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(13 May 2022) - Civil society and some MEPs have called for the opinion of the European Court of Justice over data and privacy concerns.

Data protection
© Nick Youngson

The Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime was opened for signature at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Thursday (12 May). It aims to modernise the original convention of 2001 and to ensure a common and cooperative criminal policy approach.

In November 2021, Ministers at the Council of Europe formally approved the Protocol. Now, after the countries’ signing on 12 and 13 May, the text needs to be given consent by the European Parliament.

The international advocacy group European Digital Rights (EDRi), as well as the non-profit Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA), are calling on the European Parliament to use its power to request the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the compatibility of the Protocol with the Treaties.

EDRi is not an isolated voice. The European Data Protection Board, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe also called for stronger protections of fundamental rights.

The critics lament that the expansion of powers of law enforcement authorities is not followed by sufficient safeguards in terms of data protection, privacy and procedural rights. The Protocol will be superior to EU secondary laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). (Euractiv)

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