Memo: An Assessment of the EU-US Travel Surveillance Agreement

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in Other Countries' started by Sunny Goth, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Okay, it's a little dry -- still-- it's an important assessment done by Barry Steinhardt for Privacy International about the flaws in the agreement for protecting the PNR data of European travelers.

    Read the whole thing on the Privacy International site: An Assessment of the EU-US Travel Surveillance Agreement
  2. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    The more one learns about this program the more disturbing it becomes.

    Reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition, all decided in secret and the victim never fully informed of their "crime"
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    "But Fisher, if you have nothing to hide, what's your problem?!"
  4. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    I don't care how many people online tell me 'the information goes nowhere'. I have HUGE issues with the US government requiring my personal information in order for me to fly from MUC to CDG on a German carrier, simply because I am using points from a US carrier.

    If 'the information goes nowhere' then why should I have to provide it?

    And where are all the Canadians upset that their government sold them out and their information is shared if they are flying over the US, with no intention of ever going there? Why are there discussions daily in the German media, on the streetcorner, and in every day life, and not in the US about these issues?

    It's time for Canada and the rest of the world to fight back and play tit for tat.

    Now I'm cranky.
  5. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I couldn't agree more.

    I'm not completely up on this issue, but I think one of the biggest threats the US uses against foreign carriers is to refuse to let them land their planes at US airports if they refuse to turn over info.

    I wonder what would happen if a large foreign carrier called the US on their bluff.
  6. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Most Americans are too cozy in their little protected bubbles. They mouth all the correct pieties about "freedom" and "democracy" and "liberty" and "values," but when push comes to shove, they don't have the courage of their professed convictions. That's why there are so few discussions going on about this stuff. God knows I've tried with my circle of friends, only to get rolled eyes and stifled yawns. Such people won't get it until their names wrongly end up in a database, or one of their family members gets hassled by the National Security State, etc. And even then they might not get it.
    FaustsAccountant and Doober like this.
  7. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    This is so true. I get the same eyerolls.

    >Such people won't get it until their names wrongly end up in a database, or one of their family members gets hassled by the National Security State, etc.

    This is also true. Most people get it at that point.

    For awhile my friends would roll their eyes at me when I'd talk about the TSA searching their checked bags. Their responses were predictable -- "I don't care if someone wants to root around in my dirty underwear." This response has changed now that most of these same people have had things stolen or broken. Now they aren't so bullish on bag checks.

    As for names ending up in databases ---- I think it's too abstract for a lot of people. It's invisible. You often can't tie a lost job, a denial of credit, etc., to your name being in a database.
  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    But even lawyer friends! You'd think of all people they'd get it.
  9. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    Recent history is still very recent in some parts of the world (and I don't mean '9/11') Having ones name appear on a list, and what that implies, and having the state, or individuals, gain access to personal information is still a very fresh reminder of what can happen next.

    Unfortunately even my younger colleagues don't really fully understand all of that; mine may be the last generation for whom the DDR is still a real life memory.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  10. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    I just really felt the need to get that off my chest, apparently! :oops:
  11. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    You'd think! Some of them just don't see it as a problem though. Hey, if you aren't doing anything wrong.... :(
  12. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I think this is a problem.... For you it's the younger generation who doesn't remember. For us in the US, it's that most of us have never experienced anything like this -- till now.
  13. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    During WWI it was even worse. People who spoke out against the war were beaten in the streets. They went to jail. Eugene Debs was sentenced to 10 years. For speech. His sentence was commuted after three years. But think of it -- going to jail for three years because you spoke, because you said something unpopular.

    This country has experience with dystopian novels come to life. But people either don't know their history or don't care. And so we see the same things being repeated.

    Hegel put it well: "What experience and history teach us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."
  14. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    I think that many countries just spent almost an entire century (from before WWI to 1989) experiencing limits on freedoms, free speech, and free thought. Many countries around the world still experience that. Perhaps that is why it is such an issue for certain countries; they have real life experience and it is still a very close memory. And perhaps it somewhat explains the current apathy in the UK - they came very close, but never experienced that type of rule. And ironically, they are seeing some of it in the post-Cold War world, but most don't seem to realise it.

    I actually find the UK apathy more confusing than the US apathy, considering WWII and the history there.
  15. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Yeah, I don't know what to make of any of it. I have a good friend in London, normally very astute, very politically aware, but he's clueless on this stuff. He doesn't even believe, for instance, that the TSA is doing what it's doing. Doesn't believe it. He lived in the U.S. for a while. I've known him for almost 25 years. Yet he doesn't believe me. "What do you think I'm doing, Stephen," I asked him, "just making (expletive deleted) up because I have nothing better to do??"

    "You're beginning to sound shrill," was his reply.

    Oh, well, can't have that. Sorry to offend your delicate little email ears with my "shrillness." And how sophistical of you to just change the subject instead of addressing the substance of what I'm saying.
  16. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    An Australian colleague and I were talking about our many shorthaul flights we were doing around India last year, and I said that at least airport security was so easy in India. He seemed puzzled, and I said 'no removing shoes, no barking, no shouting, lots of 'please and thank you', no WBI/AIT, no unpleasant pat down...' He looked very confused, and then suddenly the light bulb went on and he said 'oh RIGHT, you fly a lot in America'

    He flies more than I do, but only around Australia and Asia, and hasn't been to the US in a decade. The TSA situation isn't something he thinks about as a very frequent flyer, because his airport security 'normal' is so different.

    However he didn't discount my experiences (and in fact mentioned something about the craziness that is America in this century)

Share This Page