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Parliamentary questions
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4 December 2009
E-6084/09
WRITTEN QUESTION E-6084/09
by Alexander Alvaro (ALDE)
to the Commission

 Subject: INDECT research programme on interlinked citizen surveillance systems
 Answer in writing 

In 2008 the Commission allocated 1.4 billion euros from the EU budget to security research. Under the Seventh Framework Research Programme, the INDECT project (Intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment), inter alia, is receiving 10.91 million euros. INDECT has been working since the beginning of 2009 to develop a platform which, through the registration and exchange of operational data, automatically recognises threats or reports abnormal behaviour and combines this with the use of various surveillance technologies. Some existing surveillance instruments, such as video cameras, data retention, mobile phone tracking, facial recognition or telephone tapping could thus be brought together in a single surveillance programme.

What criteria do the relevant services in DG Research use to take decisions about research objectives? Who considers whether these research objectives are compatible with the principle of proportionality and the expected social impact of individual programmes, such as INDECT, SUBITO or ADAPTS and how do they do so?

How does the Commission define the term ‘abnormal behaviour’ used in the programme?

How does the Commission justify approving and financing a programme that, if implemented as planned, would in effect remove the presumption of innocence enshrined in Article 48 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, since this blanket surveillance would make all EU citizens potential suspects?

What plans does the Commission have as far as implementation of this programme is concerned?

How will the European Parliament be involved in the future implementation of this and similar programmes?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011
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