December 12, 2006

FFII Asks MEPs to reject Big Brother directive

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Brussels, 12 December 2005. On Wednesday’s Parliamentary vote in Strasbourg, MEPs should vote for amendments 47 and 93, urges the FFII, an information rights group based in Munich, in an open letter to MEPs.

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

On Wednesday in Strasbourg, the Parliament will vote on the “data retention directive”. We urge you to vote for amendments 47 and 93.

In this way, you have a chance to restore the normal democratic process and keep your credibility as the only elected representatives for EU citizens. Amendment 47 will reject the directive. If amendment 93 is voted for, the directive will go into a second reading. Without getting one of these amendments, we enter a new era of legislation by an unelected, unaccountable, and autocratic bureaucracy.

FFII analysts have highlighted these points for concern:

  1. The European Data Protection Supervisor has stated that the directive is not necessary and does not respect human rights.
  2. The directive is being pushed through Parliament in a single reading, with insufficient controls.
  3. Criminals can circumvent the proposed measures relatively easily, simply by using pre-paid mobile phone cards, cybercafes or a free Hotmail or Googlemail account.
  4. Serious concerns raised by the telecoms industry and civil society were barely heard during the preparation of the text.
  5. The proposed measures indicate a lack of proper understanding of Internet technology.
  6. Deals are being struck behind the scenes to pre-empt a proper democratic process.
  7. The responsible EP Committee (LIBE) was extremely critical of the directive.
  8. This directive attempts to pre-empt discussions in national parliaments which are not yet over, and in some has not yet begun.
  9. Some national governments are using the European Parliament to launder this policy after they have already been rejected by their national parliaments.

The vote will be held in Strasbourg on Wednesday 14 December 2005.

For further analysis of the directive and amendments, follow this link.

Pieter Hintjens, president of the FFII.

Background Information

Contact information

Erik Josefsson
FFII Brussels Permanent Representative
ehj @ ffii.org
+46 707 696567
(Swedish/English)

Jonas Maebe
FFII Member of the Board
jmaebe @ ffii org
+32-485-36-96-45
(Dutch/English)

About the FFII

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit association registered in several European countries, which is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 850 members, 3,000 companies and 90,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.