While the NSA ended Sunday the authority to collect phone-record data, British Prime Minister David Cameron had announced earlier in November the Investigatory Powers Bill which allows police to view websites people have visited without a warrant. Today, Europe’s police agency, Europol released its new powers in combatting the cyber-crime which has been aiding terrorists.
The formulation of new police units will counter the rising threats from terrorist, cyber-gangs and organized crime. One of methods of operation will allow the new police group to contact firms such as Facebook and request removal of web pages that contain ISIS and other terrorist content. This action was approved last week during a session of the European Parliament and ratified yesterday in a 43-5 votes by the Civil Liberties Committee of MEPs.
MEP lead Augustin Diaz de Mera stated, “The new Europol rules are the best answer that we give to the terrorist threat.” He cited that 446 people had been killed during the past month from terrorist activity which included the attacks in Paris.
UK cyber-crime expert and Europol adviser Professor Alan Woodward from Surrey University told SC Magazine that he believes this move in sharing takes Europe away from the silo mentality of operating independently and without sharing of information. Cyber-crime needs to be attacked with coordinated activity across geographical borders.
While Europe evolves in its attack on cyber-crime and terrorist activities, Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News on Sunday his opinion on the elimination of bulk data collection by the NSA, “I’m not sure that we know the full extent of what we’ve learned to this point, but any time you can take electronics and use those selectors, it’s beneficial to the world’s intelligence community,” He further stated, “And the United States made a real mistake when they eliminated this program.”
Although legislation backed by Burr and other Senate Republicans has been given slim chance of passage, Burr stated, “It’s amazing what happens when people are reminded what terrorists can do. The American people recognize that the indiscriminate, brutal acts that (the Islamic State) carried out could happen in any community across this country and throughout the world. And I think as Americans, we believe we should do everything we can to eliminate that. … I want to make sure that the tools that law enforcement have are as robust as they possibly can be.”