Friday, January 16, 2009

Computer Bugs Bite The EU's Big Brother

Via The Times of India.

Big Brother would like to watch you. But he can't, because his computer has crashed.

That was the problem occupying European Union (EU) interior ministers in Prague as they debated the 27-member bloc's continuing inability to share the fingerprints and photos of foreigners entering the border-free Schengen zone because of computer bugs.

"From our point of view, the test phase (of the Schengen Information System II, SIS II) has failed. The technical experts couldn't manage it," Austrian Interior Minister Maria Fekter told journalists during an informal meeting with EU counterparts.

It is a classic EU problem. On the one hand, one of the bloc's founding principles is the free movement of people - a principle which led to the abolition of border controls between almost all EU member states with the creation of the so-called Schengen zone.

But on the other hand, governments across the EU are under ever-increasing pressure to defend their citizens against unwanted foreigners ranging from terrorists to unregistered grape-pickers.

More here.


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