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Flying into Big Brother surveillance

Yet another example and situation in which we all find ourselves with personal and private information available to Government.    Big Brother rides again!

"The European Union has agreed to pass on sensitive information on passengers flying from Europe to the United States to the US Department of Homeland Security. The European Parliament approved the new accord by a 409-226 vote on Thursday.

Members of the European Parliament take part in a demonstration against the EU-USA agreement on the use and transfer of air passenger personal data ahead of a vote on the subject at the European Parliament in Strasbourg April 19, 2012.

Members of the European Parliament have battled for more than five years to scale back prior agreements that allowed the US to access and store air passenger data, calling it an invasion of privacy that can lead to false arrests. Many MEPs are concerned that the agreement paves the way for curtailing civil liberties for Europe's 500 million citizens.

Under the new agreement, airline companies will have to make details of passengers' date of birth, credit card number, seat number and dietary preference available to US authorities prior to departure. The United States will be able to access and store the detailed personal information of airline passengers for up to 15 years.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, home affairs spokesman for the Green Party, said the vote had reversed parliament's role as a defender of civil liberties and endorsed "big brother style surveillance". He added that there was "no evidence" that the "disproportionate" measures did anything to ensure greater security."


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