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Comparing anti-terror policies and strategies in the US and Europe

Publication date: 

This report compares the emerging surveillance policies from Europe and the United States.

We find that in each case the EU is implementing surveillance powers well beyond those in U.S., and with far less openness and debate over these measures. The only area in which the U.S. matched the EU for closed discussion and lack of public debate is on matters that affect non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. companies. This is particularly the case over the use of technology at borders. In the U.S. there was little debate about the installation of the US-VISIT system; and in Europe, as with most other surveillance policies, there are few discussions on the direction of these policies and little debate.

This report concludes that the two policy blocs can learn more from each other than how to expand powers,. They may also share in some lessons learned from the mistakes in each others' processes and policies. Perhaps this could lead to renewed attention to safeguards and protections from abuse.

A shorter version of this report was published by the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe's Representative on Freedom of the Media.

This report is only available in PDF.