On December 5, the Article 29 Working Party published a Working Document on surveillance, electronic communications and national security. The Working Document is specifically intended to address data protection issues arising out of the Snowden revelations that began in 2013 and the bulk data collection activities of various intelligence and security agencies. The Working Document examines the boundaries between the concepts of privacy and national security, and emphasizes the importance of privacy as a fundamental right in the EU. The Working Document concludes that the activities of intelligence and security agencies should not always fall within the scope of the national security exemption under EU data protection law, and that where the meaning of the term “national security” is unclear, the exemption should be construed narrowly.
SCL - The IT Law Community wrote about Article 29 Working Party's Working Document Setting Forth a Co-Operation Procedure for Issuing Common Opinions on "Contractual clauses" Considered as compliant with the EC Model Clauses' which was adopted on 26 November. The Working Document sets out in its introduction the need for a new procedure and recognises some of the current difficulties faced by lawyers in seeking approval.
New research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre shows that shutting down pirate website such as The Pirate Bay is relatively ineffective and potentially counterproductive.
In the working paper entitled “Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behavior, and Market Structure” researchers examined clickstream data to see how legal and illegal consumption habits changed in response to the shutdown. Results show a short-lived decrease in piracy (after which piracy levels return to normal) and only a small increase in the use of legal services.