|Vol.7, No.37, 11.10.01, p17
THE MEP in charge of drafting the European Parliament's position on data privacy laws has warned against giving member states more power to pry into personal e-mails in response to last month's terrorist acts.
Italian Radical MEP Marco Cappato said he feared EU states would call for an extension of their rights to probe e-mails and confidential customer data in the new legislation that will govern IT and telecom networks. But he insisted he would not change his proposals which would allow governments and law-enforcement agencies to check data networks only in "entirely exceptional circumstances and based on a specific law that is comprehensible to the general public". "I think fundamental civil liberties guarantees must remain the same. These actions must be adequate, proportionate and time-limited within a democratic society," said Cappato. The events of 11 September showed that law enforcement agencies had focused too much on examining e-mails and telecoms and "not enough work in the field", he claimed.
Cappato retabled his report after MEPs were undecided on how the EU should tackle unsolicited commercial 'Spam' e-mails. Member states were due to debate the issue at next week's meeting of telecom ministers, but insiders say they will wait for the Parliament to reach a deal.
The MEP in charge of drafting the European Parliament's position on data privacy laws has warned against giving Member States more power to pry into personal e-mails in response to the recent terrorist acts.
|Internal Markets, Justice and Home Affairs, Values and Beliefs