Hard Choices: Increase Counter-Terrorism Surveillance Powers or Risk Further Terrorist Attacks

Brussels, Belgium

2 June 2015

In 2015, we have seen the devastating results of terrorist acts in a number of European states. While acts of terrorism in Europe are not new, we are witnessing a change in how terrorist groups use electronic communications to radicalise, communicate and plan acts of terror. Dr David Lowe, lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, examines legal systems governing surveillance, in particular those related to counter-terrorism investigations. He furthermore argues that there is a requirement for the reintroduction of the 2011 EU Directive on passenger data as well as an EU Regulation that encourages international cooperation between the EU member states' counter-terrorism agencies, similar agencies in third countries, and with regards to Internet Service Providers.

The key theme of his presentation is how such laws can be introduced while remaining compatible with the protection of personal data. The non-exclusivity of national security needs and individual rights underpin his argument. He suggests, rather, that they are inclusive and a balance is needed to protect the lives of EU citizens and their right to privacy.

David Lowe will present his research on the topic, followed by a panel discussion.

  • Claude Moniquet, Chief Executive Officer, European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center

Moderation by Ryan Heath, Senior Correspondent, Politico Europe.





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