U>S Canada Border Crossing Essay Example

The U. S. is at risk from invasion through its northern border, a 4,000-mile stretch of mostly unattended territory in 12 states, with the confirmed presence of a number of terrorist and extremist groups in Canada, states a report from the Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D. C. “The primary threat along the northern border is the potential for extremists and their conveyances to enter the U. S. undetected,” the report maintains. There is an undisputed presence in Canada of known terrorist affiliate and extremist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria. ” While the U. S. and Canada proudly have boasted that the dividing line between the two nations is the longest undefended international border in the post-9/11 world (there even is an International Peace Garden straddling the boundary on the edge of North Dakota), concerns over the movement of terrorists and their weaponry into the U. S. have increased exponentially–especially since it was revealed that, even before the attack on Sept. 1, 2001, an Algerian-born operative for Osama bin Laden’s network was caught crossing from Canada into Washington with a truck loaded with bomb-making materials, allegedly for use in a plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport. The report notes terrorists could blend into the Canadian population since 90% of Canada’s residents live within 100 miles of the border but, on the U. S. side, much of the border is fronted by tens of thousands of square miles of sparsely populated forests in northern Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. As such, the northern border’s operating environment differs appreciably from the southwest border and requires a different law enforcement approach,” the report stresses. During 2007, more than 70,000,000 traveled across the border, and law enforcement agents arrested 4,000 of them and intercepted 20 tons of contraband, mostly drugs. The Department of Homeland Security had proposed that those crossing the border be required to present documents denoting the citizenship and identity when entering the U. S. from Canada, but Congress then voted to delay that plan until 2009. U. S. A. today (magazine may, 2008) p7) The 25% Challenge: Speeding Cross-Border Traffic in Southeastern Michigan April 2006 Douglas Doan Douglas Doan worked in the Homeland Security Department from January 2004 to September 2005. He serves on the board of the Border Trade Alliance and is a member of the Dean’s Alumni Council at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In November 2004, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge was tired of the almost daily complaints about long wait times for cargo and passengers trying to cross the Canadian-U.

S. border into southeastern Michigan. There was good reason for these complaints. Long lines of trucks and cars queued up to cross the border as they negotiated stepped-up security processes put in place by Customs and Border Protection. While people supported improved border security, the immediate consequences were longer lines and slower transit times at border-crossing points. The average wait time for trucks and cars had increased to over 35 minutes, and it all too often exceeded two hours during peak traffic periods.

Border congestion in southeastern Michigan was giving shippers, manufacturers, and importers real fits and driving up costs. With nearly $1 billion in trade crossing across the U. S. -Canadian border each day, these delays were rippling through the economy, causing an estimated $5 billion in lost productivity per year, according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Over 40% of U. S. trade with Canada (our largest trade partner) crosses the border in southeastern Michigan; much of that trade was stuck in long lines at the border.

Thus, in late November, Secretary Ridge called and told me to get up to Detroit and see what could be done. I was not the most senior member of the Secretary’s staff, serving as a member of the Office of the Private Sector, but I had argued for months that many of our challenges at DHS, such as visa reform and supply chain security, would require a real partnership with the private sector because the government alone was unable to develop a working solution.

It was my belief that the government did not have the resources, knowledge, or entrepreneurial energy required for a task of this magnitude. The strongest advocate of this limited role of government and the need to form public-private partnerships to achieve superior results was President Bush, who has often said that sometimes the government can do the most by getting out of the way and letting the nation’s entrepreneurs do what they do best: solve problems. So I was off to Detroit to see whether DHS could orm a public-private partnership with the specific goal of reducing traffic congestion at border crossings and moving legitimate crossers much more quickly. It would be a great test to see whether the President’s notion of tapping the resources in the private sector could help the department reaches a specific and tangible goal of reducing long wait times at the border. Certainly a great idea, but would it work? My first step was to call all the owners and operators of the cross-border vehicular bridges and tunnel in eastern Michigan.

There are three major crossings: the largest is the Ambassador Bridge, easily the most important cross-border trade artery in the world, with more than 9 million trucks and passenger cars crossing each year. The next largest is the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, MI, about 55 miles away, with a flow of 6 million trucks and cars annually. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is used annually by 5. 7 million cars and trucks. Normally, the owners and operators of these crossings are tough competitors seeking to lure cross-border traffic to their facilities, thereby capturing the tolls associated with each trip.

But they all confronted a common problem of slow transit times and congestion, which was not only making their customers (truck drivers, cargo companies, and tourists crossing into the United States from Canada) irate, but forcing large manufacturers to start rethinking their operations with the distinct possibility of relocating to other regions where they could escape the congestion. In short, the owners and operators of the southeastern Michigan crossings knew that if they did not do something soon to fix the problem, they would lose customers, perhaps permanently.

Few in government thought it would be possible to get these normally fierce competitors to agree to cooperate to find common solutions to a common problem, but in truth, the government could not have had a better group of partners. The owners and operators of the crossing points knew best exactly how cargo and passenger cars could be moved across the border more quickly. In fact, when asked whether they would participate in a public-private partnership to reduce the border-crossing times in southeastern Michigan, Dan Stamper, President of the Ambassador Bridge, wanted to know what took us so long.

Not only were they ready to help, he said, they would pledge the resources needed and put their best people on the team. Not only were the bridge and tunnel owners convinced that it could be done, they were willing to contribute the resources and effort to make it happen. Secretary Ridge was delighted to hear that the private sector was eager to participate. He was also convinced that such a collaborative effort could reduce transit times by 25%. Thus, on 17 December 2004, Secretary Ridge and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan met in Detroit and announced the “25% Challenge. Its goal was to make quantifiable improvements in the transit times and reduce traffic congestion by leveraging the resources and leadership of the bridge, tunnel, and ferry owners in southeastern Michigan—specifically, to reduce transit times by 25% within one year. To be sure, the “25% Challenge” faced a great deal of initial skepticism, especially within the ranks of the career Customs and Border Protection senior leadership. They were concerned that Secretary Ridge had made a commitment to a measurable goal. They argued instead for vaguer objectives like “improve the transit times. To his credit, Secretary Ridge made a commitment to a quantifiable goal and a specific date by which it would be accomplished. The private-sector stakeholders quickly came up with suggestions that could alleviate border congestion without requiring additional lanes or infrastructure: ·Stan Korosec, [A1] from the Blue Water Bridge, suggested converting some of the inspection booths dedicated to passenger cars to dual-use booths that could serve trucks or cars as the situation demanded. Previously, Customs and Border Protection inspectors were unable to process trucks through lanes that were set up for the exclusive use of passenger cars.

Similarly, traffic lanes dedicated to passenger cars could not process trucks. Korosec’s simple idea would allow a dramatically increased flow of traffic. ·Neil Belitsky, the General Manager of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, helped Customs and Border Protection officials better predict traffic flows so they could surge inspectors in anticipation of peak periods. ·Dan Stamper, President of the Ambassador Bridge, came up with an innovative way to increase the number of inspection booths that could be used during peak periods. These were only a few of the many ideas that were proposed.

Any idea that was judged to have a solid chance of speeding the flow of legitimate traffic while allowing federal officers to properly enforce a high level of security was fully considered by Customs and Border Protection. The best were rapidly implemented. Perhaps one of the most important steps that this public-private partnership took was to develop, with the active participation of the bridge and tunnel owners, an accurate system of measuring wait times. In the past, estimates of wait times were randomly taken by both the private sector and the government.

Neither system was accurate or reliable. We established a working group to combine the information collected by Customs and Border Protection and the data that bridge and tunnel owners possessed, allowing the team to develop a system to precisely measure wait times. More important, the team could now precisely measure the effect of individual measures and initiatives on crossing times. Very quickly, crossing times in southeastern Michigan grew measurably shorter as suggestions were tested. Initial successes generated wide enthusiasm and more suggestions.

The American Trucking Association and the Canadian Trucking Alliance also contributed ideas that sped the flow of cross-border traffic. By the summer of 2005, nine months after Secretary Ridge and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister McLellan issued the 25% Challenge, the results were greater than skeptics had believed possible. The average transit time for a truck or car crossing the border dropped from over 35 minutes to under 6 minutes. Within the next few months, wait times plummeted to less than 3 minutes at several of the busiest crossing points.

Frequent long queues became a thing of the past. Our original goal turned out to be too modest. Public-private cooperation actually reduced wait times by more than 70%. Given that the cost of an idling truck is estimated at $150 per hour, this success yields significant savings for manufacturers. It also reduces uncertainty at just-in-time manufacturing facilities. Changes in Wait Times for Trucks and Cars Crossing the U. S. -Canadian Border (2004-2005) in Southeastern Michigan LocationTypeCanada BoundU. S. Bound Ambassador BridgeTrucks–72%–71% Cars–55%–16%

Detroit-Windsor TunnelTrucks–72%–5% Cars–74%–8% Blue Water BridgeTrucks–83%–64% Cars–57%–34% There were several keys to this success: ·Leadership. Secretary Ridge and Deputy Prime Minister McLellan challenged all stakeholders to get involved in finding a solution to a significant problem. ·Goal setting. The establishment of a bold, specific goal inspired imagination and collaboration. ·Flexibility. Customs and Border Protection officials were open to new ideas. ·Cooperation. Instead of competing with each other, all crossing facility owner-operators contributed to a common cause.

Customs and Border Protection also became fully engaged in the search for solutions to the problem of congestion. All federal, state, provincial, and local agencies involved with border crossings pitched in too. ·Commitment. All involved were determined not just to reach the 25% goal but to quickly surpass it. ·True public-private collaboration. While the government frequently establishes public-private partnerships, too often these “partnerships” are significantly skewed, with the government setting the agenda and developing all the initiatives, which it then expects the private sector to support.

The 25% Challenge was a true public-private partnership where members met monthly and genuinely considered all ideas—good and bad—that could help meet the goal. Indeed, most of the leadership and the good ideas came from the private sector, not the government. All government officials were open to private-sector suggestions, allowing the leveraging of entrepreneurial energies and private-sector resources to solve common problems. Perhaps the most important element of success was the early effort to develop a common set of metrics for measuring wait times.

Before the 25% Challenge, none of the stakeholders could agree on how to measure transit times or record wait times. By developing a common set of metrics, the team could focus all its energy on making improvements that could be measured and quantified. The 25% Challenge clearly demonstrated that a solid public-private partnership can help accomplish what the government cannot achieve alone. Without the leadership and entrepreneurial energy that came directly from the private sector, it is highly unlikely that any meaningful improvements would have resulted.

In fact, long-serving career government officials never thought it would be possible to achieve any significant reduction without massive new government spending. One of the exciting lessons learned from the efforts in eastern Michigan to reduce transit times and move legitimate trade and passengers across the border more quickly is the unavoidable fact that our existing border operations are painfully inefficient. We have designed and operate our border crossings with little consideration of how to make the process faster and with little consideration for constantly improving our ability to move traffic more quickly.

Perhaps the most important lesson from eastern Michigan and the 25% Challenge is that we could, with very little direct investment and with full support of the private sector, make significant improvement at other border crossing points. Nearly all of the other U. S. ports of entry along the borders are plagued by long wait times and traffic congestion. The long lines and snarled traffic could be significantly reduced if we have the will and the wisdom to tap the creative energies of the private sector to help find and implement solutions.

What worked in Michigan would work at other places. (http://www. homelandsecurity. org/journal/Default. aspx copyright 20076) Michigan, Homeland Security reach agreement on secure license ID By Anne Holcomb | Special to the Kalamazoo … October 13, 2008, 5:15PM http://www. mlive. com/news/kalamazoo/index. ssf/2008/10/michigan_homeland_security_rea. html WASHINGTON — Michigan motorists can seek an enhanced driver’s license next year to comply with tougher security measures at U. S. border crossings, state and federal officials said Monday.

The Homeland Security Department and Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said they reached an agreement on offering the new and more secure driver’s license that provides identity and citizenship information. “This innovative approach balances the need for customer convenience, economic stability and more secure borders,” Land said. Michigan’s agreement is similar to those reached with Washington State, Vermont, Arizona and New York. Land and DHS officials met in Detroit and signed an agreement and a business plan on the enhanced licenses. The state enhanced driver’s license will bolster security through advanced technology, and at the same time it will make travel faster and easier,” said Stewart Baker, DHS assistant secretary for policy. Under tighter, post-Sept. 11 security measures, the government has pushed for driver’s licenses that are as secure as a passport for the purpose of crossing the U. S. border. The enhanced license will fulfill requirements from the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which requires all citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda, to have a passport to enter or depart the U. S. rom within the Western Hemisphere. Last January, the U. S. stopped allowing U. S. and Canadian citizens entering the country from simply declaring to immigration officers at border crossings that they are citizens. Beginning in June 2009, all travelers, including U. S. citizens, will need to produce a passport or approved secure document, including the enhanced driver’s license, to gain entry at U. S. land and sea ports. Kelly Chesney, a Land spokeswoman, said the Homeland Security Department had not yet determined whether the enhanced license could be used instead of a passport for air travel within the hemisphere.

State leaders had said the passport’s cost of about $100 and the amount of time it takes to receive one might discourage people from crossing the Michigan-Canada border, affecting commerce and tourism. Congress passed the “Real ID” law in 2005. States have until 2013 to develop and put it in place. It is designed to make it more difficult for a would-be terrorist to get a license. Michigan’s enhanced driver’s licenses will be designed to be consistent with the requirements of the “Real ID” law, Chesney said.

Some state leaders have called it too expensive and a threat to privacy because it would create a giant database of private information. Land said the enhanced driver’s license will be optional and available next spring. It only will be available to Michigan residents who also are U. S. citizens. The enhanced license is expected to cost more than a standard Michigan driver’s license, but under state law, the cost cannot exceed $50. Those who choose not to get an enhanced license would receive a standard license instead.

A standard license needs to be renewed every four years. Chesney said the department was hoping to maintain a similar four-year expiration schedule for the enhanced license. (By Anne Holcomb | Special to the Kalamazoo … October 13, 2008, 5:15PM) http://www. mlive. com/news/kalamazoo/index. ssf/2008/10/michigan_homeland_security_rea. html All borders are created equal. It may sound overly simplistic to point this out, but every day Americans who would never forget to bring proper documentation when traveling outside the country on a commercial airline light or cruise ship attempt to drive or walk from Canada or Mexico without making the same provisions. And starting on June 1, visiting some of our closest neighbors—including Bermuda and most Caribbean countries, as well as Canada and Mexico—will become much more complex with the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. In fact, if you haven’t applied for a passport yet, it may be time you give it serious thought. Not so friendly anymore After 9/11, all U. S. order entrances were tightened, leading to severe disruptions at certain crossings. Subsequently, over the last seven years there has been a severe drop-off in cross-border traffic, on both the Canadian and Mexican fronts. And congestion has gotten critical in many locations. This has probably had a greater impact on the northern side, on what was once termed “The Friendliest Border in the World,” since some may recall a more innocent era when you could cross back into certain states from Canada without even being stopped at times.

But statistics underscore a dramatic shift: In 2000 more than 90 million passengers in private vehicles crossed over from Canada; by 2007 that number had dropped to 58 million. Pedestrian traffic on the northern border also fell off, though not as dramatically. As for Mexico, 240 million people entered the U. S. by car in 2000, but by 2007 that figure had fallen to 165 million. However, pedestrian traffic increased from 47 million to 50 million during that seven-year span. Obviously there are specific issues related to immigration that differentiate the Mexican and Canadian borders.

But one factor remains the same, whether you’re in Maine or New Mexico: Border crossings by car and on foot—let alone by bus or train—are being treated much more seriously now, and regulations are tightening. A new era The new rules that kick in on June 1 will affect travel from 19 countries in all (see box at left), and many are nations that millions of Americans have been traveling to and from for years without carrying valid passports. But two months from now, new rules mandate that “most” U. S. itizens entering the country by land, sea, or air must establish both identity and citizenship and therefore must possess one of the following: • Passport • Passport card • Other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security Those “other travel documents” include Lawful Permanent Resident Cards; certain Native American tribe member cards; North American trusted traveler program cards, such as NEXUS (Northern Border program), SENTRI (Southern Border program), or FAST (Free and Secure Trade program); military ID with official travel orders; U.

S. Merchant Mariner Documents; or enhanced driver’s licenses (EDLs). Currently, four border states—Arizona, New York, Vermont, and Washington—have announced EDL programs, which issue driver’s licenses imbedded with security chips that will expedite crossings. As for passport cards, they’re a new initiative and are issued by the State Department. Each costs $45 for those over 16 and $35 for those under 16 (as opposed to $100 and $85, respectively, for a U. S. passport).

Although passport cards are valid for ten years for adults and five years for kids, they are not valid for international air travel. So passport cards will not prove to be much of a bargain for many Americans who are planning on vacationing outside the U. S. in coming years. Some friendly advice I recently spent some time watching those who work on one of our borders, and a few observations came to light. Please consider the following: • Treat all border crossings the same. The simple fact is that federal authorities do this, but many otherwise savvy travelers do not.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in an airport, a cruise terminal, your own car, or on a footbridge: If you’re leaving the United States, you’re leaving the United States. And if you don’t have the right documentation, you might encounter a real headache upon your return. • Check before you go. Determine what paperwork you’ll need BEFORE you travel. Don’t wait until you’re outside the U. S. , knocking to get back in. • Time and distance don’t matter. Again, if you step foot outside the U. S. , you’ve crossed over and getting back in has the potential to turn into a big deal.

This applies even if you’re just having lunch in Vancouver, taking photos in Tijuana, snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands, or shopping on the other side of Niagara Falls. • Compare the wait times. Border crossings are notorious for long queues. It’s a must for anyone traveling across a U. S. border to first check the CBP’s Border Wait Times page. For example, one day last week there was a 20-minute delay at Detroit’s Windsor Tunnel, yet a 40-minute delay at Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge.

At the same time, there was a 5-minute delay at Laredo’s Colombia Solidarity crossing but a much longer 30-minute delay at Laredo’s World Trade Bridge. Obviously such delay times can be much more significant based on dozens of factors, so it pays to know in advance. • Some paperwork can be better than none. Here’s another helpful hint: If for any reason you’ve applied for a passport and haven’t received it yet, visit this page on the U. S. State Department’s site. You can check on the status of your application online, and then print out the results and carry them with you.

Unofficially, I’ve been told that while it won’t replace a passport, this confirmation can go a long way toward easing an unpleasant situation at the border. • Don’t forget about the kids. Children have special requirements, and often need paperwork of their own. In addition, kids traveling without both parents and/or kids who have a different last name than their accompanying parent may be detained to prevent a custody violation or abduction. In certain circumstances, it makes sense to consult an attorney before taking a child out of the country. NEVER give attitude to federal employees. Whether they represent Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, Agriculture, or any of the other agencies you may encounter at a border crossing, these folks should command the same respect as when you’re trapped behind those heavy doors at an international airport’s arrivals hall. (And consider for a moment how angry you’d be if they allowed a terrorist into the United States through a “side door” such as Canada or Mexico. ) Attitude comes in many forms. It’s not just about rude remarks.

If you want to move painlessly through a border crossing, then remember this: • Keep your documents with you, not packed in a bag in the trunk or strapped onto the luggage rack. Would you tell a federal officer at an airport that your passport is locked in your bag and you don’t want to bother getting it out? • Turn off all electronic gear. Federal agents are trained to be suspicious of Improvised Explosive Devices, so that one extra cell phone call could ruin your afternoon. • Even if you’re on foot, remember that pedestrians are subject to the same rules as those arriving on a Boeing 747 or a 150,000-ton cruise ship.

Dive into the details The new rules contain a lot of caveats, so it makes sense to learn more about your specific status. Here are some key links to help you understand the current and pending regulations for traveling outside the United States: • The State Department site contains an overview of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. • The U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) site also provides key information. • The CBP’s Travel page provides details about the requirements for U. S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents traveling outside our borders. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) site also provides detailed information on its Crossing U. S. Borders page. • For those traveling into or out of Canada, information on that country’s regulations is available at the Canada Border Services Agency site. (USA Today (travel and blogs with Bill McGee Updated 3/25/2009 12:41 PM) The U. S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine, or OAM, operates the highly capable and proven Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in support of law enforcement and homeland security missions at the nation’s borders.

OAM selected the Predator B, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, for its unique combination of operational capabilities, payload capacity, mission flexibility, potential to accommodate new sensor packages, and its safety and performance record with other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense. The CBP UAS program focuses operations on the CBP priority mission of anti-terrorism by helping to identify and intercept potential terrorists or illegal cross-border activity.

The system also supports disaster relief efforts of its Department of Homeland Security partners, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U. S. Coast Guard. The remotely piloted Predator B allows OAM personnel to safely conduct missions in areas that are difficult to access or otherwise considered too high-risk for manned aircraft or CBP ground personnel. OAM first employed the Predator B in support of law enforcement operations on the Southwest Border in 2005 and along the Northern Border in 2009.

OAM operates three Predator Bs from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Ariz. and two more from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. Two maritime variant Predator Bs are schedule to be operational in 2010. UAS operations will continue to expand in 2009 and 2010. By 2015, OAM expects to employ the Predator B throughout the border regions with command and control from a network of UAS ground control stations across the country. The Predator B’s capability to assess critical infrastructure before and after events, in

Online Fraud And Identity Theft

Introduction: Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes statistically according to the Federal Trade Commission. Roughly 27. 3 million Americans have fallen victim to this form of theft/fraud. According to last year the loss of money for businesses and financial institutions are in the billions and with consumers out of pocket expenses has been about 5 billion dollars. “Identity theft” refers to crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data (i. e. name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, and your financial identity— credit card, bank account and phone-card numbers) in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain (to obtain money or goods/services). There are a few ways that people are able to obtain such information and some of the ways you will find that it is out of your control if you do not protect yourself. A few of the forms in which predators are able to easily extract your information and use it while damaging your life and credit.

Some are done from people internally stealing business records of their personal information. Other means from what they call shoulder surfing. This is an easy way where someone is standing behind you at your desk while you are trying to visit a site that is personal. They are able to look at your keyboard and remember your login and passwords. Another big one would be dumpster diving. People do not realize that just by simply not shredding your personal information and just tossing it in the garbage people will go through your garbage to collect information about yourself.

Once your trash can is at the end of your driveway this is now considered public property. Another means is to deceive the victim through the means of posing as someone else to obtain information such as a landlord or even posing as an employer trying to get your personal information. Another one would be from what they call skimming. This is done by stealing your credit card or debit card information as they swipe your card. The old fashion forms of information stealing would be stealing wallets and purses which your personal information. Another would be to steal your mail which may include.

A person needs to always be aware of who they provide their information to. Try to be put on list to stop receiving pre screening of credit card offers. When traveling need to learn ways to safe guard your wallets, and try not to look like a tourist, as those make easy targets. There are three credit reporting agencies that are used to track personal credit such as Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. In the event of that you think that someone has possibly stolen your identity then there are a few places that one would need to do in order to try to put a stop to the personal theft.

Since the overwhelming amount of fraud/ identity there was in the past nothing that could really stop someone from this form of theft, so now there is something in place should a person fall victim the fraudster can now be prosecuted and do some time in jail. Online Fraud and Identity Theft Definitions: In this day and age, along with the amazing speed of growth in technology, predators from the old days where everything was done to collect your information manually by either reading your garbage or stealing your mail has come to the point where that is considered old fashion.

The new high tech way is to do it all online. No need to sift through your garbage. No need to pick pocket your wallet. This is no longer a confrontational thing. Do not get me wrong the old fashion way is used frequently but online makes it easier for a hacker or thief to collect your data and abuse it to no end until they are unable to collect any more goods off of you social security number. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes statistically by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).

Identity theft is or occurs when someone with out your knowledge, acquires a piece of personal information and uses it to commit fraud. With as little as a stolen name, date of birth, and social security number, the identity thief is able to cause major damage. Fraud is a broad strokes definition; fraud is a deliberate misrepresentation which causes another person to suffer damages, usually monetary losses. Most people consider the act of lying to be fraudulent, but in a legal sense lying is only one small element of actual fraud.

A salesman may lie about his name, eye color, place of birth and family, but as long as he remains truthful about the product he sells, he will not be found guilty of fraud. There must be a deliberate misrepresentation of the product’s condition and actual monetary damages must occur. Online fraud is costing about 2. 6 billion dollars a year and continues to grow at a rate of 700 million dollars a year. High fraud rates continue to plague electronic commerce Web sites, with criminals expected to steal $2. billion from online merchants this year, according to a new survey. While that’s an annual increase of $700 million, the percent increase is roughly equal to the increase in total Net sales, so rates of fraud stayed essentially the same — about 2 percent of sales — according to the survey, conducted by CyberSource Corp. As Shakespeare wrote “But he that filches from me my good name/Robs me of that which not enriches him/And makes me poor indeed. ” – Shakespeare, Othello, act iii. Sc. 3. The short answer is that identity theft is a crime.

Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain. How you become a Victim: There are several ways that one can fall victim to online fraud and identity theft. Thieves are more than likely steal your information from either, dumpster diving, skimming, phishing, changing your address, the old fashioned way of stealing your wallet or purse. Dumpster diving is one of the most common but old fashioned ways of stealing someone identity to commit fraud.

They rummage through you garbage trying to locate anything that has your personal information such as maybe a phone bill that has your name. Then maybe some forms that was filled out but never shredded that had your social security information on it. Skimming is another way to steal ones information. Thieves will use special devices that when running a transaction on your credit or debit card the machine will gather all the necessary information for the thief to make online purchases with your card. Another way is phishing. This is more like social engineering.

This is where someone may call you and pretending to be someone else to try to get some personal information from you. Also they may even send it in a form of an e mail that may have malicious or ask questions to try to get you to give up your personal identity. Changing your address is another way for these would be thieves will divert your mail to try to get personal information about you as well. This is easy to do as all you have to do is get a form from your local post office. Fill it out and drop it off no questions asked.

Old fashioned stealing is that they steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access. Lastly pretexting, Pretexters use a variety of tactics to get your personal information. For example, a pretexter may call, claim he’s from a research firm, and ask you for your name, address, birth date, and social security number. When the pretexter has the information he wants, he uses it to call your financial institution.

He pretends to be you or someone with authorized access to your account. He might claim that he’s forgotten his checkbook and needs information about his account. In this way, the pretexter may be able to obtain other personal information about you such as your bank and credit card account numbers, information in your credit report, and the existence and size of your savings and investment portfolios. Avoid Being a Victim: To reduce the risk of online fraud related to identity theft. A person needs to remember one word and that is the word SCAM. Stingy, Check, Ask, and Maintain. This starts with being at home.

Where you need to adopt the “need to know basis”. Your bank or institute that you have your credit card through requires that you have a question that is secret for your account for instance what your mothers maiden name is. This is needed to access your account. Should someone call you and try to get information with out asking that question then it may than likely be someone else posing as your financial institution. If someone calls you at home that is offering a free trip or trying to get you to sign up for a credit card then it is a scam. Advise that you are not interested and hang up the phone.

When traveling always has your mail stopped at the post office until you return. Always check your financial information regularly. Check your monthly statements to ensure accuracy. Some people just glance at their monthly statements and toss them a side. You need to look at them closely to ensure that there are no fraudulent charges on your card or cards. This is one of the quickest ways to discover if someone has stolen your information. Ask!. Always ask periodically for your credit report. This lists all accounts and financial institutions are under name. This is another sure fire way to determine if someone has stolen your identity.

Maintain all records of your financial institutions. Even though banks may have copies of old checks it is best to ensure you also have a copy of a check in the form of a carbon copy. Always remember that most identity is committed by someone who you know or is very close to you. Fifty-three percent of identity theft victims last year reported their identity stolen by a friend, a relative, an employee, or an acquaintance. Financial companies that house a person credit information including a persons fico score is all listed under 3 companies. Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union.

Even though they may be three different companies they should have roughly the same information. If anything looks out of the ordinary then it is best to call them to correct the error. Lastly it may be wise these days to try another avenue to protect against identity theft. There are new innovative ways that are coming out where companies are now monitoring your information. Should someone try to purchase something in your name or tries to commit any type of fraud then companies like Life Lock (www. lifelock. com) and Trusted ID ( www. trustedid. com) will notify you if they notice anything that appears to be fraud.

What you should Do if you Fall Victim: What should you do should if you should find something that should either not be on you credit card or bank statements? Or your credit report appears to have information that is not related to you? First thing you should do is: Contact the fraud department of any of the three major credit bureaus to have an alert placed on your credit report. Also have a victims statement placed on your account so that they call you before they allow any new accounts created on your behalf. Try using an Identity Victim Fraud Worksheet. (http://www. ou. edu/oupd/idtheft-worksheet. pdf).

Call all your financial institutions to have all accounts closed and all checks stopped. Call your local post office just in case someone may have also redirected your mail. Notify your social security agency and advise that your number is being used fraudulently. Call the IRS to advise them as well that someone is using your information and it may impact your taxes. Should you be a victim of fraud that is involving high dollar amounts then it may also be best to contact your secret service. Lastly it is best to contact your local police department. Ensure to try and furnish as much information as you can to them.

Such items: copies of debt collection letters, credit reports, your notarized Identity Theft Affidavit, and other evidence of fraudulent activity can help the police file a complete report. (Keep originals for your own files; you may need more copies. ) Lastly file a complaint with the FTC. Using the FTC complaint form (https://rn. ftc. gov/pls/dod/widtpubl$. startup? Z_ORG_CODE=PU03). Government Intervention: The government has since 1997 tried to enforce such illegal acts by a bill that was created called: Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1997 (Introduced in Senate).

This bill makes it so that if anyone who commits a crime of fraud or identity theft. The thief can be punished by jail time of not more than 15 years. Also they may be ordered to pay restitution for damages that were inflicted by the thief as well. Even though you can do everything in your power to try to stop identity theft, there will always be someone out there who works for a huge company that has your information or has access to your information. Example Case 1: In one case in 2002 the USA announced maybe one of the biggest rings of identity theft and fraud.

A man by the name of Phillip Cummings worked for a small company called TCI. This company had key information to be able to pull peoples credit reports. Cummings was selling this information to a couple individuals. He would get them the reports for 60 dollars a report. This information had listed peoples names, addresses, social security information. As alleged in the Complaint, the number of victims in this case exceed 30,000, and the Government is in the process of determining the extent of the loss. To date, more than $2. 7 million in financial loss has been confirmed.

If convicted, CUMMINGS faces, with respect to the wire fraud charge, a maximum term of 30 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1 million or twice the pecuniary gain or loss resulting from the offense. CUMMINGS faces, with respect to the conspiracy charge, a maximum term of 5 years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the crime. Example Case 2: The next case shows how a woman from Kirkland Washington who was charged with identity theft. The woman used the information of an 87-year-old retired ophthalmologist in Minot, N.

D. , to help her lease a 2001 Mercedes-Benz SL500, for a co-defendant. She then tried to have witnesses assaulted to try to prevent them witnesses in testifying against her in court. Coan pleaded guilty and it was recommended for Coan to be sentenced to prison for seven years. http://www. ou. edu/oupd/idtheft. htm http://www. usdoj. gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft. html http://101-identitytheft. com/idtheft. htm http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-fraud. htm http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/6463545/ http://www. usdoj. gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft. html http://www. ftc. ov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/about-identity-theft. html http://www. ftc. gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/about-identity-theft. html http://www. ftc. gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/pretexting. html http://www. usdoj. gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft. html#whatshouldido http://seniorjournal. com/NEWS/Alerts/6-07-26-MostIdentityTheft. htm http://www. ou. edu/oupd/idtheft2. htm#VICTIM http://thomas. loc. gov/cgi-bin/query/D? c105:1:. /temp/~c105vYBX2r:: http://www. usdoj. gov/criminal/cybercrime/cummingsIndict. htm http://seattlepi. nwsource. om/local/228750_idtheft16. html CONCLUSION: As we sit here and think about all things that happen to other people we always say to ourselves that this could never happen to me. When in fact, if you have never checked your credit report then you may be already a victim and not even know it. As we read about how easily it is on how criminals can obtain your personal information just by going through your garbage that you set out by the road, which is public property to just reaching into your mailbox to pull out your mail and read it and be able to collect enough information to turn your world upside down.

We all have got to understand the seriousness of this problem. We need to more protective on how much data we give out to people. It makes it quite difficult these days as it seems anywhere you go, whether it is the pharmacy, to the bank, even to online shopping. Someone needs your personal information; I always try to stay away from people who ask for personal information about my credit or debit cards. Especially if they ask for the 3 digit pin on the back of the card. Why they absolutely need that when so many vendors out there do not require it?

I say no thanks and look for the same product out there from another vendor that does not require that same information. You may end up spending a few extra dollars but you are probably safer though. Another thing to remember is that, if someone calls saying they are someone from a credit card company, or a pharmacist, or anything of that nature. Beware that these are again fake. Most financial institutions now have secret questions attached to your account that should be validated before just giving away your information to them.

When traveling remember to stop your mail at the post office, as this will stop people from snooping through your mailbox when you are away. Should you fall victim to fraud or identity theft. Then it is very important to always cancel all checks, credit cards. Remember to call the police and file a report immediately. Most financial institutions will not even accept your claim without a police record or incident report. Always remember to contact all 3 credit agencies to put a fraud alert on your accounts and ask them to call you should a new account get opened. You can do the same with your postal service, IRS, and social security office.

Should you follow some of these simples things then you are far better protected then someone who does not bother to check their credit reports annually. Do not forget, most fraud is committed by the people who know you best. This could be from your best friend of twenty years to even a very close relative. When someone knows you then it is easier to collect personal information then someone who has to spend time getting to you know and understanding your patterns to be able to collect any information. Even though the government may have put into place the identity theft and assumption act.

It will put criminals behind bars should they get caught. In the end though you are still suffering as it takes thousands of your hard earned money along with a lot of your own time to be able to try and get these bad marks on your credit report removed. Some may never get removed hurting your credit and your ability to obtain a good rate when trying to make a purchase such as a car or even a home. As we get older we become more of a target. We then being to become more disconnected from the digital technology, as people are able to collect our personal information as it is being sold online just like a black market.

It is easy for anyone to get some information and call you to trick you that they are from Medicaid, or some other RX prescription provider looking for additional personal information. Try to keep in mind that this is a scam. Elderly are always worried that they will lose their medical if they do not get forms in on time so it makes it quite easy for seniors to fall prey to these online criminals. So watch yourself and again always check your credit report often. Works Cited: United States Department of Justive, “Identity Theft. ” Identity Theft 11. 2 April 2008 . Hamilton, Richard. “ID Theft. ” Has some clown taken over your good name? 130 October 2007 7. 22 April 2008 . SENIOR JOURNAL. COM, “Senior Citizen Alerts. ” Most Identity Theft Committed by Someone You Know 126 July 2006 1. 22 April 2008 . Sullivan, Bob. “Online fraud costs $2. 6 billion this year. ” Survey: Some merchants losing battle against crime 111 Novermber 2004 1. 22 April 2008 . 101 Identity Theft, “What is Identity Theft. ” 1. 22 April 2008 . Pollick , Michael. “What is Fraud?. ” What is Fraud? 11. 22 April 2008 . http://www. lifelock. om/default. aspx? promocode=Shareasale=254355 https://rn. ftc. gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$. startup BBB Online, “New Research Shows Identity Fraud Growth Is Contained . ” 131 January 2006 1. 22 April 2008 . 105th CONGRESS, 1st Sessions 21 March 1997 1. 22 April 2008 . U. S. Department of Justice, “U. S. Announces What Is Believed The Largest Identity Theft Case In American History; Losses Are In The Millions. ” 25 November 2002 1. 22 April 2008 . SEATTLE POST, INTELLIGENCER STAFF. “Mortgage broker guilty in identity theft case. ” 16 June 2005 1. 22 April 2008 .

Communication And Cultural Features In Finland, Japan, India

People from different countries communicate in ways that often lead to misunder-standings. Our argument, based on Hall’s theory of high/low context cultures (1959, 1966, 1976, 1983), is that these differences are related to different communication cultures.

We argue that Japan and Finland belong to high context cultures, while In-dia is closer to a low context culture with certain high context cultural features. We contend that Finnish communication culture is changing towards a lower context culture. Hall’s theory is complemented with Hofstede’s (2008) individualism vs. collectivism dimension and with Lewis’s (1999, 2005) cultural categories of communication and Western vs. Eastern values. Examples of Finland, Japan and India are presented. Keywords: high/low context culture; communication style; culture; cultural features; individualism; collectivism; Finland, Japan; India.

Aim of This Article It is generally acknowledged that people from different countries tend to communi-cate in slightly different ways. We argue that these differences are more related to different communication cultures than other differences. Being aware of these differences usually leads to better comprehension, fewer misunderstandings and to mutual respect. Our aim in this article is to describe, analyse and interpret communication style and certain cultural features in Finland, Japan and India. We base our arguments on Edward T.

Hall’s concept (1959, 1966, 1976, 1983) of high context (HC) and low context (LC) cultures. This concept has proved valid and useful in transcultural studies (Kim, Pan, & Park, 1998). We also refer to Lewis’s (1999, 2005) cultural categories of communication and Western vs. Eastern values, and to Hofstede’s (2008) collectivism–individualism dimension. As far as we know, no previous study has discussed these three countries together from the aforemen-tioned perspectives. This article hopes to contribute to foreign language education, transcultural commu-nication, transcultural studies and multiculturalism.

Culture Hall (1959) defines culture as the way of life of a people: the sum of their learned behaviour patterns, attitudes and materials things. Culture is often subconscious; an invisible control mechanism operating in our thoughts (Hall, 1983). In his view, we become aware of it by exposure to a different culture. Members of a certain society internalise the cultural components of that society and act within the limits as set out by what is ‘culturally acceptable’ (Hall, 1983, p. 230).

Hofstede’s (1980, 1991) theory aims to explain cultural differences through certain dimensions, such as power distance, individualism vs. ollectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity vs. femininity. Of these, we use the individualism vs. collectivism dimension. This dimension is defined by Hofstede (2008) as “the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side, we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose … On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families …”.

Context is defined as the information that surrounds an event; it is inextricably bound up with the meaning of that event: “The cultures of the world can be compared on a scale from high to low context” (Hall & Hall, 1990, p. 6). High vs. Low Context Cultures Hall (1976) suggested the categorisation of cultures into high context versus low context cultures in order to understand their basic differences in communication style and cultural issues. Communication style refers to ways of expressing oneself, to communication patterns that are understood to be ‘typical’ of, say, Finns or Japanese people.

Cultural issues mean certain societal factors, such as the country’s status, history, religion and traditions. Cultural issues also include Hofstede’s (2008) individualism vs. collectivism dimension. Communication style in a high vs. low context culture In HC cultures, communication style is influenced by the closeness of human rela-tionships, well-structured social hierarchy, and strong behavioural norms (Kim et al. , 1998, p. 512). In a high context (HC) culture, internal meaning is usually embedded deep in the information, so not everything is explicitly stated in writing or when spo-ken.

In an HC culture, the listener is expected to be able to read “between the lines”, to understand the unsaid, thanks to his or her background knowledge. Hall (1976, p. 91) emphasised that “a high-context communication or message is one in which most of the information is either in the physical context or internalised in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, or transmitted part of the message”. In an HC culture, people tend to speak one after another in a linear way, so the speaker is seldom interrupted. Communication is, according to Gudykunst and Ting-Toomey (1988), indirect, ambiguous, harmonious, reserved and understated.

In an HC culture, communication involves more of the information in the physical context or internalised in the person; greater confidence is placed in the non-verbal aspects of communication than the verbal aspects (Hall, 1976, p. 79). In a low context (LC) culture, meanings are explicitly stated through language. Peo-ple communicating usually expect explanations when something remains unclear. As Hall (1976) explains, most information is expected to be in the transmitted mes-sage in order to make up for what is missing in the context (both internal and external).

An LC culture is characterised by direct and linear communication and by the constant and sometimes never-ending use of words. Communication is direct, precise, dramatic, open, and based on feelings or true intentions (Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey, 1988). Cultural issues in high vs. low context cultures Rooted in the past, HC cultures are very stable, unified, cohesive and slow to change. In an HC culture, people tend to rely on their history, their status, their rela-tionships, and a plethora of other information, including religion, to assign meaning to an event.

LC cultures typically value individualism over collectivism and group harmony. Indi-vidualism is characterised by members prioritising individual needs and goals over the needs of the group (Triandis, Brislin, & Hui, 1988; as cited in Pryor, Butler, & Boehringer, 2005, p. 248). Another salient feature that is often seen to differentiate these two contextual cul-tures, is the notion of politeness. In an LC culture, it is thought to be polite to ask questions that in an HC culture often seem too personal and even offensive. (Tella, 2005; see also Tella, 1996. )

Reactives are courteous, outwardly amiable, accommodating, compromising and good listeners. Their cultures are called ‘listening cultures’. Reactives prefer to listen first, in order to establish both their own and the other’s position. They often seem slow to react after a presentation or speech, and when they speak up, it is without clear signs of confrontation. (Lewis, 2005, pp. 70–71. ) Multi-actives are warm, emotional, loquacious and impulsive. They like to do many things at a time. They often talk in a roundabout, animated way. It is typical of them to speak and listen at the same time, leading to repeated interruptions.

They are un-comfortable with silence and seldom experience it between other multi-actives. (Lewis, 2005, p. 70, p. 89. ) Lewis (1999, 2005) has also compared certain Western European and US values with Asian values. We present here his classification (Table 2), which aims to com-pare Finnish values and communication styles with those of other Western and Eastern countries. According to Lewis (2005), Finnish values are in line with Western values, while their communication styles are closer to Eastern communica-tion.

In the following, we will discuss Finland, Japan and India, and try to see if either of these two context cultures—high or low—can be seen in people’s ways of communicating or in certain cultural features. Finland, Japan and India Revisited When discussing Finland, Japan and India, we will first reflect on Hall’s theory of high vs. low context cultures (Hall, 1959, 1966, 1976, 1983; Hall & Hall, 1990). Second, wewill attempt to analyse certain features of Finnish, Japanese and Indian cultures in the light of Lewis’s (1999, 2005) and Hofstede’s (2008) classifications.

In terms of its communication style, Finland reveals a Janus face. Finland seems to have been a high context culture in many respects, but that feature is gradually changing and it is becoming, at least regarding the younger generation’s communication, a lower context culture. Finnish communication culture has been described as silent and rather monologic; characterised by longish, slow-moving turns of speech, relatively long pauses, and a dislike of being interrupted with superficial external feedback, such as applause or verbal exclamations.

Is the silent Finn a myth or reality? Salo-Lee (2007) is inclined to view it as a myth that is well known by all Finns but which might already be fading away even as a stereotype . As Tella (2005) has reported, international guests are often quick to comment on how Finns observe and listen to the speaker, not showing in any way that they are paying attention to what is being said. When behaving like that, Finns clearly behave as people in a high context culture traditionally do, showing what Lewis (2005, p. 65) calls “ultra-taciturnity”.

However, they are, in fact, pay¬ing the speaker a compliment, because that is their way of listening most attentively. As Lewis (2005, p. 67) aptly put it, “[t]he dilemma of the Finns is that they have Western European values cloaked in an Asian communication style” that is often incompatible with those values. We argue that Finnish communication culture has long been closer to an HC cul-ture than an LC culture. Many of the features we can still recognise in Finnish communication point in that direction.

It is, however, true that Finns’ communication style may have changed, starting to resemble low context communication in the use of people’s first names, interrupting other interlocutors, asking more questions at the end of presentations and practising small talk more convincingly.  Finns do not have as deeply-rooted traditions as many Asian countries, such as Ja-pan and China. Family ties are not as strong as in Asian countries. Nevertheless, one can easily identify certain features that belong to HC cultures.

One of them is high commitment, which Hall (1976, p. 148) explains as a feature, due to high cohesiveness, of people eager and committed to complete action chains. “A person’s word is his or her bond and a promise for others to take” (Keegan; as cited in Kim et al. , 1998, p. 510). This is nicely reflected in Lewis’s advice to foreign business people negotiating with Finns: “Be just, keep your word, and don’t let them down, ever” (Lewis, 2005, p. 141). Regarding Lewis’s (2005) cultural categories of communication, Finland exhibits certain features of both linear-actives and reactives.

The Finnish conception of time, for instance, is clearly linear and one-task-at-a-time. Finnish people’s traditional way of respecting old sayings, such as “silence is gold”, “to understand from a half-word”, reflect the HC, linear-active form of culture. Modesty is still one of the national virtues; Finns continue to have difficulty boasting about themselves. As Lewis (2005, p. 68) mentions, Finns dislike big talkers. Finns belong to the ‘listening countries’, in which speakers are rarely interrupted and silence can be constructive.

Lewis (1999, p. 14) puts this as follows: “In Finland and in Japan it is considered impolite or inappropriate to force one’s opinions on others—it is more appropriate to nod in agreement, smile quietly, avoid opinionated argument or discord”. Silence is still something Finns can easily live with. In fact, among friends and close colleagues, a Finn does not necessarily feel compelled to keep on talking; silence can be very relaxing and communal.

According to Lewis (2005, p. 1), Finns are the only Europeans that are so clearly reactive, although other Nordic cultures share some reactive traits. Reactive people are intensive listeners, and their communication style usually consists of monologue, pause, reflection, monologue (Lewis, 2005, p. 71). The reflective stage often takes some time, and, as Lewis points out, Finns think in silence, as do many Asians (Lewis, 2005, p. 73). Another way of distinguishing cultures is based on data-orientation and dialogue-orientation (Lewis, 1999).

According to Lewis, “[i]nteraction between different peoples involves not only methods of communication, but also the process of gathering information” (Lewis 1999, p. 45). In this respect, Finland clearly relies on data-orientation. Japan—Communication Style Japanese communication style is deeply rooted in the Japanese language. As May-nard (1997, pp. 1–2) put it, “Japanese is classified as an agglutinating language, one that contains many separable elements—particles, auxiliary verbs, and auxiliary adjectives—attached to the words.

Particles express not merely grammatical relations but also personal feelings. And, of course, the Japanese language is known for its system of respectful and humble forms as well as its variety of strategies for marking politeness. ” Thus, one may argue that Japanese-language communication tends to be high-context. The Japanese language is also high-context from the viewpoint of phonetics. It has a restricted number of moras (a unit of sound determining syllable weight), which results in many homonyms. About 35% of Japanese words belong to one of the groups of homonyms (Tokuhiro & Hiki, 2005).

Hall and Hall (1990) place Japan at the top of the list of HC cultures and, indeed, Japanese communication style has all the characteristics of HC cultures, such as indirect and digressive communication, use of few words, reliance on contextual cues, avoidance of the use of personal names, respect for long silences, and waiting politely until the other person has stopped speaking before taking turns. When conversing in Japanese, people have to listen carefully to their interlocutors to find the context and elicit the meaning beyond the words.

Even the use of personal names only when they cannot be avoided has roots in this feature of the Japanese language. Japanese has a lot of second person singular pronouns, such as “ANATA”, “KIMI”, “OMAE”, “KISAMA”, “OTAKU”. These pronouns are used according to the situational requirements. For example, “ANATA” is the safest to use when the speaker is not sure of the listener’s social status . Richardson and Smith (2007) noted that Japanese students scored modestly but statistically significantly higher on the LC/HC scale than US students. It is their interpretation that Japan differs from US in terms of LC/HC cultures only relatively. Richardson & Smith, 2007. )

As Goodman and Refsing (1992, p. 3) mention, “one of the first distinctions any an-thropologist embarking on research in Japan learns to make is between tatemae and honne. Tatemae … refers to an individual’s explicitly stated principle, objective or promise; honne refers to what that individual is really going to do, or wants to do. ” These two concepts are clearly symbolic characteristics of the Japanese culture. Hall (1983, p. 102) describes tatemae as a sensitivity towards others and as a public self and honne as a sensitivity towards one’s own private self.

It can also be argued that this duality of Japanese communication refers to an HC culture. One of the most popular examples of honne and tatemae is bubuzuke of Kyoto. “Bubuzuke, known outside Kyoto as ochazuke, is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, dashi broth, or hot water over rice in roughly the same proportion as milk over cereal. ” When a native of Kyoto asks if a guest wants to eat bubuzuke, it really means that the person has overstayed their welcome and is being politely asked to leave (Kyoto Tourism Council, 2007) .

Japan has developed as very unique culture when compared to other countries. There are three principal factors influencing its uniqueness: Japans long history of isolationism, its geography which has led to densely population areas, and the Japanese language itself (Lewis 1999, p. 400). On Lewis’s (2005, p. 89) linear-active–reactive scale, Japanese culture is closest to the reactive end of the scale, together with China, Korea and Vietnam. India—Communication Style India is a multilingual subcontinent, and many Indians are bilingual or even trilingual.

The mixed and complex use of different languages in everyday conversations is typical of Indian communication. In India, 22 languages are recognised as official languages. The largest language is Hindi; the second largest Bengali. English is the second official language of 100 million speakers, but also the language of law and government. Indian languages have corresponding distinct alphabets. (Wikipedia, Languages of India, n. d. ) Indian English is mainly spoken by the educated class, and it has served as a bridge to the Western world and as a link across different languages spoken in India (Zaidman, 2001).

Traditionally, Indian communication style follows the HC culture discourse. In most Indian languages (e. g. , Hindi and Marathi), people talking to an elderly person use respectful forms. High respect (e. g. , Marathi) for elders is also seen in younger sis-ters and brothers never calling their elder sibling by their first name, but by the words tai (eldest sister), mai (second eldest sister) and bhau (eldest brother). Indian English is formal and poetic, including elegant and imposing forms of speech. It is very polite with expressions of humility, honorifics and respect terminology. Mehrotra 1995; as cited in Zaidman, 2001. )

An example of how a person shows their respect is the use of the respect suffix jee/ji when referring to elders or to anyone meriting respect, e. g. , Please send the copy to Nevgi-ji. The use of long sentences and ambiguous expressions with multiple meanings often leads to misunderstandings between Indians and people from Western LC cultures (Zaidman, 2001). For Indians, the purpose of communication is to maintain harmony and forge rela-tionships, not to exchange exact information. Lewis, 1999; Pakiam, 2007).

Indians are, however, moving towards an LC culture, and the process of change is, as Chella (2007) contends in his article, strongly supported by the four T’s; technol-ogy, trade, travel, and television,. Traditionally, Indians differ in their communication style from the Japanese, Chinese or Korean by being more verbose and dialogue-oriented (Lewis, 1999). Dialogue-orientation and a strong favour for a direct commu-nication style may also be supporting Indians move towards an LC culture, espe-cially in communication style.

Kapor, Hughes, Baldwin, and Blue (2003) investigated how Caucasian American students studying in the United States and Indian students studying in India differed in HC/LC communication in terms of individualistic and collectivist values. The Indian sample reported more indirect communication and more positive perception of conversational silence than the United States sample. However, the Indian sample reported more dramatic communication than the US sample. The results indicate that Indian communication style is closer to an LC culture than would traditionally have been expected.

India’s culture is one of the oldest in the world. Sen (2005, p. ix) describes India “as an immensely diverse country with many distinct pursuits, vastly disparate convic-tions, widely divergent customs and a veritable feast of viewpoints. ” Indian society and culture are ambiguous in many senses. Indians are seen as spiritual and “other-wordly”, but the opposite is often true. Indians pursue material well-being, appreciate success in business, and admire creativity, especially in technology (Varma, 2004; Lewis, 1999). On the reactive–multi-active scale, Indians are a little closer to the multi-active end of the scale.

Indians are extrovert, talkative, emotional, and unpunctual, and they mix professional and family affairs. (Lewis, 1999, pp. 340–346. ) Traditionally, India represents an HC culture. It is characterised by the same cour-tesy, patience, harmony and pragmatism that characterises Japanese culture. Indi-ans are very family-oriented and loyal to their group and to their employer. Indian society is a hierarchical system in which all obligations and duties arise from being a member of the family, a member of a work group, an employee or an employer (Lewis, 1999, pp. 40–346).

Indians are highly collectivist in their local group, but individualistic when dealing with outsiders (Lewis, 1999). On Hofstede’s (2008) individualism–collectivism scale, India is close to the global average. Indian students did not differ from US students in the individualism scale (Kapoor et al. , 2003). Indian culture is, however, changing and becoming westernised. Globalisation is not, however, new. The persistent movement of goods, people and techniques has occurred from time immemorial and it has shaped the world (Sen, 2005, p. 347). Conclusion

This article compared communication style and some cultural features in Finland, Japan and India. Our approach was exploratory and based on prior research findings. We agree with the argument that the concept of HC and LC cultures has been validated and proved useful in transcultural studies (Kim et al. , 1998). In summary (Table 3), Finland and Japan share some features of introversion, while India is clearly more extrovert. Finland and Japan also share the virtue of modesty, while Indians tend to be more assertive. India is livelier than Finland or Japan in communication style.

Finns and Japanese, not liking to be interrupted too often, prefer to think in silence; more talkative Indians think aloud and easily tolerate interruptions. All three countries know how to use silence effectively. Indians use a lot of body language, while Finns and Japanese people are more non-committal. As to cultural features, the power of tradition is relatively modest in Finland, while in Japan and in India it is significant. All three countries show a high commitment to the completion of action chains that have been started.

While doing this, Finns tend to do one thing at a time (linear-active) while still reacting to other people’s opinions and viewpoints (reactive); Japanese people show strong signs of reactive behaviour, that is, they do not like to take the initiative but rather follow the group’s decision; Indians are both multi-active and reactive: they can do many things simultaneously, but still listen to others. Finland and Japan are listening cultures; people are allowed to talk freely, without being interrupted. India is a talking culture, in which talking may be preferred to listening.

Talking simultaneously with others is tolerated much more than in Finland or in Japan. Finland and Japan are more data-oriented than India, which is more dialogue-oriented. In Finland and in Japan, a cultural context is highly relevant to understanding a discourse, in India less so. As a culture, Finland is relatively homogeneous, as is Japan. India is highly diverse and contradictory in many ways. Finns tend to be punctual, non-hierarchical and individualistic; Japanese people are punctual, hierarchical but rather collectivistic.

Indians are often rather unpunctual, hierarchical and collectivistic in their local groups, but frequently much more individualistic vis-a-vis outsiders. Respect for elder people is evident in all three countries, although it is more obvious in India and in Japan than in Finland.

error: Content is protected !!