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EU goes bananas – food safety tech to be used to catch paedophiles and sex offenders?

I had to stare at this for a bit to understand it. In a Written Declaration the European Parliament has called on the Member States to coordinate a European early warning system involving their public authorities, based on the existing system for food safety, as a means of tackling paedophilia and sex offending.

They are also talking about applying the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC) to search engines.

I’m all in favour of catching paedophiles but sometimes I wonder whether those that live in their ivory towers, serviced only by regular visits of the gravy train, really know what the real world is all about.

Actually having stared at the doc I still don’t really understand what they are saying. I presume this is filed in the cabinet reserved for straight bananas. Also the mind just boggles at the potential use of food safety technology. What type of labeling are we talking about here???

On a serious note this document is somewhat on the vague side. The problem we have with encroaching government is that once precedents have been established with using a technique to tackle one problem it is very easy for “Authorities” to think it a good idea to apply the same method with dealing with other less pressing issues (eg misuse of RIPA by local authorities).

In the UK at least the coalition government is pulling back from stupid complexity and regulation.

Technical Note – whilst assessing the proposals in the Written Declaration, it is important to take into account that a Written Declaration is not an actual piece of policy.

The main purpose of  a Written Declaration is to raise awareness on an issue. Once a Written Declaration is signed by the majority of the MEPs (368 signatures) it is forwarded to the President of the European Parliament, who announces it in plenary and forwards the document to the institutions named in the text (in this case the Commission and Council). An adopted Written Delcration can become the official position of the European Parliament but the Commission and Council are not required to act upon a Written Declaration.

The deadline for getting the majority of MEPs to sign the Declaration is September 19, 2010. Currently the Written Declaration has 324 signatories.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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