Feeds

MEPs urge govs: Set up surveillance register

Watchers must be seen to be watched

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Governments should create a list of all organisations that track internet use and produce an annual report on internet surveillance, the European Parliament has said.

The Parliament also said that users' online activity should not be monitored in the fight against piracy.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted by a huge majority to adopt a policy statement on the freedoms citizens do and should have online. The statement calls on the European Commission and national governments to take action to protect free speech and halt the intrusion of criminals and industry into private communications.

"[We] urge the Member States to identify all entities which use Net Surveillance and to draw up publicly accessible annual reports on Net Surveillance ensuring legality, proportionality and transparency," said the statement.

MEPs said that governments should be aware of the problems that might arise as people's internet traffic is increasingly monitored for commercial purposes.

"[Governments should] recognise the danger of certain forms of Internet surveillance and control aimed also at tracking every 'digital' step of an individual, with the aim of providing a profile of the user and of assigning 'scores';" it said.

They should "make clear the fact that such techniques should always be assessed in terms of their necessity and their proportionality in the light of the objectives they aim to achieve; [and] emphasise also the need for an enhanced awareness and informed consent of users with respect to their e-activities involving the sharing of personal data."

The Parliament said that when it comes to ensuring that intellectual property rights are respected, Governments should make sure that the interests of business do not trump the rights of individuals.

In relation to IP rights they should be prohibiting "the systematic monitoring and surveillance of all users' activities on the Internet, and ensuring that the penalties are proportionate to the infringements committed," the resolution said.

"Within this context, [they should] also respect the freedom of expression and association of individual users and combat the incentives for cyber-violations of intellectual property rights, including certain excessive access restrictions placed by intellectual property holders themselves," it said.

The Parliament was concerned about the rights that internet users might be expected to give up in return for using online services. It said that governments should set limits on how much their privacy can be invaded in return for internet services.

"[Governments should] examine and prescribe limits to the 'consent' that can be requested of and extracted from users, whether by governments or by private companies, to relinquish part of their privacy, as there is a clear imbalance of negotiating power and of knowledge between individual users and such institutions," it said.

The resolution also called on governments to step up the protection of children from sexual predators and called on the European Commission to produce a policy to prevent cybercrime and identity theft.

See: The resolution

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
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
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
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

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.