Feeds

MEPs slate EU's terror assault on our data rights

As EU charter proclaims respect for data rights

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The European Parliament has condemned the EU's fondness for collecting personal information, mining and generating profiles in a resolution slamming the EU and national governments' approach to fighting terrorism.

The resolution was adopted yesterday, with 359 MEPs voting for, 293 against. Another 38 abstained.

The resolution, first proposed at the close of last month, said: "Governments and EU institutions have often responded to terrorist attacks by adopting laws that have not been sufficiently discussed and are sometimes in violation of basic human rights such as the right to privacy or to a fair trial."

MEPs called on the commission and national governments to re-evaluate their response, looking at their effectiveness, "and the positive and negative effects of these laws, both in terms of security and in terms of citizen's rights".

They picked out Commissioner Frattini's recent proposals on passenger name recognition (PNR), saying they will be assessed by the parliament on "evidence based argumentation". The commission's recent proposals have led some to describe the EU as, potentially, the most surveilled place in the world.

PNR has also been a major sticking point between (some in) the EU and the US thanks to Washington's insistence that every non-citizen air passenger to the US be preceded by the sort of information that only the UK's HMRC would be comfortable chucking out to all and sundry.

The resolution specifically condemned the use of PNR and other databases for data mining to build-up profiles, with a reminder it is "not allowed at European level".

"MEPs say that profiling (the use of racial, ethnic, or similar characteristics in determining whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime) should be avoided altogether and raised concerns in this regard on Mr Frattini's new proposal for an EU PNR system," the resolution read.

More broadly, the MEPs called for democratic and parliamentary scrutiny of intelligence services, and demanded the resettlement of Guantanamo prisoners who cannot return to their original countries.

They also proposed "measures to support democracy movements in Islamic countries, including the creation of more student exchanges and funding mass media stations which spread democratic ideas". Is it our imagination, or is that last bit slightly similar to what the neo-cons were advocating before they lost their shirts in Iraq?

The MEP's wide-ranging attack on the EU's approach to fighting terrorism came on the same day the parliament also backed the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 8 of which concerns the protection of personal data. It states:

1. Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.

2. Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified.

3. Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.

Joined-up government... ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.