The PATRIOT Act, like many other Bush Administration initiatives, is notorious in Europe. Yesterday, Europe strove for a little notoriety of its own:
The European Parliament on Wednesday passed an anti-terror law requiring Internet service providers and telephone companies in the 25-nation European Union to keep phone and Web site records on their customers for as long as two years.
By a vote of 378 to 197, with 30 abstentions, European lawmakers meeting in Strasbourg passed what one privacy advocate opposed to the plan called "one of the most restrictive surveillance laws in the world," exceeding the level of communications monitoring allowed in United States.
"The EU plans to fingerprint all of its citizens, monitor all communications transactions and surveil all movement and travel," said Gus Hosein, a senior fellow at Privacy International, a London-based watchdog, and a visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics. "All these policies have been rejected by the U.S., but are now law in Europe."