Ridge Seeks Europe's Help in Terror Fight

A top American official urged European leaders Saturday to cooperate with U.S. demands to share information on airline passengers such as names, place of birth and date of birth, saying European resistance was hampering anti-terrorism efforts.

Tom Ridge, secretary for homeland security, said the European Union’s demand to protect passengers’ privacy must be balanced by the right of those passengers to travel safely. He noted that the United States wasn’t requesting information on health or religion. Ridge pressed his point at a conference here of European political and financial leaders, raising an issue that EU officials have warned could lead to a new trans-Atlantic confrontation. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring airlines to submit passenger data within 15 minutes after their plane departs for the United States. Before it lands, the information is checked against a combined federal law enforcement database. Full Story

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