Press Release [deutsch]
Nr. 13/2001, Bruxelles 30.05.2001
Final report of the Echelon committee
Secret service nationalism
Comments by Ilka Schroeder, MEP, to the Draft report presented by the Committee for the inquiry of the Echelon Interception system:
The technical results of the inquiry would represent a good achievement for a group of informatics students or a consumer advice centre.
The European Parliament, though, must not degrade itself to an assembly of electricians.
The task of Members of Parliament consists in drawing political conclusions from the work in the Committee.
This is where the deficits of the report become dangerous for privacy. The political importance of the interception system is systematically being played down. Privacy must in no case end when a person touches a keyboard - it is of no importance what version of operating system the interception technology runs.
Personality rights of all people who communicate over long distances are dismantled already by the sole possibility of interception.
Single amendments to the rapporteur's political conclusions will not remarkably improve this useless document. I will therefore draw up a complete alternative to the conclusions and put it to the vote in Parliament.
Secret services have to be abolished if people's privacy is to be protected. It is within the nature of secret services that they don't respect data protection regulations and laws and that they are impossible to be controlled democratically. For that reason all secret services have to be abolished, worldwide and at once. The call for an EU secret service and yesterday's decisions at the Justice and Home Affairs Council concerning ENFOPOL expose the EU's excitement on Echelon as industry nationalism: The USA are bad and must not spy, while the EU is good - and will sound out its citizens even more in the future