Mass Surveillance of Personal Data by EU Member States and its Compatibility with EU Law

by Didier Bigo, Sergio Carrera, Nicholas Hernanz, Julien Jeandesboz, Joanna Parkin, Francesco Ragazzi , Amandine Scherrer

In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this paper assesses the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: the UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Given the large-scale nature of these practices, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the paper contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of the balance between data protection versus national security, but has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy.

It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations.

The paper argues that these programmes do not stand outside the realm of EU intervention but can be analysed from an EU law perspective via

i) an understanding of national security in a democratic rule of law framework where fundamental human rights and judicial oversight constitute key norms;

ii) the risks posed to the internal security of the Union as a whole as well as the privacy of EU citizens as data owners and

iii) the potential spillover into the activities and responsibilities of EU agencies. The paper then presents a set of policy recommendations to the European Parliament.

To access the complete document

Download PDF

Articles by: Global Research News

Related content:

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]