"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wo Sind Ihre Papiere?

It's full steam ahead for proposals to log passenger information on all flights in and out of EU member states (that's us, folks). The info will be kept for 30 days then transferred to another department where identifiers will be removed and it will be held for a further five years. All in the name of the 'war on terror' and battling supercrime.

So far so standard - it's what we've come to expect. However, the proposals, which have been greeted enthusiastically by the British government amongst others, include the provision of a 'review' after four years when the scheme can be extended to cover all intra-member states' flights as well.

I'm just thinking of the EU's integrated transport policy and road tolls - it's a short step from monitoring London-Edinburgh to driving up at a toll booth and being asked for your travel documents as well as your money.



  1. Erm, if they're removing ALL identifiers, what is the point of keeping them for 5 years. Certainly can't be to prevent terrorism can it?

  2. I guess it's for profiling - initially it's just to help spot people who "may" be terrorists. The jargonese doesn't say 'are', just 'may'. There'll probably be some clause inserted to say it can be reviewed at the end of the five years and then renewed. Once they've bitten, they don't let go.

    Nice name, btw.


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