Axel H Horns on Fri, 17 Mar 2000 09:17:13 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] [FYI] EU wants to collect terrorism related information on the Internet

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EU wants to collect terrorism related information on the Internet

Jelle van Buuren   16.03.2000 


The intelligence services of the European Union are developing a 
system for the exchange of terrorism related information on the 
Internet. "Namely through the Internet [...] has sprung a community 
specially devoted to its undue exploitation and improper use', 
according to Portugal, the present Presidency of the European Union.  

The Portuguese Presidency presented its views to the working party on 
terrorism, a European group of high-ranking intelligence officers 
that is part of the European Council for Justice and Home Affairs. In 
the document (5724/00 ENFOPOL 6, Brussels 4 february 2000), the 
Portuguese Presidency states:  

"Such type of activity permits those groups, who practice several 
unlawfull acts, namely terrorism, cult related, neo-nazism, 
cyberterrorism, racism etc, the dissemination and propagandisation of 
their ideals. Further, the ease and celerity in the establishment of 
contacts allows for the internationalisation of such phenomena and, 
simultaneously, permits a greater adhesion and recruitment for their 

Portugal proposes the adoption of a system of "Interchange of Open 
Information Collected on the Internet", with the purpose of making 
available "better information, as well as in increasing the efficacy 
in the use of its resources". The system should be capable of 
affording to all members an "effective tool in the detection of 
information, in the context of the fight against terrorism".  


The intelligence services are not the only European law enforcement 
agencies that consider Internet to be a great threat for public order 
and internal security. The custom administrations of the member 
states of the European Union are also preparing an "action plan for 
the fight against Internet fraud" (document 5254/00 CRIMORG 6 
ENFOCUSTOM 4, Brussels 17 january 2000). According to the action 
plan, Internet is a source of taxfraude and the trade in fake-
products, tobacco and drugs. The action plan proposes the creation of 
national 'central Internet control squads', which must act as 
national contactpoints for informal forms of cooperation. This 
informal network should monitor Internet "as strictly as possible", 
according to the action plan.  

The custom authorities should have access to documents that are 
related to transactions under investigation. Therefore, according to 
the action plan, "it should be desirable if providers would be 
obliged to store digital documents." Also, the customs should have 
access to financial information stored by banks, to trace the origin 
of goods.  

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Verlag Heinz Heise, Hannover  

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