Wednesday, November 30, 2005

You mean what I say publicly can't be used against me?

I love this article ... and I'm almost amused at the perspective presented in this article - Blogger Blocked at U.S. Border. A Canadian citizen was blocked from coming into the U.S. from Toronto when U.S. border guards found references in his blog to being based in New York. The blogger seems to be surprised that someone would hold him accountable for what he wrote!

"One of them, a very sharp guy in fact, started to read every single post on my blog. And it didn't take long until he shocked me: 'So you live in New York, right? That's what you've written in your [blog].'"

Derakhshan did, in fact, write that he was based out of New York—mostly because it sounded "sexier" than saying he was based out of Toronto, he said.

But between his offhand blog comment and the fact that he was carrying a Newsweek magazine sent to him at a New York address, the guards found grounds to refuse his entry into the United States, for at least the next six months.

According to U.S. policy, as a Canadian citizen Derakhshan may be legally entitled to stay in the United States for up to six months.

Canadian citizens entering the United States as visitors for business do not require either a passport or a visa, although visitors are required to satisfy border guards of their citizenship, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's site.

"It was obvious the guy was trying to find an excuse not to let me in, and he found something," Derakhshan told Ziff Davis Internet News. "He found that I said in the blog that I said I'm based in New York now. He said being based in New York is illegal."

Uh ... excuse me, but it seems to me that Mr. Derakhshan made the choice to be irresponsible with his writing ... he publicly claimed to be in violation of the law. The "sharp guy" realized that not only was this Canadian carrying a magazine with an address to him in the U.S., but he outright claimed to be "based" in New York ... in direct violation of the law!

So what is the big deal? You got what you asked for. You were more interested in "looking good" ("Derakhshan did, in fact, write that he was based out of New York—mostly because it sounded "sexier" than saying he was based out of Toronto, he said.") and are now surprised at the consequences of your actions and words.

It is always amazing to me when people want to act surprised when they get caught in their inauthenticities. I remember being taught to be very careful what I say ... and to understand the consequences of telling lies. It appears that either he really was based in New York illegally, or that his claims to look good have simply caught up with him.

In either case, I love the idea of the border guards using Google!


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