Feeds

Clarke: Europe must trade civil liberties for security

2-for-1 special?

The essential guide to IT transformation

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke has warned that European citizens will have to accept that civil liberties may have to be bartered away in exchange for protection from terrorists and organised criminals.

Speaking at the European Parliament, he said that the European Convention on Human Rights might need to be changed if judges in European courts did not recognise that the right to life was more important that concerns about privacy.

"If the judges don't understand that message and don't take decisions which reflect where the people of the continent want to be, then the conclusion will be that politicians...will be saying we have got to have a change in this regime," Clarke told reporters.

Clarke will be hosting a two-day meeting with home affairs and justice ministers from across the EU.

Proposed new data retention laws that would require communications providers to retain communications data are top of the agenda for the meeting, despite that fact that the proposals have been declared illegal by lawyers at the European Council and Commission.

Clarke went on to say that Britain would use its presidency of the EU to give authorities more access to information. This, he said, would redress the balance between individual rights and national security.

However, Clarke has acknowledged that the government has failed to make a case for the necessity of the proposals.

Critics argue that the proposed laws would not solve any existing problems. They point out that not having the powers proposed in the data retention bill did not seem to hamper the investigation into the Madrid bombings, nor did it stop the police in the UK from tracking down and arresting in short order the four suspects in the 21 July attacks.

The Home Secretary has also come under heavy fire from European politicians, particularly the Greens and Liberal Democrats.

Graham Watson, leader of the Liberal Democrats told Reuters that the human rights of terrorists and victims of terrorist attacks should not be ranked differently: "Human rights are indivisible. Freedom and security are not alternatives, they go hand-in-hand. Much as the public may dislike it, suspected terrorists have rights." ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?