New anti-terrorism measures in Denmark

By EDRi · December 5, 2005

Like France, Denmark is also working on a new round of anti-terrorism measures, to be presented to Parliament in the spring of 2006. The proposals are quite far reaching and encompass a range of intrusions into citizens’ digital privacy.

Among the most notorious proposals are:
– a recommendation to let the authorities monitor the entire spectrum of telecommunications taking place within a delimited geographical area such as an apartment complex;
– to allow intelligence services to request any information stored in any government database about any citizen without it being part of an ongoing investigation;
– the introduction of mandatory screening of airline passenger lists by intelligence services;
– to oblige all operators of services for electronic communications to implement technical measures to enable the authorities to wiretap any given communication at short notice.
– a delegation to local authorities of the power to put in place CCTV surveillance of public spaces and open areas – a practice which previously had been disallowed.

The initiatives are part of a 49 item ‘wish list’ compiled by civil servants at the request of the government in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London.

The initial reaction among legal experts, telecom operators and citizens’ rights groups has been one of strongly outspoken opposition in relation to many of the proposals, which seems to have put the government on the defensive.

An action plan to further debate and implement the proposals was recently put forward in Parliament and won backing, although a majority had reservations. The political parties are now be invited to consult with government on the initial legislative drafts. In connection with this, the Parliamentary judicial committee has announced an expert conference on the initiatives in January 2006 and the government is expected to put forward its proposed legislation by spring of 2006. Digital Rights in Denmark are working pro-actively to influence public opinion in these matters.

Freedom and security under the shadow of terror (11.11.2005)

PM backs off on terror package (17.11.2005)

Government Action Plan on anti-terrorism (in Danish only)

(Contribution by Kristoffer Nilaus Olsen, EDRI-member Digital Rights Denmark)