National governments are unraveling a EU data protection bill for the benefit of big business, according to leaked documents published by pro-privacy campaigners.
Raegan MacDonald, European policy manager at Access, accused the member states of “carving out so many loopholes there’ll soon be nothing left.”
Today, leading digital rights organizations — including Access, EDRi, Privacy International, and Panoptykon — published new leaked documents showing that European Union member states are working to undermine the right to personal data protection for citizens.
German diplomatic cables and thousands of pages of leaked classified EU documents reveal behind-the-scenes efforts by governments to weaken the EU’s data protection bill.
LobbyPlag.eu, which obtained the cables and documents, on Tuesday (10 March), found that 132 of 151 (87%) changes by member states lowered privacy protections.
Leaked copies of the upcoming Digital Single Market Strategy and its supporting Evidence file show the European Commission is ready to propose vast regulatory reforms that could affect everything from sales taxes and e-privacy to Internet searches and big data.
The UK government is planning to push greater surveillance powers that would force internet providers to monitor communications in near-realtime and install backdoor equipment to break encryption, according to a leaked document.
The terrorist attack in Manchester on 22 May has led to a relaunch of the encryption debate in the UK.
In December 2016, the UK parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Act. This wide-ranging surveillance law gives government ministers the power to issue Technical Capability Notices (TCNs), which can force companies to modify their products.