thoughts and observations of a privacy, security and internet researcher, activist, and policy advisor

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

European Parliament on Privacy vs Security and the "Balance" Metaphor

The European Parliament has adopted its resolution on the Stockholm Programme today. The Stockholm Programme is a political document that lays out the priorities for EU justice and home affairs policy for the years 2010 to 2014. It will be adopted by the Council of Ministers next Monday - therefore the Parliament's opinion on this was very timely. There were a lot of amendments, separate votes and split votes, so we have to wait a few days for the final consolidated text. Overall, it's a mixed bag, but that is a looong story.

What I want to point out here is only one amendment that was adopted - but it was an extremely crucial one:

The European Parliament
"... stresses that the EU is rooted in the principle of freedom. Security, in support of freedom, must be pursued through the rule of law and subject to fundamental rights obligations. The balance between security and freedom is to be seen in that perspective"
I think this is one of the most important official contributions to the "freedom vs security" debate in the last few years. And it is the official opinion of Europe's directly elected representatives now.

Please help spreading the word and establishing this clarification firmly in the public discourse.


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