EU: Aid and development funding for surveillance programmes must end

Official documents obtained by Privacy International (PI) show the extent to which EU aid and development funds are being used to enhance states' surveillance capabilities and coercive powers. This includes internet monitoring, wiretapping tools, and national biometric systems designed to bolster the EU's ability to deport people. PI along with 13 other civil society organisations from Africa and Europe, including Statewatch, are calling for change.


Surveillance Disclosures Show Urgent Need for Reforms to EU Aid Programmes (PI, link):

"Privacy International (PI) and 13 other civil society organisations from Europe and Africa are calling for urgent reforms to EU aid and cooperation programmes to ensure they promote privacy protections in non-member countries and do not facilitate the use of surveillance which violates fundamental rights.

It comes following the public release of hundreds of documents obtained by PI after a year of negotiating with EU bodies under access to documents laws, which show:

    • How police and security agencies in Africa and the Balkans are trained with the EU's support in spying on internet and social media users and using controversial surveillance techniques and tools; Read PI's report here.
    • How EU bodies are training and equipping border and migration authorities in non-member countries with surveillance tools, including wiretapping systems and other phone surveillance tools, in a bid to 'outsource' the EU's border controls; Read PI's report here.
    • How Civipol, a well-connected French security company, is developing mass biometric systems with EU aid funds in Western Africa in order to stop migration and facilitate deportations without adequate risk assessments. Read PI's report here."

See: Joint letter to European Commissioners (pdf)

 

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