back to article EU-Canada airline passenger data-sharing is not a done deal

A European deal to share airline travellers’ personal information with Canada could be chucked out after MEPs asked the ECJ to intervene. On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted by 383 to 271 to refer the EU-Canada PNR (air passenger data) agreement to the European Court of Justice over concerns that such mass collection and …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    "The recent attack on the Canadian parliament would not have been prevented by PNR exchange for example."

    No law can stop terrorism. As my father said after many years an a Bobby, "a locked door is only respected by an honest man."

    1. JeffyPoooh

      How about sharing exactly and precisely everything written on the Passport?

      By definition, the information fields contained on one's Passport should be necessary, sufficient and complete. Airlines should take a *temporary* copy of Page 3 (IIRC) and send it along in advance to the government(s) of the trip destination(s).

      Of course the Flight information would be included too, as a related block of data.


    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Especially since the fellow in question was severely mentally disturbed. We. as a nation. failed him by not detecting this and helping him. In the process, we failed ourselves and lives were lost.

      A sick and angry man was taken advantage of by some very bad people. He was twisted into a weapon and set loose to do indiscriminate damage. The best way to prevent future such incidents not to clamp down on the message of terror - which virtually all of us reject - but to help identify those who are sick and help them get well.

      I hope we'll learn from this and do better by our people in the future.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You can't help those...

        who can't help themselves, without creating the police state that you are so paranoid about.

        Nazi brownshirts as young as 8 used to snitch on their parents if they said something bad about Hitler. In the same way, unfounded allegations of mental illness will affect peoples lives adversely.

        We already have divorcees' poisoning the minds of small children in order to extract revenge on their ex husbands, rampant false accusations of child abuse made by people just to destroy lives.

        And do you honestly think that do-gooders like you or the police or even social workers can know for sure who is really mentally ill when you implement the "Snitch on your Neighbor" plan?

        Doesn't sound like you know anything about CPS (Child Protective Services just for you Trevor) and their horrible record of getting it COMPLETELY WRONG for the native population of Canada.

        Keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself please. We don't need any more alarmist do gooders.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: You can't help those...

          You don't know the first thing regarding the topics you're spouting off on. Where did I say anything about "snitch on your neighbours"? Or anything even remotely similar? I said we failed someone who was quite obviously mentally ill.

          In this case, here is someone who told the police that he needed to be locked up and that he was not well. He was assessed as dangerously mentally ill on at least one occasion - though nothing was done about it - and he was clearly disturbed (and disturbing) while in various shelters.

          We are not talking here about minor domestic disputes or "grassing up someone for being an aspie". We're talking about someone who was very clearly disturbed, had violent tendencies and even warned us about them himself! He had a record, he had a clear pattern of dangerous behavior his whole life.

          ...and because of pompus arrogant asshats just like you, we don't have a system that could actually help this man. And people died. That's on your head, asshole. You, and people like you.

          None of the changes I want to see implemented would create a "police state". But, you know, if you beat your wife regularly and have a history of school violence, maybe child protective services would intervene a little more often, and maybe - just maybe - you'd be caught out and sent to a shrink before you slit their throats.

          Not because a neighbour tattled on you, but because of major incidents that hit the system. Like crimes, self-reporting dangerous thoughts/behaviors or family members turning up in hospital with what looks like domestic abuse.

          One incident is bad luck. Two is coincidence. Three or more are a pattern. If we looked into those just a little - and worked with experts in various fields to define what patterns are important - we might very well be able to help a lot of mentally ill people who would otherwise go untreated.

          That's a reasonable balance between the needs of the many and privacy of the few.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: You can't help those...

            And how would giving a foreign government a copy of your credit card number help with that ?

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: You can't help those...

              It wouldn't. And where did I say I thought I did? For that matter, where did I say I supported giving our complete passenger information to the EU? Or vice versa?

              I do support telling the nation you are going to finally land in who all is on a given a plane, because you'll have to go through their customs and immigration anyways, and it helps if they can tell if they've missed someone. But they really don't need more than name and maybe passport number for that.

              Where/how did you get the silly idea that I supported the complete shenanigans of this treaty?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >man was taken advantage of by some very bad people. He was twisted into a weapon and set loose to do indiscriminate damage.

        So doubly ironic that he did at a memorial to the First World War

  2. AJames

    The voice of reason

    It's nice to see someone try to restrain the rush to implement a global police state. Certainly the Harper government here in Canada used the sad incident of violence by a single mentally-disturbed individual as an excuse to press its agenda of increased secret surveillance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The voice of reason

      It's already here (Global Police State) and they have you and Trevor on their list already.

  3. Sureo

    If this deal falls through, the authorities will find another way to collect the data. It will be done quietly and very likely illegally. It's probably already being done.

    1. Tom 35

      Data sharing

      You can bet that any data given to Canada will be automatically forwarded to the US by our Canadian-Teabagger Stephen Harper.

      The blood was hardly washed off from the failure in life, lone gunman out to be famous in death (not a terrorist) before they passed more spy laws (that they must have been sitting on waiting for an excuse).

      Don't give anything to Canada, you don't want the US to have 30 seconds later.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hope you don't have any business here

    Ever since rogue Saudi royals sent the World Trade Center terrorists here, the Government have been watching the list of people flying in to the US and watching the domestic flights as well. It's not going to stop any time soon as there is too much to lose if they don't watch.

    The incident in Canada was in no way flight related. It was ISIS type fundamentalists grooming a disturbed individual who did their bidding. We had one with a hatchet in NYC too that took out some rookie cops.

    Whether you like it or not, there is an element that will always try to cause havoc. All we can do is try to catch it before it happens.

    Both of these newer acts of terrorism had an "online" component that the government have been monitoring rather ineffectively or they might have known about it. The new Mayor of NYC stopped the police monitoring of the local Islamic community so he could be a "kinder, gentler Obama clone" or they might have heard about the plot BEFORE it happened. The FBI and Boston police ignored warnings about the Boston Marathon bombers from Russia when they came here. All in all, a pretty stupid response.

    All these issues point to an ineffectual response to terrorism from the Obama administration, one that has endangered the lives of our soldiers, caused Putin to feel he can disregard NATO and steal Eastern Ukraine; all in the name of playing fair when no one else does.

    What do you want? An intrusion into your "privacy" or a first row seat on a plane flying into the new World Trade Center building? It's not much of a choice, is it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hope you don't have any business here

      I agree that better sensitive focussed policing is needed to counter the existential threats, I disagree that ALL of our data should be taken for this purpose, our data has not provably ever been used to counter a threat!

      Remember folks that in the last decade more 'merkins have been killed by Coka-Kola-Vending machines than have been killed by terrorists. I think that might be a) something to do with the fact that Coke Machines are big and heavy & (perhaps) designed to fall on those seeking to steal a free can and b) there are no terrorists (statistically speaking)

      It is/was a pressing worry in the professional security establishment that 9/11 happened so-long ago that soon voters will be voting who have never heard of the tragedy; we were wondering what might 'happen' in order to motivate todays' youth. Luckily Daeesh/IS/ISIL/ISIS have popped-up. Strategy of tension, climate of fear...

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Hope you don't have any business here

      >>>>What do you want? An intrusion into your "privacy" or a first row seat on a plane flying into the new World Trade Center building? It's not much of a choice, is it?

      AC, just three questions:

      Why do we fight Islamic Fundamentalists? Is it to protect our freedom? If so, remind me, what are we fighting for again, because it looks like we're doing their job for them?

  5. Detective Emil
    Black Helicopters

    I've saved the US authorities trouble by putting myself on my own private Atlantic no-fly list since this dangerous nonsense was instituted.

    Mine's the Swiss bunker complex, not the Montana one …

  6. An0n C0w4rd


    The Americans will simply say "your airlines will share their PNR data or they won't be allowed over our airspace" and the EU will fall over itself to comply (again). I strongly suspect if you buy a ticket from a US airline (or on a US airline via a code share with an EU airline) your PNR data is already shared and there probably isn't much the EU can do there since you're dealing with a US entity, so it creates a situation where the US wins anyway - either the EU airlines share their PNR data, or they stop EU airlines flying to the USA and force people to buy tickets with airlines that DO comply.

    I seem to remember the EU negotiated (allegedly) tougher set of restrictions on PNR sharing, and the US thanked the EU and then pointed out that nothing changed because of some get-out-clause, and in fact the "tougher" restrictions may have ended up being less restrictive as a result.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: 'merkins

      PNR data was shared with the merkins 14 years ago when I worked on airline systems. I'm surprised the Canucks have only just tried to dip their snouts in the data trough.

    2. Chad H.

      Re: 'merkins

      >>>>The Americans will simply say "your airlines will share their PNR data or they won't be allowed over our airspace" and the EU will

      Tell the Americans their birds are now on the black list.

  7. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    “There is no proof that...

    "...the mass collection and storage of air passenger data helps in combating terrorism, as some claim"

    Hear bloody hear!

    At least *someone* gets it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “There is no proof that...

      it doesn't help in combating terrorism Graham. You and I will never know. That's why you and I have no say in what goes on with the data. They will get it all anyway.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Thumb Down

        @AC - Re: “There is no proof that...

        > You and I will never know. That's why you and I have no say in what goes on with the data

        Maybe not, but our elected representatives should know what is being done in our names and if *they* aren't convinced by the smoke and mirrors from the Security Services, we can be pretty certain that we should not simply bend over and take it.

  8. Someone Else Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Could this be the beginning of the end of Security Theater? The MEPs' comments are encouraging....

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