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Parliament Magazine Article: EU data law necessary but insufficient protection against ‘Prism’

The aim of the ALDE group on the reform of EU data protection legislation is to have enforceable and workable standards which give consumers assurance that their fundamental rights are respected and companies the confidence they need to invest in innovative business models.

 

The revelations that the US National Security Agency has been trawling through ‘metadata’ from ISPs, telecoms companies and social media sites is of deep concern, especially while negotiations on this new Regulation are in train.

 

Letter to the Evening Standard: EU must act on internet snooping

Following the ‘Prism’ scandal, the EU must take action to shield European citizens from US-authorised snooping.

 

New EU data protection legislation currently is under discussion. I'm demanding a provision in it to ban recognition of a surveillance decision by a foreign court unless there is a treaty between that country and the European Union providing for legal rights of appeal and redress for EU citizens.

 

I was shocked that the European Commission caved into American pressure and dropped such a clause before the draft legislation was published. MEPs including me have pushed Brussels for safeguards against these intrusive powers for years. Now is the time to act, since without these guarantees the new EU privacy law will be severely prejudiced.

Boris Johnson airport case not persuasive

After a meeting in Brussels with the Mayor of London's aviation adviser Daniel Moylan who is also a Conservative Kensington councillor, at which he argued in favour of a huge new airport in the Thames Estuary - or at Stansted - which would involve the closure of Heathrow, Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford said:

 

“The Mayor and I can agree in opposing Heathrow expansion, although there are many Tories disgracefully supporting a Third Runway. Liberal Democrats are united in refusing to impose further noise and air pollution on the residents of West London.”
 

PRISM and data protection: Commissioner's answers inadequate

Appearing before MEPs, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, responsible for data protection, has failed to confirm that she would positively support the reinsertion in the draft new EU data protection law of an 'anti-FISA' clause as called for by MEPs including ALDE shadow rapporteur Sarah Ludford.

 

Politics.co.uk article: I'm trying to challenge Prism – not help it

This comment piece is a response to a Politics.co.uk article published on Thursday.

The aim of the ALDE group on the reform of EU data protection legislation is to have enforceable and workable standards which give consumers assurance that their fundamental rights are respected and companies the confidence they need to invest in innovative business models.

Europeans must be protected from Prism snooping

Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford, ALDE group shadow rapporteur on the update of EU data protection law, is demanding that an 'anti-FISA' clause be reintroduced in the text of the proposed new Regulation.

 

She wants to ensure that EU customers are shielded from US National Security Agency data-mining authorised by the Patriot Act and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, such as the recently revealed 'PRISM' programme.

 

Sarah Ludford said:

 

"MEPs including me have been pushing the European Commission for years about how the EU can safeguard Europeans against these intrusive powers, but we have been given the brush-off."

 

British Influence article: ‘Prism’ highlights need for robust EU-US dialogue

There have been increasing intrusions on the right to privacy on both sides of the Atlantic in the last decade under the cover of the ‘war on terror’. With individuals sharing more and more information about their lives not only in emails and phonecalls but with hundreds of ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on social networking sites, the appetite of the law enforcement and security services for snooping on us has inevitably grown.

 

Optout puts public safety at risk

LibDem European justice & human rights spokeswoman and MEP for London Sarah Ludford has backed the Justice Across Borders campaign against the government’s plan to opt out of 130 European police and criminal justice measures.

 

Justice Across Borders will hold a demonstration against the optout today outside Parliament, which has celebrity backing from Stephen Fry. The demonstration is also supported by Anti-Slavery International and the children’s charity ECPAT UK. Figures from ECPAT UK show that at least 500 children will be put at risk of trafficking and abuse every year if the optout goes ahead.

 

MPs will also debate the possible optout in an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons this afternoon.

 

Lazy UKIP MEP letting down Londoners

Attendance figures for MEPs have revealed that Liberal Democrat MEPs are the hardest working in Britain, while UKIP has been shown to be the laziest party in Europe.

 

Figures from VoteWatch Europe show that UKIP’s 11 MEPs have missed a third of all votes, twice the average across Europe. The Lib Dems are the hardest working UK party in Brussels, attending 87% of votes.

 

London MEP Sarah Ludford (LibDem) has attended 93% of roll call votes. In contrast UKIP’s Gerard Batten had a poor participation rate of 66.63%, ranking a meagre 709 out of 752 MEPs. Syed Kamall’s (Conservative) attendance rate is even worse at 62% (729 out of 752).

 

Europol opt in crucial for fight against crime

The House of Lords cross-party EU Committee has recommended that the UK should opt in to a proposed new EU law which increases the ability of the European police agency Europol to cope with the threat of organised crime and terrorism.

 

Europol has no executive or coercive powers to conduct investigations or make arrests in the Member States. The new Regulation strengthens its capability as a hub for information exchange and analysis on serious crime. The British police would get better access to the agency’s resources and intelligence on crimes like drug trafficking, money laundering, cybercrime, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.

 

Reform EU sugar policy to protect Tate & Lyle

 

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford has welcomed the coalition government’s continued commitment to the reform of EU sugar policy, which is vital for the future of 850 jobs at Tate & Lyle’s cane sugar refinery in Silvertown, east London.

 

LibDem Voice Article: Creating EU Data Protection rules that safeguard both privacy and jobs

As those who read this LibDem Voice article by Peter Bradwell of Open Rights group will know, I am currently the ALDE group ‘shadow rapporteur’ on the draft EU Data Protection Regulation in the European Parliament. 

EU Data Protection, dialogue on draft Regulation

EU Observer, 29 May 2013: New EU data law could end up weaker than old one

BRUSSELS - Backroom discussions among pro-industry MEPs and lobbying efforts by large companies risks undermining fundamental rights in one of the largest EU legislative proposals to ever hit the European Parliament floor.

The victim of the opaque debates surrounding the draft EU data protection regulation is the citizen and the democratic credibility of the European Union as a whole, German Green Jan Philip Albrecht told this website in an interview on Wednesday (29 May).

End the roaming rip-off

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford has welcomed the strong proposal of Commissioner Neelie Kroes to abandon mobile roaming charges in Europe by Easter 2014. By then, Kroes said, the EU could deliver legislation to end these charges on consumers using a mobile phone outside their home country.

 

Commenting on this proposal, Sarah Ludford MEP said:

 

“I fully support Commissioner Kroes in her ambition to create a roaming-free Europe. Having been hit by excessive roaming charges myself, I want to see a situation where Londoners are no longer afraid about the cost of using their mobile phones abroad.”

 

UK should participate in EU legal protection scheme

 

Victory for people power protest on olive oil

 

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford has welcomed the Commission announcement to withdraw its controversial plans to ban refillable olive oil containers like jugs and dipping bowls in restaurants.

 

The Commission says it will now consult with stakeholders including producers, consumers and restaurants to try and find a more satisfactory solution.

 

After a week of public outrage over the Commission's plans, Sarah Ludford MEP commented on today's U-turn:

 

MEP demands answers on olive oil regulation

 

EU leading tax crackdown

 

Ahead of tomorrow’s EU Summit in Brussels, the European Parliament has backed a common European strategy to combat tax fraud, evasion and havens.

 

Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat MP for London, said:

 

“It is totally unacceptable that corporate tax avoidance is now the norm in Europe, aided and abetted by aggressive tax planning and tax consultancy firms.”

 

“The public were rightly outraged by the recent allegations from a former Google executive turned whistleblower that the internet giant has cheated UK taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of pounds by diverting British profits through Ireland to the Bermuda tax haven.”

 

Survey shows widespread LGBT discrimination

 

A survey produced by Gallup Europe for the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to mark the forthcoming International Day Against Homophobia (May 17th) has revealed that almost half (47%) of the Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual community in Europe has been personally discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of their sexual orientation.

 

The survey was the EU’s largest LGBT hate crime and discrimination survey ever conducted with responses from over 93,000 LGBT people from all 27 EU Member States, plus Croatia which is about to join.

 

Moran case shows need to keep EAW

 

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed the arrest of Andrew Moran, one of Britain’s most wanted criminals, at a luxury villa in Spain’s Costa Blanca. Mr Moran was charged with armed robbery in 2005, but escaped justice by fleeing to Spain before being convicted in absence of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and placed on the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s most wanted list. He is set to be extradited back to the UK using the European Arrest Warrant after appearing before a Spanish court earlier today.

 

Sarah Ludford commented:

 

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