In its resolution of 4 July 2013 the European Parliament set the mandate of the LIBE Committee Inquiry:
Instructs its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the matter in collaboration with national parliaments and the EU-US expert group set up by the Commission and to report back by the end of the year, by:
- gathering all relevant information and evidence from both US and EU sources (fact-finding)
- investigating the alleged surveillance activities of US authorities as well as any carried out by certain Member States (mapping of responsibilities)
- assessing the impact of surveillance programmes as regards: the fundamental rights of EU citizens (in particular the right to respect for private life and communications, freedom of expression, the presumption of innocence and the right to an effective remedy); actual data protection both within the EU and for EU citizens outside the EU, focusing in particular on the effectiveness of EU law in respect of extraterritoriality mechanisms; the safety of the EU in the era of cloud computing; the added value and proportionality of such programmes with regard to the fight against terrorism; the external dimension of the area of freedom, security and justice (assessing the validity of adequacy decisions for EU transfers to third countries, such as those carried out under the Safe Harbour Agreement, international agreements and other legal instruments providing for legal assistance and cooperation) (damage and risk analysis)
- exploring the most appropriate mechanisms for redress in the event of confirmed violations (administrative and judicial redress and compensation schemes)
- putting forward recommendations aimed at preventing further violations, and ensuring credible, high-level protection of EU citizens’ personal data via adequate means, in particular the adoption of a fully-fledged data protection package (policy recommendations and lawmaking)
- issuing recommendations aimed at strengthening IT security in the EU’s institutions, bodies and agencies by means of proper internal security rules for communication systems, in order to prevent and remedy unauthorised access and the disclosure or loss of information and personal data (remedying of security breaches)
So far the actors who seem to be best able to provide the Committee with adequate information, besides the US and EU Authorities which will be invited later, are the media which unveiled these facts and the participants of the EU-US expert groups.
Their testimony and intervention before the LIBE Committee will enable the LIBE Committee to identify those aspects that will deserve closer investigation and thus need clarification in the following meetings.
Given the obvious similarities with the investigation into the Echelon system the then Chair of the temporary committee, Mr Coelho, and its rapporteur, Mr Schmid, have been invited to share their experiences.
Introductory remarks by Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR, Chair of the LIBE Committee
- Jacques FOLLOROU, Le Monde
- Jacob APPELBAUM, investigative journalist, software developer and computer security researcher with the Tor Project
- Alan RUSBRIDGER, Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian (via videoconference)
- Gerhard SCHMID (former MEP and Rapporteur of the ECHELON report 2001)
- Carlos COELHO (MEP), former Chair of the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System
- Duncan CAMPBELL, investigative journalist and author of the STOA report “Interception Capabilities 2000”