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  • The EU Doesn't Want to Share, and It's Harming U.S. Security

    It’s 1776 all over again, as former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Stewart Baker quips. This time, however, we are not talking about unjust taxes or the right to a trial by jury, and no one is dumping tea into Boston Harbor.

    Instead, the issue is U.S. ability to preserve its own security. Earlier this month, the European Parliament announced its plan to postpone a vote on sharing Passenger Name Records (PNR) with the United States. Essentially, the parliament is reneging on years of negotiations and a standing agreement to share information with the U.S.

    Data-sharing agreements like the PNR are essential to helping the United States identify potential terrorists and stop them in their tracks. In fact, officials have said that the PNR aided in capturing the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shazad, and the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttallab. Information sharing between the United States and Europe was also instrumental in thwarting the liquid explosives plot of 2006.

    Apparently, the EU decided it wanted to add in more terms: American “use of PNR data for law enforcement and security purposes must be in line with European data protection standards, in particular regarding purpose limitation, proportionality, legal redress, limitation of the amount of data to be collected and of the length of storage periods.”

    In response to this challenge to U.S.—and EU—security, ranking members in both the House and Senate Homeland Security committees filed resolutions urging the Department of Homeland Security to take a strong stance in negotiations with the European Union. It’s a good thing the resolution “urges the Department of Homeland Security not to enter into any agreement that would impose European oversight structures on the United States.”

    That sounds awfully familiar. Does the EU really want to pick a fight after 10 years of cooperation? It’s time to work together.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to The EU Doesn't Want to Share, and It's Harming U.S. Security

    1. TJ says:

      How dare those Europeans not do what the US tells them to do !

      Who are they to put the privacy of their own citizens above the security of a foreign country?

      What do they think they are? Independent?

    2. Erin Shumaker, Lakew says:

      @TJ: It's not that they are not doing what we tell them to do; there are several factors at play here. 1) There was an agreement in place to share this kind of information between the US and Europe. Why all of a sudden is this agreement no longer kosher enough? 2) The seemingly-sudden refusal to honor the previous agreement unless new terms are agreed upon is a threat to international security. In this age of internationalism, not knowing who has hit the warning lists of other nations could cause serious harm to the citizens of our own country.

    3. Laurie Davis says:

      Apparently these agreements have been negotiated and now the EU is failing to live up to their own agreements. Not surprising…..but if we really want EU to be seen as independent like the previous comment suggests, we should do away with NATO and let them build their own military defenses….unless of course EU doesn't feel they need security from this "peace loving world".

      Also, they can bail themselves out from their economic crisis.

    4. Bobbie says:

      Well, as America stands divided by a divided government, who knows? maybe the EU is doing exactly what Obama wants. It's hard to lose someone in the name of "security," you're obligated to rely on. Key word: "obligated."

    5. JD says:

      Let them stay in Europe if they don't comply. I don't see it as much of a loss. You'd think the 'green' EU would want people to telecommute more.

    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      I agree with Bobbie.

      We have far greater problems with the multitudes of intelligence agencies in this country that are tripping over each other trying to be more important than the next. Understand, it took these agencies 9 years to supposingly find a man who was living in the same place for 6 years 100's of yards away from a military campus.

      I know there was a lot of self-aggrandizing going on, but after spending over $7 trillion on this war with terror, this is shameful performance. We should be cleaning up our own problems before blaming our own failures on Europe.

      I am not saying Europe should no share, I am saying I am not positive our federal workers would know what to do with it once they got it. It is very possible that they do not trust that we will not abuse the data once we have it.

      This OBL public relations event was nothing more than a political flop for Obama. We need a federal government that is not populated with political hacks that use our non-existent tax dollars to boost politicians standing. That is all the OBL event was about.

    7. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Plus considering that well over half of the federal workers have high level security clearances and that the US federal governemnt is essentially a seive for classified information, it may be advantageous for foreign nations to tighten their security against us.

    8. Lydia says:

      Nice. EU puts the privacy of all the terrorists to whom it has granted citizenship ahead of the national security interests of its friend and ally, a friend and ally that has very generously used its national treasure to lavishly subsidize European security for the past 60 years or so. The obvious solution to this stalemate is for the United States to suspend the visa waiver program and require all European travelers to the US to go through the process of acquiring a visa before being able to travel here. Problem solved.

    9. Pingback: EU-US deal on passenger name records? | Orphans of Liberty

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