You know how things come in threes? Well, the continuing onslaught against liberty by the European Union is no exception to this rule. Prior to the European Arrest Warrant and the European Investigation Order, the first of these sneak attacks came in the form of….
….Council of Ministers Conclusions that reveal that Brussels now wants law enforcement agencies in its member countries to build lists of political activists as part of a ‘systematic data collection’.
What is particularly sinister about this programme, is the deliberate vagueness of its terms of reference….
Broader authoritarian agenda
This move by the EU to document and keep under surveillance political activists follows on from the establishment of Project Indect.
This European Commission funded and inititated programme is designed to develop a system of automated surveillance monitors that will identify ‘abnormal behaviour’.
In addition to CCTV footage, these sensors will comb through web sites, internet discussion forums, file servers and individual computers.
In Britain, York University and the Police Service of Northern Ireland are spearheading the development of this project with £10million of Brussels funding (our money – LdlP).
Again, there is a failure, or refusal, to actually spell out what constitutes ‘abnormal behaviour’ and this means that what in a traditional liberal democracy might be considered to be legitimate activity that should be free of state surveillance will, in the context of the EU, be considered appropriate for state intervention.
This is the default setting for methods of political and social control devised by the post-democratic EU and its subordinate “governments”, the ASBO for instance.
Perhaps even more troubling is that….
In addition to the dangerously illiberal content of this new EU drive to document and keep tabs on political activists, what is disturbing is the fact that this policy is being executed without any parliamentary or public consultation whatsoever.
Had the commendable Statewatch not somehow managed to see and expose the relevant documents, nobody in this or anyother member country would even be aware this was even taking place.
This blog hopes, but isn’t holding its breath, that David Cameron’s documented opposition to the EAW will persuade him that this is an erosion too far, and that the question, and indeed the constitutionality, of its implementation must be put to Parliament. He is, after all, “proud to be a member” of the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party.
Theresa May, who nodded through the EIO last month with hardly a murmur heard in Parliament, is doubtless rubbing her hands with glee.