US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme in various Member States and their impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights :
- extracts from the exchange of views
Lieu: European Parliament Brussels
End production: 10/07/2013 First transmission: 10/07/2013
The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs held a meeting following the adoption by the European Parliament last week of a resolution on the United States National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and impact on EU citizens' privacy. The Committee is due to constitute a working group to make an in-depth inquiry on this matter. In the voted resolution, EP expressed serious concern over PRISM and other such programmes, they may entail a serious violation of the fundamental right of EU citizens and residents to privacy and data protection, as well as of the right to private and family life, freedom of expression and information.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||External view of European Parliament
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||SOUNDBITE (in English), Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES), President of EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs:" LIBE Committee inquiry will focus on public hearings. First suggestion would go, as to the following list of persons or bodies. One, representatives of US authorities. Second, Commission and the Council Presidency. Third, member states representatives. Fourth, regular feed back of the transatlantic expert groups. Fifth, legal and IT experts, which are the essence in this particular case, IT experts. And finally, IT companies involved in transfer of data".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES), President of the EP Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs:" As a consequence, the inquiry should result in a set of findings and recommendations summarized in a draft report to be presented to the plenary, possibly before the end of the year".
||SOUNDBITE (in Portuguese), Carlos COELHO (EPP, PO): "This is not a new situation. What we are looking at here is something sophisticated. At the time the Echelon System allowed the network to intercept telephone communications, e-mail, fax, telex"
||SOUNDBITE (in Portuguese), Carlos COELHO (EPP, PO):" It allowed the network to analyse a million communication every half an hour, so forty-eight million communications per day. And once again I'm talking about 2000-2001. Just look at the evolution of technologies since that time, between 2001 and 2013, you will draw the conclusion quite clearly that the interception capabilities are today much, much improved".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Claude MORAES (S&D, UK):" We should rightly be reacting to this as a Parliament but in terms of our powers we will be restricted, as with Echelon".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Claude MORAES (S&D, UK):" But then we should be realistic, in the timeframe mentioned by Mr Coelho - another colleague who remember Echelon will remember this - that there are a whole range of areas were we, as a Parliament, can be an added value".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Renate WEBER (ALDE, RO):" The most important aspect in the activities in the months to come, in relation to this issue, is full transparency. What ever will be discussed here it is something that must be shared with European citizens. There is a very, very strong courant these days, among the European citizens, among the media, against our own governments of the European Union member states, because of the allegations that some governments themselves have been involved in such activities".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (GREENS/EFA, DE):" I don't think that we should make a full of ourselves but just start inquiring and get the things running because citizens really expect us to now give them the opportunity to know what's going on".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Jan Philipp ALBRECHT (GREENS/EFA, DE):" Then I think it will be key to invite whistle blowers like Edward Snowden. I think we should not say that it won't be important to have him here. So let's invite him".
||SOUNDBITE (in English), Timothy KIRKHOPE (ECR, UK):" I will oppose very strongly any attempt to bring people who are currently under suspicion of crimes, serious crimes. Certainly the reference to Mr Snowden, I think is very misplaced. I think it gives all the wrong messages to the people of Europe".
||SOUNDBITE (In English), Sophie IN'T VELD (ALDE, NL):" I think democracy is about checks and balances. It is about citizens being able to know what their governments are doing. I do not think that democracy is about governments having unlimited, uncontrolled and uncontrollable powers. That is not democracy".
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