The parliamentary control committee says the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) regularly receives data about passengers – including Swiss citizens – flying into Switzerland from 13 selected international cities.
In the past four years, the number of records forwarded to the FIS by the State Secretariat for Migration increased from fewer than 9,000 to more than 1.5 million, according to the committee's annual report published on Tuesday.
Airlines are required to provide the State Secretariat for Migration with information about their passengers. In this case, the information is used to combat illegal migration.
In addition, the FIS uses the data it receives to pursue its mission, which includes “prevention of terrorism, violent extremism, espionage, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery system technology as well as cyber attacks against critical infrastructure”.
In previous years, the FIS generally only received information about foreign nationals, but not Swiss, who were traveling to Switzerland from the designated locations: Dubai, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Priština, Istanbul, Moscow, Casablanca, Marrakesh, São Paulo, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beijing and Shanghai.
In June 2015, however, the Swiss government granted a FIS request to receive advance passenger information for all passengers arriving on regular and charter flights from the designated locations.
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