The EU PNR is delayed by MEPs, but the Russian PNR arrives

By EDRi · June 19, 2013

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Deutsch: [MEPs verzögern EU-PNR, aber EU-Russland PNR wird kommen |]

On 10 June 2013, the MEPs were supposed to vote on the recommendation of
EP LIBE Committee (Civil liberties committee) to reject an EU passenger
data retention system (Passenger Name Records or PNR), proposed by the
EU Commission. Yet, a majority of MEPs decided to refer it back to LIBE,
following a request by British MEP Tim Kirkhope. He cited “technical
reasons” for the request and the ECR group said that the file was
originally rejected in the same LIBE Committee because of a “random” or
“accidental” majority.

Yet, some of the members accuse political interests. “Referring the
anticipated decision on the draft EU PNR system back to the civil
liberties committee is a cynical act of chicanery. The committee voted
to recommend the rejection of the PNR system, due to concerns about its
disproportionate and far-reaching nature, and this recommendation should
have been put to the vote this week. The EP’s conservative
draftsperson/rapporteur is trying to pull a fast one simply because the
committee’s recommendation did not suit his agenda. The concerns with
the proposed system have not in any way diminished. If anything, with
the latest revelations about US infringement of the privacy rights of
European citizens, we should be even more cautious about establishing
more data grabbing and profiling systems. Against this background, it is
to be hoped that the committee delivers the same negative verdict on the
EU PNR system and that the democratic process is allowed to run its
course,” stated Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA).

Meanwhile, starting with 1 July 2013, the EU airlines, will be forced
to hand over passengers’ personal data, such as credit card details, to
Russian security services, under a new decree passed by Russia in July
2012, without EU knowledge, to establish a PNR and then request
passenger data from airlines companies for all flights passing through

Kirill Ivanov, a spokesman for Russia’s EU ambassador, told EUobserver
that Moscow had published the full text of its new PNR law in September
2012 even if it did not send a special notice to Brussels.
“These measures can hardly be qualified as unexpected … the EU had
sufficient time to prepare for this document entering into force,”
said the spokesman.

Dutch Liberal Sophie in ‘t Veld, considered that the European Commission
should have been aware of the issue and that the commissioner in charge
of the dossier, Sweden’s Cecilia Malmstrom had had a “passive …
bureaucratic … mysterious” approach on the matter.
She also drew attention over the fact that, by signing EU-US PNR, the EU
position in the negotiation with Russia and other countries has been
weakened, as the EU can’t deny to others what has accepted to give to the
Americans. Several other countries are also planning to impose PNR
regimes on EU passengers, such as Canada, India, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, “It’s only a matter
of time before China starts collecting data as well,” she said.
The serious issue is that many of these countries, including Russia,
have a track record of potential data abuses infringing human rights.

EU PNR vote prevented by chicanery, as data protection concerns abound

European Parliament delays vote on sharing passenger data with US
authorities (11.06.2013)

Russia blames EU for airline data fiasco (11.06.2013)

EDRi-gram: Call for Action: Vote on the retention of air passenger data
(PNR) (5.06.2013)