Wednesday, Aug 6, 2008
Immigration minister Liam Byrne is also likely to say that these powers to probe passenger records should be extended to other forms of travel like the Eurostar train service between the UK and the Continent.
The news will alarm critics of the so-called Big Brother state which has seen the Government encroach further into the private lives of British citizens.
There were 200 million so-called passenger movements across UK borders last year. By 2015 this figure is likely to have risen to 300 million.
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Currently European Union regulations restrict the use of so-called of “Passenger Name Record” data, including names and addresses, to Governments to fight the threat from terrorists and organised crime.
However the Home Office has said that it believes these rules are too narrow and enforcement officers should be able to use the information to battle “any serious crime”.
This would include immigration and revenue and customs offences. Ministers are expected to agree that a firm definition of what is a “serious crime” should be agreed across all member states.
The UK wants the information to be made available for domestic flights and those between EU states. Currently the information can also only be downloaded for flights between a European Union state and a third country.
This article was posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 4:41 am