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  • WaPo Gets One Right: Sharing Data Saves Lives

    The Washington Post is right. In an editorial today, the paper called to account the European Parliament, whose fixations on “amorphous anxieties” about privacy (to use the Post’s words) are threatening American security. The Parliament, for reasons one suspects of local politics, is rushing headlong toward a confrontation with the United States over the sharing of air travel data (known as Passenger Name Records).

    The U.S. uses data like this to track and capture terrorists like Faisal Shazad, the Times Square bomber. It is too early to tell whether it had a similar role in thwarting the Yemeni printer bomb plot last week, but whether it did or not is not relevant to the overall utility of the air travel data-sharing program.

    And now the Parliament wants to rescind an earlier agreement with Europe and deny the U.S. access to the data it needs. We face this potential confrontation because recent changes to the European Union’s governing treaty gave the Parliament greater power over national security issues. This has opened up the possibility of open discord between a European Parliament whose leadership disdains American concerns with a trite dismissal as being reminiscent of Dirty Harry and an American Congress and Presidency that will not outsource security to Europeans.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    One Response to WaPo Gets One Right: Sharing Data Saves Lives

    1. Jim, CT says:

      Yes, because there is nothing dangerous at all about a government being able to track your movements. I mean it's not like government's were responsible for a couple hundred million deaths in the 20th century or anything. And it's not like our government claims the right to imprison anyone in the world, including Americans, and hold them indefinately without trial. And it's not like the President claims the right to assassinate anyone, including Americans, where ever they may be found. "Anyone" may be a bit of an exaggeration. There are limits to who can be imprisoned without trial or assassinated. The person in question must be declared an enemy combatant. And who declares someone to be an enemy combatant? The President himself. Nice little power grab there, GWB and BO. Especially after that report that was issued saying people who talk about cracking down on illegal immigration, complain about the IRS, or have a libertarian bumper sticker on their car may be potential terrorists.

      But don't worry, I'm sure nothing bad will ever happen because the government can track your movements.

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