PL 3a: From cybersecurity to terrorism - are we all under surveillance?

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Session teaser

This session will be an interactive discussion with short interventions from speakers on the stage and in the audience on the topics of government surveillance, cybersecurity, terrorism and anonymity.

Session description

Recent cyber and terrorist attacks have led several European governments to consider and enact new online surveillance laws, e.g. in France and the UK. This will be a solutions-focused session seeking to find multi-stakeholder answers to key questions such as: What are the features of these new laws and are they legal? Do they hinder terrorism? What is the impact on anonymity and privacy? What actions do tech companies take to increase trusts, e.g. through encryption and transparency? What is the right balance between fighting terrorism and upholding online rights? How can we bring a human rights framing to security and surveillance discussions and policy-making?


Surveillance, terrorism, anonymity


Moving from statements to Q&A. A very brief “state of play” comments for each of the questions outlined from the speakers, followed by suggestions or thoughts from the speakers on how to address the challenges/how to change the discourse/how to shift the policy discussion, engaging also the audience in the discussion.

Further reading


  • Focal Point: Mattias Bjärnemalm, Advisor on Internet Policy, European Parliament
  • Moderator: Jens-Henrik Jeppesen (Director, CDT)
  • Key participants:
    • Jan Kleijssen, Director of Information Society and Action against Crime, Council of Europe
    • Sacha van Geffen, Managing Director,
    • Gregory Mounier, Europol
    • Valentina Pellizzer, OneWorld Platform
    • Harry Halpin, W3C
    • Christian Borggreen, Director CCIA Europe
  • Remote moderator: Farzaneh Badiei
  • Org team
    • Desara Dushi, PhD Candidate in Law, Science and Technology (LAST-JD), University of Bologna and University of Turin
    • Christian Borggreen
    • Sophie Kwasny
    • Rudi Vansnick
    • Lianna Galstyan
  • Reporter: Valentina Pavel

Current discussion

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page.

Conference call. Schedules and minutes

  • dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
  • short summary of calls or email exchange
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Video record

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Transcript: From cybersecurity to terrorism - are we all under surveillance?


  • Lowering privacy and data protection standards is not the solution for combating terrorism.
  • Gathering of data should not be confused with requests for information when investigating crimes committed in cyberspace.
  • Transparency, privacy, security and encryption are essential for Internet users and more and more focus should be awarded to ensuring them.
  • National exceptions should be eliminated and human rights should be enforced. It is time to solidify frameworks both from a technical as well as political point of view.
  • The lack of harmonization for legal and lawful investigations is one of the biggest problems of the law enforcement community.
  • Authorities have a large appreciation of who is a terrorist, therefore surveillance measures are sometimes exceeding the proportionality, adequacy and predictability principles.
  • The cybersecurity definition should include and focus both on the end user as well as on the technical community and the justice department. Cybersecurity comes with protecting the end user and with secure systems, not against them.
  • It is crucial to protect a free and open Internet.
  • All legal principles apply to surveillance measures, therefore the rule of law is incremental applied to targeted surveillance. More training and skills are needed for correct information management of both intelligence agencies and police.

Session twitter hashtag

Hashtag: #eurodig16