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Routine journeys carried out by millions of British motorists can be monitored by authorities in the United States and other enforcement agencies across the world under anti-terrorism rules introduced discreetly by Jacqui Smith.
A statement by Miss Smith to Parliament on July 17, 2007, detailing the exemptions for police from the 1998 Data Protection Act, did not mention other changes that would permit material to be sent outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to the authorities in the US and elsewhere.
Her permission to do so was hidden away in an earlier "special certificate" signed by the Home Secretary on July 4.