A number of officials and ministers are calling for expanded surveillance and security powers in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.
The head of the UK’s domestic intelligence service MI5, Andrew Parker, on Thursday (8 January) said it needs greater snooping powers to stop Islamist militants from carrying out attacks in Britain.
Parker said some privacy rules need to be roll backed in order for the agency to properly conduct its operations, warning more attacks are “highly likely”, reports the Guardian newspaper.
The EU’s passenger name record bill has been stuck in the European Parliament since 2013 after MEPs in the committee voted it down. The bill requires airlines to hand over to the police the personal details of anyone flying into the EU.
Civil liberty defenders question the mass surveillance aspect that underpins the bill, noting that the European Court of Justice last year ruled against data retention. But pressure to get it signed has intensified since the attack in Paris against Charlie Hebdo, with France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve now lobbying individual MEPs. On Wednesday (4 February), he arrived at the European Parliament in Brussels where he spoke to lead MEPs from the committee on reaching a compromise.
More than 20 digital and civil rights organizations have endorsed a joint statement calling on world leaders political leaders not to expand surveillance measures in wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.
Over 30 digital and civil liberties organisations from around the world have endorsed a joint statement calling on the world’s governments not to expand surveillance measures in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. In addition to European Digital Rights (EDRi), signatories include Article19, digitalcourage, IT-pol, Vrijschrift, La Quadrature du Net, Panoptykon, Initiative für Netzfreiheit, FITUG e.V., Alternative Informatics Association, ORG, EFF, Effi, APTI, and Access.
France's government is pressing a surveillance bill that would give French intelligence services legal backing to vacuum up metadata in hopes of preventing an imminent terror attack.
The bill "would pave the way for extremely intrusive surveillance practices with no judicial pre-authorization," the organization Amnesty International said in a statement.
The bill was proposed long before the deadly Paris attacks by Islamic extremists earlier this year, but the government says it takes on added urgency with each person who radicalizes and turns against France.
The French authorities have used new powers to block five websites, which they claim condone terrorism, without a court order. Internet service providers have 24 hours to comply. The chairman of European Internet Service Provider OVH tweeted that his firm had not been given any warning. The new powers apply to sites suspected of commissioning or advocating terrorism or distributing indecent images of children.