A recent article from the Washington Post was headlined : “Report: U.S. considers face scanners for airports.” I was very disappointed to say the least, and felt it warranted comment.
Facial recognition should not be considered in the United States. There are also reports coming out about national ID cards that you would be required to carry in addition to the ID cards (i.e. drivers license or another ID card) you must carry now with a penalty of being charged with being a vagrant. The idea that the government can run your ID number or in this case a photo ID, then cross reference your information to find out if you have done anything wrong that they might be able to detain you for is un-American to the core.
One of the basic premises of this country is innocent until proven guilty. These tactics, as well as red-light cameras, presume guilt, not to mention forgoing due process. A good analogy is roadblocks. The reason it is unconstitutional for law enforcement to engage in random roadblocks is because there is no probable cause. All of these scenarios have one thing in common: they all relieve us of our presumption of innocence and due process, which requires probable cause.
People who say, “Well, if you have nothing to hide, then there is nothing to worry about,” don’t understand the law, this country or the meaning of freedom. This isn’t about whether you are guilty when approached or not. The law and ideals of this country are concerned with how and why you are approached at all. When the premises, freedoms or laws of this country (i.e. presumption of innocence, freedom from random search and seizure and freedom to move about the country without being tracked by your government) are being considered as things we can do without, I ask myself, “Who is winning this war on terrorism?”