April 18, 2011
With respect to the headline ‘Countries rally behind UK on EU flight data collection’ and the UK’s unending desire to collect data on every aspect of its (and other EU) citizens’ lives, the example was given of a drug smuggler that files into Lisbon from a non-EU country hangs around for a bit and then takes another flight (and thus lacks any PNR) to another country.
At the risk of providing aid to criminals but working on the basis that whilst stupid (well, you would be if you smuggled drugs) they nevertheless possess a brain and a pair of eyes – they could equally have hired a car or taken the train. No PNR trail with the added benefit that most car hire places I have ever been to seem to be devoid of metal detectors and other similar security apparatus, ditto train stations.
Europe is not so large that, once ‘inside’ the Schengen area, surface transport becomes quite practical. Perhaps the Brits would like to return to the old pre-Schengen days? However, even then most borders were pretty porous. So collect PNR data on internal flights if you must.
However, if you do, most of the criminals are likely to move to car hire or trains. Then watch as the security obsessed Brits try to persuade gullible mainland euros that they should fit ‘security’ to train stations. At least the Germans and the Austrians are not taken in by British security obsessions which would be funny if they were not so pathetic.
PWRAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor