back to article The great Passenger Name Record sell out

As you pack your bags and plot your escape from the miserable British "summer" we're having this year: the security - long or short term - of your personal travel data is probably the last thing on your mind. And thanks to a much trumpeted deal between the EU and the US, even if it was a consideration in your travel plans, it is …

COMMENTS

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Anonymous Coward

what type of world....

I dread to think of what this World is going to be like to live in in 10 or 20 years time with what may well be "mis information" held on you and with no chance to get that data overturned or changed. No doubt the data will end up given to all and sundry. Yes big brother is here and expanding. What the hell point is there in having an information commissioner in UK or Europe as we are ruled by USA anyway.

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Silver badge

Not another US NeoCon Scam surely? FFS, Grow Up.

"You have no influence in deciding whether or not you are a threat".

Oh yes, you have. To think otherwise would be to suggest that the Intelligence/Algorithms which they use are Omniscient and Omnipotent and that would be a Childish Arrogance exposing an Exploitable Vulnerability and an Ignorance in such Systems Programming..... for, of course, Intelligence is not confined for Individual Control, no matter how much one would wish IT 42BTrue.

That, of course, is not to say that such Intelligence/Algorithms cannot assist against threats for they most certainly can and they can even, when they are used imaginatively, create all the Assistants that they Need 42 Feed...... with a Covert Easy Come Easy Go Financial Bonanza which nobody choses to really fully explain .... by IntelAIgent Design, of course.

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Anonymous Coward

- international treaties take precedence over national law,

do you really belive " international treaties take precedence over national law," in the US? I have not noticed any interest in the current adminstration in abiding by international treaties it signed and ratified but find inconvinient

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Anonymous Coward

Bloody US..

We have GOT to stop bowing down to the demands of the US - its always take take take with them - extradite people to the US? fine no problem - get one of their personnel over here for the friendly fire incident? - fuck off.

Give us PNR ? - no problem - WHY the heck did we not tell them to go shove it?

For too long we have had a weak government and EU and this just proves we don't need the bloody EU making decisions for us.

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Only for US flights?

I assume the data is only shared for flights to Burgerville? Not for anybody who would like to go somewhere interesting like Europe?

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Whether you like it or not...

The author asks why the EU decided to sign this "treaty" with the US. The answer is simple. Because the US said "We're going to do this whether you like it or not, so you might as well stop fighting it". Remember when the previous agreement was ruled illegal? The US kept on doing it anyway. Remember when the EU decided that the SWIFT data mining was illegal? The US kept on doing it anyway. See a pattern?

Simply put, the US government will do what the US government wants to do. It doesn't matter what US citizens think or want. It doesn't matter what non-US citizens think or want. It doesn't matter what non-US governments think or want. The US government is the sole decision maker. Judge, jury, and executioner, if you will.

But don't worry. By the looks of things (seeing and listening to the youth [15-25-year-olds] of the US), they're too stupid to run a government. Hell, half of them (probably more than half) are too stupid to even construct a proper sentence. So in another 30-40 years, the US government may very well fall apart, and the world may finally be a little bit closer to peace.

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Anonymous Coward

Just what are they doing with it

What scares me about this is there isn't really anything

you can do with this information if you are sane if you are

insane there are a great many crazy things you can do with

this and I for one would like which ones they are doing. The

police have reasonably good intel anyway as do most military

and the usual spooks so this seems like there must be another

player who doesn't belong here like maybe a private database

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Anonymous Coward

CSC and World Biometric ID project 'Worldbridge'

I've been complaining about the UK requiring visas for EU residents (they refuse to recognise other EU country's residents card under 2004/37/EC, and so ask my wife for a visa).

I think it's a game to soften up the Brits to having their Biometrics recorded (they already seem to accept random stop and search, which a few years ago was unthinkable!). In a few years you'll be stopped and searched and your biometrics checked and recorded in Britain it seems.

Well on the *French* visa instructions they spell out the details. It is part of the evolution to 'World Biometric ID', it requires you apply to CSC (yes the American company) for your Biometric file. You cannot apply for a UK visa without your Biometric file, regardless of your rights under EU law.

You have to attend one of the centers in person, no more postal applications. So for us it is a stay in a hotel overnight and a 3 day process now since they only have 3 sites. This applies to Luxembourg, France and Monoco, so someone from Luxembourg has to fly to Paris, get their Biometrics done from CSC before they can be allowed to apply for a visa to enter the UK.

Also as part of the visa application, the embassy requires I provide 6 months of bank statements for my wifes visa application.

http://www.csc.com/newsandevents/news/10049.shtml

http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1059132532703

(machine translated to English):

"With the ATTENTION OF ANY APPLICANT OF VISA FOR The UNITED KINGDOM. The British government starts to ask biometric information (fingerprint and for numerical photographs) within the framework of an evolution towards the world biometric identification, in order to protect the individual identity, to facilitate the entry in the United Kingdom, to fight the fraudulent use of the visa as well as the abuse the system of immigration and asylum British. "

"From August 16, 2007, two major changes in the process of request for visa will come into effect to France, in Luxembourg and Monaco: * Any person asking for a visa for the United Kingdom will have to pass through the trade partner of the embassy of Great Britain, Worldbridge Services, subsidiary of Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) in Paris, Marseilles or Bordeaux. "

Wow, so now CSC, a US company will be collecting the Biometrics and generating a file which you need to apply for the visa.

"* Any applicant of the visa, some is his nationality, will have to make the request in person in a center of request for visa like leaving his fingerprints and his numerical photograph. The applicants of visa will be able to deposit their file like informing itself on the request of visa near the center of request of visa of Worldbridge in Paris, Marseilles or Bordeaux. "

"There will be no expenses additional for this service. The requests for visa will not be treated any more directly with the embassy of Great Britain, except in exceptional circumstances. Except contrary mention, all the applicants of visa will have to leave their prints like their numerical photography. The request for visa could not be treated if the applicant refuses, or cannot, to provide acceptable biometric information. "

All I can say is fuck you Britain. I will not let you take my wifes fingerprints, spy on my bank account, or spend 3-4 days getting the 'World Biometric ID'. If you can't sell this shit to the British people, then you should not be able to sell this shit in Europe. If you won't comply with the ECJ rulings or 2004/37/EC then you should be kicked out of Europe. What the hell are you doing getting a PRIVATE AMERICAN COMPANY to record our biometrics anyway?? You privatized the recording of Biometrics??

SWIFT handed our data to the USA and now we're supposed to let CSC record out biometric data?

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Silver badge

1984!!! That's nothing!

As others have mentioned before, George Orwell didn't know he was writing a manual for 21st century government. What he didn't realise also was that his notions of control fell so far short of the real possibilities that the technologies of the future(his) would provide.

What is so worrying about our governments is that they are so keen to develop IT as fast as possible almost entirely for the regulation of their own citizens. Since it is by far Europeans and Americans that will form the majority of passengers to come under the scrutiny of this agreement. Additionally to the possibilities of spying on us by our gov's is the likelyhood of this info' ending up in the hands of such people as insurance companies and banks etc, people who never have the individual's wellbeing at heart, only their own profits. It's coming up to revolution time, the tourble is we Brits don't have any guns to fight with and I don't think a rolled up newspaper is going to do the job

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Anonymous Coward

Self loading cargo

""The Department of Homeland Security has managed... to take the system as originally designed for cargo and apply it to people."

Anyone who has flown British Airways, Easyjet or Ryannair will know that the airlines have been doing this for year. The flight crew even have a name for us - self loading cargo. Where do I apply to get a barcode tatooed on my forehead?

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You must be joking!!

So the yanks want passenger details. So what?

The biggest joke of all is that they claim to want this information to protect their homeland security.

It's all rubbish of course. Remember the border with Mexico?

Even American politicians are employing illegal immigrants.

It's not a sell-out. With the Americans you give them what they want like you'd give a very gready child ice cream until they get sick with it. And you laugh at them while you hand it over in the full glare of massive publicity.

Like many security initiatives this is not about protecting the innocent public. It's about keeping an army of civil servants in well paid work achieving nothing while ripping off the tax payer.

Thats done in the UK as well.

Americans are despised world wide for good reason. They have to buy friendship and co-operation. The rest of the world only likes the dollar.

But while so many foreign people are prepared to take up arms against America the corrupt administration will prosper.

The Americans will even slaughter innocent people themselves to create a war they can sent their armies to. Remember Cambodia etc etc?

And so keep many American arms manufacturers in business.

America could be economically compromised if every foreign nation refused to fight.

You hate America?-stop buying American products. Stop giving them bases in your country but above all stop fighting.

America has an unlimited number of poor people still willing to die for George Bush overseas. What does that tell you?

And the UK still has a Prime Minister that's prepared to give the President a blow-job.

In the mean time they want to know who's flying in and out of their country? Give them the info. And then publish the photo's of every CIA agent and diplomat currently working in your country.

I would suggest that before you take a flight to the States you confirm that you'll be allowed in before you fly there. If you check with the American embassy in your country first rather than find out you're not wanted after standing in a queue at Kennedy for a couple of hours.

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Anonymous Coward

@Robert

"You hate America?-stop buying American products"...

Like the American Internet

Like the American telecom cables that connect the continents

Like the American satellites that handle communications

Like the money in your pocket that is underwritten by American securities

Like the American entertainment popular the world over

The US is in a somewhat enviable position right now. People can bitch about them but no one can really do a whole lot. Doing away with American products will impact so many peoples lives on so many different levels that no one can really do anything to change the system. You said it with the fact that everyone just wants the US dollar and that is the truth. However it's also true that the US can have a "you don't have to like us, you just have to pay us" attitude. And that attitude will prevail until the Chinese are truly running the show. Let's see what you have to say about governments then.

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Anonymous Coward

Money where your mouth is then....

Unlike many of you I actually try to do something to reflect my views. I don't buy US or Israeli (Arabs are Semites too before we get the clueless anti-semite jibes) goods unless there is no alternative - and believe me there usually is.

The USA is not anybody's friend other than the USA. Americans have no problem working this out so why the hell are the rest of you so slow?

I'd recommend Andrew Marr's "A History Of Modern Britain" to everyone just so they can see how the "special relationship" worked/works over the years since WW2 - some of you 30/40- somethings may actually get a clue.

Apologies Andrew Marr as I'm (fairly) sure that you didn't intend this to be the case but it is the way I'll remember it.

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About PNR data

Something all should know about PNR data.

First of all, there are indeed many types of PNR records, and they do include information about your frequent flier affiliation, your passport or ID data, special requests (meals, wheelchairs, etc.), the payment method and payer of record. These are all linked to the specific reservation you get for a ticket.

More important to realize, however: the PNR record is a historical record, with previous information chained together with the current (active) record being the last in the chain. Any changes made to a reservation (PNR) are kept as part of the record chain, so requesting a change of itinerary, service level, etc. is still linked to the original request. This is done to allow errors (yes, the PNR system is STILL a manually-driven system, with little consistency in how data is entered) to be identified and corrected.

PNR data is *NOTORIOUSLY* difficult to process and analyze. (I've been doing this for years and it still butt-kicks me every time I have to deal with it!) You can derive a lot of information out of it, but - and I don't say this lightly - ONLY if you know what you are looking for. Algorithmic processing - even supported by external data (like bank records and passport data) - falls apart rapidly once you get past the machine-generated portions of the records.

I won't go so far as saying you're anonymous in the PNR data, but you're much better off than you would be if the system was fully automated and efficient!

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@@robert

>"You hate America?-stop buying American products"...

>Like the American Internet

... which is - thankfully - not that american at all.

>Like the American telecom cables that connect the continents

... which connect who with who? Us Europeans with - oh. The Americans. I see.

>Like the American satellites that handle communications

Sorry, as far as I can tell, we have a couple of our own...

>Like the money in your pocket that is underwritten by American securities

Securities? like what?

>Like the American entertainment popular the world over

Is it? That crap? What's the world coming to?

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Anonymous Coward

The US in not in an enviable position

"The US is in a somewhat enviable position right now. People can bitch about them but no one can really do a whole lot. Doing away with American products will impact so many peoples lives on so many different levels that no one can really do anything to change the system."

That's not true, US has a huge trading deficit, people are simply not buying enough of their stuff to come close to balancing their imports. So the effect is they ARE avoiding US products. That US$ outflow means more $ outside the USA. That was measured by the M3 money supply number, so to fix the problem they stopped issuing the M3 number in 2006!

Fix bad numbers by concealing them.

Coupled to that their debt is out of control. They sold the bonds to the Japanese, then the Chinese and Europe, now they're selling it to the Federal Reserve, which is a fancy way of saying they print more US$. It dilutes the $, the debt is really covered by the reduction in value of dollar assets.

I'm one of the people suspicious when they stopping publishing the M3 money supply number in 2006. Since before they stopped releasing it, the numbers showed it shooting up, indicating large amounts if US$ leaving the US.

http://inflationdata.com/inflation/Articles/M3_Money_supply.asp

Enviable? No, inflated bubble in a world of pins.

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Anonymous Coward

Look at the bright side...

Catering companies, having "somehow or other" obtained information about your lifestyle and preferences from 'accessible' databases, will be able to pipe highly targeted advertisements to your in-flight entertainment system while the flight marshal is busy putting you into a camisole because an anagram of your name has been found on a terror watch list. Then it's off for a free trip to Cuba, an interview in Syria and later a heli-drop into Albania. Yowza!

"You hate America?-stop buying American products"...

All made in Taiwan...

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Not the 'US' fools

It's the multinational financiers / bankers and corporations, eccentially extra-national 'entities'.

Follow the $,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$s people, the extra/multi-nationals have been creating conflict and war since at least the mid-1800s

Without the financing, the US ould have not become the military / industrial giant it did from the supply of weapons and shipping from WWI, and Germany / Hitler could have not brought Germany out of the *great* depression and caused WWII

Even the US's "War between the States, was, at it's core, a war between industrial money concerns and agriculture money.

Today you have China producing the worlds goods, basicly from forced / slave / or at least very, very poor and oppressed people under a brutal Communist dictatorship , and the EU and US somehow call that *fair trade* and *free market*

EU is just another means to put a small % of every Euro into the extra-national pockets, not materially different than how the *private* Federal Reserve guarentees the extra-nationals a small % of every US dollar distributed

To pretend it's the US is to not see the forest from the trees, and you play into the same game of conflict

US, Canada and Engand have been sharing intel since WWII ... what practical differnce does it make that it's illegal in your country to spy on it's citizens when the other country collects the intel and passes it along per international agreements to your home county ?

Of course, few, if any Europeons (or US citizens) will be willing to take the personal action that could have an effect ....

DON'T FLY !

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Anonymous Coward

Re: CSC and World Biometric ID project 'Worldbridge'

2004/37/EC is the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive. What's that got to do with it?

This is what the Europa website has to say about it:

"The Amsterdam Treaty, which came into force on 1st May 1999 harmonised the visa rules applying to travel for non-EU nationals. EU Member States with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland which, on the basis of a protocol annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam, maintain autonomous visa, immigration and asylum policies are precluded from unilaterally determining the visa rules related to short-term stays for nationals of any third country."

"On the basis of the Schengen Convention, now integrated in the EU framework, a valid residence permit from a Schengen State, together with a travel document, can substitute for a visa. Thus, a third-country national presenting his/her passport and a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen State can be allowed to enter another Schengen State for a short stay without needing a visa. This equivalence does not apply to residence permits issued by the United Kingdom and Ireland, since they do not apply the Schengen acquis (although they requested to apply some of the provisions on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters)."

Still agree with you that this pick-and-choose attitude to EU laws is ridiculous, though.

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Anonymous Coward

UK, you are the weakest link

"2004/37/EC is the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive. What's that got to do with it?"

Should be 38 and it has nothing to do with Schengen states, this covers the UK and Ireland too. 2004/38/EC

Prior to this, the laws were a mess, every country had it's own rules, UK and Ireland needed a visa, some Schengen countries needed a visa to relocate if you were originally from the UK.

European Commission sued (Belgium I think), the ECJ ruled that the rights of entry stem directly from the treaty not from the local paperwork, and so the European Commission then cleaned up the laws accordingly.

They removed restrictions on the visa by striking off a bunch of detail laws, and introduced 2004/38/EC/Art 5(2) to cover cases of moving internally within the EU.

"For the purposes of this Directive, possession of the valid residence card referred to in Article 10 shall exempt such family members from the visa requirement."

The effect was to strengthen the outer border while relaxing the inner ones. So now you can travel with your UK resident (but not EU national) spouse to Europe without a visa. In theory Europeans have the same rights to enter the UK.

But the UK then redefined a Residence card as a UK only residence card. To deny other countries citizens their freedom of entry into the UK.

I've complained to my government (France) about it, I don't see why we allow UK immigration inspectors on our high speed trains, or allow the UK the use of the Schengen visa information system, or cooperate on their border controls when their response is this racists ****.

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Silver badge

Repetitition of attempts

"Previous attempts at this type of data gathering, "Total Information Awareness" and the proposed airline security system CAPPS-II, met with public opposition and were cancelled"

In a perfect world, the politicians should have tried once, noted the public outcry and concluded that the citizens simply DON'T WANT data gathering.

Instead, the politicians think along the line of "well, we didn't get through THIS TIME, so we'll TRY AGAIN a different way".

The fact that the very idea infringes on private life has no bearing whatsoever, of course.

Pascal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: CSC and World Biometric ID project 'Worldbridge'

Are you sure you meen Visa and not Passport? I do know there have been alot of people getting stroppy in the EU because most EU countrys dont requier a passport for entry but the UK do. A Visa for entry of an EU citizen into the UK hasent been neded for years, unless you are talking about a Work permit. In which case most EU nations require bank statements or proof of work to prevent abuse of the local benafits system. Please elaborate on what kind of Visa you mean.

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Anonymous Coward

should we all order the halal meal? Or the kosher one?

I often have ordered the halal meal or the kosher meal because it's just so much nicer. Am I likely to be a high-risk blip on the chart now? If 90% of passenger ordered halal, would the plane be ordered back to base, as being chock-full of terrorists? If they are also looking at hotel beds booked (presumably two people of the same sex in one bed must be a gay couple...and two people of the same sex in twin beds won't be), why do they need this info and how can it be justified in the 'war' on terror?

Oh, of course, it needs no justification other than Governments want to know everything about you, so as to control you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only for US flights?

Actually several countries, including some African countries, demand PNR data before allowing a flight to leave. I was very surprised to be asked for that data by my airline when I flew to such a country recently. I was under the impression that only the US would need it, but not so apparently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: CSC and World Biometric ID project 'Worldbridge'

Sadly the Schengen agreement does not apply to the UK and Ireland in its entirety, and as such, you as an EU citizen will, to a degree, have to get a visa to the UK, especially when your country never was a member of the Schengen agreement before harmonisation (i.e. former East Bloc countries and the like).

Because of the peculiar relationship that Ireland enjoys with the United Kingdom (Irish citizens and residents can travel to the UK without any checks), and the peculiar relationship between the United Kingdom and the rest of the Commonwealth, such exemptions for UK & Eire were required. After all, Schengen was to harmonise the visa requirements for the signatory countries, and some of those had stricter requirements for, for example, Nigeria or Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), whereas the UK did not (because both example countries were members of the Commonwealth).

So UK citizens (citizens, not residents) could travel to the continent unfettered, and Schengen signatory citizens too, whereas those with residence permits and visas could not. They still to this day require a visa in certain instances.

For example, Commonwealth countries still require visas to Schengen countries other than the UK, unless the Schengen countries visited have bilateral agreements with said Commonwealth countries to suspend such requirements (Australia and New Zealand are such Commonwealth countries that generally do not require visas for visits to the continent that are less than 90 days).

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Don't blame us Yanks

Most of us didn't vote for the incumbent, who took a valuable place at university that could have gone to a more deserving candidate. His education was evidently the movies aimed at an audience of teens, so he is prone to seeing violence and antisocial behavior as the preferred methods of solving problems. Thus the "War on Terror", since declaring the U.S. to be at war invokes the same feelings in all the other idiots who were raised on the same movies. It's an excuse for anything.

I'm glad to see all the international indignation. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." That goes for all of us. Over here, we have to work at not having our elections stolen, as well as our civil liberties.

As for global markets and global exploitation, it isn't that easy to resist. The best we can do is to TRY to buy the products of our next-door neighbors as much as possible, and avoid the big guys -- the U.S., China, and the odd subcontractor in Asia or wherever. I know it is really difficult to find Made in USA tags over here!

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Turn up the heat a bit...

I always thought that the French government were very good at retaliation when the US imposes crappy conditions. I presume that the "passenger record" agreement is fully reciprocal i.e. European governments get all the info regarding flights from the USA. Surely all it will take is a little innovative use of the data from the USA to persuade them to accept less info about passengers. I have not read the treaty so don't know what the constraints actually are, but maybe publishing some details about passengers would assist.

Pity they don't have things like persons weight in the data, then "the fattest American travelling each month" could be published in Canard Enchaine. Perhaps getting all non-EU citizens to sign their recent itineries under some massive penalty if it is wrong. What is needed is something to REALLY upset the US travelling public to get the message across that our travelling public is less than pleased with this sort of accord. Any thoughts commenters?

Of course US coat-tail UK could not do anything like that, but Belgium or France might give it a shot.

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amanfromMars

... Is that where you learnt English? For such a short post it's very confused, and what's with all the Caps?

Please re-write

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Anonymous Coward

Why should we be paranoid...

Why should we (the USA) be paranod about EU citizens? Lets see.....

1) The first World Trade Center bombers were in the US on EU passports and visas.

2) The 9/11attackers were here on EU passports and visas.

3) When Pan Am 103 exploded and killed 270 people their way to New York, the bomb was planted on the plane in Frankfurt.

I'm sorry we'll know what kind of food you eat, and whether you like an aisle or window seat.... fix you own security mess or get over it.

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@@Robert

"You hate America?-stop buying American products"...

"Like the American Internet"

By which I presume you mean the web, which was invented in Europe (CERN) Even if you do mean the actual Internet, this was not just a US invention, there were early nodes in UK/Europe and various other contries.

"Like the American telecom cables that connect the continents"

Err... Actually I think you'll find that the vast majority of cables that go trans atlantic from Europe to America and the US ISPs/Telcos piggy back the links in exchange for routing incoming traffic.

"Like the American satellites that handle communications"

We have them too, you may have heard of Ariane and the various Russian launch systems.

"Like the money in your pocket that is underwritten by American securities"

Err, check the news, I think you'll find that they are insecurities at the moment and people are actively avoiding dealing with America, unless we want to hop over the pond and show you what real buying power is. Remind me, what is the UKP/USD exchange rate at the moment?

"Like the American entertainment popular the world over"

Not any more, it's getting increasingly hard to see American TV in the UK on a mainstream channel at anything like primetime, The Simpsons on CH4 is about it. Unless you go to Sky1...

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Bronze badge

Accessing your own PNR

Wendy, you say you were rebuffed by US Airlines when you tried to get access to your PNR. Did you try to push this any further? I would have thought under the Data Protection Act it's pretty clear that you should be given access to it. The possible exemptions are on grounds of National Security, prevention/detection of crime, taxation assessment, educational records and a few others, and I don't think any would apply here.

Be interesting to send them a £10 cheque and a Subject Access Request letter and see what you get back. There's a template here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_application/subject_access_-_guide_for_data_subjects.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

I am a terrorist?

I am a terrorist?

...because I refuse to give any Nutter Theocracies my personal details (illegal data mining by regimes that have VERY poor privacy records and ignore the Geneva Convention... e.g. USA)

...I might try to take 150ml of water onto a flight (non-existent liquid explosives)

...because I am neither a politician (with diplomatic rights), their family or a Hollywood media "star" (with $$$ rights).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Turn up the heat a bit...

No, the French are not, but the Brazilians are.

Certain restrictions (such as foreigners being fingerprinted on entry to the US) were reciprocated, except Brazil did it the low-tech way. Instead of a nice digital photograph and a fingerprint scan, Brazil employed the old-fashioned method of Polaroid photo and inked fingerprints. That meant some severe delays for US citizens, and when they complained, were told that that was exactly the same method that was employed on Brazilian citizens entering the US.

"Complain to your government about its actions against Brazil," was the answer.

One American lost it, started ranting on about "Don't you know who I am? I am a US CITIZEN!" and promptly was arrested and deported for assaulting an immigration officer, very similar to the reaction of the INS (oh sorry, these days it's CIS) to anyone losing their cool with their ever so friendly (!!) staff.

It was all over the papers, and utterly delicious. Now if Europe were to stand up to this kind of charade, it would mean a VERY VERY long queue at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square (and it is very long, believe me, I've been past there several times).

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That poor wife from France...

The chap who's wife lives in France but (presumably) is not French... You've got a point there. I mean, it's not like the UK has ever had any trouble with non-British, non-French nationals coming in to the UK via France. And if they had done, it's not like those people would then abuse the asylum system or commit serious and violent crime. Oh no, never.

And as one who seems to have a sound understanding of the laws and treaties of the EU, you must know that France ALWAYS follows these rules to the letter. France has never ever banned beef imports from a partnering country using a pretence of food safety even when the European Commission has given the all-clear, all the while feeding their own cattle on manure and sewage and creating financial conditions for French farmers that encourages hiding suspected BSE cases rather than reporting them.

You said something very rude about your neighbour to the west (it began with an F). Remember, surrender monkeys who live in glass houses shouldn't throw cheese.

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Anonymous Coward

Confusing US Citizens with US Government

I think a lot of people here are confusing the citizens of the US with the people that are running the Government of the US. Our neighbours to the south are in general very fine, nice, open, welcoming and intelligent people.

The comment about the youth of America not being able to construct a sentence, etc, is actually quite scary. While true there is a lot of poverty and lack of education in the US, I think it is high on the global scale. Plus, the point is, these people that run the US government are always grooming the next generation, so it doesn't matter how MTV or MGM studios is portraying the American Youth.

Despite the current and obvious violations committed by the US Government, the people of the United States of America spend a lot of their hard earned, highly taxed money to help others in need, in the US and outside. They are a charitable nation and should be acknowledged for that.

Just in case any knee jerk, reactionist didn't get it, I am Canadian, and am just as concerned about US foreign policy as anyone, including travel policies but please don't knock the general US population as being bad.

Regards,

--Pete

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Anonymous Coward

@ The person who wrote "Why should we be paranoid..."

You seem blinkered. Don't you see it's all cause and effect? The security mess (if there really is one...) in Europe only really exists because of scared and insular US foreign policy. If your country stopped invading and robbing natural resources from third world countries under the pretence of "democraceee"; realised that Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism etc are religions that people will defend with their lives and not just something to bandy about like your fuckwit president when it suits his cause, and that there is more to a life than then accumulation of wealth; then I'm pretty sure you'd see a drop in the amount violence accorded against your nation...

What gives me hope is that Europe is a continent with over 10,000 years of recorded human history, but within that 10,000 years - all of the great empires such as Sparta, Rome and Britain have fallen quicker than it took to build them. I am hoping the same will befall your small minded nation even quicker.

Have another day.

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Anonymous Coward

@That poor wife from France...

"The chap who's wife lives in France but (presumably) is not French... You've got a point there. I mean, it's not like the UK has ever had any trouble with non-British, non-French nationals coming in to the UK via France"

... who are married to EU citizens and have French residents cards.... you missed the point of 2004/38/EC, it make the resident permit equivalent to a visa for spouses of EU citizens, since they have the right of entry to the UK as a basic right that stem directly from the EU treaties.

"For the purposes of this Directive, possession of the valid residence card referred to in Article 10 shall exempt such family members from the visa requirement."

"you must know that France ALWAYS follows these rules to the letter. "

Is that the excuse here? Because they're following the 2004/38/EU to the letter despite your stereotype of France.

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Anonymous Coward

Do you need a visa

"Are you sure you meen Visa and not Passport? I do know there have been alot of people getting stroppy in the EU because most EU countrys dont requier a passport for entry but the UK do. A Visa for entry of an EU citizen into the UK hasent been neded for years"

Go here

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/

Click 'do I need a visa' on the left.

Purpose of visit: 'Family member (Non EEA) of an EEA or Swiss citizen'.

Country of Nationality: Phillipines

Current location: France

The EEA Family permit they ask for is a visa under a different name.

You apply online, then go get your fingerprints and biometrics recorded by CSC in Marseille, then go book an appointment with the Embassy in Paris, then she goes for an interview in Paris, finally she gets a visa which she goes to collect another day.... then she can go on her day trip to the UK if she wants, the visa is only valid 1 trip.

2004/38/EC abolished this nonsense. Spouses of EU citizens can use their residents permit as a visa equivalent. Britain is currently playing dumb regarding 2004/38/EC.

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Anonymous Coward

To @

Don't you see you sound like an abused girlfriend. They 'deserve' to beat us because of the way we behave.... It's not their fault they want to beat us, we did it to ourselves...... If I had done the dishes he wouldn't have beat me!

If only the USA would (fill in the blank) the world would love us.

Well, your right. Our policies were wrong, we should have started in 1945 by making Europe a few more stars on our flag, Japan too. You know, like the Russians did. Then you could all have your say about our elections and our presidents and our policies.

But in our crazy foreign policy we spent a lot of money rebuilt Europe, and we got democracies going in a place that new only monarcies, dictators and wars for over 10 centuries. Well, not bad work if you ask me. We even had to straighten out yet another European genocide in Bosnia a few years ago. You guy really can't get your shit together can you?

You say we don't understand different religons, but muslims in this country aren't ramming trucks into airports or blowing up our subways. The ones that do that to us come from Europe on EU passports and visas so we need to see who's on their way here.

When the US started 231 years ago, we were the only democracy in the world, now there are almost 200 of them, including Europe.

We are alway to the first country you blame, and also the first country you ask to help you.

your right, we suck

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Yankee go home

>But in our crazy foreign policy we spent a lot of money rebuilt Europe, and we

And you negotiated very nice access to those markets and took over management of the western colonial assets in exchange. The idea that it was all an altruistic endeavor might well sold but it was never actually true.

>got democracies going in a place that new only monarcies, dictators and wars for over 10 centuries.

really? what countries would those be? I think all the countries in South and Central America would beg to differ on this one. You know, the places where CIA trained torturers and death squads roamed freely and democratically elected governments are only democratically elected if they are subservient to u.s. interests. You can't actually name a country that was brought democracy by the u.s. can you? You guys are well known for your friendly relations with such esteemed democracies as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.

>Well, not bad work if you ask me. We even had to straighten out yet another European genocide in Bosnia a few years ago. You guy really can't get your shit together can you?

says the guy from the country who's bombing of Serbia caused more deaths than any so called genocide. It had been well established that there was no genocide and all the refugees were created after NATO forces attacked. Just like Afghanistan and Iraq the military incursions by the u.s. are never helpful and always worse than the cause.

>We are alway to the first country you blame, and also the first country you ask to help you.

now that is a load of hogwash. Most countries in the world would be happy with a little less "help" from you fuckers.

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Anonymous Coward

Yank

Of course it was to our advantage to have a peaceful, democratic Europe. It was to your advantage too. And we didn't need to negotiate for it, we could have just taken it by not leaving in 1955 We could have put up a wall.. How is that standard of living you have over there? Enjoying it?

Now you just need to work on that 'melting pot' you have going over there. Some people don't seem to be mixing in quite right. They're a bit angry. Until you do, we'll need to know who your sending over here.

We're still trying to fix the European colonial mess left in Central and South America. Sorry it will take some time. We might not always get it right, but neither did you.

Bosnia and Serbia had been problems for 80 years before we stepped in. Remember the European 'war to end all wars"? In the European tradition of doing nothing but talk, I guess we should have waited another century. Well, its all better now, your welcome. Yes, people died. But people died because Europe let it drag on and get to that point.

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