Monday, 18 April 2011

The EU Rules - OK!

Big Brother Watch (BBW) posts on the matter of the Intercept Modernisation Programme and in so doing provides all the evidence necessary that the United Kingdom is well and truly under the EU's thumb. Apparently Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP, tabled a question to the European Commission examining the legal basis for the scheme and its conformance with EU law. In his question, Syed asked whether 1) the UK's Intercept Modernisation Programme as described in the Strategic Defence Review would be compatible with EU data protection laws and 2) what steps the Commission intended to take if it was incompatible with EU statues.

BBW posts the response received from the EU Commission:
"The Commission underlines the importance of the protection of the security of citizens in conjunction with a robust protection of civil liberties.

"The ePrivacy Directive 2002/58/EC protects the right to privacy in the electronic communications sector. It provides that Member States may adopt legislative measures to restrict the scope of the rights, including those concerning confidentiality of communications, when such restriction constitutes a necessary, appropriate and proportionate measure within a democratic society to safeguard, inter alia, public security.

"The European Commission is aware that in April 2009 the UK Government consulted on a number of options for maintaining the vital capability of public authorities to use communications data to protect the public.

"In October 2010 the UK Government set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review its intention to continue to build on an existing programme of work to preserve the ability of law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to obtain communications data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework with its inherent safeguards and oversight.

"The Commission has been informed that the United Kingdom intends to legislate to ensure that it can avail of adequate communications capabilities and that the legislative approach will be compatible with the UK governments approach towards civil liberties. Details of this legislation would be announced in the UK Parliament in due course.

"The Commission will follow this process closely to ensure that the legislation that will be proposed will be consistent with the obligations of the UK under EU law, including that relating to data protection.
" (emphasis mine)
Not only in the area of electronic communications, but also in just about every area of life we are subject to rules emanating from the same source, namely Brussels. Still our political elite maintain that Parliament is "sovereign"; that they are the guardians of our country and society - and yet still they maintain that membership of the EU is 'for the good of the country'! 

It becomes ever more obvious that the expression of a "Turkey voting for Christmas" is so true - especially in the use of the word "Turkey"!


paulsc said...

Whilst I am a supporter of your view of our relationship with the EU I think I know why MPs feel they can say that our government is sovereign. I suspect the argument goes something like, since we can at any time remove ourselves from the EU, then we hold the supreme power, we are sovereign. For those areas where we have conferred competencies to the EU, then we have taken a decision to allow another body to determine directives and laws for the good of the EU as a whole but we reserve the right to opt out of the EU should we want to.
I know that this aargument rather ignores the fact that we cannot pick and choose which directives and laws we implement but I think that our MPs feel that giving a competence to the EU is a bit like sub-contracting part of their work.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

p'sc: Accepted, but the question remains that if they believe they are sovereign and thus are responsible for and should make our laws, by what logic can they sub-contract that responsibility?

It is also a fact that MPs are put in place to represent our views and thus make decisions. That demonstrates that they do not hold supreme power - we do!

Derek said...

The drawback to that WfW, is that MP's may still hold ultimate power (at least, as much as they might have) by simply not responding to the constituents. Ignorance is irresponsible, but it is rife amongst the ranks of MP's. In such a way is the power of the people denied to the people. Change the MP? Been there - done that.

'Brittania' has sunk in the pond. "Don't worry - it's still there - we still have it". No, this boat is sunk, this Parrot's dead.

What can the people do to regain their so called sovereignty? All I can see is to deny the government and all its lackies not a single vote. Ignore, cease to comply, refuse their incompetence. Easier said than done, for the driving force of this sinking is bigger than National.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

D: Ah but the point is that if this, amongst other policies 'caught on' the present mob wouldn't be there to block anything, would they?

If that doesn't work, then unfortunately its back to the pitchforks and pikes.......!