It seems that shining the light on the dark and murky waters of the EU Commission’s FP7 research framework projects occasionally has its rewards.
On Oct 12th, I turned the spotlight on a certain Project INDECT, highlighting the dangers that it holds for the public, their rights and liberties and the function creep that this kind of authoritarian project will bring.
Today, there has been an EU Parliamentary declaration, reaffirming the fears that I indicated, and calling on the EU Commission to throw open the INDECT files.
Here is the text of that Declaration.
pursuant to Rule 123 of the Rules of Procedure
on INDECT (intelligent information system supporting observation, searching
and detection for security of citizens in urban environment)
Alexander ALVARO, Carlos COELHO, Stavros LAMBRINIDIS, Judith
SARGENTINI, Rui TAVARES
Written declaration on INDECT (intelligent information system supporting observation,
searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment)
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas INDECT is a research project with the aim of developing an automated observation system that constantly monitors web sites, surveillance cameras and individual computer systems to develop a new type of search engine combining direct search of images and video based contents,
B. whereas the INDECT Ethics Board, responsible for dealing with potential ethical problems, has decided that information that may have negative impact on the reputation of the research project should be kept confidential,
C. whereas INDECT is funded by the 7th FWP, receiving 10.91 million EUR within the time period 2009-2013,
D. whereas the Parliament and the Council establish the Union’s annual budget as well as the measures necessary for the implementation of the European research area,
E. whereas the Commission is obliged to regularly report the results of the monitoring of the 7th FWP and its specific programmes to the Parliament,
1. Emphasizes its commitment to safeguard civil liberties of the European citizens;
2. Expresses concern about function creep, the possible impact on fundamental rights and the danger that researched technologies, respectively collected information are used by public actors or third parties;
3. Strongly urges the Commission to immediately make all documents related to INDECT available and to define a clear and strict mandate for the research goal, the application and the end users of INDECT;
4. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories to Commission and Council.
Only time will tell as to how successful this is likely to be, but I will continue to shine the light where the EU doesn’t want the sun shining.