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US, Europe Seek Broader Access to Airline Data: Report
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US and European anti-terror agencies are seeking to expand the screening of international airline passengers by digging deep into a vast repository of airline data, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

A proposal by US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will allow the US government not only to look for known terrorists on watch lists, but also to search broadly through the passenger itinerary data to identify people who may be linked to terrorist networks, according to the report.

Similarly, European leaders are considering seeking access to this same database, which contains not only names and addresses of travelers, but often their credit card information, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and related hotel or car reservations.

However, the proposals, prompted by the recent British bomb plot, have inspired a new round of protests from civil-rights supporters and privacy experts, who had objected to earlier efforts to plumb those repositories for clues.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2006)

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