27 March 2008
Filip Pospísil – EDRi-member Iuridicum Remedium – Czech Republic contributes to the EDRI-gram – Number 6.6, 26 March 2008 :
Czech Republic Interior Minister Ivan Langer and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff signed on 26 February 2008 in Washington D.C. the Memorandum of Understanding which is the first step in introducing new electronic visa programme for all EU countries.
In this Memorandum Czech authorities agreed to “passenger and other information sharing, screening information concerning known or suspected terrorists, information to combat terrorism and serious crime, and information on migration matters” with the US authorities and also promised to “allow for the further dissemination of transferred information within the United States Government”. Czech Ministry of Interior agreed “to provide identifying information that includes biographic and biometric data, to be used in determining whether persons who intend to travel to the United States represent a threat to the security, law enforcement, and immigration interests of the United States.”
The signed document represents a shift in the Czech Republic stance on PNR Agreement between EU and USA. The government of the Czech Republic approved the PNR Agreement last summer, but the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared its reservations regarding the parliamentary ratification and necessity to uphold European data protection standarts. However, in the new Memorandum of Understanding with the USA, the Czech Ministry of Interior declares its intention “to collect, analyze, use, and share Advance Passenger Information (API)” and “to collect, analyze, use, and share Passenger Name Record (PNR)”.Bogdan