[A2k] Directive on Terrorism: The European Parliament against our freedoms

La Quadrature du Net contact at laquadrature.net
Thu Jun 2 02:53:59 PDT 2016


 
	* 

Press Release 

TAGS : SURVEILLANCE, NET FILTERING, TERRORISM, MONIKA HOHLMEIER 

La Quadrature du Net -- For immediate release 

Permanent link:
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties
[1] 

DIRECTIVE ON TERRORISM: THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AGAINST OUR FREEDOMS

Paris, 1st June 2016 -- Far from the French and European media spotlights,
a draft directive on terrorism [2] is being discussed at the European
Parliament and will be voted on 15 June. This directive, aiming to frame
the European counter-terrorism policies and laws, is crucial for Europeans
to enjoy their fundamental rights.

 But the current political discussions and negotiations would lead to
widespread fiasco on freedoms and to an alignment of the worst policies
violating civil rights, especially on the Internet, through censorship and
surveillance. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) must redress the
balance and strengthen the safeguards provided for the European citizens.

The draft [3] directive on terrorism was presented in December 2015 by the
European Commission. Initially, it was aiming at giving collective
definitions and an harmonised framework to ease the cooperation between
countries in the fight against terrorism and against its financing and to
provide assistance to victims. However, under the authority of the
rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier [4] (EPP - DE1 [5]), and with the support or
pressures of governments (especially French government), the text become
more stricter at the European Parliament and is heading towards a framework
for the whole European Union where the fight against terrorism will pick up
from everything La Quadrature du Net has been denouncing in France for 2
years: censorship of websites, attacks against encryption and right to
privacy, heavy electronic surveillance and lack of safeguards for civil
rights. 

AT WHICH POINT ARE THE DISCUSSIONS AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT?

The text will be voted by the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE [6]) on 15
June. This vote is crucial, it is where that the almost final version of
the text will be adopted. The amendments currently in discussion need to be
inspected every day to see where the provisions get better or worse. The
power balance is bad for civil rights advocates. 

 	* the rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier [4] (EPP - DE) supports since the
beginning a hard line, continually strengthening surveillance and
censorship measures;
 	* the social-democrat left (S&D), represented by the shadow [7]
rapporteur Caterina Chinnici [8] (S&D - IT), is in a wait-and-see approach.
France is pressuring French socialist MEPs to endorse all the provisions
tabled by the right-wing group and the rapporteur doesn't seem to have any
intention to oppose the serious infringement of rights in the text;
 	* the centrist group (ALDE) carries a tradition of protecting civil
rights at the European Parliament. To us , the shadow rapporteur Petr Jezek
[9] (ALDE - CZ) seems too shy and needs to get more involved against the
EPP - S&D security alliance;
 	* on the Greens side, Eva Joly [10] (Greens/EFA - FR) knows as a
determined opponent to the French Surveillance Law and whose political
family opposed attacks on freedom of speech and surveillance, seem to be
off topic and does not oppose the worst provisions of the text. We need her
political group to take hold of the position for the Greens;
 	* only Cornelia Ernst [11] (GUE/NGL - DE) is clearly opposed to the
provisions of the text and is in favour of the defence of civil rights.

The situation is fragile: because of the moral and media pressure of the
terrorist risk, because of the pressure from governments (France in
particular) who want to cover their existing legislation in that directive,
the text is about to create a sort of umbrella legislation too wide and not
enough protective, and yet still targeting the Internet and fundamental
rights. 

WHICH MEASURES OF THIS DRAFT DIRECTIVE ARE TARGETED BY LA QUADRATURE ?

La Quadrature du Net focused specifically on the compromise amendments2
[12] currently discussed. They affect fundamental rights on the Internet
and in electronic communications. Therefore, this is not the whole the
directive. 

CONCERNING THE INFRINGEMENT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

The compromise amendments 6 [13] (recital 7a and article 14a) aims to
establish all "measures to block access to webpages publicly inciting to
commit terrorist offences". It clearly opens the door to websites blocking,
which is a heavy infringement of freedom of speech and freedom of
information. And this without being actually efficient to fight terrorism,
as the French experience shows [14] since its implementation 18 months ago.


The text of the amendment does not foresee either any guarantee of
effective lega appeal nor any framing of this censorship by a judge. This
brings the European text closer to the French legislative framework and
because other European countries are ordered to apply these measures, it
will make them fall into the same trap: non-transparent censorship,
non-existing guarantees, marginal results. 

In addition to encourage this kind of measures for Europe, when they were
only a French exception so far, MEPs suggest also that companies should be
held for responsible if they do not cooperate by deleting content or
blocking websites3 [15]. The last versions of the text required that
websites remove all the content following a request, without any guarantee,
under penalty of prosecutions. This is simply a destruction of the fragile
balance between responsibility of online content and fundamental rights4
[16]. 

ON ENCRYPTION AND ELECTRONIC EVIDENCES

The compromise amendment 10 establishing a recital 15b deals with
cooperation between Member States, Eurojust and Europol to collect, share
and make admissible electronic evidence5 [17], which means that it applies
to investigations and surveillance over networks. Now the text is too
vague. If cooperation between Member States can only be encouraged, the
current text is too vague. The amendments tabled by the rapporteur at the
beginning of the study of the text explicitly quoted Tor, VPNs and other
privacy protection tools as obstacles to investigations. If these tools are
no longer explicitly mentioned, it promises dangerous future provisions. At
a minimum, we should support these provisions with a clear definition of
the right to respect for privacy and the right to confidentiality of
electronic communications, reasserting the right to [18] encryption, the
right to anonymity and the right to use pseudonyms (see proposal [19] La
Quadrature du Net on surveillance). 

ON NOTIONS OF ASSISTANCE AND COMPLICITY

The compromise amendment 4 concerns the assistance and complicity to
perpetration of terrorist infractions. Especially, recital 11 and article
16 are not sufficiently clear on the notion of intention, leaving a large
leeway for interpretations. Knowing that tools, in particular encryption
tools, can be used by terrorists cannot be sufficient to turn those who
make and share those tools into accomplices. It is absolutely necessary to
clarify the notion of complicity and implies that the accomplice has the
intention to give an assistance to the person directly involved with the
infraction. What would become a person that published a encrypted chat
service? What kind of responsibility is foreseen for a service such as Tor?


LA QUADRATURE DU NET REGRETS THE ESCALATION OF PROPOSALS APPROVING INTERNET
CENSORSHIP AND EXTREMELY INVASIVE SURVEILLANCE MEASURES WITHOUT ANY
SAFEGUARDS. BY NATURE, THIS TEXT WILL BE USED AS A FRAMEWORK AND GOAL FOR
ALL COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. IT SHOULD THEREFORE BE STRICTLY
CONTROLLED TO PREVENT ANY DEVIATION AND ANY ESCALATION OF SURVEILLANCE
INFRINGING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, PILLAR OF THE VALUES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.
_"IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR MEPS OF THE LIBE COMMITTEE TO RESTRICT THE APPETITE
FOR SECURITY OF THE RAPPORTEUR HOHLMEIER AND TO RESIST THE WISHES OF
COUNTRIES ALREADY ENGAGED IN THIS SPIRAL, LIKE FRANCE, WHO THUS SEEK TO
VALIDATE THEIR DANGEROUS STRATEGIES "_ says Agnès de Cornulier, in charge
of legal and political analysis at La Quadrature du Net. 

 

 Read our analysis [20] of the next of the directive on our wiki. 

 

 Follow compromise amendments [13] on our wiki. 

 	* 1. [21] Usually MEPs are represented by the political group they belong
to [22], here the EPP, and by their Member State, here Germany
 	* 2. [23] Once the rapporteur presented his/her report (it means the
amendments he/she wants to submit to the vote) each MEPs is allowed to
submit amendments to the text too. Then after several meetings between the
rapporteur and the shadow rapporteurs, lead away from prying ears, the
rapporteur presents the compromise amendments but without publishing the
different versions and saying a word about the negotiations. This leave the
field free to undemocratic practices.
 	* 3. [24] This provision was proposed by Rachida Dati during the
preparation of her report [25] about terrorism which was adopted by the
European Parliament on 3 November 2015
 	* 4. [26] Meanwhile the European ombudsman publicly worries about the
opacity of the discussions between governments, EUROPOL and big internet
companies within the _Internet Forum_ define the rules of the fight against
hate speech outside any legal framework and without inviting the civil
society. This was denounced by EDRI [27]
 	* 5. [28] Written evidence is, according to the French Law [29], defined
as resulting "a sequence of letters, characters, numbers or any other signs
or symbols endowed with an intelligible meaning, whatever their support and
transmission procedure". The evidence is used to show the validity of an
agreement, a charge, etc. The written proof includes electronic evidence

ABOUT LA QUADRATURE DU NET

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and
freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for
the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding
principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.


>In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better
understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and
pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage
citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the
digital age. 

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society
Institute and Privacy International. 

List of supporting organisations:
https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net [30] 

PRESS CONTACT AND PRESS ROOM

contact at laquadrature.net - +33 (0)972 294 426 

https://www.laquadrature.net/en/press-room [31] 

 _To unsubscribe, click here [32]_
 _La Quadrature du Net
60, rue des Orteaux
Paris, 75020
_ 

 

Links:
------
[1] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties
[2] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1464696371949&uri=CELEX:52015PC0625
[3] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52015PC0625&rid=1
[4] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/96780/MONIKA_HOHLMEIER_home.html
[5] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnote1_p1z0hg2
[6] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/libe/home.html
[7] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Glossaire#Shadow_rapporteur
[8] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/124861/CATERINA_CHINNICI_home.html
[9] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/124707/PETR_JEZEK_home.html
[10] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/96883/EVA_JOLY_home.html
[11] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/96852/CORNELIA_ERNST_home.html
[12] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnote2_tngapz3
[13] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Directive_Terrorisme/Amendements_LIBE/en
[14] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Directive_Terrorisme/en#Net_censorship_and_blocking_websites
[15] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnote3_78hhw6d
[16] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnote4_i82iuyn
[17] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnote5_y1sephe
[18] https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/libres-enfants-du-numerique/article/050215/le-droit-lanonymat-et-au-chiffrement
[19] https://www.laquadrature.net/fr/node/9519
[20] https://wiki.laquadrature.net/Directive_Terrorisme/en
[21] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnoteref1_p1z0hg2
[22] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/hemicycle.html
[23] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnoteref2_tngapz3
[24] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnoteref3_78hhw6d
[25] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/mep-committee-libe-dati-report
[26] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnoteref4_i82iuyn
[27] https://edri.org/commission-under-investigation-eu-internet-forum/
[28] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/terrorisme-directive-european-parliament-against-liberties#footnoteref5_y1sephe
[29] https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCode.do?idSectionTA=LEGISCTA000006165596&cidTexte=LEGITEXT000006070721
[30] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net
[31] https://www.laquadrature.net/en/press-room
[32] http://www.laquadrature.net/civicrm/mailing/optout?reset=1&jid=186&qid=62770&h=781660c5e3dee659



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