Untargeted, secret and sometimes even illegal mass surveillance programs…European Parliament Report finds that state snooping goes beyond that needed to fight terrorism

Posted: 12 January, 2014 in Internet Snooping
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Read more Liberty News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from dw.de
See European Parliament Report [pdf] from statewatch.org

European Parliament logoThe European Parliament has wrapped up its inquiry into mass surveillance. In a draft report, politicians are being hard on all sides – the US government, the NSA, but also on hesitant EU governments and companies.The report says that the recent revelations in the press by whistleblowers and journalists, together with the expert evidence given during the inquiry, have resulted in:

Compelling evidence of the existence of far-reaching, complex and highly technologically advanced systems designed by US and some Member States’ intelligence services to collect, store and analyze communication and location data and metadata of all citizens around the world on an unprecedented scale and in an indiscriminate and non-suspicion-based manner.

The authors explicitly point at Britain’s signals intelligence agency GCHQ and its upstream surveillance activity (Tempora program) as well as decryption program (Edgehill), and add that it’s quite likely that programs of a similar nature as the NSA’s and GCHQ’s exist – even if on a more limited scale – in countries like France, Germany and Sweden:

The fight against terrorism can never in itself be a justification for untargeted, secret and sometimes even illegal mass surveillance programs.

Claude Moraes and his fellow rapporteurs showed themselves unconvinced that the NSA’s only goal is the fight against terrorism, as the US government has claimed. In their draft report, European politicians suspect that there are instead other power motives, such as political and economic espionage.

Moraes wrote that privacy is not a luxury right, but the … foundation stone of a free and democratic society. Above all, the draft report condemns the vast, systemic, blanket collection of the personal data of innocent people.

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