A BRACE OF EUROPEAN DIGITAL RIGHTS GROUPS have written to the European Parliament and demanded that it end lawless internet surveillance.
The European Digital Rights group (EDRI) and the Fundamental Rights European Experts Group (FREE) have submitted a dossier of documents to the European Parliament in which they detailed where and when they claimed digital surveillance has been overextended, overbearing and unlawful.
"In light of recent revelations, which have profoundly undermined trust in online communications tools, there is an urgent need for transparency, predictability and proportionality," they said.
"In the United States, new laws are needed at federal level to provide much stricter rules, to strictly limit the scope of administrative subpoenas, to strengthen open judicial warrants and rulings, and full democratic control, in accordance with international human rights and privacy/data protection standards. Specifically, we demand that when such laws are in place, they should afford equal protection, overseen by truly independent Data Protection authorities, to US and non-US citizens."
The concerns follow revelations about the internet surveillance dragnets PRISM and Tempora, the detention of David Miranda and enough blown whistles to referee a particularly rough game of football.
The two groups expressed a range of concerns and demanded that Europe and the US come together and come clean on where and when surveillance in imposed.
"Only by following [our] recommendations can trust be re-built - trust that laws that protect individuals' fundamental rights are not being broken, trust that democratic decision-making is not being subverted and undermined, trust that societies that claim to be free do not monitor all of their citizens," they wrote.
Their demands include full disclosure of internet surveillance practices, and that when it is practiced that it be performed in accordance with European laws.
The groups are likely to find receptive ears in the European Parliament, as in July it voted to launch its own investigation. In Europe, the European Commission and Germany in particular have been very vocal in their opposition to surveillance programmes such as PRISM and Tempora.
EDRI is an umbrella group that represents the interests of over 20 consumer rights parties. µ
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