Successful First Annual Forum in Brussels – Sept 24th 2012

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On the 24th of September SURVEILLE’s First Annual Forum for decision makers took Place in Brussels, gathering a crowd of representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, law enforcement agencies, local authorities, academics, and other interested parties.

Professor Martin Scheinin of the EUI introduced the project and its goals during the first panel. In commenting upon his presentation, member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake stressed the need for more research on how to identify mass surveillance tools as opposed to tools that can be only used for targeted surveillance. Schaake stressed the need for a global perspective as well, as many EU or US made technologies subsequently end up being (ab)used by other governments in third countries.

Dr. Francesca Galli and Céline Cocq presented one of SURVEILLE’s first draft deliverables, entitled ‘The use of surveillance technologies in the prevention and investigation of serious offences.” They received comments from Professor Simon Chesterman and Mr. Olivey Luyck, Head of Unit at the European Commission.

The policy debate of this forum focused on the realignment of law enforcement and intelligence services’ use of surveillance technologies for the prevention and investigation of serious crimes. One speaker asserted that the building up the criminal intelligence procedure is nowadays almost as important as search and seizure, but this isn’t reflected yet in criminal codes. Another speaker stated that it would be naïve to think that the use of every new technology could fit immediately in our traditional human rights paradigm. This includes a practice of trial and error, and eventually a balance is found.

In his closing keynote speech Gilles De Kerchove, the EU’s Anti-Terrorism Coordinator, stressed how the expansion of the definition of terrorism had a profound effect on the realignment of law enforcement and intelligence services. Both actors should be able to gather as much data as possible in his view, on the condition that data protection concerns, including privacy by design, are duly taken into account.

Categories: EU, EUI, FP7, SURVEILLE