01 Mar 2005

Protection of Personal Data and Citizens’ Rights of Privacy in the Fight against the Financing of Terrorism

Yves Moiny

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In the fight against international terrorism, the European Union adopted a Regulation (n° 881/2002) in May 2002, permitting the freezing of assets belonging to Usama Bin Laden, the Al-Qaida network and the Taliban. Within its framework, hundreds of individuals, groups and entities have seen their assets frozen without any effective legal remedy for appeal. This paper by the Deputy Crown Prosecutor of Belgium critically examines the role this Regulation has played in combating terrorism, discusses the issues that arise as a result of the collection and processing of personal data and examines which citizens’ rights have been affected by the Council Regulation.