www.nettime.org
Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-nl] PRESS RELEASE - European privacy and civil liberties organi
Maurice Wessling on Sat, 22 Sep 2001 12:37:24 +0200 (CEST)


[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-nl] PRESS RELEASE - European privacy and civil liberties organisations urge European leaders to defend citizens' freedoms



Press release

21 September 2001


European privacy and civil liberties organisations urge European
leaders to defend citizens' freedoms


Seven European privacy and civil liberties organisations have urged
European leaders to defend citizens' freedoms in the wake of the
attack on the USA. In an open letter to the extraordinary informal
meeting of the European Council scheduled for Friday evening in
Brussels the organisations ask European leaders to refrain from new
and extended communications interception and lawful access powers for
police forces and intelligences services.

The organisations from Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and
the United Kingdom question the effectiveness and proportionality of
such capabilities and warn against the grave loss of privacy that
those measures would lead to.

The open letter also urges to defend and promote the right of private
and secure communications through the use of encryption. "To restrict
the use of cryptography will negatively affect the security of our
communications infrastructure, further damage trust in our economy,
and will restrict the rights of individuals, without affecting the
capabilities of terrorists. We urge Europe's leaders to carefully take
the recommendations of the European parliament regarding the Echelon
report into account and stimulate the use of open-source encryption
technology."


The full text of the letter
---------------------------

21 September 2001

Open letter to the European Council


European privacy and civil liberties organisations urge European
leaders to defend citizens' freedoms


The terrorist attacks on the U.S. did not only target human lives and
property but also the essential values of freedom in open societies.
Political leaders in Europe will now wish to enhance the security of
their countries and protect the public from further wrongdoing. We
urge them to take this opportunity to defend the freedom and the
rights of Europe's citizens.

European privacy and civil liberties organisations urge Europe's
leaders to refrain from new and extended communications interception
and lawful access powers for police forces and intelligences services.
We question the effectiveness and proportionality of such capabilities
and warn against the grave loss of privacy that those measures would
lead to.

We support the recommendations of the European Parliament regarding
Echelon. The existence of the Echelon system did not provide
intelligence services with information about the attacks in the U.S.,
and as a result we are concerned that Echelon and similar systems
threaten the rights of all European citizens without achieving their
stated goals. It is not likely that more legal possibilities and
funding for signals intelligence would change the current situation.

We urge Europe's leaders to defend and promote the right of private
and secure communications through the use of encryption. To restrict
the use of cryptography will negatively affect the security of our
communications infrastructure, further damage trust in our economy,
and will restrict the rights of individuals, without affecting the
capabilities of terrorists. We urge Europe's leaders to carefully take
the recommendations of the European parliament regarding the Echelon
report into account and stimulate the use of open-source encryption
technology.

Also we urge European leaders not to implement legislation that
mandates internet and telecommunication service providers to retain
traffic data for law enforcement purposes. Retention of traffic data
will in effect transform our communications infrastructure into a
surveillance system that records intimate details of the personal life
of all citizens.

We, the undersigned European NGOs concerned with privacy and civil
liberties, look forward to working with Europe's leaders on these
issues. As we all deliberate on how to proceed and the lessons we may
have learned from the sad events in the U.S., we must resist the
political temptation to act hastily.

Signed by,


Bits of Freedom
Netherlands
http://www.bof.nl
+31204686451
info {AT} bof.nl

Chaos Computer Club
Germany
http://www.ccc.de
+493030871715
presse {AT} ccc.de

Digital Rights
Denmark
http://www.digitalrights.dk
+4526227133
phs {AT} digitalrights.dk

Fitug
Germany
http://www.fitug.de
+498999637991
info {AT} fitug.de

Foundation for Information Policy Research
UK
http://www.fipr.org
+442073542333
cb {AT} fipr.org

Privacy International
UK
http://www.privacyinternational.org
+447958466552
pi {AT} privacy.org

Quintessenz
Austria
http://www.quintessenz.at
+4369911213011
h {AT} quintessenz.at


______________________________________________________
* Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet
* toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een
* open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek.
* Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities:
* http://www.nettime.org/.
* Contact: Menno Grootveld (rabotnik {AT} xs4all.nl).