The intimate details of 25 million people are still at large by dint of the Government’s ‘Datagate’ incompetence. One might have thought that a return to the virtues of good old-fashioned manual filing systems was on the cards and that any Government, including The Empire, would have reined in any expansion of such vast databases. Not so.

This we learn because of what The Empire’s Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini had to say concerning the December 2007/January 2008 extension of the Schengen Agreement to cover Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic all of which joined the Empire in 2004. They now fifteen other states, including Norway and Iceland which are not possessions of the Empire, in this ‘open borders’ agreement which allows citizens of the Empire to move freely within its borders. His Excellency said:

It will be a quite nice Christmas gift

To would-be criminals, terrorists and illegal immigrants it will be like several Christmases all rolled into one. And that is just the benefit which will accrue from being able to move unhindered from the North Cape in Norway to Cape Trafalgar in Spain without ever having to show anyone anything.

Now we appreciate in the light of ‘Datagate’ the real risks which we would run if we should ever let ourselves be drawn fully into this madcap scheme for as EU Observer reminds us, such a scheme is inevitable dependent upon the leaky sieve of modern administration, a database.

Originally the Schengen agreement was underpinned by the unfortunately named SIS I database, but, as the way of such things, the unelected EuroCrats were not content with this. So now a new one, imaginatively named SIS II, has been commissioned by The Empire and EuroNabob Frattini is in Onanistic mode over the speed with which they have brought his new toy onstream:

Sometimes Europe is able to make progress in a very short time.

Quite.

In fact the new database is set to be online from 18th. December 2007. But here is the rub:

The database – the updated version of the existing system – is considered the technical soul of Schengen, as it connects member states’ national databases on all kinds of information related to border security, such as stolen documents, cars or firearms.

The mind boggles at the thought of details of legally-held firearms, to pick an example at random, being held on a database that might one day be accessed by officials all over Europe. For example such a database will presumably be open to Police forces all over the Empire. What safeguards are there that this information will not be accessed by a corrupt senior police officer in Bucharest and disseminated to criminals? What safeguards are there for such databases and are those responsible for keeping the information secure directly accountable politically?

One wonders to what extent, and perhaps Richard North or Helen Samuely can enlighten us on this, the UK is already participating in this sort of thing. We have heard of the scheme to have pan-EU enforcement of traffic fines: that surely implies that details of our cars (including those nice expensive ones that East European gangsters like to steal) will be available on such a database. What safeguards are there? On the basis of ‘Datagate’, one strongly suspects the answer is: none whatsoever.

This database will be huge, containing extensive details pertaining to hundreds of millions of people. That is simply a criminal opportunity waiting to happen.

As to the Schengen Agreement, let us leave the last word to His Excellency:

The EU’s external borders are secure and safe. I, as an Italian, will consider the Polish-Ukrainian border to be my border.

So, the economic migrant who starts off on land from the Romanian border now has only two stops to make: there (if he is very unlucky) and the Channel. And we know how secure that is, don’t we?

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