Sunday, June 16, 2013

The German Ten-Euro Fee

The German government, after years of observing the Americans....have finally decided that they'd like to charge folks for entering the country....in an effort to "improve security and prevent terrorism".  This would all create this great travelers database. And all of this....for a nifty ten Euro fee as you enter the country.

The Bild folks published the interview with Interior Minister (Hans-Peter Friedrich).

The curious part to the story, which Bild didn't say much about, and Hans-Peter didn't mention anything about....is that the border control folks scan your passport as you enter Germany....each and every time.

With this, they know who you are, your birthday, and your address.  They also connect that data to the airline database, and know every stop that you made over the trip.  I know this....because around ten years ago....I did this grand four-stop trip to the US, and returned back to Frankfurt (where i was stationed).

The border control guy stood there and asked how hot it was in Tucson....which was the third stop on my trip.

The truth here is that the Germans already collect a lot of information, and it's all free.  They are connected to the US passport database, and the airline database.  My humble guess is that thirty different countries give access to the Germans and their present system.

How much more data do they require?  That would be a curious thing, but Bild didn't really catch onto this whole process, and they failed to ask this question.  I'm guessing they'd like to know the hotel or home you are staying at, which makes little sense if you are a terrorist and you give them fake data on where you might be staying.

If I were a German policeman, I'd consider any data in this new database to be mostly worthless.  Course, the positive side is that I'd employ another hundred to two hundred Germans....mostly IT guys....maintaining a worthless database for national interests.

Somewhere in the interview, the Interior Minister then hints that such a database would be used to grab people who are on warrants.  The question would arise....who in the US, or the fifty states....would provide this data, and keep it current or maintained.  Even US criminals would complain that their personal data had crossed over US borders and was kept in some German database....for decades possibly.

But on the positive....it all sounds good....like you are doing something, even when you aren't.

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