The suspicion exists that the data from the new U.S. visa system for visa-required entrants to the U.S. are not only stored for a long time, but are also linked to other databases such as CAPPS 2
Under the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, the U.S. is required to fingerprint and photograph all visa-required entrants. This is to be done as quickly as possible for all those leaving the country; from October onwards, citizens of some, mostly European, countries, who have so far been exempt from the US visa program, will have to present machine-readable ID cards with biometric features if they do not want to be treated in the same way as the others. The U.S. is building a database of all persons who have ever entered the U.S.
The Transportation Security Administration ares that the US-Visit database will not be linked to the planned CAPPS 2 system (Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System), which will supposedly only link airline data (name, address, telephone number, itinerary, credit card number, etc.) with data from other databases.) with data from other databases in order to filter out suspicious persons. People are classified and given a corresponding color: red (may not board and will be detained), yellow (will be specially checked), green (harmless).
However, the separation of the two systems is rightly questioned by some. Eventually, the first U.S. visit systems were set up for air travelers as well. In fact, Department of Homeland Security officials have also already said that the two systems have been connected. Das konne allerdings erst dann geschehen, wenn genau geregelt sei, welche Behorden auf welche Daten zugreifen durfen.
After the CAPPS II system becomes operational, it is contemplated that information regarding persons with outstanding state or federal arrest warrants for crimes of violence may also be analyzed and applied in the context of this system. At or after such time as the system becomes operational, where there is an indication of a serious violation of criminal law (as described in the Routine Use section, below), such information may be shared between law enforcement agencies and the Department of Homeland Security and appropriate action may be taken. It is further anticipated that CAPPS II will be linked with the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program at such time as both programs become fully operational, in order that the processes at both border and airport points of entry and exit are consistent. Any such linkages will be performed in full compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, including any applicable requirement for additional notice.
Message from the Department of Homeland Security
CAPPS 2 is still in the test phase, but soon the airlines, which have so far refused, will be forced to open the data from their booking systems for CAPPS 2. This is also problematic for the EU, because CAPPS violates European data protection laws. Recently, representatives of the EU and the U.S. reportedly agreed on a procedure for sharing data. The U.S. government has previously prered European airlines to obtain passenger name records (PNR) from travelers to and from the United States.
Fritz Bolkestein, the responsible EU commissioner, said that an agreement had been reached that the data would only be used to fight terrorism and related crimes. The data could also not be passed on to other authorities. And the agreement does not cover the controversial CAPPS II, which is to be the subject of later talks (the EU Commission has reached an agreement with the USA on the exchange of air passenger data). The U.S., however, takes a different view and claims that the agreement with the EU already includes the use of PNR data for the test phase of CAPPS II (data from EU passengers are already being fed into the U.S. surveillance system CAPPS II)?).
For CAPPS 2, data should be collected only a few hours before a flight and stored only until a few days after the end of the flight. Previously, a retention period for the data of 50 years had been considered, but this was revised due to heavy criticism. Allegedly, credit data and medical information will now also not be used. However, CAPPS II will allow for a nationwide search based on the list (first the very loose, then the less loose). And for sure it serves not only as a system for tracking down suspected terrorists or serious criminals, but even political opponents may end up on the lists (war opponents on CAPPS watch list).
However, the fact that the data storage for the U.S. visa is based on completely different time dimensions is problematic. The data in the Arrival and Departure Information System (ADIS), the central U.S. visa database, is to be stored for 100 years. The time period has yet to be approved by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), according to the Federal Register on 12 December.December 2003, whereupon the data protection activist Edward Hasbrouck died (for this see also his conjecture: Total Travel Information Awareness). In addition "authorized" authorities at all levels and even foreign authorities can have access to the data.
Even if you die or become a citizen of the USA, the history of any previous trip to or from the USA will be kept for 100 years). This lifetime travel records database makes no sense as a security system, but it makes a lot of sense (from the perspective of the NSA types who set policy at the Department of Homeland Security) as a surveillance system.
Both are interesting in relation to the agreement on data exchange between the EU and the USA. So far, there is not only one explanation for the use of PNR data for CAPPS 2, even though it is supposedly only the test phase (but will the injected data be deleted again?), but there is also one explanation for the use of PNR data for CAPPS 2, even though it is supposedly only the test phase (but will the injected data be deleted again?)?). Allegedly it has also been agreed that the data of Europeans for the time being will not be disclosed "only" three and a half years (after which the time limit could be changed or extended). extended). But if the data of the European air travelers should be fed into the US-Visit-System, then it looks different again. It is also possible that the Europeans have not given in, but are being tricked, because the handling of the various surveillance and monitoring programs may have been deliberately designed to be opaque and obscure, so as not to offer broadsides to Congress either (Opaque games with U.S. government data-mining programs). And relatively unnoticed, the Bush administration has already introduced some things, even if some of them, such as the Terrorist Information System (TIA) or the Terrorist Screening Center, are disapproved by Congress or are under closer scrutiny (largely unnoticed, President Bush has introduced more surveillance capabilities for the FBI).