Air Marshall Mission Creep

Watch what you say. Don’t make fun of the law, or joke that you might be breaking the law. An air marshall might be listening.


Apparently an air marshall overhead some men on a plane talking about having crossed into the U.S. illegally so he had the plane met and the men taken into custody.

Some might say: great, law enforcement is present and acting against criminal activity.

I’m actually frightened by this, on several levels.

The expansion of law enforcement in our midst has been accepted as a way of fighting terrorism (though it’s unclear this particular method is effective in that fight). Now, once in under the cover of fear of terrorism, law enforcement has far greater access to our conversations by simple virtue of being closer to those conversations in daily life (not to mention more extensive searches, which have been used in questionable drug arrests).

Law enforcement officers no doubt are charged with enforcing laws rather than ignoring violations of law. And my own personal opinions of immigration law notwithstanding, most Americans would presumably like to see greater crackdown on violations of law rather than not. But the societal monitoring that is now taking place scares me, it really does.

About Gary Leff


Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel – a topic he has covered since 2002.

Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the “World’s Top Travel Experts” by Conde’ Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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