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Europol ordered to delete vast store of personal data

A Guardian investigation reveals that Europol, the EU police body, has been accused of unlawfully holding information and aspiring to become an NSA-style mass surveillance agency. An article co-authored by Apostolis Fotiadis, Ludek Stavinoha, Giacomo Zandonini, and Daniel Howden reveals that Europol will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has been found to have amassed unlawfully by the bloc’s data protection watchdog. The unprecedented finding from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) targets what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing billions of points of information. Sensitive data in the ark has been drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services, and sampled from asylum seekers never involved in any crime. According to internal documents seen by the Guardian, Europol’s cache contains at least 4 petabytes – equivalent to 3m CD-Roms or a fifth of the entire contents of […]

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Why Europe’s Muslims are braced for France’s stint running the EU

There is concern that the country’s divisive anti-Muslim political discourse will seep into the union’s institutional policymaking, says Shada Islam in the Guardian. The French election campaign essentially means it is open season on Muslims in France, writes Islam. Many French politicians have adopted rampant Islamophobia as an electoral strategy. Toxic debates on Islam and Muslims, mixed with acrimonious intersectional swipes at race and migration, are becoming increasingly venomous. Alarmingly, Muslim-bashing is no longer the preserve of the far-right anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen. Macron’s hardline interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, accused Le Pen, during a recent television debate, of going “soft” on Islam. Macron himself, who is expected to seek re-election, is already enforcing a spate of anti-Muslim policies, including a bill supposedly aimed at preventing “separatism” and the emergence of a “counter society” among France’s six million Muslim citizens. Macron’s government is also under criticism for shutting down the […]

MP’s call to extend Copyright Directive filters to ‘extremist’ material attacked by Article 19

An amendment to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that would extend copyright filtering to cover ‘extremist’ material has been condemned by human rights organisation Article 19. The organisation warns that the amendment, proposed by Labour MP Stephen Doughty, amounts to censorship and would, in any case, likely contravene Article 15 of the European Union E-Commerce Directive. Read more