Thursday, March 25, 2004

welcome to the homeland
Maria at Crooked Timber brings news of today’s EU agreement on counter-terrorism measures. As many suspected, a wishlist of generally repressive measures has been nodded through, while others that would require police agencies in individual EU states and the ministries responsible for them to give up their prerogatives and genuinely work together to isolate and target terrorists are nowhere to be seen. There’s a strong emphasis on mass surveillance through biometric record keeping, passenger data retention, website visitor tracking and so on. We’ve also got the EU-wide arrest warrant, so we’ll be able to sleep safe in our beds knowing that more plane spotters will be arrested in Greece. There’s no commitment to restrict these new powers solely to the pursuit of terrorists, but there is plenty of scope to have whoever is irritating an EU member government right now to be declared a terrorist. Give a lingering farewell to your liberties at Statewatch. Well, we can’t sneer at the yanks about homeland security anymore. And here in the Euro heimat, the spooks don’t even have to go to the trouble of abrogating a constitution.