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(fwd) FC: European Union calls for more Net-police powers

Forwarded message follows:
On Thu, 29 Jan 1998 17:48:24 -0800 (PST), Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Am Thu, 29 Jan 1998 17:48:24 -0800 (PST) schrieb Declan McCullagh:

>Thursday January 29 1:56 PM EST
>European body considers expanding police Net powers
>   By Helen Smith
>   BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - E-mail will be fair game for Europe's
>   police forces under a new directive being explored by the powerful
>   European Union.
>   Justice ministers from European Union member countries agreed Thursday
>   to consider letting police snoop on Internet users as a measure to
>   tackle organized crime.
>   Police are currently barred from tapping into private computer messages,
>   but that ban may be lifted due to fears that the Internet is being used
>   by international criminals for money laundering and other crimes.
>   The ministers, gathered for an informal meeting in Birmingham, central
>   England, agreed police should be given new powers but added they should
>   be tightly restricted so as not to damage the rapidly growing computer
>   industry.
>   "There could only be such access under strictly controlled conditions
>   and on the basis of demonstrable need," said an official.
>   Britain's Home Secretary (interior minister) Jack Straw, who is hosting
>   the first meeting of justice ministers on his home territory under
>   Britain's six-month EU presidency, says police forces must be brought
>   into the modern age.
>   "We are using 19th century procedures to pursue 21st century criminals,"
>   he said recently.

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