Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Commission move to comply with ECJ ruling

The EU Commission, as expected, have moved to comply with the ECJ ruling declaring the transfer of air passenger name records to the US authorities illegal. They have adopted "two initiatives to comply with the Ruling of the European Court of Justice on the transfer of PNR to the United States of America" not to stop the data sharing (which I can call it without the content industries shouting PIRATES this time)but to "put a legally sound framework in place for the transfer of PNR data to the United States."

What they were doing was illegal but that is no reason to stop the illegal behaviour. No. One of the first laws of politics - when you get found badly wanting don't apologise and stop what you were doing, just look for a legally sound framework to excuse it.

Update: EDRI-gram reports that Peter Hustinx, the European Data Protection Supervisor believes the ECJ judgement has created a convenient loophole for the Commission and the Council to continue with the PNR transfers whilst cutting him and the EU parliament, which challenged the activity, out of the loop: "the judgment seems to have created a loophole in the protection of European citizens whereby their data are used for law enforcement purposes." The EU Parliament President's letter to the President of the Commission asking that they be categorically kept in the loop seems to have been ignored.

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