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The European Parliament

Swedish MEPs Critical of Data Directive

Published fredag 18 juni 2010 kl 18.41
Lena Ek, Center Party MEP

The European Union wants to expand the controversial Data Retention Directive, but all save one Swedish MEP are skeptical. The backers of the bill, Italian Tiziano Motti and Slovakian Anna Záborska, wants to store information about Europeans' Internet searches in order to stop child pornography.

But Center Party MEP Lena Ek is critical. "I think it's dreadful. The most important in all this is the right to a fair trial, the right to personal integrity and family life, and a protected private life and private correspondence," she told Swedish Radio News.

The European Parliament voted in support of the measure on Thursday; it is expected to be formally approved by the Parliament in July, at which point it will move on to the European Commission. Swedish Christian Democrat Alf Svensson was the only Swede to vote in favor of the directive, which originated in European Christian Democrat circles.

Lena Ek says however that the protection of certain legal rights trumps the directive's sympathetic cause. "Of course, it's really important when it comes to protecting children. But despite what crime it's about, it's important that we follow the rules that exist in Sweden and in Europe regarding fair trials. One shouldn't be allowed to do certain things until there are well-grounded suspicions, and a prosecutor should make such decisions," she said.

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