The EU Doesn’t Want to Share, and It’s Harming U.S. Security

Jessica Zuckerman /

It’s 1776 all over again, as former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Stewart Baker quips. This time, however, we are not talking about unjust taxes or the right to a trial by jury, and no one is dumping tea into Boston Harbor.

Instead, the issue is U.S. ability to preserve its own security. Earlier this month, the European Parliament announced its plan to postpone a vote on sharing Passenger Name Records (PNR) with the United States. Essentially, the parliament is reneging on years of negotiations and a standing agreement to share information with the U.S.

Data-sharing agreements like the PNR are essential to helping the United States identify potential terrorists and stop them in their tracks. In fact, officials have said that the PNR aided in capturing the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shazad, and the Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmuttallab. Information sharing between the United States and Europe was also instrumental in thwarting the liquid explosives plot of 2006. (more…)