Brussels, 30 March 2001



ECO 101

from : the Swedish delegation
to : Police Cooperation Working Party
No. prev. doc. : 12855/1/00 ENFOPOL 71 ECO 316 REV 1

Subject : Draft Council conclusions on the importance of considering the needs of law enforcement authorities when working out Community legislation

The Swedish delegation,

having regard to the initiative taken by the French Presidency to create an informal link between the first and the third pillar within the field of high technology, and

considering the fact that proposals and decisions of technical or commercial nature within the first pillar may have an influence on the work conducted by the law enforcement authorities, for instance the proposal for a Directive concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (doc. COM (2000) 385 of 12 July 2000 = 10961/00 ECO 242 CODEC 616),

propose that the attached draft Council conclusions be adopted.


Conclusions of the Council of the European Union concerning the importance that law enforcement authorities have access to traffic data

The Council of the European Union:

notes the communication from the European commission "Creating a Safer Information Society by Improving the Security of Information Infrastructures and Combating Computer-related Crime", and the points of view and serious apprehensions expressed, in particular by the law enforcement authorities, at the hearing organised by the European commission in Brussels on 7 March 2001,

reminds of the importance of a more effective combat against crime committed against, by means of, or via the electronic communications systems,

considers it important that the law enforcement authorities be not obstructed or hampered in their efforts to investigate crime, such as dissemination of child pornography or agitation against an ethnic group via the Internet,

considers it being of great importance that the security of individuals and their confidence in the new instruments of electronic communication be ensured by guaranteeing the law enforcement authorities effective means of investigation,

understands that this issue concerns many fields, e.g. the protection of the privacy, and that it is important to find a solution that is well founded, proportionate and well-balanced with regard to different interests,

emphasises the opinion of the Council that the obligation for operators to erase and make traffic data anonymous, besides obstructing seriously crime investigations, also can lead to a decreasing confidence in, particularly, the electronic commerce ,

finds it therefore to be of utmost importance that the access to secure and reliable crime investigation methods be guaranteed,

invites therefore the European Commission to take immediate action with the purpose of ensuring that the law enforcement authorities also in the future will have the opportunity to investigate crimes where electronic communications systems are or have been used, and take legal measures against the perpetrators; the action to be taken should comprise a review of the provisions that oblige operators to erase traffic data or to make them anonymous; the object of the action should be to ensure that the purpose limitations regarding the personal data do not come into conflict with the law enforcement authorities' needs of data for crime investigation purposes.

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