EU wants internet firms to hand over encryption keys
Thu 22 Jan 2015, 11:00

A top EU official wants internet and telecommunication companies to hand over encryption keys to police and spy agencies as part of a wider crackdown on terrorism.

The EU’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove, in a document leaked by London-based civil liberties group Statewatch, says the European Commission should come up with rules that require the firms to help national governments snoop on possible suspects.

Europe reverses course on net neutrality legislation
Thu 12 Mar 2015, 14:07

Less than a year after the European Parliament voted to enshrine net neutrality in law, the principle has come under attack by the European Commission.

A package of reforms put together by former Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes was voted through parliament in March 2014. It included strong safeguards for net neutrality, banning service providers from blocking or slowing internet services provided by competitors.

But a majority of the 28 EU member states in the European council have now voted in favour of changing the rules to bar discrimination in internet access but allow the prioritisation of some "specialised" services that required high quality internet access to function.

EDRi critics the EU approach on net neutrality
Wed 3 Dec 2014, 20:00

A few weeks ago, the European Parliament had a strong position on net neutrality after adopting its first reading of the Telecoms Single Market Regulation in April. Meanwhile, the Council does not have an agreed position on the subject. Also, since the beginning of November, the new European Commission has taken office, with “better regulation” at the centre of its stated priorities. However, despite the efforts of the Parliament to improve the previous Commission's net neutrality proposals, there are persistent rumours that the new Commission may withdraw it.

EDRi has re-launched their campaign platform savetheinternet.eu and they ask everyone to play their part. They also wrote to the Council of the EU and issued a press release.

Europe calls for swift passage of law to collect flight passengers’ data
Wed 28 Jan 2015, 20:20

The European executive on Wednesday called for the prompt passage of legislation to collect and retain information on anyone flying into or out of the EU, as part of a package of counter-terror policies following the jihadi attacks in Paris and alleged foiled terrorist murders in Belgium.

A European commission note seen by the Guardian calls for the swift adoption of the collection of passenger name records, including bank details, mobile numbers and meal preferences, for those flying in and out of the EU and their retention for up to five years for access by the police and security services.

US demands seizure from Irish server
Tue 9 Dec 2014, 14:20

U.S. demands to seize emails stored on a Microsoft server in Ireland. According to the district court, the location of the data is not relevant and seeking cooperation with Irish authorities is not necessary for a warrant’s powers to reach abroad. However, there is “no way” the U.S. government would accept the reasoning the district court is using if other countries wanted to access data stored on U.S. soil, Microsoft said in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday. If the warrant is carried out it would open the door to such seizures in the U.S., endangering the privacy of U.S. citizens, Microsoft said. The Irish government asked the European Commission for legal aid in the case.

Two MEPs voted againts closed sessions on Safe Harbour
Thu 11 Dec 2014, 19:00

Eu Observer reports that MEP German Cornelia Ernst along with Dutch liberal Sophie In't Veld voted to suspend the so-called in-camera session on Safe Harbour. In-camera sessions are not open to the public. It also means MEPs are under threat of sanctions should they discuss the issue outside the room.

Safe Harbour is enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission and is supposed to ensure US firms follow EU data protection laws when processing the personal data of EU citizens. Last November, the former EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding published 13 recommendations that the Americans needed to implement in order to keep the agreement viable. The commission official, invited to update the MEPs on the negotiations, revealed that Washington has an issue with three of the 13 recommendations.