To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how much of this story I actually believe. But anyway, the Telegraph is reporting that "Britons flying to America could have their credit card and email accounts inspected by the United States authorities following a deal struck by Brussels and Washington."
By using a credit card to book a flight, passengers face having other transactions on the card inspected by the American authorities. Providing an email address to an airline could also lead to scrutiny of other messages sent or received on that account.
The extent of the demands were disclosed in "undertakings" given by the US Department of Homeland Security to the European Union and published by the Department for Transport after a Freedom of Information request.
About four million Britons travel to America each year and the released document shows that the US has demanded access to far more data than previously realised.
I'm not surprised by the American desire to get as much information on people as possible — legal or not. But access to people's actual email inboxes is something entirely different, and I'm not convinced that the author of the article got the details right on this one.
Perhaps a log of message headers resides somewhere for government perusal, but an actual wiretap on a specific email account? Seems like a bit of a stretch for even the EU to allow that: and even if they did, is the US really going to snoop on everyone's email? Was there a huge NSA agent recruitment drive lately that we didn't hear about?