I had considered posting in detail about my experience, but am afraid it will be too easy to identify me. I might still do so. (we'll see)
For now I'm going to keep it vague:
I was traveling elsewhere via Britain, using undisclosed
I am a special person (one of a kind) and currently very hairy.
My religion is already known on these boards: I am a Discordian
[EDIT]: What could have alerted them to me? I dress in a practical (not fashionable) way, my accent is very hard to place, I watch my surroundings
with interest, did I mention that I was hairy? I don't fit into any mold I can think of... [/EDIT]
During my short (~4h) stay in Britain, I was approached by two friendly Officers.
As I didn't have the time to play the "Am I under arrest?"-game,
and was interested in what sort of questions they'd be asking, I agreed to go with them.
They had my Passport, and I had to verify my name & stuff.
They asked about my mode of travel, how I got on, where I got on, what I was doing there, how I got there, what I was doing before I started my
travels, what my parents do, what color car I drive, where the nukes are, my personal history, the personal history of damn near everybody in my
family tree, what my dog ate for breakfast ...
They were friendly, but to me it felt like they were asking "How dare you come to Britain, how dare you catch a ride on undisclosed
, how dare
you breathe our air, ...!
(this is a country that treats its' own citizens in this manner too. "How dare you be a British citizen living in London" they don't trust their
own people to walk their dogs peacefully, so they set up CCTV)
Again: That was the atmosphere, how it felt to me, weighing me down...
Any answer spawned a new question, trying to dig as deep as they could.
Though the session went civil, and humorous, it felt very tense to me.
These guys were trying hard to find something to classify me as, to tie me down with.
Despite that feeling I got the hang of it rather quickly, and found ways to bait them with answers that could be misconstrued (their eyes would light
up) only to defuse the unavoidable followup question with a rather mundane & boring fact.
Once they realized that they were getting nowhere, they brought up my service in IQ, and how I can possibly tolerate the war with my religion (they
assumed I was christian or something) or politically -Basically trying to determine whether I'm prone to extremist views... And I told them that
religion has even less to do with this than politics. (successful block?)
That prompted them to pause, and follow up on some loose ends in my personal life, and when that got them useless info, they decided to search my bag.
They commented on all the useless stuff I carry, and one of them turned on my camera to admire my collection of pictures with utter blackness
truthfully told him that I was playing with the shutter settings to take pictures of the night sky)
During the entire ordeal I was fingering the metal box I keep my passport in.
They asked me about that, and I went on about how they should know how insecure the RFID is, as their country was the one that pioneered this tech for
passports, and how within 24h after the first of its' kind was issued, some British hackers cracked & copied one from a distance with commercially
available equipment worth less that $60.
I also gave them a piece of my mind on constantly being the one to be picked for their "random" profiling searches.
How, doing so, they allow real terrorists to slip through the cracks.
Constant harassment like this tends to make people more security conscious...
They actually agreed with that, we shared a little laugh, and they let me go on with my business.
Overall, I think I did rather well. Despite giving them some info they had no business whatsoever knowing.
Though I felt repressed (I still feel tense just reliving it right now) I managed to keep my cool.
Some of you might say that I was stupid for going with it, (and you are probably right) but this harrowing experience taught me some new things, and
it could have been alot worse.
[edit on 2010.3.10 by Carlthulhu]