Papers Please! : How did we get here?

As a kid I always enjoyed a good spy thriller.  A strong recurring scene in the Soviet Union where people traveling had to show their “papers”.  At the time highlighting in USA we were free to travel on our own.

This really hit me as Real ID rolls out and suddenly somewhere along the way I realize the USA is now becoming a place where you also need to show your “papers” to travel. How did we get here? 

Back in the day you’d buy a plane ticket and if you wanted you could just give it to someone else.  The Airlines discovered they could be more profitable by making tickets non transferrable and checking you were the person on the ticket.  And better yet they’d offer customers perks for using their airline repeatedly.  I’m not implying sinister intent this is just good business.  But then 9/11 happened and the TSA was formed.  And to protect us our IDs are being checked. At the same time we became more fearful of immigration and some areas even passed laws where police could check immigration status for anyone they suspected was here illegally. 

But are really safer because of this?  Or have we silently given up part of what made America a beacon of freedom?

And if the government followed business’ lead on IDing people, what does that say for our digital lives ahead? 

A nostalgic Madman Has Spoken…

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