The EU is all about bringing down barriers: barriers to movement, to trade, to opportunity. And that needs to continue.
The evidence shows that – within the EU alone – a digital single market could be worth 4% of GDP; that's on average an extra 1500 dollars a year pocket of each of our half a billion citizens. Make that digital single market transatlantic – and the benefits are there to see: for innovation, for prosperity, for freedom.
The intergroup on the Digital Agenda is an informal network of Members of European Parliament, cross-party and cross-nationality, who are interested in digital technologies and in how they can benefit society. “We recognise the profound impact that digital technologies have on the lives of people. We wish to take an active role in shaping that impact and smart policies by improving the knowledge of the functioning and impact of technologies,” says Schaake (ALDE). Weidenholzer (S&D) adds: “The Digital Single Market offers great opportunities. This intergroup will strive for policies that realise the potential while ensuring the privacy and data protection rights of European citizens.”
Once the surveillance law enters in force, the IMSI-catchers (technology used for intercepting communication) can be used by secret services to intercept communication, specifically mobile phone calls. However evidence exists that IMSI-catchers have already been in use, for example during the pursuit of the Kouachi brothers as mentioned by Senator Boutant. Moreover, there is official evidence regarding this purchase by public bodies.
National Assembly Digital Committee fears that the new intelligence bill will enable mass instead of targeted surveillance, especially given the existence of such operating measures as the ‘black-boxes’ and the IMSI-catcher (technology for interception communications), known to have been employed in the NSA practices.
The European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) adopted its Report on “Human rights and technology: the impact of intrusion and surveillance systems on human rights in third countries” on 26 May 2015.
The Report aimed at providing input in order to help create smart European legislation which deals adequately with all the concerns, but at the same time takes into account new technological solutions.
The new Investigatory Powers Bill, announced in yesterday's Queen's Speech, will include legislation to force Internet companies to give access to encrypted conversations of suspected terrorists and criminals. According to The Telegraph: "New laws will require WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, Snapchat and other popular apps to hand messages sent by their users to MI5, MI6 and GCHQ about suspects under investigation."