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"!