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EU Wants Air Passenger Data Collected

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-can-leave-your-hat-on dept.

Privacy 151

An anonymous reader sends news of the EU following in the footsteps of the US in that they are contemplating requiring all 27 member states to collect data on airline passengers and to retain it for up to 13 years. No centralized database would be created; instead states would be encouraged to store and to share their own data as needed. All states would have to pass enabling laws before the measure could come into effect. The rules would not apply to flights entirely within the EU. The proposal is part of an anti-terrorism package that also includes tighter laws to control hate speech and bomb-making instructions.

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Damnit! (5, Funny)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265547)

Damnit! Now we EUers can't feel smug anymore and belittle our less free friends in the US ;-))

Yes but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21265577)

...at least they'll never be able to take away from us the fact we never elected George Bush.

Well, at least unless there's a major change in international politics sometime soon I hope not ;)

Re:Yes but... (1, Informative)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266273)

Europe has a whole gaggle of Mini Me's taking Bush's place. Or do you really want to argue that people like Berlusconi are any better?

Re:Yes but... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266397)

If the new constitution, sorry, reform treaty is ratified we could be looking at Blair for EU president. If there's anything worse than Bush it's Bush's lapdog. And we'll have no say in it at all.

Re:Yes but... (3, Funny)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268141)

Right... Germans elected Hitler, you sure got us beat there..

Re:Damnit! (2, Insightful)

cavac (640390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265669)

I don't mean to sound rude, but i've given up traverling to the US, i don't like to be viewed as a "stupid foreigner" by the authorities.

Last time i was in NY (pre 2001, though), it was "US citizens and greencard holders first, europeans last". Maybe we should have something similar at EU airports, to make us EU citizens feel smug and let US citizens stand around for long hours for a change...

All in the name of "security", 'couse, naturally, non-EU-citizens will have to fill in pointless imigration forms, answer stupid questions like "Are you a terrorist" to armed security guards while everybody is watching and generally made of fool of yourself. After all, the EU has to bring up its security standard to US levels...

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21265767)

There generally is EU only queues in european airports, you probably don't notice the queues because you are not in them.

Re:Damnit! (1)

cavac (640390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266087)

Well, i haven't been outside the EU since 2000 or so by plane, so i'm not up-to-date. Now that there are essentially no inner-european borders every few hundred kilometers, visiting other europeans countries by car has become much more fun (no hour-long traffic jams at the borders anymore. YES!!!)

Also, having a common currency made inner-european travel quite a bit cheaper, cause it did get rid of that exchange rates. As an Austrian visiting for example the Netherlands, you had to change Austrian Schillings to German Marks ('cause you will have to buy gas) and Netherland Gulden. After your travel, you'll have to change the rest of money back (paying fees twice). At exchange shops you normally could only exchange paper money. So you usually ended up with useless coins unless you visited that country again or had a friend that did.

Driving from Vienna/Austria to Lissabon/Portugal through Swiss (a 3000km drive, most direct route) would have you cross 5 borders, have 6 different currencies and an estimated total 10-20 hours waiting in traffic jams at the borders during hollyday season...

Re:Damnit! (2, Informative)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265789)

Last time i was in NY (pre 2001, though), it was "US citizens and greencard holders first, europeans last". Maybe we should have something similar at EU airports, to make us EU citizens feel smug and let US citizens stand around for long hours for a change...

You don't have to wish for it, that already exists. At every European airport I've been to I had to stand in a longer, slower moving line because I'm not an EU citizen.

Re:Damnit! (2, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265795)

All in the name of "security", 'couse, naturally, non-EU-citizens will have to fill in pointless imigration forms, answer stupid questions like "Are you a terrorist" to armed security guards while everybody is watching and generally made of fool of yourself. After all, the EU has to bring up its security standard to US levels...

Sounds like my last pass through Dublin. Of course it was the day after a bomb scare. Still not as bad as Heathrow though.

Many don't want to admit it, but it's just as bad in many other countries as it is entering the U.S.

Re:Damnit! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265801)

Actually, to be honest... I also said I wouldn't go to the US anymore. I've been there pre and post 9/11, and was always treated as a criminal. However, my wife want to go to the US and I think I'll give in. Why? Because with the USD to EUR conversion, it might turn out to be a damned cheap vacation.

Also have to think of my wallet, you know ;-)

Re:Damnit! (1)

nnull (1148259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266245)

They already do that at European airports. Non-European citizens have to stand around in long lines. Granted it's not as bad as the US's photographing and finger printing, but don't worry, it's getting there.

Re:Damnit! (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266285)

I've given up no flying altogether... No matter what the destination is... It'd have to be pretty important if I'm going to deal with airports again!

The way you get treated at airports these days is simply amazing, you are considered a criminal just because you are boarding an airplane. What possible other reason except terrorism could one possibly have for flying?

In the near future I will have to travel between Belgium and the UK quite frequently and I've already decided to take the Eurostar. Sitting on the train takes alot longer then sitting on the airplane but at least I don't have to deal with airport security! I recently went back and forth for the first time and ofcourse the passport and luggage check also occurs but it's alot less invasive than what you go through at airports these days!

Re:Damnit! (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267313)

I've given up no flying altogether... No matter what the destination is...

+1, I also do not fly primarily because of stupid security measures. Whereever there are stupid security measures, I vote with my euros

Re:Damnit! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266439)

When I came back from Scotland last year, O'Hare had a line for returning Americans and another for foreign visitors.

That's about the only nice thing I can say about O'Hare, though.

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21267177)

Last time i was in NY (pre 2001, though), it was "US citizens and greencard holders first, europeans last". Maybe we should have something similar at EU airports, to make us EU citizens feel smug and let US citizens stand around for long hours for a change...


People from the US actually travel to the EU? We need to fix that.

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21269033)

You won't need to, at it's current rate by next summer the US$ is going to be weaker than the rupee. That will stop them leaving...

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21267203)

All in the name of "security", 'couse, naturally, non-EU-citizens will have to fill in pointless imigration forms, answer stupid questions like "Are you a terrorist" to armed security guards while everybody is watching and generally made of fool of yourself. After all, the EU has to bring up its security standard to US levels...
They are meant to at the moment, I get handed one each time I come back to Dublin

Re:Damnit! (3, Informative)

krlynch (158571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267721)

Last time i was in NY (pre 2001, though), it was "US citizens and greencard holders first, europeans last".

Watch where you're throwing those stones, buddy :-)

I travel to Europe regularly on business. At EVERY European airport I've been too, there's an "EU passport holders" line (and Switzerland, usually) and an "everyone else" line.

Re:Damnit! (2, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265675)

What exactly makes you think we're not heading the same way? EU has stood for a tightened control of its citizens. Not too long ago, they forced telecom operators to store data in order to fight terrorism and such.

Re:Damnit! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265815)

I *do* think we're heading that way anyway. There isn't much we can do about it, right? The purpose of my original post was to be funny, with exactly the bitter aftertaste that we aren't any better off. I thought everyone would get that.

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21267035)

There isn't much we can do about it, right?
Not with that attitude, no. Consider supporting your national Pirate Party [pp-international.net] .

Re:Damnit! (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267129)

My country isn't listed :-(

Re:Damnit! (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266451)

There are more "data" collection laws here (Passports to check into hotels). But they can't sell the data to corporations and for the police to use the data they need a warrant. Personal data in the EU is protected by law in most member states and by the EU itself.

The odd thing with this law is this. What about trains? I recently visited Italy, Czech Republic, Hungry and Slovakia all on the train. I can get a train to any major city in the EU and most are within the overnight train distance from central Europe.

Re:Damnit! (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266809)

I remember visiting Italy, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria by train during the cold war. No queues for passport checks then either! It was much easier than the train from England to France is now.

Re:Damnit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21267507)

We can and we must, because we're better than the stupid Yankees. We EUROPEANS are the Master Race. We bow to no Jew, we don't allow inferior races into politics. Heil Europa!

Re:Damnit! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267823)

Damnit! Now we EUers can't feel smug anymore and belittle our less free friends in the US ;-))
Those of us in the UK never could. We look to China and Soviet Russia as lands of Freedom and Ambrosia. I'm sure the UK is already storing the security camera image of everyone boarding a plane indefinitely. I don't think they even do that in North Korea.

It's Just the EU *Commission* Driving This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268977)

This was a really surprising move by the EU Commission. Note that the European Parliament had no business with this. They probably weren't even informed, as local politicians here in Finland have all been surprised by this -- it immediately became a frontpage issue -- and they usually keep close tabs with their MEP buddies.

Fortunately this will need the approval of every single EU country as per the procedure, and judging from first public reactions here it looks like Finland is going to oppose. I hope so. This is a privacy (leak) nightmare waiting to happen. Stop the terries and all that, but how the heck do credit card numbers, phone numbers, and email addys have help there, realistically speaking?

Cut to the chase (4, Insightful)

locster (1140121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265593)

[Sarcasm mode on]
Heck, let's just cut to the chase and have an international law that everything and anything has to be logged and stored for all eternity. That should save a few decades of protesting against dumb legislature that will eventually get in through the back door anyway.

Presumably if storage capacity where unlimited we'd be seeing calls to log the position of every atom in the world!
[Sarcasm mode off]

OK. (3, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265639)

...let's just cut to the chase and have an international law that everything and anything has to be logged and stored for all eternity.

OK! Let'em choke on all that data! There's no way that they could keep it all straight - and that's assuming there's no errors!

The genie is out of the bottle, let's give them what they want to the 666 power!

Re:Cut to the chase (0)

background image (1001510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265661)

Presumably if storage capacity where unlimited we'd be seeing calls to log the position of every atom in the world!

The atoms hate our freedoms!

Re:Cut to the chase (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265683)

The next step being to pass legislation outlawing the Uncertainty Principle because only a terrorist wouldn't want you to know where they are *and* where they're going.

Re:Cut to the chase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21265697)

It would certainly help stop the illusion that it isn't being done already, and then people could find ways to deal with a lack of privacy instead of wasting their time trying to protect what they don't have.

Re:Cut to the chase (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266833)

> Presumably if storage capacity where unlimited we'd be seeing calls to log the position of every atom in the world!

Well... If you're also going to store the direction of each atom's magnetic field, your unlimited storage capacity isn't going to be sufficient. We need to fund research into off-universe storage.

Re:Cut to the chase (1)

mgb (30386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268267)

Plus, if its made an international law then the US will probably resent its enforcement, opt out and stop gathering data

EU needs more security (4, Interesting)

spazmolytic666 (549909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265605)

I spent some time in Italy this summer. It is a very lovely country with amazing food. One thing that struck me as strange was the extremely lax security at the airport. Me and my party literally walked through without anyone checking anything at any time. They didn't even LOOK at our passports. I wanted them to stamp mine so I would have the Italy stamp, but the man just waved us on past. I did notice though that all the people the men with machine guns where searching all where Arabic looking men.
I had a stop over in Germany on my way back to the states. Every single person gets a pat-down and a metal detector wand treatment... serveral times. The passport guy in Germany in fact gave us a hard time because we didn't have the Italy stamp. We explained that they wouldn't even look at our passports and he just shook his head and made some comment about the way things are run down there.

Re:EU needs more security (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265793)

It's always amusing coming back to Birmingham Airport ( UK ) the customs guys spend around 5 seconds scanning your passport and thats it.

I flew back from Dublin once to Stanstead airport and in order to get through the barrier without going to customs you had to show your boarding card. Unfortunately I'd thrown mine away but the guy let me through on the strength of a reciept from a Burger King in Dublin which he reckoned proved I'd just come from Ireland right enough.

French security are always nice, happy and smiling. They even joke with you as you go through, a total contrast to their downright rude American equivalents - they are really really irritating.

Re:EU needs more security (0)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266167)

Well, from experience: the more south or east you go in Europe, the more lax security gets and the less stringent the rules. I went to Crete and the Czech Republic and they didn't even have a x-ray detector for our luggage. Just a metal detector that beeped when I went through it, they just waved me through.

Germans and Austrians however still think they've won the war and can treat anybody as lesser than them. Especially their police and border forces but also the average tourist in Spain or wherever you go. We drove through Germany and Austria several times going to (what was back then) Yugoslavia and when the border patrol stopped us (sometimes even after we drove for about an hour in the country, pulled us over) they walked, talked and treated people like they were from the Gestapo. The Germans in Spain think they can just cut in lines in the super mercado's, drive however they want to on the streets and be plain out rude to everybody that's not German. However, some of us called on them in perfect German and then they back down.

Re:EU needs more security (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266237)

And the irony is last year they (morons) tried to blow up a train in Germany. Not in Italy.

But anyway. We're being terrorized by our own governments right now. In the EU it's forbidden to take a normal bottle of water on board.

Terrorism 2, Freedom 0 :(

Papua New Guinea does it right. (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266421)

Security on internal flights in Papua New Guinea is light (there is none)... however, when you get OFF the airplane in the Highlands, they check to make sure you haven't brought any guns or liquor.

Re:EU needs more security (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266799)

Me and my party literally walked through without anyone checking anything at any time. They didn't even LOOK at our passports. I wanted them to stamp mine so I would have the Italy stamp, but the man just waved us on past.

Why not?

When has airport security ever stopped a real threat?

All the 9/11 terrorists had valid ID and passed all criteria that raised no flags. Even the "do not fly list" would not have stopped them. Its just a waste of time and better methods of security are needed other than the current American system.

Re:EU needs more security (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267263)

Yes, that's true, there is no security in Mediterranean countries, but if there were how could tourists spend their monies enjoying the seaside without spending their valuable time in security stoppoints etc? No security is not necessarily a bad thing!

Anti-hate (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21265617)

Hopefully with these anti-hate laws someone will prosecute UK PM Gordon Brown for talking about "British jobs for British workers"...

Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265649)

Say what you want about the U.S., but we don't outlaw 'hate speech' here. We have outlawed bomb-making instructions since 1997 (Thanks, Diane Feinstein!), but only those with that give instructions for the purposes of violating federal law. You can still read about the basic chemistry, and for that you just need to go to your local library or read any of a number of articles publicly available on the Internet.

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266181)

But you can also wonder why there's such a thing as a 'Free Speech zones' in the U.S...no ?

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266205)

Say what you want about the U.S., but we don't outlaw 'hate speech' here. We have outlawed bomb-making instructions since 1997

Alright I will. In the US, you outlaw chemical formulae, but allow people to call for "infidels" to be burned at the stake. Do you regard this as a laudable state of affairs?

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266815)

No, we don't outlaw chemical formulae. Only bomb-making instructions that specifically mention how to break the law, i.e., to make a pipe-bomb, do a, b and c. Publishing the chemical formula for cyclonite, OTOH, is not a violation of the law.

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266461)

Not exactly. We do give extra harsh sentencing to criminals who are divined to have had hate thoughts while committing some crimes.
Also people who do it, where it becomes publicly known (even if said in what was thought to be a private conversation) will often be punished for it by being fired or the like.

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266873)

Also people who do it, where it becomes publicly known (even if said in what was thought to be a private conversation) will often be punished for it by being fired or the like.
That's part of living in a free society -- it's your right to say what you want, but it's my right to fire your ass if I don't like what you say, especially when it violates an established company policy.

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (3, Informative)

PjotrP (593817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266513)

The hate speech thing always is an easy way to put europeans in their place. Then again it usually only works when you don't go into the details about just how free speech works in practice. In practice for example it might be that the freedom of the press somehow is in a much better shape in europe than in the united states.


The US might not have a law to limit free speech, but in reality it seems the free speech of journalists is more limited than in europe. If you use a law to limit it, or just use patriot acts, or even lawless operations by government agencies, doesnt matter much. How you limit free speech is irrelevant, but don't think there is no limiting going on in the US.

See the index of the Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders for example:

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=24025/ [rsf.org]

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266935)

The US might not have a law to limit free speech, but in reality it seems the free speech of journalists is more limited than in europe.
Give an example. There aren't any laws, other than slander and libel, specifically on the books in the U.S. limiting the free speech of journalists. Protection of sources, reporter's privelege, whatever -- these are decided on a case-by-case basis in the U.S., as is true for most of Europe.

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (3, Insightful)

PjotrP (593817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268629)

the point is that having a law one way or another, doesn't necessarily mean that the actual practice and reality is so.
I'm no expert about how free speech works in practice in the US, but I refer to an index of the freedom of press. As I'm no expert I can't judge the index, but the way the index is compiled seems fair enough.

about the US they said:
"There were slightly fewer press freedom violations in the United States [than last year] (48th) and blogger Josh Wolf was freed after 224 days in prison. But the detention of Al-Jazeera's Sudanese cameraman, Sami Al-Haj, since 13 June 2002 at the military base of Guantanamo and the murder of Chauncey Bailey in Oakland in August mean the United States is still unable to join the lead group."

anyway, just screaming "Our laws are better!" just doesn't say much about the actual state of freedom of speech in a country. I bet there are dictatorships that have even nicer looking laws about freedom of speech.

Re:Hate speech and bomb-making instructions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268549)

", but in reality it seems the free speech of journalists is more limited than in europe. "

Hehehe .. you have no idea what are you talking about.

I Can See This Leading to Trouble (5, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265651)

How exactly does one define 'hate speech', and separate it from freedom of speech (one man's free speech is another's hate speech), and how exactly does one separate home chemistry sets from bomb making equipment, and mere discussions on bombs and explosives (they're not exactly secrets) from people who are actually going to use them?

I'm also not sure how collecting data on all passengers will help them with the small minority they want to track.

Re:I Can See This Leading to Trouble (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265715)

How exactly does one define 'hate speech', and separate it from freedom of speech
If it's targetted at muslims, it's hate speech; if it's muslims advocating slaughter of anyone else, it's free speech.

Home chemistry sets? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265753)

Hell, it's easier than that. All you need are beauty products...

 

Re:Home chemistry sets? (1)

Bee1zebub (1161221) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266215)

Just set up your own soap making plant in your house using fat from liposuction as one of your raw materials. Then use the explosives to blow up all the major US bank offices.

Re:I Can See This Leading to Trouble (3, Insightful)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265833)

<cynical bastard>
Didn't you get the memo? It's not about laws making sense, or actually helping prevent terrorism. For a lot of these politicians and bureaucrats it's all about *looking* like you're doing something so you can get reelected and/or be perceived as somebody who's "doing something about it." Bonus points if you can work something in there that empowers the bureaucracy a little bit, extra bonus if you can limit any kind of pesky individualism or unmonitored behavior.
</cynical bastard>

Re:I Can See This Leading to Trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266431)

>How exactly does one define 'hate speech',

Anything derogatory against jews. Its not like this is an unknown concept.
Jews, homos and blacks actually.

Thank god we can still say the exact same forbidden things about other people.

Imagine if we had to be PC with all as we are with teh chosen people?

Re:I Can See This Leading to Trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266725)

Example of hate speech "all non-muslims are less than animals because they reject the truth" - allah (quran 8:55). So let's outlaw that and get to enforcing that law.

We need to bite the bullet now. We cannot tolerate ideologies in contradiction with human rights (not my words, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_Declaration_on_Human_Rights_in_Islam [wikipedia.org] all 73 muslim countries assert this, note that yes, this means that a lot of muslim countries have signed treaties that they will respect human rights and that they will NEVER respect human rights (esp. freedom of religion and equality before the law), so yes this means that they lie, and don't intend on keeping their word).

So let's get to it.

Welcome to the USSR (4, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265671)

I seriously think the Soviets covertly won the Cold War after the end was declared every time I hear crap like this. What's next? Are we all going to celebrate the October Revolution and call each other "Comrade" while the Secret Police read our mail and make people disappear?

Re:Welcome to the USSR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266323)

Are we all going to celebrate the October Revolution and call each other "Comrade" while the Secret Police read our mail and make people disappear?
Hey, you're not supposed to blab that! It's a secret.

Re:Welcome to the USSR (2, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267127)

Every time I see stuff like this and I'm reminded of something Günter Grass said, about how once the Berlin wall came down the way was opened up for Fascism to have free reign again.

Seems to be true. Red or Blue -- they both screw you.

Fair enough (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265679)

Can't let the US take a lead on this issue. Freedom of movement is demonstrated by the fact they won't even consider imposing it on inter-union travel.

In Soviet Russia ... (3, Funny)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265681)

Shit that doesn't work here.

Re:In Soviet Russia ... (2, Funny)

M0nk-e (1104673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266659)

Sure it does, atleast phonetically: "In Soviet Russia, Passenger Data wants EU!" :)

I cringe at the though of hate speech (2, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265693)

I know it's Europe where the ideas of freedom of speech are a little different than on this side of the pond, but still every time I hear or read hate speech I shudder. Who gets to define what "hate speech" is?

Re:I cringe at the though of hate speech (3, Insightful)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265787)

I have lived in both Europe and in the US for years. I think that the American's idea of "freedom of speech" is dysfunctional. Most people have no idea what constitutes protected or unprotected speech. They think they can say just whatever the hell they want, whenever they want, in whatever forum they want (and in the case of political speech with as many dollars as they want). In reality speech in the US isn't like that, rather it is as legislated as it is Europe, albeit with different nuances.
In answer to your question: They have laws made by parliaments in Europe which define protected or forbidden speech. Just like in America they have laws made by Congress which define protected or forbidden speech. It's just that in response to horrors of WWII, several European countries have enacted 'Don't make the same mistake twice' laws. Which forbid denial of the events or glorification of perpetrators in public events.

I think you will find that the US has civil laws which can be used just as effectively end hate speech.

Re:I cringe at the though of hate speech (1)

CeramicNuts (265664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267649)

Bigots and the like may be arrested for other things, but there are no laws to outlaw "hate speech". All opinions, no matter how outrageous, are protected under the first amendment. There exists illegal speech such as child porn, credible threats of violence, etc. which can be dealt with by law enforcement. But the US has no national firewall like, say Germany. People there are literally cut off from "hate speech" at the network level.

I am not familiar with this EU law details but to fight against restricting speech is certainly a worthy fight, especially at the network level.

Re:I cringe at the though of hate speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268195)

But the US has no national firewall like, say Germany. People there are literally cut off from "hate speech" at the network level.
That's news to me, and I live here.
Care to back it up with a few links?
  --feep

Re:I cringe at the though of hate speech (2, Funny)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265807)

Who gets to define what "hate speech" is?

The government, thankfully. They always know what's best for us. You'd have to be insane to say something negative about the government, because loosely defined enough hate speech laws might allow the government to jail opposition voices because they "could be seeking to disrupt public order or incite riots." We can't have riots, that would be double-plus ungood.

Re:I cringe at the though of hate speech (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266177)

Who gets to define what "hate speech" is?

Depends on the country. Either a jury of your peers or whatever means the appropriate country chooses to determine the exact meaning of the law.

Re:I cringe at the though of hate speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266515)

Who gets to define what "hate speech" is?

The people in the business of government. Were you born yesterday? ;) You know, the people who stand to profit from expanding government in either revenue or power over the people, regardless of whether their solutions "succeed" or fail.

An convenient excuse? (3, Insightful)

Fenice (1156725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265695)

Terrorism is really begining to be an excuse for everything... What frighten me is to see that in France, the president talks about terrorism like an imminent threat against our country that nearly requiere martial law, while our last terrorism attemps go back 10 years ago and we have been livin peacefully since.

it was 8 years between WTC1 and WTC2 (1)

slew (2918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267931)

FWIW, there was a lull between the first world trade center bombing and the eventual successful one.

With the outfits like the GIA and the AZF floating around in france, you should be thankful for a greater than 10 year lull in attack on the paris metro...

If you read the propaganda from the other side of the pond, one wonders if it is because of this tightening of the law, france has been able to live "peacefully since"

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,176139,00.html [time.com]

Re:An convenient excuse? (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268513)

It should frighten you more that the population buys into crap like that. Sure terrorism is a concern but unlikely it really should be the #1 concern.

It's really fairly simple (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265731)

These particular terrorists are funded by oil producing nations, Iran and Saudi. They're doing it because they don't like the influence particularly the USA has within their nations. The US for instance is propping up the Saudi royal family, paying them with worthless bits of green paper and military aid. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, Osama bin Laden is Saudi. They see themselves as freedom fighters, fighting the great satan that is literally sucking their wealth dry, and, frankly, when Bernanke switches on the presses they'll be right.

To stop terrorism, stop using oil. Simple. The peak's coming RSN anyway.
 

Re:It's really fairly simple (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265909)

There's a pretty sound argument along the lines of the peak has happened and the distruption from Katrina obscured the data.

Re:It's really fairly simple (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266299)

Well, we'll see with time, a couple of years will tell. In the meantime start saving for one of these:

http://www.teslamotors.com/ [teslamotors.com]
http://www.venturi.fr/ [venturi.fr]
 

It is retaliation... (1)

GennarinoParsifalle (714027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265743)

Simply, this way EU can have the same data of US and use them if and when needed...

Re:It is retaliation... (1)

CapitanMutanda (1185685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265827)

Wasn't the gringo super database project shutdown?

Re:It is retaliation... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267109)

Simply, this way EU can have the same data of US and use them if and when needed...

Indeed, it is a "retaliation" where in both cases, we end up losing, and the Governments gain.

hmm. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265751)

thats a mighty slippery slope we are approaching that skirts perilously close to that line that we should not be crossing.

and so it begins.....

Re:hmm. (2, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266207)

Yes indeed it begins. One small step at a time. Basic rights eaten away in the name of "security". The public thinks "its only a minor inconvenience" or "it makes me safer" each time losing a little freedom, handing the government more power. While we drive around in flashy cars, watch big screen HDTV with surround sound and our Mb/s rated internet connections obtaining free entertainment off bittorrent.

Bread and circuses people.

I don't get it (2, Interesting)

haeger (85819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265835)

I really don't. How is this supposed to help? I don't see it.
Also I don't understand the priorities. How many people were killed by terrorist actions last year in the EU? 100? 1000? And how many traffic deaths were there? How many died from obesity or diseases related to smoking?
If they are concerned about protecting lives they should track how much candy or tobacco/alcohol people buy and use. If they monitor/forbid overconsumption of that it would probably save more lives.

Yes, it would really suck to be blown up buy some nutter but the fact remains that I'm so much more likely to get killed in a car accident that the "terror threat" hardly deserves mentioning.

I just don't get it. Why are people so dumb that they fall for these tricks.

.haeger

Re:I don't get it (1)

CapitanMutanda (1185685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265917)

I think I get it. This Franco Frattini jerk is trying to show he does some work to earn his salary. well, he is also of Berlusconi's party and apparently wants to gain some glory after the woman killed in Roma by an immigrant from Romania.

You are not getting it because (5, Insightful)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266037)

all these measures make no sense security wise what so ever. They are only designed to make the average EU citizen feel safer.
This is just another of the knee jerk reactions that we have seen during the last 6 years. Politicians make a show of "competence" in order to protect the safety of the people. Classic "cover your ass" reaction.

And you are right. The amount of people killed by terror in EU is minimal compared to traffic accidents, workplace accidents, domestic violence, pollution related deaths etc. But we are used to the above, but *terror* is new and unpredictable, hence it *seems* more scary.

Sadly, the governments (and mainstream media) are helping the terrorists, by fueling the fear for terror, by constantly talking about it and making senseless measures against it.

----

An annoyed European

Is there ANY evidence that all this crap works? (2, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#21265863)

Is there ANY evidence at all that if this stuff (privacy violations, ID checks, data collection, profiling etc) was in place in the US before 9/11 that it would have had any effect in stopping the attacks? Or would it have stopped the London Underground bombings? Or the Spanish train bombs? Or the Bali bombs? Or any of the other terrorist attacks of the past 50 years?

Measures like reinforced cockpit doors are good. As are measures to make passports harder to forge (including measures requiring that the information on the passport be stored electronically as well as physically and that said information be digitally signed against tampering such that only the governments have the private keys to digitally sign the information) And the measures designed to stop bombs from being taken onto aircraft disguised as otherwise harmless looking objects.

Unfortunatly, the world has turned into a mass of sheeple who only care about their bread (i.e. mass-produced consumer goods made by the lowest bidder and full of hidden unwanted stuff like lead paint and illicit drugs) and their circuses (i.e. mass-produced media content made by big corporations designed to keep you distracted whilst other big corporations ruin the planet in the name of the almighty Dollar/Euro/Pound/Yen/etc) and are unlikely to stand up to the crap the governments of the world want to inflict on them (especially since the few people who DO care enough to stand up to the governments end up in secret jails that make Auschwitz look like Club Med)

Re:Is there ANY evidence that all this crap works? (1)

Zorbane (1095631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267021)

Its not important that they work...it is important that the governments be seen to be "trying" whether they actually help or not.

In explaining any puzzling [government] phenomenon, always choose stupidity over conspiracy, incompetence over cunning. Anything else gives them too much credit. - Charles Krauthammer, with a slight adjustment for internationalization

It's not about sheeple in terms of bread and circuses.....it is about sheeple in terms of abdicating responsibility to the government. Its not a government distracting a public as much as a public that expects the government mommy to come and see to their needs, be it a gunshot wound or a splinter....and pity the government body who is not perceived to respond well enough. And so basically, people get what they want....in spades. If you willingly cede power, someone will gladly grab it....even if for no other reason that it covers their a$$ well.

And in the past....if people got sick of all this crap, you could go out into the wilderness....and alas, but there is no wilderness left.

Bzzzt! Godwin's Law violation! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21267719)

You might want to be more careful with your rhetorical analogies, if you want people to pay attention to your writing. I was with you until your last sentence about dissidents ending up in places worse than Auschwitz, which implies to me that either you are ignorant about the Holocaust or don't care about the accuracy of your words. Or do you really believe that dissidents in the West are put into gas chambers and treated worse than Nazi death camp prisoners?

Re:Is there ANY evidence that all this crap works? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21268047)

It "works" to keep them in office come election time. "Look what laws we passed to help protect you from being called a mean name!"

Crapworks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21268343)

Is there ANY evidence at all that if this stuff (privacy violations, ID checks, data collection, profiling etc) was in place in the US before 9/11 that it would have had any effect in stopping the attacks? Or would it have stopped the London Underground bombings? Or the Spanish train bombs? Or the Bali bombs? Or any of the other terrorist attacks of the past 50 years?
You know, it almost looks as if you essentially answer your own questions.

As are measures to make passports harder to forge (including measures requiring that the information on the passport be stored electronically as well as physically and that said information be digitally signed against tampering such that only the governments have the private keys to digitally sign the information) And the measures designed to stop bombs from being taken onto aircraft disguised as otherwise harmless looking objects.
Sounds like you support privacy violations, ID checks, data collection, and profiling by way of RFID passports with biometric data and a range of methodologies to "stop bombs".

the few people who DO care enough to stand up to the governments end up in secret jails that make Auschwitz look like Club Med
Since you're being rated insightful, perhaps you could explain this gem for us lay people.

Religious beliefs? Sexual orientation? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21266151)

Well I guess that's me signing up for a free email account next time I go flying - although it's a pain in that the airline might need to send me necessary information, and I forget to check that account.

Sensitive information such as racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership as well as health and sexual orientation should not be revealed.

Oh well that's something. To be honest, it scares me that anyone would even consider including that. Sexual orientation? What about those people who don't neatly fit into a category? Would I later be arrested because they found I've been snogging a guy but I only identified as straight?

And write me up as a card carrying member of the Church Of The FSM.

Just an excuse to spend money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21266675)

You're a politician, you need to spend some money and you need an excuse?
Thanks God there are the terrorists and thanks God the USA already show the way, so you don't even need the effort to think something new.
It's nice to be an EU politician, uh?

Shhh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21267289)

Have you ever heard about Atos Origin ? They have been helping the EU storing all flight information semi-permanently since 2001. I am pleased that this secretive activity is put into the daylight and legalized.

T.

But in the end... (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267377)

England Prevails.

Ha ha ha (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21267455)

"All states would have to pass enabling laws before the measure could come into effect. "

Does anyone else find it ironic that local legislation is required to implement data gathering and storage, yet the EU can ramrod a CONSTITUTION down people's throats (this would be a constitution that a couple of countries have already rejected) without any similar requirement?

Congratulations Europe, you now have a massive overweening Federal government that sucks as hard as ours. Sorry that you didn't get the constitution down on paper FIRST, but then again, we're pretty much ignoring ours too.
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