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The Terrorist Threat Facing EU Member States: Time for the EU to introduce a Directive on Electronic Surveillance in Terrorism Investigations to Plug the Security Gap

Lowe, D The Terrorist Threat Facing EU Member States: Time for the EU to introduce a Directive on Electronic Surveillance in Terrorism Investigations to Plug the Security Gap. In: Jean Monnet Conference on 'Security in the European Union and its Neighbourhood: Challenges and Policy Responses, 15th - 16th June 2015, University of Dundee. (Unpublished)

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Dundee Conference June 2015 3rd draft The Terrorist Threat Facing EU Member States[1] Accepted version.pdf

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Abstract

The use electronic communications by terrorist groups is an international concern to many states including the EU Member States. This concern centres mainly on how communications are used to radicalise citizens resulting in them either leaving their home state to join and fight with terrorist groups in conflict zones or in encouraging citizens to take up the cause and carry out attacks in their home state. With the various forms of electronic communication used, especially the various social media sources, intelligence and counter-terrorism policing agencies are claiming they are struggling to carry out effective surveillance on targets as they try to prevent attacks from occurring. They claim this is resulting in a security gap. By looking at the terrorist threat the EU is currently facing and the clamour for wider surveillance powers, this paper considers the concerns of the surveillance society, especially following the revelations by Edward Snowden in the activities of the US’ National Security Agency (NSA) and UK’s General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The main concern centres on the lack of protection of rights to privacy and data protection as states attempt to protect the interests of national security. By examining the communications data that is subject of surveillance this paper looks at the surveillance legislation recently passed or is proposed in France, Canada, the UK and the US considering the similarities in the issues the legislation raises regarding plugging the security gap as well as concerns surrounding the lack of data protection contained in this legislation. This paper proposes that as rights to privacy and data protection is deeply embedded into its law, the EU is ideally placed to take the lead in gaining the co-operation of Internet and Communications Service Providers. This includes a recommendation that now is an opportunity for the EU to introduce legislation to be adopted in its twenty-eight Member States that will provide sufficient powers of surveillance in protecting the interests of national security while protecting rights to privacy and data protection. This recommendation includes an analysis of the EU’s laws on data protection including the important decision in the Digital Rights case.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Divisions: School of Law
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2015 09:41
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2016 15:04
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1427

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