Feeds

The EU is out to get you, after all

Watch your liberties, Statewatch warns

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Apologies - from The Register, no less - for appearing to give the impression that the latest piece of Euro-surveillance was not actually part of an ongoing dastardly plot to have each and every one of us "pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed and, er, numbered".

Half an apology, perhaps. We reported recently that the European Parliamentary Transport Committee plans to put in place a scheme to pass data back and forth across national boundaries. Trojan horse for future spying? Or just reasonable concern over road safety?

We opted then, and still do, for the latter. However, a report, The State of Things to Come (pdf), published last week by Statewatch, suggests otherwise. Statewatch is a voluntary organisation committed to monitoring the state and civil liberties in Europe, which it has been doing since its establishment in 1991.

The Statewatch report is a formal response to a report (pdf) by the EU "Future Group", billed as the work of the Informal High Level Advisory Group on the Future of European Home Affairs Policy. This outlines a five year EU strategy for justice and home affairs and security policy for 2009-2014.

The proposals in the EU report include a range of extremely controversial measures including techniques and technologies of surveillance and enhanced cooperation with the United States.

The Shape of Things to Come examines these proposals in some depth. Their focus, however, is on three highly worrying aspects of what might be described as geek-driven policy making.

First is that one of the drivers fundamentally altering the balance between state and individual is technology itself. As we has previously noted - in the area of CCTV, for instance - the fact that we can carry out more accurate surveillance and monitoring is argument enough for doing so.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch director and author of this report, gives the example of a recent debate about the age at which children should be fingerprinted for passports.

"This debate," he explained, "was carried out in a committee that deals with technical issues. It was totally devoid of any moral or political input."

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
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.
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.