18 December, 2005

damn you homeland security

AsiaPundit has immense gratitude for the US armed forces for defending liberty, maintaining Asian regional stability and - on a more personal level - for providing AP with black market access to hard-to-find items such as cheese in Korea and, especially, liquor in Kuwait.

This is disturbing.:

Thanks to a homeland security based computer program, big brother is watching you:

Computer codes once developed to predict terrorist activities and illegal stock market trades have been adapted to identify people who buy popular black market items at the 12 commissaries throughout South Korea, U.S. Forces Korea officials say. The technology is so precise that it can spot the shopper who occasionally buys one or two packages of hot dogs but never remembers the buns. It can find the childless person who routinely buys baby food and formula. It can pick out the retired officer who just happens to cash out in the same checkout lane — manned by the same cashier — during every shopping excursion.

I can already see how this could inconvenience some people just by one of the examples listed above. Almost every time we go grocery shopping, we buy two to three packages of hot dogs without the buns but that’s because my wife uses the hot dogs when she makes budaechigae or kimchi chigae. And I pity the poor single guy who has a crush on one of the cashiers in one of the commissaries and goes to her checkout lane every time he shops. All in all, I find this a bit Orwellian, don’t you?

Since moving abroad, Shanghai is the first city AP has lived in where there has not been access to goods from a US Forces commissary (even though that Navy base is Singapore was, technically, not a US base). During this period, Shanghai is also the first city AP has lived in where he wasn’t living next-door to a chicken farm.

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by @ 10:38 pm. Filed under South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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