This paper critically examines efforts to make the UN Al-Qaida and ISIL sanctions list interoperable with the Advanced Passenger Information (API) data used by the global aviation industry. The aim of this experiment to control the movements of foreign terrorist fighters. It is part of a panoply of recent UN Security Council (UNSC) measures requiring states to enhance information sharing about poten-tial terrorist threats. Drawing on interviews with UNSC experts and other IOs, I show how this technical project of list implementation has far-reaching political and legal effects. I argue that interoperability is forging powerful new forms of global security governance and stretching the boundaries of collective security. Empirically analysing the mundane politics of data formatting is important because it reveals how governance technologies (such as databases) actively participate in the creation of new forms of global security law, in the shadows of where we usually think the law to be.
In almost every conceivable sector of Europe's composite administration, information is gathered and passed on between different national authorities amongst themselves, or between national and EU ad-ministration. This is particularly true of Europe's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, and of the interoperable information systems that it has put in place. The EU constitutional framing of the rela-tions between information-sharing authorities is, however, less clear. The paper first takes an empirical approach. It maps existing practices of recipient authorities from a cross-sectoral perspective, but with a particular emphasis on the AFSJ. The second component of the paper is normative in nature, as it explores whether the EU's constitutional principles have anything to say on the duty of authorities to trust, or to double-check, the information they receive.
Information sharing has occurred over the years within the AFSJ in the absence of a comprehensive data protection framework; and on the basis of informal agreements between legally and structurally different bodies, equipped with different tasks, often in contrast with the legality principle. This paper investigates whether today, in the design of law enforcement modalities of access to immigration of databases, data protection could trigger the (at least partial) formalisation of informal interoperable networks. The research would thus test to what extent a stronger compliance of interoperability mech-anisms with the legality principle fosters a renewed constitutionalisation of information sharing poli-cies within the AFSJ.
In the context of electronic mass surveillance, private actors have gained an intermediate position in-between the state and the individuals, by which they are entitled to negotiate the balance of inter-ests. This prerogative has traditionally belonged to the state, as the only legal body enabled – even through the judicial power – to make a balance of interests, for instance between national security and privacy. Nowadays, corporate actors are in the position to influence and possibly to jeopardize such a balance in the name of the protection of property rights, by using the idea of the right to pri-vacy as a shield against state interference. This is a distinct example of the fading boundaries be-tween the public and the private dimension of information gathering. The paper will focus on the cooperative and competitive dimensions of the public/private partnership as regards information gathering.