currently require a visa for short visits. Pot - black?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ Stephen Cole et al - RECIPROCITY

    We all keep banging on about how the Mercans should be treated the same as they treat others: I know a place where they do!

    Brazil. You got to love their immigration policy....

    When the US put the visa fees up.... so did Brazil (Exactly the same fee!)

    When the US started to fingerprint non-US visitors, Brazil started fingerprinting... US Citizens.

    Nothing like sailing through the queue (I'm a Brit, married to a Brazilian), having filled out the form my tourists visa, no cost, stress or hassle. Speak a little Portuguese and they're even nicer to you.

    Meanwhile... the Americans 'guests' have to pay through the nose to be treated like criminals on arrival.... sound familiar? (They didn't look happy)

    Why can't my country have some balls (like Brazil) and treat US citizens the way the US treats my fellow countrymen? Naa. Better roll out the red carpet - they're obviously above all that... of course terrorists only come from outside the US.

    Mine's the anonymous coat, cos you never know where the black CIA helicopters will turn up.

    BTW Brazil is beautiful. Everyone should visit at least once... and no fingerprinting (unless you're from the USA.... ha ha)!!

  47. Chris
    Paris Hilton

    Ohh b....

    Welcome to my Nighmare. The GF not only wants to go to the US, but he's from the US, so the likleyhood of me having to once again be fingerprinted / scanned / probed and, more importantly, treated like I've got a very large chunk of C4 up my arse every time I fly into Newark is great.

    How did that saying go, treat people like children and they'll act like children? Nice affect on the world this will be having, treating everyone like terrorists.

    The business points are right also, we travel at short notice for work so we'll just be registering most of our company's employees details in January for some serious data-mining.

    This does lead to one story of greatness from US Border Control however. When travelling to see the GF...

    Border Control :: So is the trip for business?

    Me : No, I'm going to visit the GF

    BC : She lives here then?

    Me : Yes

    BC : You are gona take care of business as well then!

    Fantastic. Paris because she always requests the the body search

  48. Dr. Mouse


    "the vast bulk of whom will have committed no crime other than wanting to go to Disneyland"

    That's enough of a crime in my book.

    Also @Graham Marsden's comment: "Why don't they just build a big wall around the country and save us all the bother?"

    Make sure it's water-tight and we can fill it with water. Half the world's problems solved.

    Now if we can just convince the French to do the same.

    On a serious note, I shall not be travelling to the States unless I have to (and I may, as my boss wants me to go on a training course there... May have to look for another job). And I do think we should return the favour. All US citizens wanting to enter the UK must supply all their details, a sample of blood, urine, faeces, hair, their finger/hand/foot prints, bra size/dick length...

    American W*****s!

  49. Bernard

    Why would we want to make it more difficult for American tourists?

    I never understand why people get so sensitive about this stuff and talk about retaliating. If the Americans don't want us to come, we won't go. Easy.

    If they want to come here and pay vastly inflated prices to stay in London and gawp at things built before 2003 they're quite welcome to. Sure they can be annoying, but why would we stop them from subsidising the public services that they don't benefit from?

  50. Christoph
    Black Helicopters

    @ Ross

    Quite right. Nobody would ever be so nasty as to sign Bobby Tables up on their database.

  51. Chris Hawkins

    They just don't get it!

    At the time of 9/11 the US had the sympathy of the world. In 7 years they have, by showing how grossly they don't understand the world, managed to alienate the bulk of the planet, but when you meet the average Merkan they don't get it.

    They are imposing increasingly restricted travel restrictions on friendly nations, while their own frontier with Mexico and Canada remains as porous as ever and given its length will never be totally secure.

    The time has come for the rest of the world to treat US citizens as aliens, including special desks at Immigration just for US citizens and staffed by the most obnoxious border agents in each country's Immigration dept.

    In case the US hasn't noticed, it is no longer the Hyperpower it was. China, India, Russia, the EU and Brazil are all doing fine as economic and political powers. IT giants such as Microsoft & Co can no longer get the top foreign brains because these prefer to stay at home rather that endure the humiliation of the US Border control system.

    My partner and I are another couple who will never be travelling stateside again either directly or in transit.

    Mine's the Free Finnish OS with a VIA Taiwanese Processor please!

  52. John Munyard


    Isn't it somewhat ironic that over 10,000 Americans are killed every year in the USA - by other Americans using guns.

    Who are they trying to protect themselves from?

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Let us lobby....

    ...for an expansion of Kangerlussuaq Airport and we can all do our flights to Canada via Greenland.

    Anyone heading for South America? Just go via Spain. Flights via the Canaries shouldn't need to enter US airspace.

  54. Jonny F

    And yet you can read that Manual in the USA and not get arrested for it

    Stop being such miserable sods. If making your travel plans a few days early is too much then don't travel. US travelers fill out landing cards as they enter the UK too. If you think the US system is wrong don't take part in it. And if you think UK law enforcement doesn't have access to passenger lists, what are you thinking?

    If you did travel to the USA at least you could read your Manga and look at the dot-gov copies of that manual. For someone in Blighty reading the US news you see a lot of people getting shot. For someone in the USA reading the UK news you see a lot of people getting knifed and kicked to death.

  55. Anonymous Coward

    @Nomen - WE still can.

    It's only you terrorist coddlers who need to provide some proof you don't intend to kill me. And yes, that applies to the terrorist coddling froggies too.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misguided priorities

    And even before all this you still had a greater chance of being killed by your pet than a terrorist.

    Americans kill each other to the tune of around 16000 a year according to FBI stats so by these standards they shouldn't be allowed to move off the spot !

  57. Big_Boomer


    So is this now going to be called the Visa Waiver Waiver Programme?

    Next thing you know we all be banned from travelling on US airlines even when we are not travelling to the USA. Fine by me. Until the airline managing idiots recognise that there are people out there over 5'8" and 100lbs I won't be flying again. Pay £300 for 7 hours of agony. Nah.

  58. Hunde Kotze

    "America" != Americans

    The small fraction of Americans (like me) who are actually sentient and care about our place in the World are positively -nauseated- by this shit. I travel to Europe several times per year, and am treated 40 times more courteously by the border control people in Germany, Netherlands, et al. than I am when I return to MY OWN FUCKING COUNTRY. Jackbooted dimwitted thugs does not begin to describe these creeps. I can only meekly apologise to any Europeans who are forced to go to the US. We are not all like this. Just avoid Jeebusland. (aka 'Red States').

    This idiocy will not make anyone more secure, other than the security apparatchiks themselves, who are intent on ever-expanding their Orwellian reign of surveillance, fear, and suspicion.

    I can only meekly apologise to any Europeans who are forced to go to the US. We are not all like this. Just avoid Jeebusland. (aka 'Red States').

  59. Geoff

    Did anyone else...

    Read that as "Vista Waiver"?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The good new is...

    ...that Americans can get rid of these idiots in November; we might have to wait until 2010 to sort out ours.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    you don't really understand

    Most of us (normal) "merkins" DON'T want this (any more than we wanted the current regime...or you want yours). Crooked/fixed elections without independent monitoring allowed certain misbegotten influences to take over Washington and crap all over the constitution. My personal feeling is that certain folks should have been impeached a long time ago and imprisoned (along with their advisors) who are all worse than the stasi.

  62. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    [Electronic] S s s s s s s s s ? [for Tyrannical Americ-- oops Ally]

    Spite... Sarcasm... Scourge... Sanction... Schizophrenia... Snoop... Sphinter... Sculduggery... Secrecy... Sewer... Sham... Scapegoat... Sickness... mmmmmmm?

    Ah, nope - it's gotta be "Salami" - same as boloney but shaped like a big cock.

  63. This post has been deleted by its author

  64. TimBiller

    Those crafty Spaniards ...

    Spain already wants this for UK residents travelling there. I just had to fill the details in on the airline website for a planned family holiday there next month. All they wanted were names, ages and passport numbers. Hardly onerous.

    Of course, the green US VW form also requires details of the intended place of residence during your stay, so how will the new pre-registration handle that if it's valid for 2 years?


  65. Unkle Al


    "the stinking government that they choose for themselves"

    Ask most Americans and they do not agree with what the government does/says/implements. Another post describes it perfectly, they put up ridiculous flight restrictions with extremely porous Northern and Southern land borders. The problem lies in our two party system, so that most elections we don't have a choice of a 'good' candidate, just the lesser of two evils. Another contributing factor is the immense size of our Federal government. You don't like your government do you ? Imagine dramatically increasing the size of your own bureaocracy and see what you get.

    FFS, most of you need to stop confusing a meddlesome, overweight, stupid...oh wait, just looked I see your point!

    Mine's the one with "USA: Love it or leave it" on the back.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    what's the problem?

    ...fill in the form when you get to heathrow security and by the time you finally get on the plane those 72 hours will have flown by .. much like your luggage on the way to the point on the planet geometrically furthest from your intended destination

  67. Chris Hawkins

    Did anyone else...


    You got there just before me!

    A "Vista Waiver" programme on all laptops sold outside the US would be an excellent idea. Knew there had to be a good IT idea somewhere in this topic.

    Oh to be able to buy a good laptop in Europe free from Redmond domination, not pay for Vista and install what ever OS I wanted on it!

    Trouble is if MS were to introduce a "Vista Waiver" programme they would want all our personal details first as well....

    oh well, it was an idea while it lasted.....!

  68. This post has been deleted by its author

  69. Anonymous Coward

    No trip to the States this year.... or ever again for that matter!!!

    So.... that rules out the US as this year's holiday destination, thank goodness I haven't booked like the mrs has been nagging me to.....

    Should do wonders for the US trade deficit.....

  70. Matt Bradley

    @Kevin Ede

    Oookay. Who linked to this article from the Daily Mail website?

    Is there any way we can put up some form of immigration barrier to stop these undesirables entering this website? Some form of broder control, perhaps?

    Kevin: I can only assume you've either:

    a] recently lost your job to UK resident foreign immigrant.

    b] had your identity stolen by a UK resident foreign immigrant.

    c] lost some of your rights to a UK resident foreign immigrant.


    d] you're just reciting something somebody else told you.

    As regards paying for somebody's house and upkeep: If you've just lost your job, perhaps you could explain how you're paying for the upkeep of that tax paying UK resident foreign immigrant?

  71. Ryan Meier
    Thumb Down

    Sorry Europe

    And world. Hopefully the next administration will be sane and cancel this.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    Vista Waiver ?

    The EU anti-competition lady could insist on Linux being installed on non-European laptops.

    That should escalate things nicely.

  73. Anonymous Coward

    Invoke Terror level Crimson!!!

    What would happen if a Palestian Islamic Communist turned up with only 48 hours notice? Which part of paranioa would kick in first?

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Those crafty Spaniards..

    no, the VWP form wants the place of residence for your first night!

    reading helps!

  75. Ed


    Just thought I'd give Cambodia a quick shout out for their E-Visa system. I went travelling through South East Asia last year, whilst I was looking at visa requirements, I stumbled across the Cambodian E-Visa.

    Fill in a little form on the website, upload a passport picture, pay 25US$ via PayPal, and they email you a visa to print out and stick in your passport. Absolutely brilliant, and whole process took under an hour from placing the order to receiving my visa.

  76. Snake Plissken

    @Tom - Getting into countries

    "It may actually be easier to get into China or Russia."

    When I went to Hong Kong recently, me and my wife were off the plane and through Customs, Immigration, Baggage Claim and on the airport shuttle bus in 40 minutes.

    Basically through this combination of really wacky tactics that the US and UK would never consider called "having enough staff on the desks" and "not being paranoid intrusive idiots.

    Besides, you think the US immigration treats you like a criminal? Try UK Immigration who - and I am *not* exaggerating - didn't say a single word and looked at us with an expression bordering on contempt. Welcome home, indeed.

  77. Anonymous Coward


    .... Eurodisney.... ftw...????? er what?

    Eurodisney is clearly fts

  78. Anonymous Coward

    Build the wall!

    <i>Isn't it somewhat ironic that over 10,000 Americans are killed every year in the USA - by other Americans using guns.</i>

    Don' ferget; we also take out 50,000 of us with our cars.

    But yeah, beyond all the domestic dangers of living in the US (we even have a few deaths a year from black plague in the south-west), let's run the Constitution into the ground, wreck the economy, piss off the world, endanger the planet, set up a private 'Christian Solder' army and smirk all the way to the bank, all in the name of fear and terrorism. WTF has happened to people here? They got all worked up over a BJ in the Oval Office but crooks go and steal the country and we all just sit back and let it happen. We deserve to be walled in.

  79. Chris jones
    Black Helicopters

    @ Ryan Meier

    Thanks for your concern Ryan, don't worry though, we won't be holding our breath.

    With Bush II (Sorry McCain), HillDog© or Obama to choose from there isn't much hope of any meaningful change over there.

    Black Helicopter: 'Cos the Americans love 'em!

  80. Lukin Brewer


    Showing US customs that you were there to visit a Disney theme park always used to get you an easier time. Not only was it an activity that no customs agent could find fault with, the Disney Corporation was powerful enough to make trouble for them if they spoiled the overall customer experience.

  81. Chris Hawkins

    Entry to Spain

    TimBiller is right.

    However, the Guarda in Spain do not generally treat all and sundry as criminals/aliens in arrival. A cursory look/swipe of the passport and away you go.

    The problem with the US, even prior to this latest Big Brother control, has been the fact that all foreigners flying into US Airports have over, the past 20 years (yes, even before 9/11 ),generally been treated on the basis of "guilty until proven innocent". As the US is supposed to be the "land of the free", treatment of one's fellow humans in such a manner is galling!

    I reckon that even the real Aliens at Area 51 get better treatment....probably because they would phaser large parts of the US into oblivion before one could say "Fire photon torpedoes!"

    The fact is that the manner of implemention of the increasing level of immigration security in the US in such a crass way, the US has succeeded in pissing off a large part of the planet. True, the DHS did bring Disney in to provide training for the Immigration Control staff, but I reckon Goofy, Daffy and Mickey would do a better job.

  82. Tim J

    They can get your details already

    If the Yanks want your details they can get them already. Don't think the NSA and GCHQ don't have backdoors into every database that matters, whether it be the HM Customs & Revenue's tax and National Insurance databases, the Identity & Passport service database, the UK's Police National Computer, the regional NHS registries, the electoral roll, the customer management systems of telcos such as BT and Orange, and perhaps most crucially the credit reference agencies such as Equifax and Experian (which I understand do a more than just credit checking these days, as they offer a more general identity checking service too). Unless you've made a concerted attempt to "stay off the grid" then you're not going to be hard to find and identify.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh come on

    When the US started doing fingerprinting+extra screening of Brazilians entering the country, Brazil implemented the exact same measures for all US travelers.

    But instead of doing the same, the EU countries just whine about it and do what the US says. I say put your policy where your mouth is and implement these same rules for our travelers, then see how long the stupid policies last when the business execs start to complain to their congressional buddies.

  84. peter

    But it is not just 'visitors' who will get caught

    Last time I went there, it was simply for a refuel on the way to New Zealand. We had to stand In a queue for 4 hours waiting for the single imigration official to work his way through fingerprinting every single passenger in a Jumbo Jet. This was just for a refueling stop.

    Since it cannot be for any real security reason, I can only assume they do it to make up the number of "visitors" to landofthefreeandbrave just to show the bean counters how much people want to go there.

    Not me and not my Company anymore either. They have just instituted a ban on all booking andy flight needing a refuel stop in USA because of the additional admin pain. Not soon enough.

  85. John
    Dead Vulture

    This is the straw...

    that breaks the camels back for me.

    America has been getting more and more bonkers, my holiday destination list just grew a little shorter.

    Is the UK/EU going to bring in similar rules for them, or have the politicians less backbone than a jellyfish (no, don't bother answering this, its painfully obvious)

    9/11 was a tragedy, but America is going from bad to worse in response to it, terrorism has won, the rights of the population are already trampled on and getting further eroded every day.

    The dead duck icon because it represents your freedom, dying on the floor.

  86. James Thomas
    Thumb Up

    British Customs

    They just can't seem to get the balance right I was travelling back from Dubai a few years ago with my sister we were visiting family and for some reason I gave her my passport on the plane coming into heathrow got to customs they ask for my passport er sorry my sister has it. I'm from South Wales Woman behind desk says "no one's going to fake that accent" and waves me through. I was collecting the luggage while my sister was looking for me the other side of the barriers thinking I'd be in trouble.

    Have to admire the common sense of the woman though. Who bizarrely I ran into in a pub a few weeks later back in S Wales so I guess she knew the accent still bought her a pint tho!

  87. Nick


    Oh Dear, Never Mind. Guess I'll just have to spend my tourist-wad in Canada or Mexico. Unless of course they get confused between tourists and terrorists (they do sound the same in a texan drawl) and I get renditioned extraordinarily and end up at their Cuban Water Park.

  88. This post has been deleted by its author

  89. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    It's suddenly becoming clear to me...

    Capital mobility: good.

    People mobility: bad.

    Welcome to the cage that IT not only built, but clamors to perfect.

    If Blake were alive today, perhaps he'd complain of "bit-forged manacles".

  90. Andrew Graham

    have you been through a UK airport recently

    I went to San Francisco in April, I had heard all the horror stories about the queues at customs but was off the plane and in a taxi within 30 minutes with all my luggage even though I flew BA from T5.

    but getting through customs at Newcastle Airport at 6am took 40 mins and shoes off,any thing metal done seperately , my childs teddy screened on its own, same again at Heathrow bloody nightmare and same on the way back

  91. Ni Khat

    Be very afraid

    A number of friends have recently asked their employers not to send them to US on business. One friend, a director at a world wide Marketing agency, was travelling to the company conference in Miami (funny how they are never in Harrowgate) stopped & kept in windowless room for four hours...another friend a well known and internationally published doctor going to Boston for medical conference, kept behind and questioned for 3+ hours.

    I am certainly not spending my hard earned cash for the pleasure of being questioned on why I am going to Las Vegas!

    Two things we can all do:

    1. We should pressure the UK to post reciprocal measures.....I know FAT CHANCE!

    2. Boycott the US - see if they miss our money.

  92. Elrond Hubbard

    dont bother..

    .. with this cultureless hellhole!!

    someone said about other american countries above- i made the mistake of going to brazil via houston last year and although i did NOT enter the country, i was subjected to the most heineous questioning by some customs imbecile they had sent through their so-called education system.

    so make sure your flight is DIRECT to wherever you want to go. if you want to go to hell-a (bill hicks!) don't bother! rio de janeiro is much prettier and the girls are NOT obese and NOT reborn christians

  93. Daniel B.


    Go figure: there's a reason my dad flies from Juarez City instead of El Paso these days. The land US/Mexico border is much nicer to cross, especially because the US border cities' economy is tied to border-jumper shoppers; that is Mexicans that (legally) cross the border to buy stuff that's cheaper over there. So if crossing the border by foot/car was as painful as doing so by air, I'd assure you that most of these border towns would go down in flames!

    As for me, I haven't gone to the US since summer-2001, so I've never been subjected to the stupid security theater. By the way, many flights from Mexico City to <insert foreign country here> used to have stops in the US, but recently the popular options are those that don't stop in the US. Guess why?

    I really hope Obama (or Hillary?) will fix this shite and restore the "free"dom in "the land of the free".

  94. Tom B Tek

    Whose being arrogant?

    El Reg, Your comment boards are being overrun by the “have your say “crowd and are devolving rapidly into a Mecca for the ill informed to vent their frustrations. For everyone hurling invectives at the US for this latest policy change, please remember the following:

    -The EU announced similar rules earlier this year, and Spain is already requiring them as noted by a previous post.

    -The shoe bomber was not on a flight from Gatwick to Barcelona, but rather Paris to Newark

    -8 Englishmen were in a London court today for trying to destroy 7 planes headed TO America with explosives disguised as Lucazade

    -The MET has cameras that watch just about everything we do, but asking us to fill in a form online when we book the flight that we used to complete on the plane is a menace of Orwellian proportions

    Questioning their leaders’ motives/intelligence, or their workers attitudes does not mitigate the reality that Europeans dressed as tourists have tried repeatedly to kill them. It simply exposes your own base jingoistic inclinations and limited intelligence.

    So go to the Costa del Sol instead. Smugly complete the Spanish form, comfortable in the knowledge that you didn’t give into the arrogant yanks. And then complain the Germans stole your beach chair! It just means shorter lines and more beach chairs for the rest of us in Florida, and less chance of being forced to listen to the 6 hour drunken lament on the demise of Wimbledon FC from a belligerent El Reg poster three rows back who thinks his single GCSE entitles him to pontificate on the ills of the world.

    Mine's the parker with the Jack on the back

    Btw, as children of the empire we have no right to lecture anyone on their arrogant treatment of others…

  95. Paul

    War on tourism...mission accomplished?

    Between this sort of half-brained nonsense and the rising cost of gas making people think twice about driving long distances on vacation, if I worked in the US tourism industry, I'd be looking for new employment right now.

    I hear they need more staff to process immigration application backlogs. Probably pays better than dressing up as a cartoon mouse in a theme park, too.

    The terrorists have won. The tourists, not so much.

  96. Anonymous Coward

    Nobody is mentioning your credit card details..?!?

    Funny how nobody is mentioning the fact that the US has got access to the credit card details that purchased the ticket... Has been so for years.

    Since that fact, I've actively avoided traveling to US (successfully). Vote with your feet!

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A good idea ?

    The majority of people posting here have clearly successfully cleared US Immigration on a visa waiver program. Awesome. Good for you. Now supposing for whatever reason you didn't clear it, for whatever valid/invalid reason cited. You'd likely be unceremoniously shipped off back home.

    Wouldn't it be better to know if you're not going to be allowed to enter the US on that program before hand ? At least you'd be able to investigate why and for future plans ensure you can acquire the appropriate visa from the consulate prior to travelling.

    Seems a damn sight less inconvenient than getting turned away after a 7-9 hour flight.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hitler is in the house

    Now, all the comments I read here are certainly fumed with well understood concerns. Unfortunately we are loosing site that it is the united states government, and about 40 million people you are upset with.

    You do not hear about the 100,000 arrests each year of people protesting and just getting arrested. You do not see the daily protests all over the united states. You just do not see them. Get involved...Sponsor a united states citizen who wants to get the hell out.

    If you go and take a look at maybe you will see something that shows are all buying the media machine excrement. Do your homework before you condemn innocent people...we are working hard to battle this awful fate we have been handed. The statements here are fun to read, I think and say the same things, but, I realize that it really makes me sound uneducated about how governments and countries work and control their citizens. Get a good history book. The United States is in big trouble....we all know that. Laugh if you want...but it is really sad...that your comments here are just as fierce as the same ones used by the current United States government officials against their own people.

    So where do we turn? When the government no longer listens and just builds bigger jails...and keeps us from getting jobs because we protest.

    You all seem full of answers.

    Answer that question.

  99. Marco

    Escape from the USA

    >>> But yeah, beyond all the domestic dangers of living in the US (we even have a few deaths a year from black plague in the south-west), let's run the Constitution into the ground, wreck the economy, piss off the world, endanger the planet, set up a private 'Christian Solder' army and smirk all the way to the bank, all in the name of fear and terrorism. WTF has happened to people here? They got all worked up over a BJ in the Oval Office but crooks go and steal the country and we all just sit back and let it happen. We deserve to be walled in.

    Which does remind me of a movie Kurt Russell took part in. But lighten up, you seem to be one of those we'll help to get out.

  100. tom

    No clue? Hah.

    "...there’s also no clue as to what will happen to non-US citizen’s data once..."

    For the clueless, here's a prediction based on past performance.

    Homeland Security will simultaneously deny that data is being retained, refuse to say whether or not it is being retained (because it is a matter of national security), and insist that the option of retaining this data is essential to our continued safety against terrorism, is perfectly legal, and is authorized by the president. Also, that there is no way that the data could be misused; and that there are procedures and policies in place to prevent the misuse of retained data, should there be any.

    Anyone else? Yes you, the plant with the prepared question...

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    US customs are much worse

    one of my mates had his laptop seized in the by US customs on his way back from a business trip advising that the memory from the system was made in North Korea,they didn't prove how this was the case.They have now advised if he can't prove the ram wasn't manufactured in North Korea they will destroy his laptop

  102. Benjy

    What does it have to do with us?

    I fail to see what the EU has to complain about. The USA is its own country and can make any rules it likes for people travelling there. If you don't like them, don't travel there.

  103. Anonymous Coward


    Electronic STAlinism. Uncle Joe got you all in the end, eh?

  104. paul bell
    Paris Hilton

    Just a... By Anonymous Coward, etal...

    i suppose you've forgotten that these are the same arrogant buggers that bailed your ass out twice in the last century, and from your fellow europeans too - it's what friends do, isn't it? what's really your problem, mate?

  105. Ted Treen

    Reality Check

    Since in most of Europe, but especially here in the UK, we worship the human rights of (strongly) suspected terrorists, won't imprison the little dears, give them all the welfare benefits they can claim, and have a expanding home-grown jihadist movement yet STILL make their rights paramount and sacrosanct, who can be surprised if the US is a little bit circumspect?

  106. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Build a giant wall... the USA in and keep them inside. The rest of the world don't need this shit!

    I'm sure the Chinese would be happy to supply the cheap labor, after all, they are good at wall building.

  107. Rae

    theUnited States needs you

    Yes, don't travel here. Look at what the usa does to the world. Maybe we should be blown off the many of my compatriots say about iraq....if you never hear from this coward know homeland security just locked me up .I would be proud to die for the end of this establishment....

    a few points...

    1.) read about the New World order....that all governments are currently involved in creating. The united states is just the test ground by all world leaders for what is to come for all countries. watch zeitgeist the movie and see a little more...the third part

    2.) Read about how the EU, the coming Asian Union and the soon to be north american union is about to happen....this is just years away....

    3) Hold your breath....they already logged my IP address....yours too...

    The hell with the United States...and I have lived here for 43 years...but you don't hear about us....those who wish....just like you.... to live in peace....

    This is the next nazi era.....I am telling prepared...

    Just like that German woman said in Weimar ... it is coming....

    Obama? He has hope, but hope on top of a broken system will just end his life too

  108. Keith T
    Jobs Horns

    Would they prefer to continue fearing the world

    It must be awful for Americans having to live in a pariah state, desperately frightened that so many peoples and nations around the world are "out to get them".

    I'd feel sympathy for them, but they re-elected George Bush, they invade other countries for no sufficient cause, they bring neither the terrorists they sponsor nor their own war criminals to trial, and their signatures on international treaties are less than worthless.

    I hope Obama is able to turn them around. The USA used to be a pretty good country. But are Americans prepared to pay the price, are they prepared to accept international law?

    Or would they prefer to continue fearing the world?

  109. Solomon Grundy


    Everything you want without the drawbacks... But what about the French?

  110. Keith T

    @paul bell

    Actually, if we and the Russians hadn't held Hitler for those 4 years before you reluctantly entered the war, you Yanks would all be speaking German now.

    The country that sacrificed the most to fight Hitler was Russia, not the USA.

    In proportion to its population and GDP, the USA was a meager contributor to the fight against Hitler in terms of fatalities, money and goods when compared with the UK, Canada, Australia, Russia, etc.

    This said, we appreciate all soldiers, especially those who gave their lives or health, who saved the free world from Hitler, regardless of nationality.

  111. Dana W


    You all like to whine about American gun owners, but if you lived here you would want one too.

    Nobody I know was ever stabbed or beaten. And nobody with any brains would dare break into a house when people are home.

    Lastly, they take my gun away I WANT to go someplace safe like jail.

  112. V.Srikrishnan


    I really do not understand the reason for all these sarcastic comments. The USA has every right to impose regulations as it sees fit. The regulations mentioned here do not seem draconian at all! Also, regarding the US being a paranoid country, on my one and only trip outside India(for a conference presentation, not grabbing your jobs), the British chaps at the Heathrow airport were immeasurably rude; they took a particular sadistic pleasure in being pointedly rude in their clipped accents, whereas the americans at O'Hare, Chicago were much nicer. I was a bit disappointed as I generally like(d) the Brits more..however, this is neither here nor there.

    So, why is this news giving rise to so many nasty comments? Can someone kindly explain, without sarcasm?

  113. Captain! I cannae hold her any longer!


    This is a good thing since so many terrorist attacks on mainland USA have been perpetrated by foreigners, particularly Europeans.

    Oh wait... just 9/11, and all their other attacks have been from homegrown nutcases? Well then, this makes them look rather silly, doesn't it. Either they're defending themselves in a stupid way against a minor source of threat, or the threat from Europe has actually risen since 2001, which makes their policy choices and random middle eastern crusades look rather silly really;

    or this is just about the data.

  114. yeah, right.

    here's a suggestion

    Here's my suggestion: don't bloody go there. Really. There in nothing in the USA that cannot be found elsewhere, except perhaps the acres of really fat people waddling between breakfast at McDonalds and lunch at Burger King or Wendy's.

    Just avoid the damn place. Let them stew in their own juices.

    By the way, have you noticed that similarities between the reaction towards immigrants today and Hitlers opinions towards Jews and gypsies in "Mein Kampf"? It's actually quite remarkable that you could replace "Jew" with "immigrant" in Mein Kampf and get pretty much the same kind of vitriol being spewed out by the Sun/Mirror reading chavs who also seem to be commenting here.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Yanks speaking German

    tbh, the colonials wouldn't be speaking English if it weren't for us.

    God save the Queen, etc.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Exactly right. All these people who want to make it difficult for Americans to come to Europe are trying to kill a golden opportunity. Business meetings are often attended with short notice, and (at least for me) there is often a similar number of people from each side of the Atlantic, so the decision of where to hold it comes down to a politeness thing of who gets to stay close to home. The more inconvenient it gets to travel to the U.S.A., the easier it is to say that meeting in Europe will be simpler over-all. The U.S.A. has handed Europe a gift here: take it!

    Conferences and Board of Directors meetings have already started migrating away from the U.S.A., as last-minute notices that visas were denied have become fairly common. The only thing keeping many events there is the cheap dollar, and the Fed is working on fixing that.

    As a frequent-flier who would love some solid reasons for having meetings close to home, I think this could be a very useful programme.

  117. Phil the Geek

    I love America

    US immigration used to really piss me off. It was second only to check-in queues on the irritation scale. Oh and flight delays. And Fort Lauderdale airport's uncanny ability to destroy suitcases. Jetlag. That awful woman in the row behind me. Hotel rooms that all look the same. Delta's frequent flyer system. Sat nav that doesn't understand Boston. My lying, underhand and deceitful American colleagues. 147 channels of crap on the TV. Chronic xenophobia in the Pacific Northwest. "Have a nice day". Los Angeles in general. Not getting sarcasm.

    But I don't work for the bad guys now, so I don't have to go there any more and I don't give a toss :-)

  118. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I love America

    >>"Have a nice day."

    I don't have a massive problem with 'Have a nice day', myself. It's just a little convention, practically a tic. Have to agree with mate who observed that he would rather have fake politeness than real rudeness.

  119. JayB
    Paris Hilton

    @ Paul Bell

    Ok, let's analyse that load of codswallop

    "i suppose you've forgotten that these are the same arrogant buggers that bailed your ass out twice in the last century, "

    Bailed implies you got involved out of the goodness of your heart. You didn't, you only got involved after you got a taste of what was going on and decided you didn't like it. As someone rightly pointed out, go check your own history on your associations with Germany, the country you "bailed" us out from.

    "and from your fellow europeans too"

    It was just Germany you tit, not all of Europe.

    "- it's what friends do, isn't it? what's really your problem, mate?"

    Friends do not drag each other into futile wars based on lies developed by obsessive regimes - Gulf War 2

    Friends do not criminalise the entire populace of their one remaining ally - This whole "72 hour" nonsense.

    Friends do not treat "special relationships" as a one way street.

    Friends do not go witch hunting their friend's companies because they lost on an arms deal (your arms industry is as crooked as ours, if not more so) - BAe investigation..

    So, do I need to continue on what our "problem" is mate?

    Paris 'cos she knows all about being asked to bend over and have a special relationship.

  120. Mike Tyler

    Liquid explosives, made in the toilet.

    >>8 Englishmen were in a London court today for trying to destroy 7 planes headed >>TO America with explosives disguised as Lucazade

    These were the no hopers that had a plan for a liquid explosive that would never have worked.

    I still have yet to see / here about a liquid explosive that could pass for a soft drink in a plastic container, really explode rather than just burn, and have an undetectable plastic detonator. Maybe these things do exist, but a far as I can make out these were dangerous conspirators that whilst they had the will, were mostly just dangerous fantasists.

    They might just as well have taken LUCOZADE for all the likely hood of it ever exploding.

    Whilst conspiracy to commit these acts is bad and should be stopped / punished, I am sure the excitement about it, is to fan the flames of the Terror, so the Home Secretary can appear to be doing something about it, or maybe just have people look the other way whilst we are pissing our taxes and soldiers up the wall in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Paris because any liquid in her would be non explosive as well.

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USA more like the Swiss

    >>i suppose you've forgotten that these are the same arrogant buggers that bailed >>your ass out twice in the last century, and from your fellow europeans too - it's >>what friends do, isn't it? what's really your problem, mate?

    These are the same friends or Bastards that after the war, that they joined late, and got rich from, loaned the UK money that it has only just paid back in 2006.

    Remember the USA joined the war to save it's own ass and make loads of money from it.

  122. Andrew Taylor

    For those Americans

    that think that the USA is an innocent terrorist target, just look at your history of sponsoring Dictators & terrorists during the last few decades, The Shah of Iran, eventually deposed by a popular uprising with the result that Iran now hates the USA, Saddam Hussein, provided with US weapons to attack Iran, the Taliban, provided with US funding to destabalise the Russians in Afghanistan, the IRA, funded through Noraid to blow up the USA's friend Great Britain, the Contra's in Niceragua, funded to destabalise a democratically elected government who had kicked out profittering US companies, the repeated attempt to destabalise Cuba after Castro kicked out US businesses, gangsters & CIA operatives to get rid of an oppressive dictator. When will the US Governments learn that the best way to make friends is to keep their nose out of internal squabbles that have been resolved and to approach the country with an open hand.

    It is the mandate of the UN to deal with oppressive Governments that are out of control not the US.

    If the US had learnt from it's past mistakes it wouldn't be so hated now.

    The hard part about this issue is that it's the idiots they elect to power that give the wrong impression of the ordinary, normally likable, Yanks that I have met over the years.

  123. paul bell

    For those Americans, etal

    but bail your ass out they did, at great expense in life, liberty and money - the record speaks for itself. i don't recall there was a great deal of interest in the repayment of war loans either. only germany? got a lot of help from the french and the italians, did you? the poles did try but then like now they aren't really the uk's favorite people, or is that just bbc trying to say something pithy about immigration that's doesn't involve indians or south africans?

    americans have enough trouble dealing with bushie, for gods sake don't expect them to shoulder the sins of blair.

    some people have trouble distinguishing hatred from envy - there's no shortage of immigrates or tourists hereabouts.

    you're dead on about "the hard part...", but we have only ourselves to blame.

    i've lived and worked in england, on and off, for the past 30+ years, owned property in devon and planned to retire on dartmoor, but blair put that on hold. looks like it'll have to be ireland now; a lovely country, but it's not england.

  124. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Not what it seems

    I suspect the US is scaring off Europeans because the US dollar is doing so poorly against the Euro. Here in New York, there has been a large jump in European travelers enjoying the exchange rate as well as Canadians. This can't be good for the economy. Want a really cheap holiday? Come to New York and don't let the politics fool you.

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Valid for 2 years?

    Legit traveller gets an ESTA, visits US, comes home, gets recruited by terrorist organisation, goes back within the 2 years, bang. Alternatively, they get recruited and trained whilst already out there on the valid ESTA, bang.

    Alternatively, they have already been recruited, get a valid ESTA by forgetting to mention they plan to be a terrorist, goto the US, bang.

    What's the point? What are they really doing with this data, will they perform spot checks on people who apply for one, investigating their lives?

    Are they really so paranoid that they believe this would make the slightest bit of difference to a terrorist determined to cause havoc? All it does is undermine the freedom that we once had, which is exactly what the terrorists want to do!

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As an American living here and about to marry a German, this just makes my life a bit more difficult, on top of every other little xenophobic indulgence my country's taken lately. What if something happens back home (Texas, of all places) and I'd like my husband-to-be to be with me, such as one of my parents falling deathly ill? Will he have to wait three days to join me? Oh, good, he might make it to the funeral.

    It hurts to think that our children's futures will be a bit brighter because they'll have *German* citizenship along with American. I've already made the decision not to push him to live in the US for a few years due to the crap we give well-educated Europeans who have the temerity to apply Green Cards. This just seals the deal; I can't in good conscience ask him to do something that would possibly keep him sitting in the US for three days when he needs to get back to Germany for his parents.

    Here, on the other hand, I'll get a three-year residence and work permit by showing our marriage documents and his promise to financially support me. After those three years, provided I stay out of trouble, I will get a permanent residence/work permit. And I've never had a second's rudeness out of a German border patrol agent (yeah, I know. Polite Germans!)

    God save and protect Mr. Obama, because I think he's the only one of the two candidates who *might* help us get out of this mess we've gotten ourselves into over the last seven years.

  127. Anonymous Coward


    "The hard part about this issue is that it's the idiots they elect to power that give the wrong impression of the ordinary, normally likable, Yanks that I have met over the years."

    That's kind of the point though - Merkins that can afford to travel or work in our industries are generally educated and at least vaguely enlightened. This isn't the case for the general population and its they that carry elections. Really you've got to hand it to the neo-cons, keeping a population utterly clueless, angy and scared is really working out better than ever as the new iron curtain is prepared.

    I hope it doesn't discourage travel from the UK, everyone needs to go at least once. You can't really appreciate our faltering NHS, education and social services until you've seen the terrible poverty and despair experienced by millions of poorer folk in the US.

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great idea!

    What a wonderful idea. Can I also suggest that the Reg implements something similar, requiring anyone wishing to use the identity waiver scheme (ie post as AC) to register that they are going to do so three days in advance and supply their full name, address, telephone number, shoe size, favourite crisp flavour, a complete set of dental records and a stool sample?

    Posted as AC, as I sent all of the above.

    For some reason they keep sending it back.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Not what it seems

    ... Here in New York, there has been a large jump in European travelers enjoying the exchange rate as well as Canadians. This can't be good for the economy ...

    Eh ?

    This is exactly what the US economy needs. See an economy thrives when it's populace earns and spends money. If a large percentage of that spending happens to be done by tourists loving the economy then that's just a merry boost. If nothing else it helps make up for the fact that the current credit crunch is stopping a lot of spending from the locals.

    Not sure where you're headed with that one really, and I certainly doubt that any basis for this decision was made with the economy in mind.

  130. Anonymous Coward

    250 million is not them

    everytime someone says them....or they voted for Bush....I have to ask you if you really believe WE voted in Bush.....actually.......WE don't exist....

    when you talk about a country comprised of individuals from all can not just call em THEM

    It makes you sound really uneducated....and we all see you have no knowledge about who lives here at all....not at fact many times I don't hear your guided and priveledged english language all day stop saying them....age your cheese....otherwise you just taste like wax.

    72 hour reg is the topic here....and it is a load....another encroachment....and by the way to the guy from India....can't you see that no one reads and responds? they just speak their own opinion.....that is why there is so much sarcasm....sarcasm would be too a high a level for many of these comments....

    there will never be peace.....never...never....just accept it....

  131. Rod Marsh

    Hedley is right

    To be fair, you can't blame the americans for this. If you want to blame anyone, blame our own (uk) government. If they hadn't let half the world in unvetted, the sceptics wouldn't be so paranoid about exactly who it is travelling on a valid British Passport.

  132. Rob

    Talk about easy

    To all those that are whining about this system, just consider yourselves lucky you don't have to apply for a Visa to get into the US, now THAT is a right royal pain in the arse and will definately put you off ever visiting their country again.

    Walk through their borders with a 10yr multipass visa as a white UK citizen looks even more dodgy than if I'd looked ever so slightly islamic. They are a strange bunch, but the ones that travel are the ones we want to travel, those that never leave the US borders, I'm more than happy that they stay there.

    (I had to because I had a criminal conviction for driving with no insurance when I was younger, under the rules then it would have meant that the US would have refused me entry because I had had a criminal conviction).

  133. C

    The only havoc being wreaked here is ..

    By the worlds biggest terrorist and idiot GW Bush. We'd be MUCH better off if we'd elected a monkey to run the country. However my vote didn't count, as I voted against him both times.

    PH because even *she* could do better than Bush! .. between photo shoots of course.

  134. Peyton

    I'm confused

    at all the people posting how they're canceling their plans for visiting the US. These are probably the same people that are constantly ragging on America anyway - why tf were they planning to come here in the first place if it's such a miserable locale? I don't get it... nor the anger in these posts - I know several people that won't visit/return to France because they didn't feel welcome - they didn't get mad at the country, they just went other places...

    I'm even more confused about the guy with the GF that wants to go to LA. Why would anyone want to go to LA??! You can't even see it once you get there for all the smog. Please, if you do visit LA, feel free to take it back with you :p

  135. Slaine

    Dear V.Srikrishnan

    I really do not understand the reason for all these sarcastic comments. -> Sarcasm is friendly ribbalry, well it used to be anyway.

    The USA has every right to impose regulations as it sees fit. -> absolutely, I agree and also I have noticed in travelling to other countries that the UK customs are by far the worst bunch of morons that I have ever had the displeasure of sharing air with (but I've never been to the States so I cannot compare)

    regarding the US being a paranoid country...the British chaps at the Heathrow airport were immeasurably rude; -> I apologise on behalf of my terminally retarded simian countymen. Unfortunately anyone here with an IQ greater than that of a cabbage is actively discriminated against here due to a subtle but abject fear that something clever might actually be achieved.

    I generally like(d) the Brits -> so did I mate, and I was born here

    So, why is this news giving rise to so many nasty comments? -> I think to be honest what you see here is the thin edge of a large wedge, the first wave of a tide of venom, two countries separated by a common language who refuse to accept the fact that they both live in dictatorship (by proxi) states and can only maintain any sense of righteousness by poking holes in the policies of the other.

    Can someone kindly explain, without sarcasm? -> nope - but no offense.

    I trust you made if safely back to India. My sister went there a couple of years ago and said "the unique experience" gave her, "a wonderful perspective". Thanks for that too.

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    It might just be because of people like you....

    As a "fat-assed, arrogant" American, I can honestly say that you sound like a group of people that I likely won't miss if you don't visit more often.

    I know we're not perfect but at least most Americans have more of a life than sitting around bashing other countries on tech forums. Yeah, I know I'm here, but I did say "most Americans" didn't I? ; )

    But to be fair, I understand the frustration with these types of regulations and get angered by them myself. However, as has been pointed out, we're hardly the only ones taking similar measures and in other areas we're still a lot more free of government bureaucracy and intervention than you folks are there in Europe.

    But like all things and all places there are the good and the bad, the best we can do is to try to make everything as "good" as possible. The American way usually involves a bit more action and a bit less talking (or whining, in this case) but to each his own.

    Steve, because he's just another evil American.

  137. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its not us, honest

    The Department of Homeland Security exists in an alternative reality that's a bit like a made-for-TV action series ("24"?). It has nothing to do with real life. Unfortunately their reality leaks into our reality and as a result they're as much a nuisance to Americans as they are to foreigners.

    The so-called watch lists are a good example of this. There's a Byzantine maze of non-responsiblity that generates and uses these lists that's been carefully designed -- among other things -- to have no definable point of accountability. Nobody knows how someone gets on such a list, nobody knows who maintains that list and nobody knows if its possible to have a name removed from it. Some of the legal arguments - and their responses - to trying to sort out the damage from this is beyond belief. The moral to this talk is don't develop and sell powerful tools (databases, for example) to idiots.... (and I bet a large chunk of the readers are 'just doing their job' without a thought as to where that job's going to end up).

  138. Walter Brown

    What they dont realize is...

    The big thing the jackasses ruining err i mean running my beloved country is, this is the war the terrorists are fighting, right here, and they are winning, one attack on US soil, now lets sit back and watch them panic themselves in to a communist nation, close their borders and alienate the world, living in fear of everyone outside their nation, once complete, the terrorist will claim victory because they wont have to worry about any americans abroad, they'll all be stuck in their little sealed box that has become the U.S.S.A.

    Mines the one with the picture of the statue of liberty with tears in her eyes and says "Land of the Scared, Home of the Retarded"

  139. Larry

    There IS a huge difference between government and people

    We here in the USA don't like what our government is doing to us and the rest of the world any more than you do.

    There are many who are trying to do what we can to effect change, but it's not a quick thing.

    Don't blame you all for running out of patience with this crap!

    Wouldn't blame you a bit for a total boycott of all things USA. problem is, the government weenies here won't be the ones to suffer -- they're well-taken care of (they've seen to it). It's the average Joe who is already bearing the brunt of US government policy mistakes, regarding both matters of state and economy.

    Best of luck to us all.

  140. Anonymous Coward

    Breath deeply ....

    OK. Now exhale slowly. Feel better now?

    I think there might be just a bit of overreaction here. I travel all over the world and while flying anywhere in the world these days is more of a hassle than it used to be when fuel was cheaper and security less of a concern I don't know what the big deal is. Nobody I know is afraid to go anywhere (although the U.K. appears to be a bit hostile these days it appears ; ) )

    I'm all about freedom, liberty and small government but come on... There actually ARE some pretty big threats in the world these days and as killing technology gets cheaper and more advanced these issues are only going to get worse. Making some small trade-offs in privacy that in practical terms is unimportant unless you've got something to hide and the inconvenience of filling out a few forms is a pretty small price to help keep "threats" from becoming "disasters". When a handful of smart people can develop and deploy nuclear, biological or chemical weapons that can kill thousands or even millions, it's a real problem and technology for all of the above is just about "there". You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that there are very real threats on the horizon. You can pretend they don't exist or you can devise policy and technology to help limit the threat.

    It's not about being "scared" it's about NOT being afraid to take some action so that we can continue to live our normal lives as we do now. Burying your heads in the sand and pretending the world would be a nice happy place if the big bad Americans would just go away is foolish.

  141. Anonymous Coward

    A couple of things

    1. Anyone who thinks that the American (or UK for that matter) government does thes things to protect its people is sadly mistaken

    2. Information is power

    3. Fear is power (and yes, I am frightened, of those in 'power')

    4. Game over

    5. I'll get my coat...sigh

  142. multipharious

    Cheap Dollar

    Why would we not want currency flowing in from other countries???

    My company is very seriously considering the US as a new international destination for conferences and larger meetings. Currently, a conference in the Euro Zone will cost 1.5x what it will cost in the US. That makes it attractive enough to look at slightly more expensive flights than intra European post-Summer travel rates to the US in Euros + US Dollar Hotels + rental cars (or transfer depending on size) + event costs for facility rentals and catering = net lower cost. With the reporting, we can poor mouth on costs in the RoW which are documented by geographic cost center...when in fact we have been saving money by hanging out in the US.

    I mean think about how US companies with international presence are keeping their numbers up. Sales in Pounds and Euros look great on the balance sheet when converted to Dollars! It is not going to get close to fooling a saavy analyst, but...revenue increases and percentages look good.

    All that said, despite the restrictions, you know you are just itching to go shopping. Two suitcases. One inside the other. Hit those Outlets, and be happy when you get the discount prices and the currency exchange rate combined.

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crossed USA of my list....

    a few years ago because of this bullshit. It's getting as bad here. What worries me is that all the people you deal with at border controls etc are not that intelligent and really are probably just 'jobsworths' who love the power.

    Like the girl at Coventry airport a couple of years ago, one minute she serves me coffee next she is checking passports ..."stand on that line and look streight at me...."

    Fucking dire!!

  144. Slaine
    Thumb Up

    reminds me - the FFFB's

    Wonderful cartoon images spring back to my fevered mind of a hapless trio trying to get through customs (mexico to US I think the parody goes) and they pass the passport control, and they pass this and that and the other and meet up with "The Attitude Inspector". And one remarks in a gruff and rude term his disapproval of such a test and of course is immediately barred from entering.

  145. Jeff Rowse

    Can't see what all the fuss is, myself.

    As only one person so far has pointed out, up 'til now you can get on the plane before the list goes Stateside and they decide they don't want you. Now at least the Men In Black will tell you before you get on board that you're just not gonna get past the men and women in blue...

    So it's another form to fill in, except online instead of pen-n-paper. Good on 'em I say, the number of times I've had to ask for a second one cos I put a digit in the wrong freaking box and ruined the first one... :-(

    And can someone explain this arguement "Ooh those nasty Americans shouldn't be doing this, so we should do it back"? WTF? Since when has two wrongs made something like this right?

    Unfortunately the world we live in requires such 'stupid and pointless' tasks be carried out and people are, after all, only human (and as has been pointed out, "brainy" people rarely apply for this sort of job) so mistakes are bound to happen.

    How about some of you try sitting in a little box all day, getting hassle from strangers after someone else has stuffed 'em in a metal tube for the last eight hours or so, and see how you respond after a few hours. And the C&I staff get this all the time.

    Personally I'm amazed they're not all as misreable and uptight as the ones the moaners above have met - okay, it's only a couple of them who have been really chatty and friendly (especially since 9/11) but don't forget you see them for a couple of minutes a trip - they see you, and millions like you, every working day.

    Be nice to them, they *are* trying to keep *you* safe.

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