Surveillance Society?

On January 5th, the Obama administration announced new security measures where passengers entering the United States from 14 nations – including Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon – will be subjected to pat downs, extra luggage checks, and full body scans.

Earlier this week in a segment focused on the new security checks, Riz Khan of Al Jazeera asks:  “Do the new U.S. airport policies discriminate against Muslims, or are they simply ‘security measures’, as the Obama administration suggests?”

Joining Khan in the interview are Christopher Calabrese, a lawyer working for the American Civil Liberties Union, and Zohra Atmar, an Afghan-American consultant working for the U.S. Department of Defense on issues concerning Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Will these procedures make America any safer? Can these measures be described as profiling? What kinds of rights do these policies sacrifice in terms of civil liberties and privacy? The interview with Riz Khan, which aired on Al Jazeera on Jan 7th, ‘attempts’ (albeit dissatisfactorily) to get at some of these issues:   

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