Monday, October 26, 2009

EU're (sorry - couldn't resist) being watched


We've published a new briefing today, called "How the EU is watching you: the rise of Europe's surveillance state", looking at the growing impact the EU is having on civil liberties. Click here to read the press release.

There are lots of juicy proposals in the pipeline including: a target to train a third of all police officers across the EU in a “common culture” of policing; the mass collection and sharing of personal data including DNA records into an EU-wide database; controversial surveillance techniques including ‘cyber patrols’; the creation of a fledgling ‘EU Home Office’ with powers to decide on cooperation on police, border, immigration and criminal justice issues; an EU “master plan” on information exchange; the transfer of criminal proceedings among EU member states; a three-fold increase in the number of controversial EU arrest warrants; access to other member states’ national tax databases; and EU laws on citizens’ right to internet access.

The Lisbon Treaty's ratification, which is looking increasingly imminent, will see the amount and scope of EU justice and home affairs legislation increase further. National governments will lose their veto, while the European Court of Justice will be given the power to overrule national courts in this area for the first time.

It is however also important to understand the role the UK Government has played in the growth of the EU's policies in this field. It was the UK, for instance, that pushed the EU's Data Retention Directive, which requires telecoms companies to store information regarding every phone call we make, or text message and email we send.

I guess the EU and the Government could argue they are finally "listening to" their citizens, but this isn't quite what we had in mind.

3 comments:

George said...

All I can say is that we in Britain have not been allowed an opportunity to make our feelings heard because of an unelected person in government,this is unfair and we should not have the EU thrusting their laws and regulations upon us without our agreement, which they DO NOT HAVE.
Surely it has to be illegal to change our laws here in England if we 'The people of England'have been kept out of our legal right to vote, and anything being thrust upon us can then be refused.
I just hope that when David Cameron gets to be Prime minister he takes away all of these rules and we can again become "Great Britain" instead of the becoming 'the weak dog of Europe.

Ray.C said...

Today we have heard that the treaty will be reterfired and that Mr Cameron say that he will not hold a referendum if he becomes the PM, This has made me very angry, we the people of this country has had all its rights taken away from us I'd lke to know where our democracy has gone, we now know why Mr Brown wouldn't call for an eletion he knew that if he did and Mr Cameron did come to power then the people would have had their say which was something he didn't want.

Richard said...

To my knowledge there are only two other countries in the world that make their laws behind closed doors; Cuba and China. It seems lunacy to allow so much power to so few people. There seem to be no checks and balances that a normal healthy democracy should have. I love the idea of a closer Europe, but that is not what is being created here. A monster of waste, corruption and conceit has been shoved down our throats. The open disdainful arrogance, the condescending, patronizing almost mocking view they have for the opinions of the electorate beggars belief.