Saturday, November 04, 2006

US Citizens’ Right to Travel Abroad in Danger

Will we soon be required to seek permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to travel outside the country?

According to the Identity Project, it is very possible. If a new DHS proposal goes into effect this January 14, not only would permission from DHS be required to leave the country, permission would also be required to return.

This proposal is without precedent—in the US, that is. There have been other countries that have not allowed their citizens to travel abroad without permission—Nazi Germany and the USSR, for instance.

The Identity Project, World Privacy Forum, and activist entrepreneur John Gilmore have filed comments (PDF) with DHS opposing this proposal. The comments were written by travel writer Edward Hasbrouck, who has more to say about the matter on his blog. Additional comments may be found at