Knowledgebase

Number of results: 17

SOURCE Legal Card – Tackling disinformation and ensuring free and fair elections in Europe

Document type: 
Legal Trend card
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS for the SOURCE project
Abstract: 

In March 2015, the European Council called on the HRVP to work together with Member States and EU institutions to “challenge Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns”.

This led to the establishment of the East StratCom Task Force in the European External Action Service (EEAS)

In March 2018, a whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica revealed how the data analytics firm harvested personal information from mullions of Facebook profiles without permission. Using this personal information, Cambridge Analytica had built a system in order to profile individual voters, which was then used during the 2016 US Presidential elections and the UK Brexit Referendum in order to target voters with personalised advertisements (micro-targeting).

Following the revelations in the “Facebook/Cambridge Analytica” scandal, the European Commission issued in April 2018 its Communication on “Tackling online disinformation: a European Approach” (COM(2018) 236 final). The 2018 Communication followed a public consultation held by the Commission between November 2017 and February 2018 (on the prevalence, risks and strategies towards tackling online fake news), a Flash Eurobarometer on Fake News and Online Disinformation, structured dialogue with relevant stakeholders, as well as the report of the High Level Group on fake news and online disinformation.

In his State of the Union address in 2018, President Juncker of the European Commission presented a set of measures by the Commission in order to ensure free and fair European elections. The European Commission further submitted a Communication on securing free and fair European elections to the Leaders’ meeting in Salzburg in September 2018.
In December 2018, the Commission together with the HRVP presented an Action Plan against Disinformation in the lead-up to the 2019 European Parliament elections.
 

David Cronin on the power of private corporations at EU level

Document type: 
Interview/sound/video
Video: 
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
SOURCE Network
Abstract: 

David Cronin is a writer and independent journalist.

He has written two books: Corporate Europe: How Big Business Sets Policies on Food, Climate and War, and Europe’s Alliance With Israel: Aiding the Occupation. He also writes for, amongst others, the Guardian, Spinwatch and Open Democracy. This video interview is a part of a series of interviews with experts in the field of security for SOURCE Virtual centre of excellence for research support and coordination on societal security.

Made by Ólöf Söebech and Louise Baduel

Reconceptualising Cyber Security: Safeguarding Human Rights in the Era of Cyber Surveillance

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism, 6 (2): 32-40
Abstract: 

The cyber security discourse is dominated by states and corporations that focus on the protection of critical information infrastructure and databases.

The priority is the security of information systems and networks, rather than the protection of connected users. The dominance of war metaphors in the cyber security debates has produced a security dilemma, which is not sufficiently addressing the needs of people. This article underlines this shortcoming and views cyber security through a human-centric perspective. Freedom of expression and the right to privacy are under attack in the era of cyber surveillance. From a human-centric perspective such rights should be understood as a critical part of cyber security. Human rights protections need to be effectively addressed in the digital sphere and gain their place in the cyber security agendas.

Eurobarometer - Data Protection

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Special Eurobarometer 431
Abstract: 

This survey is designed to support the finalisation of the data protection reform by studying the views of EU citizens about issues surrounding data protection. It first looks at the level of

control respondents feel they have over the personal data they provide online, their concerns about any perceived lack of control and about the monitoring of their activities. Secondly, the survey deals with the respondents’ attitudes to providing personal information and issues such as online profiling. They were then asked about their awareness of their rights, and whether they know about their national public authority in charge of data protection. Finally, whether they would complain to this or another agency should their data ever be lost or stolen. People’s expectations are also evaluated in terms of whether they think they should have to give express permission for their data to be gathered and used. Respondents were asked whether they trust various authorities and bodies to protect their information, and what they would do and what they would expect to happen should their data be lost or stolen. The survey then tackled the respondents’ level of knowledge when it comes to the conditions of data collection, and whether they read the privacy statements provided by online services. Finally, the level of awareness of privacy settings on social networking sites was discussed, with respondents asked how easy they find it to change the settings, or why they have not done so. A last section deals with the way in which Europeans use the Internet. 

Eurobarometer - Europeans' attitude towards Cyber Security

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Special Eurobarometer 464a
Abstract: 

The aim of this survey is to understand EU citizens’ awareness, experiences and perceptions of cyber security issues. The report focuses on cyber security itself.

First, it identifies patterns and trends in the frequency of Internet use, the means by which respondents access the Internet, and the kinds of activities that the Internet is commonly used for. Second, it examines the concerns of respondents about the security of Internet transactions, and the impact these concerns are having on respondents’ behaviour. Third, it analyses respondents’ awareness and experiences of cybercrime, looking at the extent to which people are concerned about being the victims of cybercrime and the extent to which they have already experienced this. 

The European Council’s Guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice 2020: Subverting the ‘Lisbonisation’ of Justice and Home Affairs?

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies
Abstract: 

In its Conclusions of 26-27 June 2014, the European Council has adopted the new “Strategic Guidelines for Legislative and Operational Planning for the coming years within the EU’s Area of Freedom,

Security and Justice (AFSJ)”. These Guidelines reveal a pre-Lisbon Treaty mindset among the EU member states and the Justice and Home Affairs Council. This essay argues that the Guidelines are mainly driven by the interests and agendas of national Ministries of Interior and Justice and are only “strategic” to the extent that they aim at first, re-injecting ‘intergovernmentalism’ or bringing back the old EU Third Pillar ways of working to the new EU institutional setting of the AFSJ and second, at sidelining the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and rule of law in the AFSJ. The paper argues that the European Council Guidelines seek to prevent the advances in Justice and Home Affairs cooperation as envisaged in the Treaty of Lisbon, particularly its emphasis on supranational democratic, legal and judicial accountability. As a consequence of this move to ‘de-Lisbonise’ JHA cooperation, fundamental rights and rule of law-related initiatives will be neglected and the interest of the individual will be displaced from the centre of gravity in the coming AFSJ 2020 policy agenda. 

The European Council’s Guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice 2020: Subverting the ‘Lisbonisation’ of Justice and Home Affairs?

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies
Abstract: 

In its Conclusions of 26-27 June 2014, the European Council has adopted the new “Strategic Guidelines for Legislative and Operational Planning for the coming years within the EU’s Area of Freedom,

Security and Justice (AFSJ)”. These Guidelines reveal a pre-Lisbon Treaty mindset among the EU member states and the Justice and Home Affairs Council. This essay argues that the Guidelines are mainly driven by the interests and agendas of national Ministries of Interior and Justice and are only “strategic” to the extent that they aim at first, re-injecting ‘intergovernmentalism’ or bringing back the old EU Third Pillar ways of working to the new EU institutional setting of the AFSJ and second, at sidelining the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and rule of law in the AFSJ. The paper argues that the European Council Guidelines seek to prevent the advances in Justice and Home Affairs cooperation as envisaged in the Treaty of Lisbon, particularly its emphasis on supranational democratic, legal and judicial accountability. As a consequence of this move to ‘de-Lisbonise’ JHA cooperation, fundamental rights and rule of law-related initiatives will be neglected and the interest of the individual will be displaced from the centre of gravity in the coming AFSJ 2020 policy agenda. 

Europe's 21st Century Challenge: Delivering Liberty

Document type: 
Book
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

This volume presents the final results of the CHALLENGE research project (The Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security) - a five-year project funded by the Sixth Framework Programme of D

G Research of the European Commission. The book critically appraises the liberties of citizens and others within the EU, and the different ways in which they are affected by the proliferation of discourses, practices and norms of insecurity enacted in the name of collective and individual safety. It analyses from an interdisciplinary perspective the impacts of new techniques of surveillance and control on the liberty and security of the citizen. The book studies illiberal practices of liberal regimes in the field of security, and the relationship between the internal and external effects of these practices in an increasingly interconnected world, as well as the effects in relation to the place of the EU in world politics.

The US surveillance programmes and their impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
European Parliament / LIBE
Abstract: 

In light of the recent PRISM-related revelations, this briefing note analyzes the impact of US surveillance programmes on European citizens’ rights.

The note explores the scope of surveillance that can be carried out under the US FISA Amendments Act 2008, and related practices of the US authorities which have very strong implications for EU data sovereignty and the protection of European citizens’ rights. 

National Programmes for Mass Surveillance of Personal Data in EU Member States and their Compatibility wit EU Law

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
European Parliament / LIBE Committee
Abstract: 

In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this study makes an assessment of the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: t

he UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Given the large-scale nature of surveillance practices at stake, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the study contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of balance between data protection versus national security, but has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy. It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations. The study argues that these surveillance programmes do not stand outside the realm of EU intervention but can be engaged from an EU law perspective via (i) an understanding of national security in a democratic rule of law framework where fundamental human rights standards and judicial oversight constitute key standards; (ii) the risks presented to the internal security of the Union as a whole as well as the privacy of EU citizens as data owners, and (iii) the potential spillover into the activities and responsibilities of EU agencies. The study then presents a set of policy recommendations to the European Parliament. 

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