EU instrument for spying on ‘radicals’ causes outrage

Civil rights watchdogs and MEPs have attacked new EU plans to gather data on people who voice or share “radical messages” in a bid to pre-empt terrorist attacks, EU Observer reports.

Political activists labelled as “Extreme right/left, Islamist, nationalist or anti-globalisation” may in future find themselves under surveillance in line with a new, so-called, EU “data compilation instrument” put at the disposal of police and security forces in member states. The 70-question long “instrument,” covering ideologies, dissemination channels, personal and professional data on “agents,” would help police and security officials gather comparable intelligence across the EU, which could later be pooled together into a single data base.

The data selection criteria are very broad and “flexible,” with member  states and EU institutions being “invited and advised to make best use,  as they see fit, of the data compilation instrument provided for them,  by amending it and tailoring it to their specific requirements,” the  internal EU document says.

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