Preview of the G8-meeting in Gleneagles

By EDRi · June 29, 2005

From 6 to 8 July 2005 the leaders of the 8 richest industrial countries,
the G8, will meet in Gleneagles, Scotland. This upcoming G8-summit has
been in the media spotlight for debating solutions to the world poverty,
but is equally important as a driving force of the surveillance society.
According to an article in the Guardian the leaders will discuss a plan to
exchange and bundle terrorism research, computer material and possibly DNA
and fingerprint samples, “testing the limits of data protection and
privacy laws”. This proposal was prepared by a 3 day meeting of the
Justice and Home Affairs ministers in Sheffield, UK from 16 to 18 June

Researcher Tom Blickmann from the Dutch Trans National Institute recently
published a convincing analysis of the previous law enforcement activities
from the G8. “The G8 is more than just a series of summit meetings. Over
the years a full-fledged programme of political co-ordination has grown up
around this annual event. Although the G8 is no more than an informal
grouping, which can only create obligations for its members, nonetheless,
its intention is to raise issues, which can then be taken further by the
eight member states using other multilateral instruments.” Blickmann sees
a predominant US national security interest effectively turned into EU
legislation. “No one doubts that international cooperation is needed to
address global security issues, but there is serious doubt on the
effectiveness of the current construction of a global enforcement regime,
as well as worries about the predominant role of the US in setting the
agenda.” In stead, he argues for a human security concept, which takes
into account root causes and social solutions and puts more emphasis on
good governance, social and economic development and human rights.

Quite likely, the leaders will also discuss a harmonisation of the current
EU proposal for mandatory data retention with the United States, Canada,
Japan and Russia. The G8 already organised a workshop about data retention
in May 2001 and published a data retention wish-list in May 2002, well
aware of the fact that the Cybercrime Treaty already provided law
enforcement with abundant data preservation powers. While the US House of
Congress never considered data retention proposals, not even after 9/11,
the climate in the US apparently is changing. In a secret meeting between
Justice Department officials, Internet service providers and the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a proposal was discussed to
oblige ISPs to store traffic data for 2 months. Journalist Declan
McCullagh has a report about the meeting. He quotes Dave McClure,
president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, which represents
small to midsize companies: “We were told, “You’re going to have to start
thinking about data retention if you don’t want people to think you’re
soft on child porn.”

G8 to pool data on terrorism (18.06.2005),13365,1509268,00.html

Tom Blickman: G8 and Security (17.06.2005)

G8 press declaration: Principles on the Availability of Data Essential to
Protecting Public Safety (May 2002)

Report of G8 workshop on data retention (May 2001)

Declan McCullagh: Your ISP as Net watchdog (16.06.2005)