Monday, February 7, 2011

THAT Was Intelligent

Husband and Wife get into a spat.

Wife flies home to visit relatives in Pakistan.

Husband, who works for the UK Border Agency, has Wife's name added to the United Kingdom's version of the No Fly List.

Wife effectively exiled from the county, being barred from flights home without explanation.

Investigation finds out what happened.

Husband fired from job for "gross misconduct."

All's well that ends well? Not quite. It took the UK Border Agency three years to find out about the bogus listing, and undo it. If the husband hadn't applied for a promotion (and so gone through a background check for the greater security clearance that went with the new job) his tampering with the list might never have been found out.

This is part of the problem with lists like this being closed to most sorts of appeals from the people are on them. When the wife "tried to return to Britain she was not allowed onto the aircraft. Airline and immigration officials refused to explain to her why." And so a person who isn't a terrorist is basically stranded in another country for three years, and outsiders who say that the West is blindly hostile to those like them have their point made for them. All because the authorities weren't bright enough to realize that it was possible for the list to be intentionally abused by someone with ill intent.



Ezeibe Agomo said...

Wow, I'm speechless. 3 years! I know the UKBA is not the most efficient organisation in the world but... 3 years! What a shocking story.

Aaron said...

Perhaps I'm too old and jaded, but I don't really find this very surprising. These lists in general don't seem to have review or appeal processes attached to them. What really brought things out was the Husband being something of a dimwit, not realizing that a background check would turn up the fact that his wife was on a terrorist watch list. Had he been content with his old job or left the UKBA entirely, the Wife might have been effectively exiled for life.