Search

 

Cablegate: Second Round of Us-German "Pruem" Discussions

VZCZCXRO9169
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRL #0399/01 0581556
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271556Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7251
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC
RUEAWJC/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0438

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 000399

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER KHLS PGOV CVIS KVPR GM
SUBJECT: SECOND ROUND OF US-GERMAN "PRUEM" DISCUSSIONS

REF: BERLIN 59

1. (SBU) Summary. German and U.S. officials resumed
discussions of a data sharing agreement modeled on Germany's
"Pruem" Convention for law enforcement and counterterrorism
cooperation in Berlin January 23. The German delegation said
it had not had time to study the U.S. draft text or discuss
it internally and was in a position only to give initial
reactions and to ask questions. They appreciated detailed
explanations for various articles, said that some issues
would require intense discussion and that they hoped to get
back to the U.S. in 4-5 weeks. Their comments/questions
focused on areas of data protection, inclusion of terrorist
screening information, lack of direct access to the U.S. DNA
data base, and need for the referenced Annex on screening
data and some definitions. At the next round of talks, the
German side will seek U.S. clarification why it cannot accept
the EU-centered data privacy provisions in Pruem. End
Summary.

Second Meeting of Working Group
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) At the first meeting between the U.S. and German
sides in December (reftel), the U.S. delegation offered to
table a draft text. The U.S. side did so January 18,
cautioning the German delegation at the January 23
discussions that the text should be considered a discussion
draft. The German side advised that due to the limited time
to prepare, their comments were preliminary and informal.

3. (U) German officials included officials from the Interior,
Justice, and Foreign Ministries and the Chancellery. As
before, the head of the German delegation was Andreas
Schultz, the MOI Office Director for Police Information
Technology. The U.S. delegation included DOJ, DHS, and State
(including Embassy Berlin).

4. (SBU) The German delegation asked numerous questions about
the U.S. discussion draft as the Working Group went article
by article through the text. The issue of greatest concern
for Schultz was data privacy. He explained that under German
law, each new agreement has to include explicit data privacy
provisions. Schultz added walking away from Pruem,s data
privacy provisions would be very hard because all EU members
who sign onto the Pruem Convention, "even Malta," are
expected to comply. For the U.S. not to comply would cause
"difficult debate" in the Bundestag. He proposed that at the
next round of talks, the U.S. explain its objections to each
of the Pruem data privacy paragraphs.

5. (SBU) DHS Acting A/S Rosenzweig explained the U.S. desire
for an exchange of the fingerprints of those on the German
List of those who pose a threat ("Gefaehrderliste") and those
forbidden from entry ("Einreiseverbotliste") for screening
purposes. Rosenzweig noted the value of such data, how
several Pruem articles envision information exchange to
combat common threats and that by carefully limiting the
scope of the information exchanged we are, in effect,
creating a case. Schultz said that Pruem did not include
such provisions and that Germany was still determining its
position on direct exchanges, but he could see the utility in
such a relationship. The German delegation requested the USG
provide a draft annex and a definition of "known or suspected
terrorist" to inform further their considerations.

6. (SBU) Concerning fingerprints, Schultz noted that the U.S.
draft text envisioned automated searching of fingerprint data
conducted by a national contact point in order to facilitate
an MLAT request. This provision is similar to the Pruem
text, and so posed little difficulty outside of their data
protection concerns. Concerning DNA, Schultz asked why the
U.S. discussion draft did not allow for automated searches by
one party of the other,s database. The U.S. delegation
explained that the central U.S. DNA database is primarily
made up of DNA information submitted by the states and
managed by the FBI; provisions in U.S. law prevent direct
access to the DNA database by anyone other than the FBI lab
because a "hit" would also disclose the underlying DNA
profile. Schultz observed that the Pruem Convention had
prompted other countries to make investments in technology to
enable foreign hit/no hit access.

7. (SBU) The German delegation circulated the Pruem

BERLIN 00000399 002 OF 002


Implementing Agreement and explained that its provisions
would address U.S. technical questions. The U.S. delegation
explained that an eventual agreement text would not be a
treaty and therefore not require Senate advice and consent.
Schultz said the German government would have to submit the
agreement to the Bundestag for formal ratification.

Next Steps
----------

8. (SBU) The German delegation said their formal review of
the text would take another three to four weeks. Schultz
pledged to propose a date for the next round of talks when he
visited Washington February 6-7. Schultz said he was eager
to see the National Counterterrorism Center, the Terrorist
Screening Center, and the National Targeting Center to learn
more about the possibilities of increased information
exchange. The two sides discussed the possibility of holding
the next round of discussions via video conference, and
holding the next formal round February 28 when the German
delegation will be in Washington for other consultations.

9. (U) The U.S. Delegation cleared this cable subsequent to
their departure from Berlin.
TIMKEN JR

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

ALSO:

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC