Tags: Eurosnoops | Want | Invade | Communications | Privacy

Eurosnoops Want to Invade Communications Privacy

Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM

Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and mobile phone operators would be forced to keep the records of every call made, e-mail sent or Web site visited by every citizen in a European Union (EU) member nation for seven years under the sweeping new proposals being submitted to the EU.

The idea has civil libertarians up in arms.

"Authoritarian and totalitarian states would be condemned for violating human rights and civil liberties if they initiated such practices," said Tony Bunyan, editor of Statewatch, a civil liberties and state monitoring group.

"The fact that it is being proposed in the 'democratic' EU does not make it any less authoritarian or totalitarian," Bunyan told BBC reporter Mark Ward.

According to Ward, Statewatch has obtained documents that reveal the EU is being lobbied to abandon its data protection and telecommunications laws and replace them with legislation that give sweeping "snooping" powers to police forces, which would be allowed access to the records during criminal investigations.

Present EU laws require that law enforcement agencies seek permission every time they want to tap electronic communications or search for evidence during investigations. Present laws also restrict the amount of time that communications companies can keep data before it has to be destroyed.

Caspar Bowden, director of Foundation for Information Policy Research, told BBC that the proposed changes in the laws would give the police a "route map" of the people anyone associated with, their contacts and sources, and would significantly erode civil liberties and privacy.

That would include Americans, whose communications with Europeans would be open to European law enforcement agencies through tapping into their own citizens’ communications and Internet activities.

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Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and mobile phone operators would be forced to keep the records of every call made, e-mail sent or Web site visited by every citizen in a European Union (EU) member nation for seven years under the sweeping new...
Eurosnoops,Want,Invade,Communications,Privacy
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2001-00-18
Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM
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