Thursday, 11 June 2009

EU security proposals are dangerously authoritarian

Civil liberties groups say the new EU proposals would create an EU ID card register, internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.

The radical plans are highly controversial and need powers contained within the Lisbon Treaty. Some EU Officials admit the British and some others will not like it as it moves policy to the EU and further erodes the concept of National frontiers. The information system architecture of Europe-wide police and security databases will create a surveillance state monitored by a secretive new EU Standing Committee for Internal Security, known as COSI, to co-ordinate policy between national forces and EU organisations such as Europol, the Frontex borders agency, the European Gendarmerie Force and the Brussels intelligence sharing Joint Situation Centre or Sitcen.

Civil liberties groups are particularly concerned over "convergence" to standardised European police surveillance techniques and plans to create common data gathering systems to be operated at the EU level. Not only will existing DNA and fingerprint databases be shared across the whole of the EU but also CCTV video footage and material gathered from internet surveillance.

Europe's justice ministers will hold talks on the domestic security policy and surveillance network proposals, known in Brussels circles as the "Stockholm Programme", on July 15 with the aim of finishing work on the EU's first ever internal security policy by the end of 2009. The outcome being a domestic security strategy for the EU, an area once regarded as strictly a national home affairs area of policy.

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