What happens when the bad guys, especially terrorists, can easily cross borders and communicate globally, while the good guys have to stay within their national, regional or local jurisdictions? In Europe as well as in the United States, law enforcement and intelligence officials are looking for ways to solve this problem, usually by enhancing cooperation at home and abroad.
Regional fusion centers, with co-located federal, state and local authorities, are part of the U.S. response. Now a special EU study group has proposed enhanced coordination within the EU, as well as closer ties with other countries such as the United States.
In both Europe and the United States such proposals are controversial, largely because of fears that the personal data of both alleged terrorists and criminals and members of the public will not be adequately protected. That is a genuine concern, and one which calls for technological as well as political solutions. At the same time, the need to protect both sides of the Atlantic from further terrorist attacks is urgent. Let's hope the EU and United States can work together to crack this nut sooner rather than later.