Rise of Europe's Surveillance State Examined

By John Honovich, Published Nov 15, 2009, 07:00pm EST

Open Europe, a European think tank critical of surveillance, criticized the impact on security of the European Union's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (effective December of 2009) in a paper on the rise of Europe's Surveillance State [link no longer available].

The British think tank paints a picture of an 'Orwellian' state with the loss of civil rights like:

  • Sharing/integration of public DNA, health, fingerprint databases.
  • Adoption of  the Data Retention Directive: implemented to require telcoms to track and store all communications transactions but not actual content.

Physical Security specific points of the Open Europe whitepaper:

  • The EU, through its European Security Research Program, is actively involved in the development of new technologies for the purposes of monitoring various people clusters and the automated detection of abnormal behavior and situations of danger.
  • They believe that standardization and use biometric passports will become an EU requirement. All passports will include data on fingerprints, iris, and other facial features.  All data will be held under the responsibility of the member states' national authorities. 
  • They believe the EU will pursue organizing, collecting and sharing vast amounts of surveillance data within different state agencies.
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