Saturday, October 07, 2006

The EU and US have made a deal on international airline security. The EU agreed to provide the American government with certain personal information about passengers on flights to the US. This debate has been going on for a while; we've mentioned it before.

So what focus does El Periodico, Barcelona's working-class tabloid, give to the story?

Banner page one headline: "FBI and CIA to be able to dig around (hurgar) in our information."

Of course, that's wrong; passenger information will be provided to the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security, but US law enforcement will only have access to that particular information. They won't be able to wiretap your phone or any of the other panic-stricken European repression fantasies that are going around here.

(Many Barcelonese believe the US is a police state, with the cops watching everyone at all times and listening in on everyone's phone calls and monitoring everyone's e-mail and such. The cops are typical incompetent Americans, and all crooked anyway, and that's why there's so much more crime there than in Spain, you see. Lots of people around here watch way too much TV.)

And, of course, if you do not travel to the United States, no American governmental organization will have any more access to anyone's personal information than before. So if you're afraid that the CIA will open a file on you if you fly to New York, the answer is simple: don't fly to New York.

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