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EP / PRIVACY IN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
EP CIVIL LIBERTIES COMMITTEE APPROVES CAPPATO REPORT

Brussels, 11 July 2001 The EP Civil Liberties Committee approved today the report by Marco Cappato (Radical MEP of the Lista Bonino) on the draft EU Commission proposal for a directive on privacy in electronic communications, with 22 votes in favour, 12 against and 5 abstentions, under the co-decision procedure.

See also a comparative document which includes the Cappato changes

Declaration by Marco Cappato:

"The Civil liberties committee expressed itself in favour of a strict regulation of law enforcement authorities' access to personal data of citizens, such as communication traffic and location data. This decision is fundamental because in this way the EP blocks EU States' efforts underway in the Council to put their citizens under generalised and pervasive surveillance, following the Echelon model. The decision of leaving to Member States the choice between opt-in and opt-out systems on electronic commercial communications is a liberal approach that respects subsidiarity, and that takes into consideration freedom of expression (prohibiting "hidden" spamming) and the different experiences of the Member States".

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Annex: relevant draft Cappato report text as it came out of the vote of today

Article 15: Member States may adopt legislative measures to restrict the scope of the rights and obligations provided for in Article 5, Article 6, Article 8(1) to (4), and Article 9 (confidentiality of communication traffic data and location data) of this Directive when such restriction constitutes a necessary, appropriate, proportionate and limited in time measure within a democratic society to safeguard national security, defence, public security, the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences or of unauthorised use of the electronic communication system, as referred to in Article 13(1) of Directive 95/46/EC. These measures must be entirely exceptional, based on a specific law which is comprehensible to the general public and be authorised by the judicial or competent authorities for individual cases. Under the European Convention on Human Rights and pursuant to rulings issued by the Court of Human Rights, any form of wide-scale general or exploratory electronic surveillance is prohibited.

Art.13 (...) Member States shall take appropriate measures to ensure that, free of charge and in an easy and clear manner, unsolicited communications for purposes of direct marketing, by means other than those referred to in paragraph 2 (fax, automated calling machines; electronic email has been deleted) are not allowed either without the consent of the subscribers concerned or in respect of subscribers who do not wish to receive these communications, the choice between these options to be determined by national legislation.

The practice of sending electronic messages for the purpose of direct marketing disguising or concealing the identity of the sender on whose behalf the communication is made shall be prohibited.

Senders of unsolicited electronic mail shall supply with their messages an address to which the recipient may send a request that such communications cease.

Infos: tel 0032 2 2847496; Email: mcappato@europarl.eu.int