Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

EU sells out civil rights to USA?

Apparently the war on terror is all the excuse a government needs to put the civil rights of it’s citizens out with the trash. The Guardian reports about a secret EU security draft that contains:

  • the sharing of vast amounts of intelligence and informations on EU citizens with the USA
  • pool intelligence on terrorism, develop joint video-surveillance and unmanned drone aircraft
  • start networks of anti-terrorism centres
  • boost the role and powers of an intelligence-coordinating body in Brussels
  • to create an expeditionary corps of armed gendarmerie for paramilitary intervention overseas

The report is drafted -according to the article- by interior and justice ministers from six EU member states: Germany, France, Sweden, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. It says Europe should make up it’s mind:

The EU should make up its mind with regard to the political objective of achieving a Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation with the United States in the field of freedom, security and justice

One ‘problem’ is the current differences in privacy law and data protection regimes, but no doubt that will prove to be a minor hurdle to satisfy the information blood lust. The Guardian is less than optimistic:

The US is already demanding that EU countries sign up for a battery of security measures on transatlantic flights and the supply of personal information on passengers if they are to enjoy visa-free travel to the US. Under one such accord struck in March between Washington and Berlin, the Germans are to make DNA and biometric information on travellers available.

The European Commission and the US homeland security department are also trying to iron out discrepancies in privacy laws to allow the wholesale exchange of data. The aim is to reach a binding international agreement this year or next.

Last month the American Civil Liberties Union wrote to MEPs pressing Brussels to reject US pressure because the US is “a country that, in privacy terms, is all but lawless … US privacy laws are weak. They offer little protection to citizens and virtually none to non-citizens.”

Well, one other reason to make some haste with my research on digital security and privacy.


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One thought on “EU sells out civil rights to USA?

  1. I hate to see the constant diminishing of privacy on this planet…
    And mostly because it’s not because of technology changing but because of world leaders seeing their chance – as nobody seems to care 😦

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