EC Wants to Fingerprint U.S. Nationals

Feb 22nd, 2008, 11:56 AM
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EC Wants to Fingerprint U.S. Nationals

upon arrival much as American Customs currently do with arriving foriegn nationals, under plans being considered by the European Commission.
Fingerprints and perhaps biometric scans as well, retinal scans, voice recognition or facial recongition
EC seems to be leaning to fingerprints and facial recognition.

the proposal would apply to all countries in the "Schengen area", european countries that have signed a coop agreement allowing for cross-border travel of their nationals without passport checks.
Most EU members are Schengen members along with Norway, Iceland and now Switzerland (though not implementing until later this year i believe)

As U.K. and Ireland are not Schengen members their nationals also face the fingerprint and facial thing inspections and visitors to British Isles may not be fingerprinted, etc. unless those countries decide to of course.

So those scufflaws with outstanding car parking or illegal entry tickets like apparently doled out routinely in Italy had better pay up before their next trip?
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 12:29 PM
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I'm sure every poster after me will whine and cry about this, but I have no problem with it. It's a much different and much more dangerous world we live in today. I only wish there were some way to do BEFORE one goes to Europe just so I don't waste a single second of my precious vacation time.
Zeus is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 12:39 PM
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There is an automated entry envisioned for travelers where pre-screened travelers could speed thru automated unmanned lanes with readers that would collect the data and open gates to let you out quickly

to use the automated system registered travelers would need a reliable travel history with no previous overstays, proof of sufficient funds and a biometric passport

I personally have no problem with the new scheme even though i'm a ACLU member in good standing

PalenQ is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 12:42 PM
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I won't whine about it...there was a long thread about this about 2 weeks's idiotic (just as the US procedure is) as the vermin who pull the garbage we are all afraid of are either

1. Home grown variet (see London 7/7) or

2. Are clean anyway (see NY 9/11) b

However, security types all have to keep up this premise of increasing security to keep themselves in jobs one would suppose.

Incidentally, the title of the thread is is not just US citizens who the eu wants to fingerprint....although it wouldn't be wrong if they simply did it only to Americans and other countries which are so paranoid they think this will help one bit.

But I'm not whining about it...if they want to do it, so be it.
xyz123 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 01:06 PM
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>to keep themselves in jobs
Imagine, instead, they would all work for the IRS (FA), that would be REALLY bad!
logos999 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Zeus, no whining from me - I don't care - I am a visitor and the countries that I visit have a right to establish entry requirements, whether they be fingerprints, visas, pictures, biometrics, etc. If I don't like it, I don't have to go there. The US also has a right to establish entry requirements. I must be dense because I don't understand the problem.
parisonmymind2 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 04:30 PM
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I'm pretty sure I saw people going through a retinal scan machine in Amsterdam back in November.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 11:20 PM
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Be depressed, be very depressed
alanRow is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 12:18 AM
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so when you enter the UK, you will be fingerprinted and our government will watch your every move on what is by far the largest network of CCTV cameras in the world. visitors be warned.

it looks like GM food is also coming to europe, by the way.
walkinaround is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 01:08 AM
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PalQ is confused (so what's new?)

The proposals (by an Italian EU Commissioner, and therefore less concerned with wasting taxpayers' money on a pointless exercise that merely gives jobs to the unemployable than the poor German and Dutch taxpayers who keep this braindead parasite in overpaid "employment") relate to how Schengen handles non-EU citizens at Schengen borders.

They do NOT affect - because the fundamental treaties the EU's built on say they can't - how EU citizens are treated at Schengen borders. The idea that Britons might get different treatment at the St Pancras French border from the treatment given the French and Germans is simply unconstitutional.

What the Italian wastrel is suggesting is that Schengen taxpayers fork out for elaborate fingerprinting systems, to be applied only to non-EU citizens, at Schengen borders. And he wants that to happen by 2013.

Unlike in America, in Europe we have a system called democracy. I understand the US huddled masses who let their government destroy civil liberties without even a debate struggle to come to terms with this revolutionary idea, so let me try to explain it.

Frattini has made a suggestion. It's already been attacked as a pointless bureaucratic toy by, for example, Brigitte Zypries, the German Justice Minister - who carries a great deal more weight in all this than a superannuated hack from Europe's largest failed state. And it'll need debate by all Schengen members - which, in practice means Schengen members plus Britain (by far the largest generator of visitors to Schengen). Even the European Confederation of Police Unions thinks it's a pretty potty idea. Whether it'll happen is a far from foregone conclusion - not least because no-one's yet even bothered to estimate how much it'll cost or what on earth it's meant to achieve. Well, fom an Italian dreaming up ways of getting the Swedes to waste money, you wouoldn't expect anything of the kind. But you can be sure the taxpayers will want rather better arguments than the fluff put out so far.

But unlike America's perpetual docile acceptance of whatever lunacy its President decides on (who opposed Iraq? Or fingerprinting us? Or stopping Americans visiting the country next door?), you can be sure this nonsense will be fully debated before anyone so much as dreams of setting up timetables.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 01:37 AM
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flenneruk, read my link to the Guardian - and then tell me why the UK Government wants the EU scheme to cover everyone who travels in the EU AND to be able to use that data for "more general public policy purposes"
alanRow is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:26 AM
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St Cirq, certain regisiterd frequent flyers can make use of the retinal scan system at Schiphol. It is at the moment expensive, so really only for frequent business flyers. It is €99 for the irisscan bit or for €119 they get all sorts of extra perks like reserved parking (closest to the terminal. It is called Privium.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 03:58 AM
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The European Commission, which made this proposal, says the biometrics will be used only to verify identities of travelers coming from countries that don't require a visa, just like the American system. Incidentally this is aimed at much if not more at illegal immigration as it is security. Authorities can already snag you at the border if you're wanted for some crime, and you already have a machine-readable passport, so I'm not sure what the fingerprint and scan will do beyond make it harder to travel on a counterfeit passport. The trade-off, proponents say, is quicker processing on arrival. It's correct that this doesn't refer to EU citizens but that's not what the questioner asked about. Aside to Flanneruk: Frattini says the money for this will be diverted from other programs. Sorry, but "democracy" doesn't mean everyone has to agree with the outcome. (I'll leave others to debate if Americans are too easily cowed on things like passporting for visiting other countries, but really, the policies don't look that different from most of Western Europe to me.)
regazzo is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 04:08 AM
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But unlike America's perpetual docile acceptance of whatever lunacy its President decides on (who opposed Iraq? Or fingerprinting us?
let their government destroy civil liberties

flannerUKUK is right, here in great britain, we do get riled up, we get angry, we take moral stands on injustices. we fight for civil liberties.

ummm...unfortunately, we only get riled up, angry and take moral stands whilst looking across the pond at america...rather than focusing on what affects us most and what we can influence:

-more cctv cameras in our one little country than in the whole rest of the world collectively. watching our every move
-innocent commuter getting shot dead on our tube in incompetent terror panic
-fingerprinting our visitors
-etc etc etc.
walkinaround is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 05:33 AM
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<by an Italian EU Commissioner>

not the average EU Commissioner makes out but indeed Franco Frattini is a vice-president of the E.C. (not to be confused with parent group the EU) responsible for justice, liberty and security"

presumably elected or appointed to that august position by consensus of all EU countries, including England.

Indeed Privacy International and Statewatch, London-based civil rights watch dogs groups, are raising red flags about the proposal.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:52 AM
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Retinal scans - I keep thinking of that movie "Minority Report" in which Tom Cruise disguises himself as someone else by using the eyeballs from a corpse (there was that hilarious scene where he drops one of the eyeballs and it rolls down the street and is lost through a storm sewer grate.....)

Which reminds me, it is less the collection of data of this type that bothers me, as when banks/government tax departments/social security departments go and lose it (which they seem to do with distressing regularity)....
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:54 AM
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<Which reminds me, it is less the collection of data of this type that bothers me>

but yes what can be done with it that's scarey - facial recognition everywhere in europe would allow authorities or perhaps anyone to track your every very move in Europe - why is that necessarily bad? Not sure for most but i do cherish my privacy, etc.

what becomes of the data is worrisome, especially given the recent history American intelligence-gathering tactics that trample on civil rights.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 07:00 AM
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Sue_xx_yy, I fully concur. It's rare that the fact of one or another of our intelligence-gathering technique comes around to bite our behinds; it's usually the implementation that has the cracks in it.

The problem is the hatracks that are responsible for preserving the data's integrity and whereabouts: the halt led by the blind. It has e'er been thus - and if it's any consolation, the Other Side is similarly underequipped.

(p.s. James Bond's adversaries in Thunderball did the fake retina scan gimmick in 1965.)
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 07:16 AM
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I agrre that what happens to the data is worrisome. Not only what happens to the data when you cross a border either.
In a couple of years time every Dutch car will be fitted with a chip following the introduction of road pricing. Since one will pay more for travelling on certain roads at certain times of day the authorities will know our every move. There is surprisingly little opposition to this concept here. There are complaints that it is just another tax. Originally it was to replace a couple of taxes on cars, but now the plan is to reduce those and add this one. Whilst I don't like my wallet being hit, I really object to big brother watching me. I can't even decide to take public transport instead to avoid scrutiny since the OV Chip card is personal, so they will even know when and where I travel by public transport. Looks like it's the bike or shanks's pony for me.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Like London's Oyster Card - a great labor and time savings thing to use the public transportation but it allows yourself or anyone to track very tube or bus ride you took. Kind of neat for tourists to print out their journeys perhaps and tracking terrorist bombers but...
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