Is the National Park Service Playing Big Brother?

December 12, 2011   |   Tags: , ,

I visited a National Park last week and was joined for a friendly chat by 2 patrolling NPS officers. They asked me where I was from, how long I was in the park and where I was going in the park. As the chat went on, I caught on that this was eerily similar to the TSA program of questioning airline passengers for behavior detection. Other than wasting about 10 minutes of my time, the chat ended without incident.

The officers then went on to ask the same questions to every other visiting group within my vicinity. They spoke loudly, so it was easy to overhear them. It go me thinking – have they been trained to ask such questions to spot potential “Threats”, too? The officers were polite, but I still felt as though they toed the line of violating the 4th Amendment.

On a side note, I also had to stop at a US border patrol check-point for a brief questioning and inspection – about 50 miles from the border.

What are the chances that the NPS officers happened to ask TSA-style questions to several groups just to strike up a friendly chat?

Photo credit: nps.gov/neri/historyculture/images/AH_large_shaded_4C_pc.jpg

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