Many European governments, including some that had criticized the United States’s antiterrorism measures, have been extending their own surveillance and prosecution powers, the International Herald Tribune reports. Experts say that Europe, too, is experiencing an erosion of civil liberties as governments increasingly put the prevention of possible terrorist actions ahead of concerns to protect the rights of people suspected, but not convicted, of a crime.
Most of Britain’s new counterterrorism legislation, which outlaws “glorification” of terrorism, came into force on Thursday. Italy and the Netherlands have relaxed the conditions under which intelligence services may eavesdrop. France has given investigators broader access to telephone and Internet data. German legislation being drawn up would allow intelligence services easier access to bank and car registration records. The most contentious areas concern treatment of terror suspects. One broad trend has been the extension of police custody and restriction of legal representation.