Two years ago, the US forced down our thoats negotiated the requirement to send a lot of data ahead of an inbound airplane passengers. Mind you, we’re not just talking ID data, but things like if the fare was payed for by credit card and of course the cc number and other more important things like if a special meal was ordered. Am I glad I never requested Halal food. I guess that is called profiling.
The treaty ended this weekend. The European governments, who had silently let this whole thing happen back then, came under immense pressure. The treaty was deemed illegal by the European Court. So, they were reluctant to let things continue. On the other end, the US imposed the requirement to be allowed to not only use the data by the US security services, but also by other countries. Now the two fun parts.
When asked if the negotiations were cut off, Michael Chertoff stated a draft agreement was reached which had only to be ratified by the Europeans and added he did not expect any problem. Todd, spokesman for the EU delegation then added the Europeans were already over the ocean flying back home.
The other thing is, if an airline does send data, it will be in breach of European law, with the current treaty out. If they don’t, the US might not let them land.
Update: Read more here.
Chertoff adds: “As we await the final ratification of the draft agreement, we expect that aircraft will continue to fly uninterrupted and our national security will not be impeded.”
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) says: “We’ve received assurances from both sides that operations could continue as they did before the weekend [30 September-1 October] and that seems to be the case.”
Update: Today, oct 6th, an interim agreement, valid from the date of ratification by Justice ministers from the EU ( I cannot comment on the position of my countries minister. As I wrote earlier, he tripped on the prison fire) was reached. I still need to find out what data is sent and what not. Next to identifying data, the place of purchase and if it is a one or two way ticket is included. The interim agreement is valid until July 2007.
Update: According to a local newspaper religion and choice of food is not (US wanted too).
To be continued.