Oct 06 2011

How the USA imposes travel bans within Europe

In an article here yesterday, we mentioned a report earlier this month by Andrej Hunko, a member of the German national legislature (“Bundestag”) , based on responses to his information access requests to the German government about its collaboration with DHS and use of PNR data.  There was more about this in DHS testimony at yesterday’s hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives. The following is an English translation of Andrej Hunko’s report, republished by permission of the author:

How the US Department of Homeland Security imposes travel bans within the EU

by Andrej Hunko, September 28, 2011

Naturally enough, the website of the NoPNR campaign regularly contains material about the retroactive legalisation of exchanges of passenger name record (PNR) data between EU Member States and the United States, Canada or Australia. Members of Parliament in the EU from several parties have already done some important work on this issue and have been levelling fierce criticism at the planned agreements, which, in point of fact, have long been applied on a ‘provisional’ basis.

I believe, however, that it is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employs hundreds of staff who operate at airports and sea ports within the EU. This practice came to light in the summer after Mark Koumans, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, presented a report on security issues in Europe and Eurasia before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia.

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