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Homeland Security

EU initiative on retention of telecom data to combat terrorism

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Brussels, July 13, IRNA
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced Wednesday that he will be presenting in September an initiative on the very sensitive issue of the retention of telecom data in the efforts to fight terrorism.

"This is a crucial instrument in the fight against terrorism but it raises privacy concern,'' he told reporters after the weekly meeting of EU Commissioners in Brussels.

"It is our aim to provide constructive input to ensure that progress achieved so far in this field will result in a proper instrument based on solid and legal grounds,'' he added.

On his part, EU Commissioner for justice, freedom and security Franco Frattini said it was necessary to keep a balance approach between improving the level of security while promoting and protecting fundamental rights.

"I do not see any contradiction between guaranteeing more security and protecting at the same time fundamental rights of people,'' he said.

He said the time has come to blame and shame EU Member States which will not be implementing exactly, correctly and fully the measures adopted to fight terrorism.

"Terrorism is a permanent threat and that is why we are focusing on implementation rather than on new legislation,'' said Frattini.

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke will chair an emergency meeting of European Union interior ministers in Brussels Wednesday afternoon to press for new measures against terrorism.

The UK which holds the current EU Presidency is putting forward a 10-point plan which includes seizing assets of terrorist groups, to make internet service providers and telephone companies in the EU keep all records of calls and e-mails, inclusion of biometric data in IDs and closer cooperation between European intelligence agencies.


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