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Sinn Féin warns against EU Big Brother

4 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Dublin EU Candidate Mary Lou McDonald today expressed concern that the EU Commission has defended its controversial plans to include biometric data in EU passports, including digital face images and the possibility of fingerprints on EU passports, and called on the Minister for Justice to oppose the measure in Council.

Speaking today, Ms McDonald said:

"Sinn Féin is deeply concerned at this latest attempt by the EU to incorporate biometrics into EU passports. Digital face scans, iris scans and fingerprinting on passports all seem like something from an Orwellian science fiction movie. But while most Irish people are totally unaware of it, these proposals could become reality as early as 2005 if the Commission has its way.

"I believe that the Irish people do not want an EU which holds a database of our personal details and tracks our every movement. Instead we want an EU that will fight to protect our civil liberties. While the Minister has supported the incorporation of biometric data into travel documents in the past I call on him now to vigorously oppose this measure on behalf of the Irish people when it comes before the Council.

"For my part, my party and I will continue to defend the freedoms and civil liberties of Irish and other citizens within the EU and we will continue to oppose the unrelenting drive towards the evolution of a an EU big brother EU at every opportunity and in all the institutions in which we participate. ENDS

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