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|Han Speckens on Thu, 8 Nov 2001 19:45:02 +0100 (CET)|
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|[Nettime-nl] Nog meer oorlog tegen de vergissing|
Brave Europese wettekstmakers hebben opnieuw een voorstel gedaan in de voortdurende conspiracy van vergissingen>
EU Law in the War against Error :
Under the legislation, Internet service providers and phone companies would have to retain data on subscribers for months or years. The legislation could also undercut the effectiveness of using encryption to protect private e-mails by giving law enforcement a "back door" to read them.
"That traffic data is really an entire map of your private life," said Casper Bowden, director of London think-tank Foundation for Independent Policy Research. (The proposed legislation) "would provide an astonishingly Orwellian ability of the state to invade people's privacy."
The proposal has been rejected once by the European Parliament but will be reintroduced "under another badge," said Malachy Murphy, co-chair of the Irish Council of Civil Liberties and convener of its e-rights group. "The spin that's being put on it is that these are new proposals, to make them more palatable."
According to European privacy rights group Statewatch in London, the proposal is being disguised as anti-terrorist legislation.
But the surveillance rights that would be provided to law enforcement could affect such areas as "normal political protest," says Statewatch director Tony Bunyan. "Many of the provisions are to do with criminal legislation, and there's not even the pretense that this falls under terrorism," he said.
Even staunch privacy advocates accept that new measures that specifically target terrorists may be needed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I think it's appropriate to consider legislation that would detect and prevent acts of terror," said encryption pioneer Phil Zimmermann, inventor of the widely used Pretty Good Privacy encryption standard and head cryptographer with Dublin, Ireland's e-mail security company Hush Communications. "But I think the act we did pass went beyond that. It went by so fast that it wasn't debated as thoroughly as it should have been."