Feeds

Brussels downbeat on US passenger snoop plan

PNR deal yet to take off

Security for virtualized datacentres

Transatlantic talks over the US grab for European personal data in its war on terror are floundering, the European Parliament heard yesterday.

US negotiators have told the Europeans that an agreement over its demand for Passenger Name Records isn't necessary, possibly putting a deal beyond the reach of the German Presidency of the European Union.

Hans Jurgen Forster, lead negotiator for the Presidency, told a public hearing of the European Parliament last night: "A new agreement will potentially run into the Portuguese Presidency. This is something the Americans will need to be made aware of."

A combination of factors could hinder attempts to strike a deal before the current, interim PNR agreement runs out on 31 July, just a month after the Portuguese Presidency begins.

"People expected the negotiations to be difficult and they are," said Forster.

"The US doubt the need for a new PNR agreement. They even think a short extension of the existing interim agreement is unnecessary," he said.

The US wants to ditch the old agreement, which is using provisions based on the first PNR deal, signed in 2003: "The US feel that it is up to them to decide on things like data retention. They feel it is a matter of national sovereignty."

The talks would wait for the US to deliver a new set of undertakings that could be negotiated, added a European Parliament press release that detailed part of Forster's statement lost because the institution's public service broadcasting channel cut him short.

The last view the US gave of its undertakings under the old PNR agreement rode roughshod over the deal, according to the Europeans. That view, provided by Stewart Baker, assistant secretary for policy at the US Department of Homeland Security, and US lead in the talks, effectively told the Europeans that the US would treat their data how it wanted anyway.

Some members of the European Parliament, meanwhile expect that the PNR agreement will be made redundant by the Open Skies agreement for air transport, which is due to be signed in Washington on 30 April. Open Skies contains security provisions that experts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation fear might provide a legal basis for PNR and other US collations of European personal data such as its Automated Targeting System, which builds database profiles of people on its controversial watch-lists.

ATS broke the US' existing PNR agreement with Europe in ways that were remarkably similar to those items in Baker's interpretation that have irked Brussels since October, according to information supplied to the European Commission by the American Civil Liberties Union in January.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.