US 'Blackmails' EU Into Agreeing To Hand Over Passenger Data

from the you-have-no-more-fundamental-rights dept

A couple months ago, we wrote about a debate in the EU Parliament, concerning an agreement over how much data should be shared with the US on passengers flying from the EU into the US. The person in charge of analyzing the agreement, Sophie in't Veld, urged the Parliament to reject the agreement, saying that it violated EU citizens' fundamental rights. Specifically, the US wanted access to more data with fewer restrictions than the EU felt was fair. However, it appears that after the US pulled out its big gun over this -- threatening to stop allowing EU citizens to visit the US without first obtaining a visa -- the Parliament caved and agreed to the deal. The one big concession from the US, however, was that EU passengers will be able to see their records and correct errors. Sophie in't Veld is still not happy -- and for good reason:
"This Agreement is contrary to European Treaties and privacy laws and does not meet the minimum criteria set by Parliament itself. Diplomatic relations with the United States appear to be more important than the fundamental rights of our own EU citizens."
In a statement sent to Techdirt, she also noted that, in caving, the EU Parliament "loses its credibility and EU citizens draw the short straw." Part of the problem is just how unequal the setup is, with the US getting tons of power over EU citizens. And, of course, the fact that the EU caved to the US sets a bad precedent. "The Trans-Atlantic relations need to become more balanced. EU should take a less timid stance towards the US." In the end, she notes that what happened was "almost to the extent of blackmail."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:19am

    classic USA.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:23am

    Fix your government. The USA govt is corrupting everything it touches.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:00am

      Re:

      It would be easier if yours wasn't so broken AND submissive to our government.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:11am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly!

        How can we fix our government when every other government wants to be like ours!?

        All that does is add fuel to the fire... then our government uses excuses like: "We need to keep our policies consistent with the rest of the world." WTF?

        It seems to be a chicken/egg issue, and while our government often starts it, it seems everyone else goes along with it until it's a complete disaster in the end.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:54am

      Re:

      OK, I'll get right on that. I mean we have elections coming up, so instead of voting for the guy who has proven to lie, bully, and not care about privacy or personal rights, I'll vote for......the guy who has proven to lie, bully, and not care about privacy or personal rights.

      OK, so maybe that won't work, but then in the senate/house, I can.....vote for one guy who tows a party line I disagree with, or vote for another guy who tows a different party line I disagree with.

      Get the point?

       

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        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:42am

        Re: Re:

        Get the point?
        Yep... democracy is a really bad form of government when the "democratic process" is fully in the hands of a tiny tiny fraction of the population. Which might explain why virtual voting pilots generally meet such resistance.

         

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      dd, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:35am

      Re:

      I wish we could.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:29am

    As a E.U. citizen, I feel quite disappointed with our Parliament for giving in... event though it was only to be expected.

    How about we made this kind of agreement mandatorily reciprocal ?

    It would be fun seeing US talk its way out of having to give the same info they request so badly...

     

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      Call me Al, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:31am

      Re:

      I'm not surprised about this either but I'm certainly disappointed.

      Do Americans have to get a Visa to visit EU countries?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:55am

        Re: Re:

        I'm surprised that EU caving in because of the same reason.

        Require every EU citizen to obtain visa to travel to US.
        Require every US citizen to obtain visa to travel to EU.

        See citizen from which side will protest more against this! In such case, EU Parliament is in better position because it's US who started it.

        On the other hand, caving in to this will dismay EU citizen only. That's bad choice even on "game theory" stand point.

         

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        bikey, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re:

        If you have to ask, you don't need to know.

         

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      Andrew (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:36am

      Re:

      Yes, exactly. Normally an unequal visa setup happens between countries that are themselves unequal (so people from the important country don't need a visa, but those from the unimportant country do), but I would have assumed that easy access to the EU would be pretty valuable to US citizens too. Or am I just being naïve?

       

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        abc gum, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:22am

        Re: Re:

        "important country" ?

        Perhaps this is in need of explanation.

         

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          Torg (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Apparently, it means "America".

           

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          Niall (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          He has a point. Before Romania joined the EU, Romanians needed visas to come into Britain, but Brits could get into Romania quite happily without one.

           

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          Andrew (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah, I'm not saying I think it's great that some countries are more "important" than others, but governments tend to behave that way -- partly for good reasons (generally the less important country, to continue using that term, offers its citizens fewer prospects or a lower standard of living, so more people want to go one way than the other), and partly because they can get away with it (after all, what are the other guys going to do about it?).

          I knew a girl from Slovakia a few years ago. If I remember correctly, she had to queue for 2 days outside the British embassy to get a visa to visit the UK. I don't believe I would have even needed a visa to go the other way. (Though by the next year, Slovakia had joined the EU and she could just show her passport at the border to get in like someone from any other member state.)

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:46am

      Re:

      Yea that sucks for you guys :( It's sad one of the main reasons for making the USA what it was meant to be is dead. The huge federal reserve "Not government owned" was never supposed to making it here.

      After they got a foothold here it has been doing downhill generation after generation. The problem is the elites that own everything have massive amounts of power. It's hard to stop someone in their position with practically endless funds.

      It's not just the USA or EU they have the better part of the world in their debt. It was like the ship that was "sunk" so they said and we entered Vietnam. 20 Years later the truth came out that it was never even near the area it was supposedly destroyed.

      Every dollar in circulation we are paying interest to them. Then with some good ol fashioned fucked up loopholes banks can borrow 1 billion then put up another 90% of that into the computers making it 1.9 then 90% of the 900 million and so on. Inflation is the best way to keep people down since we're all too busy just trying to get by.

      These Satanic types worshiping their fairytale devil is a joke. I would just like to do my 60-80 years here and enjoy myself much as I can. In the grand scheme of things 1-2 billions years down the road nothing will be remembered. Probably less since we have a bad habit of using technology to blow shit up.

      Einstein - e=mc2!! Goddamn I'm epic.
      Our government - WTFBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
      Japan - OH MY GOD THE END IS HERE!!!
      Russia - Oh shit we better get some of them made ourselves.
      Saddam Hussein - Yellow cake plox Russia!
      Russia - In mother Russia bomb Saddam's you.
      USA - Did someone mention cake! I'm starving!!
      Canada - LOL
      USA - What did you say?
      Canada - ... nothing sheesh.
      China - Censored sorry..
      George Bush - There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again
      World - Da fuck?!

       

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      wookie, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:08am

      Re:

      Who says they don't already, don't speculate! You are as bad as the media

       

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        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:46am

        Re: Re:

        Who says they don't already, don't speculate! You are as bad as the media
        Possibly, but I'd guess not. I don't think our data protection laws would allow us to hold the data since it's not relevant to anything.

         

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      The eejit (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:13am

      Re:

      Consdiering the USA has known links with terrorists from other nations, that would be FUN.

       

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      FuzzyDuck, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:00pm

      Re:

      I am disappointed too, the EP should have called the US's bluff. Requiring visas for all EU citizens would have cost the US lots of visitors and destroyed lots of US jobs in the process.

       

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    Dionaea (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:32am

    I second this, I'm disappointed, but not surprised, the USA probably owns part of the EU parliament anyway...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:34am

      Re:

      starting with Comission President Durao Barroso

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:16am

      Re:

      Not so much the US Government but the RIAA and MPAA and their sycophants in Europe who actually own the EU parliament. In this case that means sharing information with the United States for alleged security reasons but they really want to track pirates!

      AArrggghhhh :-)

       

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    A Guy (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:34am

    This doesn't seem like blackmail to me. The US has a right to control who comes and goes through its borders, just like every other country does. If they EU citizens would have been required to fill out a visa anyway, what difference does it make to the ordinary traveler if the process is streamlined?

    *puts on tin foil hat*
    This is most likely due to many EU countries making biometric data required at border checks. It's making life harder for our spooks, who are used to coming and going under many different identities. If Europe is going to track our spies more closely, its only fair we acquire the data to track theirs back.
    *removes tin foil hat*

     

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      Andrew (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:58am

      Re:

      Well yes it does have a right to control who comes in, but there are consequences from behaving like that. Visiting the US is a pain for anyone without a US passport: visas / visa waivers, long queues, photos, fingerprint scans, etc. And the rest of the world, largely, reciprocates by making it a pain for US citizens to visit their countries.*

      Contrast this with, for example, Schengen in the EU. This allows citizens of many EU states to cross each others' borders without showing their passports. Sure there's a loss of control, but there are also big benefits in terms of free movement of people and goods. I'm not saying it's a panacea, and I'm sure others with much more experience can chime in with a more nuanced view, but this sort of setup does have benefits.

      * At least in my limited experience.

       

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      Niall (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      I think you'll find that the US was the first entity to start demanding biometric data for border crossings...

       

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      JS, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      Funny thing though. The US also requires this information of passengers on airplanes that enter US airspace but do not land on US soil. That's right. You are flying into or out of another country (Canada or Mexico) and your plane happens to pass through US airspace so you must provide the requested information to the US government even though you will be thousands of feet in the air and on your way to another country.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:41am

    The correct response...

    ...would be to ban US citizens from the EU.

     

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    Steve, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:50am

    So..........

    will the USA be reciprocating?
    Why do i think i already know the answer?

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 3:58am

    And they wonder why the world hates America.

     

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      wookie, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:16am

      Re:

      Zakida,
      Or I wonder why I am starting to hate you! do you know what a Useless P.O.S. is? That is a perfect definition of you!

       

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      The Moondoggie, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:46pm

      Re:

      Seconded.

      U.S. does a lot of bullshitty things that just makes everything complicated, and anything complicated worse.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:09am

    The EU desperately needs to stop collecting data about their citizens now, seeing that they can't protect that data at all.

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:20am

    If only our European Parliament would show some backbone. I'd have called the US their bluff.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:20am

    Disgusting

    Ugh, I'm a U.S. citizen, and I find this repulsive as hell.

    While the U.S. is within its rights to ask for more data concerning who comes into the country, shouldn't we let the E.U. decide who gets to get on the planes first?

     

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      Mega1987 (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:23am

      Re: Disgusting

      Agreed....
      They're taking everything, from simple remix of a song to this, way way too seriously....

      WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO BASIC! I REPEAT! BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS?

       

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    abc gum, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:24am

    This will do wonders for the tourist industry.

     

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      Call me Al, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:30am

      Re:

      I've not been back to the US for a decade. At least part of the reason is on my last trip when I had to stop over in NY on the way back from Peru they made me empty a massive rucksack, unwrap Christmas presents and open every container and then had a go at me when it took me more than 30s to repack everything.

      If you make the journey unpleasant then it lessens the enjoyment of the trip, which makes me think I might as well go somewhere else.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:35am

      Re:

      This is what they call "externality" at the DHS...

       

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    Mega1987 (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:28am

    Great... Just Great... the bully struck again...

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      It's not just us ferriers that the US bullies at their borders, it's their own citizens. Leave the U.S. without a passport and an American citizen finds it next to impossible to get back in again.

      All this means, of course, is that the bad guys now know the rules in detail and can use them to freely enter and leave the States while the rest of us are harassed and bullied in the name of security.

      Well done!

       

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    Rikuo (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:44am

    Go ahead US. Go on doing this, asking for more and more information. You're only increasing the size of the haystack, thus exponentially decreasing the chance of finding terrorists. The US intelligence community is already swamped with far too much data to sift through.
    So, what's next? Is the US government going to demand that someone on a flight from EU country A to somewhere in the Middle East must be vetted by Homeland Security
    *checks back a few articles*
    Oh wait. That's already happened. The US wants data on passengers flying between the UK and Canada, even if the flight never enters US airspace.
    What was the rallying cry over the American War of Independence? "No Taxation without Representation"? What about "No Control/Vetting without Representiation"? We're foreigners, not citizens of the US and yet the US is demanding to VET US? To not try us, to declare a punishment/curtailment of our freedom with no chance for us to argue in a court of law?
    No wonder I don't want to go to the US. Respond to this thread if you agree not to travel to the US.

     

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      James, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:02am

      Re:

      I had often wanted the visit the US in the past but I just can't justify it any more. Which is a shame.

       

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      Valis (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      I agree, I will never visit the US again. I believe we should isolate them completely, stop going there, refuse their citizens entry into our countries, stop doing business with them, cut off all links from the internet. Let them turn into another North Korea, they're rapidly heading that way already.

       

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        wookie, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re:

        Is everybody just useless on this post? Look our country got bombed, so now we are trying to protect it better! Suck it up and let them background check you! I've never visited EU but if I did, they can check all the data they want on me! But with all the comments from you Yahoos! I have no intention of visiting and spending money to help stimulate your economy!

         

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    zippy, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:00am

    Perhaps it's time for the US to be broken up much like the Soviet Union once was, as it's become much too big and bloated to serve its citizens' interests. States should start remembering that they have rights too, and begin to exert them. Particularly the right of secession. There would be several smaller countries instead, made up of regional groups of the old states. Perhaps something like this:

    The Northeastern Alliance - Mass., Conn., New Hamp. Vermont, NY, NJ, Penns., Maine, Rhode Island.

    The Southern Union - Virginia, W. Virginia, Maryland, N & S Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi

    The Midwestern Range - Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, N & S Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa

    The Sands of the Southwest - Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oklahoma

    The Northwestern Union - Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming

    Hawaii and Alaska would be independent nations by themselves. And I think that covers all of them.

     

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      Richard (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:17am

      Re:

      You're right - unfortunately we (the Brits) are the cause of the problem - we cleaned out all the other colonies in N. America - then asked our own colonies to pay the bill. Ungratefully they rebelled and then got assistance from the other nations (ntoably France) that we had just kicked out. That was a massive miscalculation on our part. If hadn't done that N. America would now resemble S. America or Africa - a patchwork of relatively small states based on their heritage from former colonies. Some speaking French, some German, some Spanish and some Portuguese and of course the orignal British colonies speaking English.

      Having realised that we got it wrong in N. America we then went off and messed up India instead!

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:34am

        Re: Re:

        Hmmmmmmm....Canada is a relatively SMALL country???
        Gee, I didn't know that!
        Though I have known Brits who land in Vancouver to visit relatives and then want to pop over to Toronto for an afternoon visit.

         

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      rascal, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:17am

      Re:

      Delaware? Not the first, nor the last time it will be forgotten.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:39am

      Re:

      Maryland and Alabama in the same country? ARE YOU NUTS?

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:01am

        Re: Re:

        Better than that Texas and California in the same country.
        Instant recipe for a world war.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:16am

        Re: Re:

        He also has Texas and California together. So not a whole lot of thought as to the groups. But I have said for a long time this is the way to go. Let some of the states stop teaching science in schools and ban abortion and birth control and gay marriage. Obviously they stop getting tax dollars from the other states but in exchange they get to do all the crazy shit they want to. Then watch the intelligent population of those states flee. Wait a few generations for the retarded inbred evangelical masses to kill themselves off and we sweep back in to grab that good farming land.

         

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          Niall (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There's good farming land in Texas?

           

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          zippy, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Judgementalism and generalizations, Pink AC 44! "Religious" folks aren't the only ones who do that, you know. Whenever you think of yourself as better than anyone, anyone at all, that is arrogance. So don't. And don't disparage anyone. If you can't talk about people without putting them down, you're no better than what you think they are. Just something to keep in mind.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:12am

      Re:

      Umm, yeah - just try grouping Maryland with Mississippi and Georgia. Common interests? None. Maryland? Part of a "southern union"? I suggest you study your history a little bit better.

      And you realize that you've forgotten that there are regular old citizens who reside in DC (who, even in this theoretical grouping of yours, still have no representation whatsoever). Make all the jokes you want about what DC represents, in many ways it's nothing but a (poorly run) city where ordinary people live.

       

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      States should start remembering that they have rights too, and begin to exert them.

      I think this is the important part. The states were in control to begin with, but then the Federal government pushed for more and more power and the States gave it to them. If anything, I'd just split California up into two states (North and South) and then revert all power back into the states, but that won't happen.

       

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      Jay (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      States should start remembering that they have rights too, and begin to exert them.

      If you believe in states' rights, I got news for ya... It ain't really the case. Further, the blue (Dem) states have done quite well while the Red (Rep) have been suffering with their austerity plans. But I'll tell you exactly how to fix the system:

      Abolish the Electoral college. There's better systems and quite frankly it's the way to begin the process of allowing better candidates into the White House.

       

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        silverscarcat (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re:

        Uh... I'd like to point out that the best state, economically, to live in, is a red state.

        And the worst state to live in is a blue state.

         

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          Jay (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually no...

          Red states take more money in federal spending than blue states.

           

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            silverscarcat (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And how is California doing economically? (Worst state, Blue)

            Compared to North Dakota economically (Best state, Red)

            Please don't generalize, things are crap all across the country.

            As for SOME of those red states in the mid-west, please remember that they were hit with a MASSIVE flood last year and are still recovering from it.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:09am

    now that Obama is in office...

    It gets blamed on the "US." If a republican had been in office, it would be blamed on the president.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:45am

    I am a US Citizen and am against this being done.So I say the EU should do exactly what the US Gov has done and see how it feels.
    My Country is getting more unpopular and hated throughout the World.Hate my asshole Government but don't hate the many of us who would love to see it torn down and replaced.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 6:01am

    Uhmmm

    Wouldn't making EU citizens apply for visa negatively affect tourism in the US? Am I wrong in assuming that a rather large chunk of the international tourists that visit the US comes from EU?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 6:13am

      Re: Uhmmm

      Wouldn't making EU citizens apply for visa negatively affect tourism in the US?

      I hate to disturb you in your government-supplied comfort cocoon, but the US destroyed "tourism in the US" all by itself in the last 10 years.

      Personally, I'd rather stick two forks in my eyes than go there. The US acts like a huge gun-totin' mind-controlled rambo (or is it dumbo?) cult.

      What did they do to you poor bastards to make you so horrible?

      Thuh terrists wun.

       

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    F. Reemanne, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 6:02am

    Take the hint, free citizens of the free world.

    US pulled out its big gun over this -- threatening to stop allowing EU citizens to visit the US

    In my world the punch-line would be: "that's a feature, not a bug."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:04am

    two major points to be sad about here. the disgraceful attitude and total lack of concern of the EU for it's citizens. who cares if people have to pay for a USA visa? recoup the charges when those from the USA go to the EU. in fact, it could have been much more profitable considering there are so many countries in the EU. charging for visiting each would be more costly than going to the 1 USA.
    2nd point is, yet again, the USA has to use threats, even against it's so-called allies, just to get it's own way. it's the same as 'if you dont play what game i want, i'll take my ball home'. how absolutely fucking pathetic is that??

     

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      Niall (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      Actually, call the US bluff here. It's a pain the the **AA to have to queue through US Embassy security theatre to get a visa that at best last 10 years. Force that on the EU and watch tourism (or business travel) nosedive. Watch Canada relax their entry requirements and earn the benefit...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:24am

    It was blackmail and Sophie in't Veld has negotiated with terrorists.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:44am

    I think this is a perfect story to see what "spin" is all about.

    Before we get going, let's understand something: The US is a sovereign nation, and as such, may set the rules required for entry into it's territory - even if it is only in an aircraft overflying it's territories.

    In many countries, that requirement would be an entry visa or such, or on the case of a countries like Russian and China, it was that no aircraft could even fly in it's airspace. Still others may require decontamination of an aircraft upon arrival, or each passenger is interrogated before being allowed on a flight.

    As such, what the US asks for passengers inbound to it's country is not outrageous. Rather, it's pretty smart - why accept someone onto a flight who isn't going to be allowed into the US anyway? It seems like a pretty good way to control security risks, making sure that those who are clearly a risk can't even get to the country.

    Now, the spin: "almost to the extent of blackmail" is a great phrase, it certainly can give you a visual / mental impression of what is going on. But it is truly spin, because the EU minister is completely ignoring the sovereign rights of the US. The US has the right to refuse access to anyone. They have the right to determine what aircraft can and cannot come into the US.

    The minister does protest too much. EU citizens can choose NOT to go to the US, and thus not have to give their information to the destination country.

    There is no invasion of privacy, only an invasion of self-serving politicians trying to spin this into their favor.

    I wonder what her stand was when websites all over the world were forced to use EU privacy guidelines?

     

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      Niall (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:55am

      Re:

      And when the other nation (or collection of nations) has much stricter data privacy laws, they throw a tantrum about it?

      You are right - the US has the right to let whoever they want in, or not.

      But they also have the right to be treated exactly the same back. That is what the EU's response should have been.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:03am

        Re: Re:

        The EU could do it if they want. However, the EU considered it's options, and realizes that forcing Americans to get a Visa to enter Europe was self-defeating.

        Remember, what the US is asking for isn't making the EU travelers have to do much more than they did before. In fact, it's making the EU agents and airlines do what they always should have had to do to start with, which is KNOW THEIR CUSTOMER. They need to know who they are dealing with.

        The EU needs to realize that the US is right on this issue, and that if they want to have their citizens travel to the US, that they have to deal with it.

        Here's an example of "the rules" when you get to the extreme end. If you want to travel to China, you need a visa. In order to get that Visa, you have to do something that is totally disagreeable to most people: You have to hand over your passport to them for a week or more. That's means you legal ID in someone else's hands. It's the only way to get the visa. Your choice is do it and travel there, or don't do it and don't travel there. We always have choices. Any time you think the US is being too demanding, just remember what demanding really is.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, you can get a Chinese visa in a single afternoon if you go to the consulate in person. Not convenient? No problem... you can also pay an expediting service to bring it there for you. On the flip side, try asking a Chinese student how long it took them to get a visa to come to the US.

           

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:25am

    In Nothing We Trust

    http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/04/23/1335242/in-nothing-we-trust

    This showed up on Slashdot this morning. If it is true (polls should always be suspect) I wonder when or if it will show up in the elections?

     

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    Andreas, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:52am

    The problem here isn´t that the US is asking for this information. The problem is that the European Parliament is handing the information over without any support from the public. If US requires a visa for tourist thats fine, but the parliament here in Europe think its more important to keep the US authorities happy rather then its own citizens.

    Could be the main reason why so few bother to vote in the EU election..

     

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    Thomas (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:56am

    their big guns..

    were threats to require a visa to come to the U.S.? I would have expected threats of bombing and sea blockades.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Easy... As a reward of USA and EU Parliaments behavior on the subject, deny all help from anyone You know that is willing to travel USA.

    I did My part, when will you do it?

     

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    Someguy, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:41am

    American in Europe

    I have a particularly strong set of views on this topic that largely reflects the views expressed by most people on this forum. However, if I force myself to take a step back and consider everything, I can ALMOST understand the US stance on this topic. I am an American but I have lived in Europe for the past 15 years. One significant difference that I can see between the US and the EU countries is that European countries have much tighter control over what people can do on a daily basis. It is difficult, though not impossible, to live in most european countries without having the proper documentation. Back in 2000, I couldn't even open an internet account (dial up for e-mail) without proving to the telephone company that I had the proper paperwork to live here. Effectively, it was impossible to live here without repeatedly demonstrating that I had the correct paperwork. In contrast in the US, once you are inside the country, there are very few instances where you need to demonstrate that you have residency. Because of this, the US must have tighter border controls.

    As this is a techy group, the best analogy that I can come up with is IT security. The EU has security in depth, while the US is sticking with perimeter defense. Of course that security in depth comes at a price, and the price is privacy. Personal data is much more readily shared within EU countries than it is in the US (example, Denmark sends its citizens their completed tax forms for "approval" at the end of each year). Big brother is always watching, its just a matter of how visible and pervasive his presence is felt.

     

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      FuzzyDuck, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:38pm

      Re: American in Europe

      That example of taxes in Denmark, is similar in my country, we don't have to fill in tax forms as it's all done for you. They even tell you things you can deduct that you might not have known. I like it, I've gotten back hundreds of Euros in taxes for things I didn't know I could claim. In other countries you need to hire a tax consultant for this crap and it's not like the government doesn't then know all about your finances anyway.

       

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    Lin (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    Silly, naive me. LOL!
    I'm a US citizen and I just assumed that I would need a passport or visa to travel to a foreign country. Canada and the Bahamas are fine with driver's license/ID but I assumed anywhere else would *require* a passport or visa.
    I'm actually surprised that apparently there are countries I could travel to without needing anything! Really???

     

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      Jamie, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 5:24pm

      Re:

      You'll still need a passport. It's just that for many countries you don't need an entry visa, so long as you're only visiting for a short period.

      I've made it a personal mandate that I will never ever visit the US. The government is too damn paranoid and I simply don't trust them.

       

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    aikiwolfie, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    US copyright laws apparently apply in the UK. So why shouldn't they know everything about me? The more the USA pushes and the faster they push the quicker they'll find out what it feels like when an empire falls.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 4:48pm

    Fiiiinaly someone in authority says it the way it is

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:00pm

    Did you stop to think that the EU is likely receiving this same data from the U.S. as part of this deal? In this case, the EU can keep it's nose clean and maintain a moral high ground without getting their hands dirty.

     

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    bikey, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    New visa requirements for Europeans if they don't give up their privacy to the machine? Ideally, EU would have responded with a tourist boycott. New York, Florida, hello? Good example of how negotiating behind closed doors harms everyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    And people wonder why other countries hate the US.

     

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    Dave, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Power crazy Yanks

    I shall not be visiting any time soon.....or even EVER!

     

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