Britain pushing EU to break anti-terror law deadlock

[JURIST] Fresh from talks this week with other justice and interior ministers of the European Union [official website], British Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] said Friday that Britain, currently holding the EU presidency, wants the EU to implement a new set of anti-terror measures before the end of the year. He said an agreement must be made among EU member states to force telecommunications companies to retain phone and e-mail records and adopt other security enhancements including tightened airport security, greater sharing of intelligence and the upgrading of passports and identity cards. Although the July London bombings have given new impetus to negotiations, the EU has been slow to implement [JURIST report] new anti-terror rules, with the European Parliament [official website] demanding input into the proposed legislation, threatening legal action and claiming that the existing proposals would be a violation of citizens' rights to privacy. Britain also has opposition from other member states, and Luxembourg Justice Minister Luc Frieden [official profile] has said that reaching accord by the end of the year was "unrealistic" given splits on telecom data retention. Clarke has said that if EU governments and the EU parliament cannot reach accord, EU member states will take matters into their own hands. AP has more.

 

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