Protests Organizing Over ‘Big Brother’ Stockholm Program

The issue should not go through silently, at least this was the sentiment of some people who are watching the formation of the Stockholm Program. The program is said to be “fortified” by the Heads of State and the government in December. What’s said to be at stake is the expansion of surveillance that can be accessed by the United States.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

“Let it not be done in silence!” Said one Blog poster by the name of Henrik Alexandersson. He offered a list of what is currently at stake:

– Enhanced cooperation between the EU and USA “in the field of freedom, security and justice”.
– National anti-terrorist center in all EU states, who will report to Brussels.
– All EU states must share their intelligence with all other member states.
– More and more effective, “data-mining”.
– Real time access to data on, for example, citizens’ travel, banking, mobile positions, internet use, and to fingerprint and portraits.
– Streamlined monitoring by active collection of citizens’ electronic footprints.
– EU standards of supervision.
– EU harmonization to remove legal barriers to surveillance and interception.
– Analysis at European level of material from national surveillance and mass interception.
– An expanded EU bureaucracy for monitoring, interception and analysis, known as SITC.

“As Emma raised through non-aligned Sweden,” Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party commented on his blog, “it feels almost obscene to the Swedish capital city synonymous with a package whose purpose is to introduce a Bodström Samhälle beyond what was previously seen, and the elimination of legal civil rights protection for it.”

The Swedish Pirate Party website also notes that the protests will happen from July 15-17 at Humlegården, Stockholm.

While on the surface, it appears to just be “stopping the terrorists”, we should note that, in Europe, there’s been multiple attempts to use systems supposedly set in place to stop terrorism for the commercial interests of the copyright industry. Austrian newspapers wanted to use data retention to enforce copyright for one. For another, German publishers wanted to add RapidShare to the national blacklists. While it doesn’t appear that file-sharing related activities are even close to being in the Stockholm Program, it’s hard to deny that surveillance to enforce copyright is indirectly one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to this.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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