EU discusses anti-terror rules on surveillance

8th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

8 September 2005, LONDON/NEWCASTLE - Britain's Home Secretary Charles Clarke said Thursday he was confident of securing a deal over new cross- European standards for intelligence-gathering and data retention powers following the July bomb attacks in London.

8 September 2005

LONDON/NEWCASTLE - Britain's Home Secretary Charles Clarke said Thursday he was confident of securing a deal over new cross- European standards for intelligence-gathering and data retention powers following the July bomb attacks in London.

Speaking at a meeting of E.U. justice and interior ministers in Newcastle, northern Britain, Clarke said he believed that difficulties over civil liberties concerns and costs could be overcome.

At the start of the two-day meeting, attended by nearly 70 ministers from the 25 E.U. nations, police arrested a handful of civil liberty campaigners protesting against the new measures.

The campaigners, dressed in orange boiler suits and with bar codes on their foreheads, also made a stand against the planned introduction of identity cards for British citizens.

Clarke's plan to store billions of mobile phone records for 12 months or more, in what he describes as a "vital tool" in the fight against terrorism and crime, has met with opposition from a number of E.U. members.

"Getting some sort of uniformity across Europe is important because this is such an important technique in helping solve crimes and dealing with counter-terrorism", Clarke said.

However, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, insisted Thursday that data retention should not exceed six months. She said it was unlikely that agreement would be reached on the measures within the next four weeks, as planned.

DPA

Subject: German news

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