Tuesday, May 30, 2006

European Court Bars Passing Passenger Data to U.S.

NYT reports The European Union's highest court ruled today that an agreement providing for the transfer of extensive personal data on air passengers to the authorities in the United States was illegal. The decision forces the two sides back to the negotiating table at a time when privacy safeguards are increasingly being debated. The European Court of Justice, in Luxembourg, overruled a May 2004 decision by the European Commission and the European Council, which represents national governments. The agreement, which took 18 months to negotiate and was set to last through the end of next year, gives American counterterrorism authorities access to 34 different types of information about passengers on all flights that originate from the 25 member states.

If this means that the countries will cease providing the information, then the US needs to announce that effectively immediately no aircraft that originates from the 25 member states of the EU will be allowed to land in the United States.

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