Papers, Please! calls our attention to this stunning over-reach of surveillance:
The U.S. Department of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for passport applicants. The proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history including employers’ and supervisors names, addresses, and telephone numbers; personal details of all siblings; mother’s address one year prior to your birth; any “religious ceremony” around the time of birth; and a variety of other information. According to the proposed form, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”
Read more on Papers, Please!
If you want to submit comments during the period for public comments, you’ll have to do so quickly as April 25 appears to be the last day for comments. The blog has information on how you can submit your comments.
The government seems to have given up any pretense at respecting privacy and the Constitution.
What right to they have to demand information on a citizen’s religion via a backdoor question about religious ceremonies? Are they arguing that the First Amendment protects our freedom of religion but not the right to keep our religious associations to ourselves?
And now we need to sell out our siblings’ personal details and privacy to get a passport?
And remind me: this would be the same State Department that has had a dozen employees prosecuted for snooping in people’s files? And the same one that had all of their cables spread all over the world?
Bad idea, State Department. Really, really bad. This is a total surveillance state move and must be resisted strongly.
Spread the word, folks.