May 30 2006
Since I deal with tens of telemarketing calls a day from people who have all sorts of information on me and my family, not to mention all the mail we have to pitch from credit card and mortgage offers, I am truly dumbfounded by the resistance to give the Federal Government personal information in order to screen for terrorists.Â I would probably be all worked up if my private life was private.Â But it is not and no amount of alarm bells from the ACLU is going to change my mind.
And now the EU has decided to punish its people because information airlines have (and which they use to make money off of) cannot be shared with the Feds (who have stiff requirements on protecting that data and who cannot make money off it).Â Instead of sharing already exposed details, the EU wants to make it harder to identify terrorists on flights to the US:
Today’s court decision means more queues and long hold-ups for Europeans at American airports once the current system is scrapped, unless a new arrangement can be reached.
The agreement between Brussels and Washington, which was blasted by civil liberties groups, was insisted on by America after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
It required European airlines to provide the US authorities with 34 pieces of information on each passenger including names, addresses and credit card information, within 15 minutes of a plane taking off. It was opposed by many European MPs as a breach of privacy laws.
But the 2004 deal was annulled not on the issue of privacy, but on the purely technical grounds that existing EU data protection law only covers commercial data, and was not wide enough in scope to cover data used for security purposes.
What is worse than the mindless bureacrat robot who fails to grasp intent verses literal readings of the law?Â Partisan fanatics who would risk our lives to push their agendas, whether we agree with them or not!Â Is there any end to the madness in this world?