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[liberationtech] Followup Europarl resolution on surveillance

Andre Rebentisch tabesin at
Tue Oct 27 05:29:05 PDT 2015


this resolution voted at todays's Strassbourg Seance agenda may be of
your interest.


European Parliament resolution on the follow-up to the European
Parliament resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass
surveillance of EU citizens (2015/2635(RSP))   B8‑1092/2015

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to [...]
A.  whereas in the resolution Parliament called on the US authorities
and the Member States to prohibit blanket mass surveillance activities
and bulk processing of personal data of citizens, and denounced the
reported actions by intelligence services that have severely affected EU
citizens’ trust and their fundamental rights; whereas the resolution
pointed towards the possible existence of other motives such as
political and economic espionage, given the capacity of the reported
mass surveillance programmes;

B.  whereas the resolution launched ‘A European Digital Habeas Corpus -
protecting fundamental rights in a digital age’, with eight specific
actions, and instructed the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and
Home Affairs to address Parliament within one year with a view to
assessing the extent to which the recommendations have been followed;

C.  whereas the working document of 19 January 2015 reported on
developments since the adoption of the resolution, with the stream of
revelations of alleged electronic mass surveillance activities
continuing, and on the state of implementation of the proposed ‘European
Digital Habeas Corpus’, indicating the limited response of the
institutions, Member States and stakeholders called upon to act;

D.  whereas in the resolution Parliament called on the Commission and
other EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies to act on the
recommendations, in accordance with Article 265 TFEU (‘failure to act’);

E.  whereas Wikileaks recently revealed the targeted surveillance of the
communications of the last three French Presidents as well as of French
cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the US; whereas this
strategic and economic espionage has been carried out on a large scale
over the last ten years by the NSA, targeted on all the French state
structures as well as the biggest French companies;

F.  whereas the report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression states that
encryption and anonymity provide the privacy and security necessary for
the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the
digital age; whereas that report also states that any restrictions on
encryption and anonymity must be strictly limited in accordance with the
principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and legitimacy of

1.  Welcomes the inquiries by the German Bundestag, the Council of
Europe, the UN and the Brazilian Senate, the debates in several other
national parliaments and the work of numerous civil society actors that
have contributed to the raising of general awareness regarding
electronic mass surveillance;

2.  Is, however, highly disappointed by the overall lack of sense of
urgency and willingness shown by most Member States and the EU
institutions in terms of seriously addressing the issues raised in the
resolution and implementing the concrete recommendations contained
therein, as well as by the lack of transparency towards or dialogue with

3.  Is concerned at some of the recent laws in some Member States that
extend surveillance capabilities of intelligence bodies, including, in
France, the new intelligence law adopted by the National Assembly on 24
June 2015, several provisions of which, according to the Commission,
raise important legal questions, in the UK, the adoption of the Data
Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 and the subsequent court
decision that certain articles were unlawful and to be disapplied, and,
in the Netherlands, the proposals for new legislation to update the
Intelligence and Security Act of 2002; reiterates its call on all Member
States to ensure that their current and future legislative frameworks
and oversight mechanisms governing the activities of intelligence
agencies are in line with the standards of the European Convention on
Human Rights and all relevant Union legislation; asks the Commission to
launch without delay an assessment of all provisions of the French
intelligence law and to determine its compliance with European primary
and secondary law;

4.  Welcomes the inquiry by the German Bundestag into mass surveillance;
is strongly concerned about the revelations of mass surveillance of
telecommunications and internet traffic inside the Union by the German
foreign intelligence agency BND in cooperation with the NSA; considers
this a breach of the principle of sincere cooperation under Article 4(3)

5.  Asks its President to call on the Secretary-General of the Council
of Europe to launch the Article 52 procedure, according to which ‘on
receipt of a request from the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe
any High Contracting Party shall furnish an explanation of the manner in
which its internal law ensures the effective implementation of any of
the provisions of the Convention’;

6.  Considers the Commission’s reaction so far to the resolution to be
highly inadequate given the extent of the revelations; calls on the
Commission to act on the calls made in the resolution by December 2015
at the latest; reserves the right to bring an action for failure to act
or to place certain budgetary resources for the Commission in a reserve
until all the recommendations have been properly addressed;

7.  Stresses the significance of the ruling of the Court of Justice of
the European Union (CJEU) of 8 April 2014 declaring invalid Directive
2006/24/EC on Data Retention; recalls that the Court stipulated that the
interference of this instrument with the fundamental right to privacy
has to be limited to what is strictly necessary;

Data Protection Package

8.  Welcomes the opening of informal interinstitutional negotiations on
the draft General Data Protection Regulation and the Council’s adoption
of a general approach on the draft Data Protection Directive; reiterates
its intention to conclude negotiations on the Data Protection Package in

9.  Reminds the Council of its commitment to respect the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union in its amendments to the
Commission proposals; reiterates in particular that the level of
protection offered should not be lower than that already established by
Directive 95/46/EC;

10.  Stresses that both the Data Protection Regulation and the Data
Protection Directive are necessary to protect the fundamental rights of
individuals, and that the two must therefore be treated as a package to
be adopted simultaneously, in order to ensure that all data processing
activities in the EU provide a high level of protection in all
circumstances; underlines that the objective of strengthening the rights
and protections of individuals with regard to the processing of their
personal data must be met when adopting the package;

EU-US umbrella agreement

11.  Notes that since the adoption of the resolution the negotiations
with the US on the EU-US framework agreement on the protection of
personal data when transferred and processed for law enforcement
purposes (hereinafter the ‘umbrella agreement’) have been completed and
the draft agreement has been initialled;

12.  Welcomes the efforts by the US administration to rebuild trust
through the umbrella agreement, as well as the fact that the Judicial
Redress Act of 2015 has been put before Congress; considers it of
paramount importance to ensure the same rights in all the same
circumstances of effective judicial redress for EU citizens/individuals
whose personal data are processed in the EU and transferred to the US,
without any discrimination between EU and US citizens; calls on Congress
to pass legislation guaranteeing this; underlines that one prerequisite
for signature and conclusion of the umbrella agreement is the adoption
of the Judicial Redress Act in the US Congress;

Safe Harbour

13.  Recalls that the resolution calls for the immediate suspension of
the Safe Harbour Decision as it does not provide adequate protection of
personal data for EU citizens;

14.  Recalls that the Commission addressed 13 recommendations to the US
in its communications of 27 November 2013 on the functioning of the Safe
Harbour, in order to ensure an adequate level of protection;

15.  Welcomes that in its ruling of 6 October 2015 the CJEU declared
invalid the Commission Adequacy Decision 2000/520 on the US Safe
Harbour; stresses that this ruling has confirmed the long-standing
position of Parliament regarding the lack of an adequate level of
protection under this instrument; calls on the Commission to immediately
take the necessary measures to ensure that all personal data transferred
to the US are subject to an effective level of protection that is
essentially equivalent to that guaranteed in the EU;

16.  Objects to the fact that Parliament has not received any formal
communication from the Commission regarding the state of implementation
of the 13 recommendations, despite the Commission’s announcement that it
would do so by summer 2014; underlines that, following the CJEU’s
decision to invalidate Decision 2000/520, it is now urgent that the
Commission provide a thorough update on the negotiations thus far and
the impact of the judgment on the further negotiations that were
announced; invites the Commission to reflect immediately on alternatives
to Safe Harbour and on the impact of the judgment on any other
instruments under Directive 1995/46/EC for the transfer of personal data
to the US, and to report on the matter by the end of 2015;

17.  Notes that the suspension of the Safe Harbour Decision has been
presented by the Commission as an ‘option’ to be considered if there is
no satisfactory solution to the problems identified; invites the
Commission to reflect on alternatives to Safe Harbour, and to report on
the matter by the end of 2015;

Democratic oversight

18.  While fully respecting that national parliaments have full
competence in the oversight of national intelligence services, calls on
all those national parliaments which have not yet done so to thoroughly
evaluate and install meaningful oversight of intelligence activities and
to ensure that such oversight committees/bodies have sufficient
resources, technical expertise and legal means and access to all
relevant documents in order to be able to effectively and independently
oversee intelligence services and information exchanges with other
foreign intelligence services; re-expresses its commitment to cooperate
closely with national parliaments to ensure that effective oversight
mechanisms are in place including by sharing best practices and common

19.  Intends to follow up the Conference on the Democratic oversight of
Intelligence Services in the European Union, held on 28 and 29 May 2015,
and to continue its efforts aimed at ensuring the sharing of best
practices on intelligence oversight, in close coordination with national
parliaments; welcomes the joint concluding remarks of the co-chairs of
this conference declaring their intention to convene a follow-up
conference in two years’ time;

20.  Considers that the existing tools for cooperation among oversight
bodies, for instance the European Network of National Intelligence
Reviewers (ENNIR), should be supported and their use should be
increased, possibly by making use of the potential of IPEX for the
exchange of information between national parliaments, in compliance with
its scope and technical capacity;

21.  Stresses that a common definition of ‘national security’ is needed
for the EU and its Member States to ensure legal certainty; notes that
the lack of a clear definition allows for arbitrariness and abuses of
fundamental rights and the rule of law by executives and intelligence
communities in the EU;

22.  Encourages the Commission and the Member States to introduce sunset
and extension provisions in legislation that allows the collection of
personal data or the surveillance of European citizens; stresses that
such provisions are essential safeguards for ensuring that an instrument
which is invasive for privacy is regularly scrutinised as regards its
necessity and proportionality in a democratic society;

Rebuilding trust

23.  Stresses that a healthy EU-US relationship remains absolutely vital
for both partners; notes that revelations about surveillance have
undermined public support for the relationship, and stresses that
measures need to be taken to ensure that trust is rebuilt, in particular
in the light of the current urgent need for cooperation on a large
number of geopolitical issues of common concern; emphasises in this
context that a negotiated solution between the US and the EU as a whole,
respecting fundamental rights, needs to be found;

24.  Welcomes the recent legislative and judicial decisions taken in the
US to limit mass surveillance by the NSA, including the adoption of the
USA Freedom Act in Congress without any amendments as the result of
bicameral and bipartisan compromise, and the ruling of the Second
Circuit Court of Appeals on the NSA’s telephone record collection
programme; regrets, however, the fact that these decisions focus mainly
on US persons while the situation of EU citizens remains the same;

25.  Considers that any decision to use surveillance technology should
be based on a thorough assessment of necessity and proportionality;
welcomes the results of the SURVEILLE research project, which offers a
methodology for assessing surveillance technologies taking legal,
ethical and technological considerations into account;

26.  Emphasises that the EU should contribute to the development of
international standards/principles at UN level, in line with the UN
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in order to create
a global framework for data protection, including specific limitations
with regard to collection for national security purposes;

27.  Is convinced that only if credible norms are established at the
global level can a ‘surveillance arms race’ be avoided;

Private companies

28.  Welcomes the initiatives of the private ICT sector in terms of
developing cryptographic security solutions and internet services that
improve privacy; encourages the continued development of user-friendly
application settings helping customers manage what information they
share with whom and how; notes that various companies have also
announced plans to enable end-to-end encryption in response to mass
surveillance revelations;

29.  Reiterates that under Article 15(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC Member
States shall not impose a general obligation on providers of
transmission, storage and hosting services to monitor the information
which they transmit or store, nor a general obligation actively to seek
facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity; recalls in
particular that the CJEU, in its Judgments C-360/10 and C-70/10,
rejected measures for the ‘active monitoring’ of almost all users of the
services concerned (internet access providers in one case, a social
network in the other) and specified that any injunction requiring a
hosting services provider to undertake general monitoring shall be

30.  Welcomes the publication of transparency reports by IT and
telecommunications companies about government demands for user data;
calls on the Member States to publish statistics on their requests to
private companies for private user information;

The TFTP agreement

31.  Is disappointed that the Commission disregarded Parliament’s clear
call for the suspension of the TFTP agreement, given that no clear
information was given to clarify whether SWIFT data would have been
accessed outside TFTP by any other US government body; intends to take
this into account when considering giving consent to future
international agreements;

Other personal data exchange with third countries

32.  Stresses its position that all agreements, mechanisms and adequacy
decisions for exchanges with third countries involving personal data
require rigorous monitoring and immediate follow-up action by the
Commission as the guardian of the Treaties;

33.  Welcomes the EU-US Riga statement of 3 June 2015 on enhancing
transatlantic cooperation in the area of freedom, security and justice,
in which the signatories committed to enhancing the implementation of
the US-EU Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement (MLAT), to concluding its
review as foreseen by the Agreement, and to conducting workshops to
discuss the issues concerned with the competent national authorities;
underlines that MLATs are the instrument on the basis of which law
enforcement authorities of Member States should cooperate with
authorities of third countries; calls, in this regard, on the Member
States and the US government to adhere to the above-mentioned
commitments with a view to a swift conclusion of the US-EU MLAT review;

34.  Calls on the Commission to report to Parliament by the end of 2015
on the gaps identified in different instruments used for international
data transfers as regards access by law enforcement and intelligence
services of third countries, and on the means to address those gaps so
as to ensure the continuity of the required adequate protection of EU
personal data transferred to third countries;

Protection of the rule of law and the fundamental rights of EU citizens
/ enhanced protection for whistleblowers and journalists

35.  Considers that EU citizens’ fundamental rights remain in danger and
that too little has been done to ensure their full protection in case of
electronic mass surveillance; regrets the limited progress in ensuring
the protection of whistleblowers and journalists;

36.  Deplores the fact that many mass and large-scale intelligence
programmes seem to be also driven by the economic interests of the
companies that develop and run those programmes, as was the case with
the ending of the NSA’s targeted ‘Thinthread’ programme and its
replacement by the large-scale surveillance programme ‘Trailblazer’,
which was outsourced to SAIC in 2001;

37.  Reiterates its serious concern regarding the work within the
Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention Committee on the
interpretation of Article 32 of the Convention on Cybercrime of 23
November 2001 (Budapest Convention) with regard to transborder access to
stored computer data with consent or where publicly available, and
opposes any conclusion of an additional protocol or guidance intended to
broaden the scope of this provision beyond the current regime
established by this Convention, which is already a major exception to
the principle of territoriality as it could result in unfettered remote
access by law enforcement authorities to servers and computers located
in other jurisdictions without recourse to MLA agreements or other
instruments of judicial cooperation put in place to guarantee the
fundamental rights of the individual, including data protection and due
process; underlines that the EU has exercised its competence in the area
of cybercrime and that the prerogatives of both the Commission and
Parliament should therefore be respected;

38.  Regrets that the Commission has not responded to Parliament’s
request to conduct an examination as to a comprehensive European
whistleblower protection programme, and calls on the Commission to
present a communication on this subject, by the end of 2016 at the latest;

39.  Welcomes the resolution adopted on 23 June 2015 by the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on ‘Improving the
protection of whistleblowers’, and in particular its point 9 on the
importance of whistleblowing to ensure that legal limits placed on
surveillance are respected, and its point 10 calling on the EU to enact
whistle blower protection laws, also covering employees of national
security or intelligence services and of private firms working in this
field, and to grant asylum, as far as possible under national law, to
whistleblowers threatened by retaliation in their home countries,
provided their disclosures qualify for protection under the principles
advocated by the Assembly;


40.  Stresses that mass surveillance severely undermines the
professional confidentiality privilege of regulated professions
including doctors, journalists and lawyers; underlines in particular the
rights of EU citizens to be protected against any surveillance of
confidential communications with their lawyers which would violate the
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably Articles 6,
47 and 48 thereof, and Directive 2013/48/EU on the right of access to a
lawyer; calls on the Commission to present a communication on the
protection of confidential communications in professions with legal
professional privilege, by the end of 2016 at the latest;

41.  Calls on the Commission to prepare guidelines for Member States on
how to bring any instruments of personal data collection for the purpose
of the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal
offences, including terrorism, in line with the judgment of the CJEU of
8 April 2014 on data retention; points in particular to paragraphs 58
and 59 of that judgment, which clearly demand a targeted approach for
data collection rather than a ‘full take’;

European strategy for greater IT independence

42.  Is disappointed by the lack of action by the Commission to follow
up the detailed recommendations made in the resolution for increasing IT
security and online privacy in the EU;

43.  Welcomes the steps taken so far to strengthen Parliament’s IT
security, as outlined in the action plan on EP ICT Security prepared by
DG ITEC; asks for these efforts to be continued and the recommendations
made in the resolution fully and swiftly carried out; calls for fresh
thinking and, if necessary, legislative change in the field of
procurement to enhance the IT security of the EU institutions; calls for
the systematic replacement of proprietary software by auditable and
verifiable open-source software in all the EU institutions, for the
introduction of a mandatory ‘open-source’ selection criterion in all
future ICT procurement procedures, and for efficient availability of
encryption tools;

44.  Strongly reiterates its call for the development, within the
framework of new initiatives such as the Digital Single Market, of a
European strategy for greater IT independence and online privacy that
will boost the IT industry in the EU;

45.  Intends to submit further recommendations in this field following
its conference on ‘Protecting on-line privacy by enhancing IT security
and EU IT autonomy’, scheduled for the end of 2015, which will build on
the findings of the recent STOA study on the mass surveillance of IT users;

Democratic and neutral internet governance

46.  Welcomes the Commission’s aim to make the EU a reference player for
internet governance, as well as its vision of a multi-stakeholder model
for internet governance as reiterated at the Global Multistakeholder
Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETMundial) held in Brazil
in April 2014; looks forward to the outcome of the ongoing international
work in this field, including in the framework of the Internet
Governance Forum;

47.  Warns against the obvious downward spiral for the fundamental right
to privacy and personal data protection occurring when every bit of
information on human behaviour is considered to be potentially useful in
combating future criminal acts, necessarily resulting in a mass
surveillance culture where every citizen is treated as a potential
suspect and leading to the corrosion of societal coherence and trust;

48.  Intends to take account of the findings of the in-depth research by
the Fundamental Rights Agency concerning the protection of fundamental
rights in the context of surveillance, and in particular regarding the
current legal situation of individuals with respect to the remedies
available to them in relation to the practices concerned;


49.  Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home
Affairs to continue to monitor developments in this field and the
follow-up to the recommendations made in the resolution;

50.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council,
the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States,
and the Council of Europe.

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