Intelligence services surveillance in the European Union: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies


Panel organised by: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
Chair: Carly Nyst, former Legal Director, Privacy International, United Kingdom
Moderator: Sophie Kwasny, Head of Data Protection Unit, Council of Europe

Composition of the panel:
Mario Oetheimer, Head of Sector Information Society, Privacy and Data Protection, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
Wouter De Ridder, Secretary of the Belgian Standing Committee I, Belgium
Federica Resta, Lawyer at the Italian Data Protection Authority, Italy
Thorsten Wetzling, stiftung neue verantwortung

With the Snowden revelations, global surveillance programmes by intelligence services have been widely discussed at United Nations, Council of Europe, EU and the Member States level. Their impact on the fundamental rights to privacy and protection of personal data is often the focus of discussion.
In April 2014, the European Parliament requested the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights to research the way fundamental rights are protected in the context of surveillance, including the remedies available to individuals. In a report published in November 2015, FRA analysed EU Member States’ legal frameworks on surveillance, the role of oversight bodies and individuals’ access to effective remedies in case of surveillance.
Starting from the FRA findings as well as initial visits to EU Member States, the panel will address current and prospective challenges and discuss, together with representative of oversight bodies, solutions to enhance the fundamental rights’ safeguards.
Key issues to be discussed include:

  • Legal frameworks in the EU Member States and ongoing legislative reforms
  • Role and organisational aspects of oversight bodies: executive control, parliamentary oversight, expert oversight, cross-border cooperation between oversight bodies
  • Oversight of signals intelligence and interception of communications: legal provisions and related issues
  • Effective remedies in the context of surveillance, including the obligation to inform, the right to access to personal data, judicial and non-judicial remedial avenues

Mario Oetheimer (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights), Wouter De Ridder (Secretary of the Belgian Standing Committee I), Federica Resta (Italian Data Protection Authority), Thorsten Wetzling (stiftung neue verantwortung)

29.01.2016 - 10:30 bis 12:00
Dr. Thorsten Wetzling