Feeds

Clarke: Europe must trade civil liberties for security

2-for-1 special?

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.