Tuesday, 24 March 2020

National Commission recommends extending draft registration to women

Today the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS), after a three-year charade of stage-managed and largely one-sided public events paralleled by closed-door meetings and negotiations among the members of the Commission, released its final report, recommending that Congress amend the Military Selective Service Act to require that young women, as well as young men, register for the draft when they reach 18 years of age, and inform the Selective Service System each time they change their address until their 26th birthday. (See this summary of the Commission's recommendations with respect to the Selective Service System.)

In my testimony to the NCMNPS in April 2019, I told the Commissioners:

Any proposal that includes a compulsory element is a naïve fantasy unless it includes a credible enforcement plan and budget.... How much are you prepared to spend, and how much of a police state are you prepared to set up, to round up the millions of current draft registration law violators or enforce a draft?

As for women, is there any reason to think that they will be more willing to provide the government with the information needed to conscript them than men have been? No, just the reverse. Both feminist and anti-feminist women will be more likely to resist being forced into the military than men have been, and more people will support them in their resistance.

The Commission's recommendations with respect to Selective Service registration are just such a naïve fantasy, completely unfeasible and with no foundation in research or reality. The Commission kept its head firmly in the sand, carefully avoiding any inquiry into whether or how the current (unenforced and widely violated) registration requirement for men, much less an expanded registration requirement applicable also to women, could be enforced.

There's no mention at all in the report's 255 pages of compliance or noncompliance with draft registration. There's been no audit of the registration database since 1982, and the Commission didn't conduct or ask for one.

There's no plan or budget for enforcement of the current, or an expanded, draft registration requirement. The Department of Justice is, and would remain, responsible for enforcement of the registration requirement. But nobody has been prosecuted for nonregistration since 1986, and since then, as I pointed out in my testimony, "the Department of Justice -- conspicuously absent from the witness list for these hearings -- has made neither any estimate of the numbers of violators nor any plan or budget for how to identify, investigate, find, arrest, prosecute, or incarcerate them."

The preliminary report the NCMNPS received from the Department of Justice didn't mention enforcement, and the Commission didn't bother to follow up with the DoJ about the omission. The Commission never met with the DoJ, and didn't call any witnesses from the DoJ to testify at its hearings. When Commission staff convened an inter-agency working group of representatives from 25 other agencies and departments to consult on possible recommendations, the DoJ wasn't invited. The Commissioners went to extreme lengths to avoid asking any questions about compliance, noncompliance, enforcement, or feasibility -- because they knew that even cursory research into these questions would make clear that draft registration of men has failed, and that trying to register women would be even more of a failure.

According to a statement from peace and antidraft organizations and activists, including antiwar feminists:

The issue is not whether women should have to register for the draft, but whether the government should be planning or preparing to draft anyone.

Congress should end draft registration for all, not try to expand it to young women as well as young men.

H.R. 5492 would end the current contingency planning for a future draft as well as draft registration, and would end all sanctions against those who didn't register. That's the appropriate choice for Congress and the American public.

The NCMNPS was directed by Congress to consider the "feasibility" of any draft. But registering or drafting women would not be feasible in the face of the likely widespread noncompliance. Women and men will join in resistance to any attempt to expand draft registration, or plans for a draft, to women.

Draft registration for men failed: criminal enforcement had to be abandoned decades ago in the face of pervasive noncompliance. Even the former Director of the Selective Service System testified to the NCMNPS that the current Selective Service System database is "less than useless" as the basis for a draft. Trying to draft women or get them to register to be drafted would be even more of a fiasco.

Making contingency plans for a draft that would include women would be an exercise in self-delusion by the Selective Service System and military planners. Even more women than men would resist if the government tried to draft them.

Congress is under no legal obligation and has no deadline to consider the recommendations made today by the NCMNPS. But if Congress does nothing, draft registration is likely to be ended before long by court order. So Congress is likely to consider both the Commission's recommendations and the alternative of H.R. 5492 either later this year or at the latest in 2021.

A public forum in Washington, DC, planned by the NCMNPS has been postponed, but you can still register to receive updates when it is rescheduled. A Senate hearing on the NCMNPS report has also been postponed. Only members of the NCMNPS, and not any of its critics or those with other views, were invited to testify at the Senate hearing, but the ranking member of the parallel House Committee suggested in a statement today after being briefed by members of the NCMNPS that he may want to hear from at least some of the Commission's critics during House hearings: "I believe that public hearings in the Armed Services Committee and other relevant committees are essential."

The NCMNPS report doesn't mention the bill to end draft registration and preparations for a draft entirely, H.R. 5492, even though that proposal was submitted to the Commission by its initial sponsor, Rep. Peter DeFazio, and endorsed by many antidraft organizations and activists. It's important that if a bill to implement the Commission's recommendations is considered in Congress, H.R. 5492 is considered at the same time as an alternative.

The issue isn't likely to come to head in Congress for months, but it's important to start mobilizing opposition and raising awareness now that this debate is going to happen. The government doesn't readily admit failure or acknowledge that the willingness of the people to comply with its orders places limits on what it can do. The decisive factor is likely to be whether, when the time comes for Congress to vote on whether to end draft registration or extend it to women, members of Congress see sufficient visible evidence that young women -- as young men have done, but probably in even larger numbers -- will resist if the government tries to draft them or get them to register to be drafted, and that many older people will support them in that resistance.

See this section of my Web site for more on what's happening and what you can do.

Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2020, 23:09 (11:09 PM) | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

COVID-19 and travel company bailouts

I'm not a medical expert, so I've refrained from cluttering the Internet with more potentially confusing or erroneous advice about travel during a pandemic. My medical advice is to listen to medical experts.

But with Congress debating financial proposals related to travel companies, and not health, it's time for me to speak up.

Let's get one thing straight from the start: Congress should not be discussing financial measures or how to save "the economy", even if "the economy" weren't being used inaccurately as a synonym for "corporations".

Congress should be debating how to save lives, the economy be damned. Yes, a pandemic will have -- and already is having -- economic consequences. But Congress should first be focusing its limited decision-making capacity on the most urgent needs, which are medical and logistical. Debating an economic bailout bill is a gross failure of triage in prioritizing scarce legislative resources.

As an aside, this and other current events make a mockery of any claim that the country has invested in protecting "homeland security". If the possibility that millions of people might die in a pandemic isn't a threat to global security, I don't know what is. And if the "Department of Homeland Security" hasn't already reallocated all of its resources to coping with this threat, the DHS doesn't deserve to exist, much less deserve its name. But we knew that already, so let's move on to what's being debated in Congress.

The proposals under consideration in Congress may have changed completely, and/or have been enacted, before you read this. Rather than try to parse thousand-page trillion-dollar bills that members of Congress probably haven't even read before voting on them, let me try to articulate some principles that should guide the process:

Continue reading "COVID-19 and travel company bailouts"
Link | Posted by Edward, 24 March 2020, 20:40 ( 8:40 PM) | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Appeals Court hears arguments on the Constitutionality of draft registration

I was in the moot court room at Tulane Law School in New Orleans this Tuesday morning, March 3rd -- not for a moot court competition, but for for-real arguments before a 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on the government's challenge to a U.S. District Court ruling a year ago that the current requirement for young men to register with the Selective Service System when they turn 18, and inform the SSS every time they change their address until they turn 26, is unconstitutional.

It's important to start by understanding, as explained in my earlier FAQ about the District Court court decision, that this case is solely about whether men can be required to register. Contrary to some inaccurate reports, the plaintiffs did not request, and the District Court did not and could not order, that women be required to register or penalized if they don't. The courts can only rule on the current male-only registration requirement. If the District Court ruling is upheld, nobody will be required to register with the Selective Service System. That would bring a messy end to draft registration, and leave many loose ends -- which is why opponents of draft registration would still support legislation such as H.R. 5492. But it would end the registration requirement for men, not extend it to women. Women would be required to register only if Congress enacts a new law authorizing the President to order women to register, and the President issues such an Executive Order.

Continue reading "Appeals Court hears arguments on the Constitutionality of draft registration"
Link | Posted by Edward, 5 March 2020, 18:46 ( 6:46 PM) | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Should we be worried about a possible military draft?

Earlier this month, sabre-rattling and threats of further escalation of the war between the US and Iran led to widespread fear that the reinstatement of military conscription might be imminent. Those fears were reinforced by a wave of fake induction notices sent by text messaging to potential draftees' cellphones.

Are fears of a new military draft justified? Was any of this a surprise? What can we learn from this episode?

Continue reading "Should we be worried about a possible military draft?"
Link | Posted by Edward, 16 January 2020, 07:04 ( 7:04 AM) | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, 20 December 2019

Bill introduced to end draft registration

Yesterday, just before Congress recessed until the new year, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced H.R. 5492, a bill "To repeal the Military Selective Service Act, and thereby terminate the registration requirements of such Act and eliminate ... the Selective Service System."

This bill is the most comprehensive anti-draft proposal introduced in Congress since the reinstatement of Selective Service registration in 1980.

H.R. 5492 (text of bill) would:

  1. Repeal the Military Selective Service Act (thereby eliminating Presidential authority to order men to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft and eliminating criminal penalties for failure or refusal to register);

  2. Abolish the Selective Service System (thereby ending contingency planning by the SSS for the Health Care Personnel Delivery System or any other form of special-skills draft);

  3. Prohibit all other Federal agencies from imposing civil sanctions (denial of Federal student financial aid, Federally-funded jobs, etc.) for nonregistration or using nonregistration as a basis for other adverse determinations (denial of naturalization as a U.S. citizen, etc.);

  4. "Preempt" (and thereby override and prohibit) all state sanctions for nonregistration (denial of drivers' licenses, state financial aid, state jobs, etc.); and

  5. Preserve the rights of conscientious objectors under other laws and regulations (such as applicants for reassignment to noncombatant duties or discharge from the military on the basis of conscientious objection).

There have been other proposals over the decades to eliminate some of the penalties for nonregistration and/or to abolish the Selective Service System. But H.R. 5492 is the first such bill that would also do away with the lifetime sanctions for nonregistration imposed by dozens of state laws.

H.R. 5492 is based in part on a bill introduced in 2016, also co-sponsored by Rep. DeFazio among others. The latest bill is significantly more comprehensive, however, and includes everything that anti-draft and anti-war organizations and activists and Rep. DeFazio have asked the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS) to include in its recommendations to Congress.

Getting this bill introduced in Congress and included in the proposals considered by the NCMNPS is a key step toward finally ending draft registration after forty years of failure. This is the first and currently the only proposal formally introduced in Congress for what Congress should do about draft registration once it receives the report of the NCMNPS.

Congress probably won't take up this issue until after it receives the NCMNPS report and recommendations, which are required to be released by March 2020. Sometime after that -- most likely after the elections, in late 2020 or perhaps more likely 2021 -- Congress is likely to take up the issue of whether to end draft registration or try to extend it to young women as well as young men.

H.R. 5492 could be considered on its own, or incorporated into a larger bill such as one implementing recommendations of the NCMNPS (which might also contain additional funding for voluntary national service programs) or the annual omnibus National Defense Authorization Act (which was the bill used to create the NCMNPS in 2016).

Today, with the introduction of H.R. 5492, the report of the NCMNPS due in March 2020, and Congress likely to be forced by pending legal cases to choose between ending draft registration and trying to expand it to women as well as men, we are closer to ending draft registration than at any time since the requirement for all young men to register with the Selective Service System was reinstated in 1980.

Opponents of military conscription can take action now to help end draft registration, preparations for a military draft, and Federal and state punishment of draft registration resisters:

  1. If you can do so before the close of the NCMNPS public comment period on 31 December 2019 (perhaps while you are sending other end-of-year messages), ask the NCMNPS to recommend that Congress enact H.R. 5492. You can do so even if you already submitted a comment to the NCMNPS. It takes only a minute if you use this Web form.

  2. Ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 5492. Ask your Senators to introduce a similar bill in the Senate. Ask candidates to take a stand on this issue: "If elected, would you support legislation to try to expand draft registration to women, or would you support legislation such as H.R. 5492 to end draft registration and abolish the Selective Service System?"

  3. If you are part of an organization that opposes military conscription, ask your group to endorse H.R. 5492. (If your group adopts a position or makes a statement on this issue, please let me know. Seeing more organizational endorsers for the bill might help influence more members of Congress to support or co-sponsor the bill or a similar bill in the Senate.)

  4. Talk to your friends. Share this article. Pass out a leaflet. (More leaflets about the draft and draft registration)

Thanks to Rep. DeFazio, Rep. Davis, their staff, and all who worked with them to make this the best bill possible. Let's get this enacted into law!

Link | Posted by Edward, 20 December 2019, 05:28 ( 5:28 AM) | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Will the DHS require mug shots of U.S. citizen travellers?

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, while I was preparing my testimony for a precedent-setting meeting of the Seattle Port Commission on December 10th to consider principles and policies for use of automated facial recognition for identification, surveillance, and control of airline passengers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, I uncovered a previously-unnoticed offical notice from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it planned to issue new regulations to require mug shots of all international travellers, including U.S. citizens.

My report about this Monday on the Identity Project blog triggered a flurry of publicity in other news outlets and an immediate firestorm of outrage from the public and members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Today the DHS sent out a press release claiming to have cancelled its plans, at least for now. But instead of admitting to having backed down in the face of public and Congressional pressure, they instead chose to try to shoot the messenger by falsely characterizing my accurate report about their own official public notice as containing "incorrect... claims".

As I said in an article by David Koenig for the Associated Press on the DHS about-face:

Edward Hasbrouck, a privacy advocate who pointed out the proposal, said the matter might not be settled.

"Was this a trial balloon to find out whether the DHS had finally reached the limits of our willingness to be treated like criminals whenever we fly?" he said. "And if so, has the DHS partially backed off, at least for now? Maybe."

There's more about the DHS press release, and my response to their unjustified criticism of my reporting, in the Identity Project blog.

I look forward to seeing some of you Tuesday in Seattle, where the Port Commission will have a chance to ask more questions about what the DHS and its airline "partners" are already doing, and what they are planning.

Link | Posted by Edward, 5 December 2019, 16:52 ( 4:52 PM) | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Last Call for Public Comments to End Draft Registration!

It's Time to End Draft Registration Once and For ALL!

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service is at work right now to determine the fate of Selective Service registration for a military draft, and they need to hear from you!

Congress established the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service as part of the compromise between the House and Senate reached by the Conference Committee during the 2017 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) process.

The Commission's mandate is to consider issues of national service, both military and civilian, including important questions about Selective Service registration: should it continue, should women be required to register, and if registration for a military draft is to be maintained, what changes should be made to the Selective Service System? In its deliberations and public meetings, the Commission also has considered mandatory national service for all young people.

It has been decades since there has been a serious national conversation about Selective Service. This is a great opportunity to send a message to Congress that it is time to End Draft Registration Once and For ALL!

Draft registration has been a failure and a burden on millions of men. The vast majority of men violate the law by not registering willfully or timely as the law requires. Most young men today are registered through coercive means that are linked to other actions, such as applying for student financial aid or a driver's license or state ID. If someone fails to register, these and other Federal and state programs and services can be taken away, without due process.

Rather than continue this extra-judicial punishment for men or extend it to women, it's time to end draft registration for everyone!

Requiring women to register for the draft does nothing to forward the movement for gender equality. To the contrary, feminist movements throughout history have included resistance to the undemocratic practice of conscription. The male-only draft already has been deemed unconstitutional by the courts. Striking down the draft and draft registration for everyone is the better path toward freedom and equality for all genders!

The Commission is scheduled to report its findings and make recommendations for the future of draft registration in March of 2020. They are taking public comment now and through the end of 2019.

Please share your views with the Commission today. Let them know you believe that:

  1. Draft registration should be ended for everyone, not extended to women;
  2. All criminal, civil, federal and state penalties for failure to register must be ended and overturned for those currently living under these penalties; and
  3. National service should remain voluntary. Compulsory service, whether civilian or military, is in conflict with the principles of a democratic and free society.

The Commission is accepting public comments through the end of the year. Please submit written comments -- by December 31, 2019 -- through the Commission's Web site; by email, using the subject line, "Docket 05-2018-01" to national.commission.on.service.info@mail.mil; or by snail-mail to "National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, Attn: RFI COMMENT--Docket 05-2018-01, 2530 Crystal Drive, Suite 1000, Room 1029 Arlington, VA 22202".

More information, including official statements already submitted from our partners, is linked below.

Thank you!


Link | Posted by Edward, 19 November 2019, 10:47 (10:47 AM) | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anti-war activists meet with members of the National Commission on Military Service

On Wednesday, 13 November 2019, I was one of six representatives of anti-war and anti-draft organizations who were invited to participate in an hour-long conference call with three of the eleven members of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS).

The NCMNPS was created almost three years ago, and has been meeting for more than two years, but according to the minutes of NCMNPS meetings released in response to my FOIA requests, this was the first time, other than the hearing at which I testified in April 2019, that members of the NCMNPS have met with or invited submissions from anti-war organizations.

As I said in my written opening statement for the conference call:

It should be obvious that one of the main reasons for opposition to military conscription is opposition to war, and that many Americans oppose military conscription and Selective Service registration not because they think the draft "unnecessary" for waging war, but because they oppose some or all of the wars that Americans might be conscripted to fight.

It should be equally obvious that whether continuation, enforcement, or expansion to women of Selective Service registration, a draft, or compulsory national service would be "feasible" would depend not only on whether those subject to such a requirement would submit, or how and in what numbers they would resist, but on the response of a larger anti-war and anti-draft movement of women and men of all ages who would support, assist, and join them in acts of resistance -- individual and collective, legal and illegal -- to conscription and war. Understanding of anti-war and anti-draft sentiment and likely resistance to any draft is therefore essential to your task of assessing the feasibility of these policy options.

My testimony focused on an issue that wasn't part of the terms of reference for any of the Commisison's hearings: why Federal legislation recommended by the Commission or enacted by Congress to end draft registration should include provisions not only to repeal all Federal criminal, administrative, and naturalization sanctions for nonregistration, but also to preempt all state sanctions for nonregistration or other violations of the Military Selective Service Act.

The members of the NCMNPS who participated in the call were Commissioners Debra Wada (Vice-Chair of the NCMNPS for Selective Service System issues), Edward Allard III, and Shawn Skelly.

The Commissioners' questions during the conference call were similar to some of those they had asked during the formal public hearing in April:

In conjunction with the conference call, the NCMNPS also invited, and has posted, written submissions from participants and from other anti-war organizations:

  1. Written statements from participants in the conference call on 13 November 2019:
  2. Statements submitted to the NCMNPS by other anti-war organizations:

All of the participants in the call agreed, and told the NCMNPS, that:

  1. Draft registration should be ended for everyone, not extended to women;
  2. All criminal, civil, federal and state penalties for failure to register must be ended and overturned for those currently living under these penalties; and
  3. National service should remain voluntary. Compulsory service, whether civilian or military, is in conflict with the principles of a democratic and free society.

Following the call, the participating organizations and several others issued a joint last call for people and organizations who oppose the draft, draft registration, expansion of draft registration to women, continued punishment of draft registration resisters, and compulsory national service to submit comments to the NCMNPS by 31 December 2019.

Link | Posted by Edward, 19 November 2019, 09:17 ( 9:17 AM) | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, 25 August 2019

An "Airline Passengers' Bill Of Rights"?

Christopher Elliott reports today in Forbes on S. 2341, a proposal for an "Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights" introduced last month by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and four other Senators "If enacted, it would be the most significant consumer protection legislation for air travelers since the enactment of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978," Elliott quotes me as saying about this bill.

Here's more on what S. 2341 would do, where it has problems, and what else is important for airline passengers' rights:

S. 2341 would be an important step forward, with a few exceptions as discussed below. But it's important to keep in mind that the oldest and still the most important consumer protection rule applicable to airlines is the requirement that, as common carriers, they sell tickets only in accordance with a published tariff. Common carrier law, especially its tariff requirements, is and should remain the foundation for airline passengers' rights.

Airlines' efforts to escape from common carrier requirements, in order to replace tariffs with personalize pricing (so that, for example, an airline that figures out from your posts on Facebook that your mother is dying can charge you $10,000 for a ticket to see her before she dies), are the most significant threat to airline passengers' rights. Preserving the existing framework of common carrier law, and enforcing its tariff publication and tariff adherence requirements, is more important than any new conumer protection rules for airline passengers.

Christopher Elliott's article today focuses mostly on the substantive protections in the proposed law, but also notes some of the ways it would improve the structures and procedures for enforcement of existing airline consumrer protection rules, opening up enforcement to state consumer protection agencies and private lawsuits including class actions. Given the lax job that the U.S. Department of Transportation has been doing at enforcing the existing laws, the expansion of enforcement authority may be the most significant part of S. 2341 (and will probably be the portion most strongly opposed by the airline industry).

Here's what I think is most important in S. 2341, in order of importance, starting with the most important provisions:

  1. Section 211 of the bill, ending preemption of state consumer protection laws as applied to airlines, is huge. This has been the top request of state Attorneys General for many years, especially with respect to airline price advertising that violates state truth-in-advertising laws.

  2. Section 208 creates a private right of action for individuals to challenge unfair and deceptive practices by airlines. This is especially significant when coupled with the ban on mandatory arbitration and class-action waivers in Section 212. The result will be that contingent-fee class action lawyers will challenge many of the violations of air travelers' rights on which the U.S. Department of Transportation has declined to take action, even when gadflies and watchdogs have made formal complaints.

  3. Section 201 prohibits fees disproportionate to actual costs. That could be significant, but airlines will certainly try -- and may well succeed -- to game their cost accounting to attribute more than actual costs to these services, to justify high fees.

  4. Section 304 is technical but could prove significant. It appears to be intended to break some of the revolving-door cronyism between the Department of Transportation and airlines, and make enforcement officials behave like the law enforcement officers they are supposed to be, policing the airline industry rather than serving the airline industry as a "partner".

The questionable provisions in the bill are those in Section 203 on price "transparency". It's striking that there is no mention of tariffs or tariff publication in this section, or anywhere in S. 2341. Historically, as noted above, the way that transparency in fares has been guaranteed has been the statutory requirement for airlines as common carriers to sell tickets only at prices prescribed in a published tariff, and to make that tariff publicly available. (That's what "published" means.)

Section 203 could be interpreted as reducing what transparency is currently required, if it is interpreted as replacing, rather than adding to, existing common carrier tariff adherence and tariff publication requirements. I think the intent to require more airfare transparencyis good, but I would much prefer reinstatement of an explicit tariff publication and tariff adherence rule, and bundling of the provisions in Section 203 into that tariff requirement.

(Note that requiring publication of, and adherence to, a tariff, is not the same thing as the government dictating what prices or rules should be in that tariff. There is no contradiction between deregulation of prices, full freedom of airlines to set their own prices and routes, and the transparency requirement of publication of, and adherence to, a tariff.)

I'm not sure how much chance of passage S. 2341 has, starting with only Democratic Party co-sponsors and with the former owner of a (failed) airline as President. But even rich Republicans who are devout believers in deregulation and a hands-off attitude toward business are often frequent flyers who recognize that airlines are exploiting their oligopoly in ways that are unfair to travelers. Because air travelers are a relatively rich segment of consumers, air travelers' rights have more support from rich conservatives than most other consumer issues.

Link | Posted by Edward, 25 August 2019, 07:37 ( 7:37 AM) | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

European Commission doesn't want to enforce its CRS rules

In May 2017 the European Commission finally agreed to investigate my longstanding complaint that the lack of adequate access controls or access logging for airline reservation data stored by computerized reservation systems (CRSs) violates the data protection provisions in Article 11 of the European Union's Code of Conduct for Computerized Reservation Systems.

More than two years later, I've finally received the first substantive response to my complaint: a letter from the European Commission proposing to deny my complaint for lack of jurisdiction, on the absurd grounds that data security is not regulated by the Code of Conduct for CRSs (even though the Code of Conduct includes an entire article on "Processing, access and storage of personal data" which requires that "technical and organizational measures shall be taken to prevent the circumvention of data protection rules through the interconnection between the databases and to ensure that personal data are only accessible for the specific purpose for which they were collected"), that the situation described in my complaint doesn't actually implicate these provisions of the Code of Conduct (?), and that complaints of violations of data protection rules must "in the first instance" be made before other authorities pursuant to the General Data Protection Regulations (notwithstanding the explicit provision of the Code of Conduct that its data protection rules "are complementary to and shall exist in addition to the data subject rights laid down by" the GDPR).

I've responded to the Commission with an explanation of why it should investigate and act on my complaint without further delay.

I don't know why the European Commission is so eager not to enforce its own regulations. I'm not alone in my puzzlement: That question was asked last year, without getting an answer, at a hearing in the European Parliament concerning the status of the Code of Conduct for CRSs. Similar questions about the lack of enforcement by the European Commission of the Code of Conduct for CRSs have been asked by European advocates for the rights of airline passengers.

In December 2018, the European Commission concluded a public consultation on whether the Code of Conduct for CRSs should be retained, repealed, or amended. (See my submission to the consultation.) But the European Commission has not yet released the results of that consultation or its recommendations for legislative action.

Link | Posted by Edward, 7 August 2019, 10:56 (10:56 AM) | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)