Long negotiations resulted in allowing airway companies to gather personal information on passengers who fly from Europe to the States, and stream it to American special forces.
American government demanded such data to be transmitted in November 2001. They did not have official legislation, and simply threatened to not allow a certain company to land its planes in the US if it fails to release information on certain passenger by demand of the American special services.
According to the passed legislation, such information now can be released by 34 positions, including name, telephone numbers, address, and credit card numbers. At the same time it is prohibited to release data on food preferences, as one can guess religious and ethnical background of the passenger.
Americans also demanded to store this data for 50 years, but EU only allowed 3 years. Americans claim such information would be only used in hunting down international terrorists and international crimes investigation, but not any single country’s matters.
New rules come in power from the next spring, but some members of European Parliament already said they are going to challenge legitimacy of the law in European Court.
Fritz Bolkestein, an official in charge of the agreement commented: “We can’t stand away from war on terror, but need to find a balance”
Absence of such a “balance” was exactly clear during the negotiations: the EU accused Americans that their demands were “one-sided” and “inadequate”. The current agreement would be revised in three years.