London Met expert helps shape UK security policy

Professor Douwe Korff gives evidence to EU Select Committee at House of Lords

Date: 16 January 2014

An International Law lecturer from London Metropolitan University has shared his expertise with policymakers during a hearing at the House of Lords.

Professor Douwe Korff, from London Met’s Faculty of Business and Law, gave evidence to the Select Committee on the European Union during an inquiry on future justice and home affairs.

The expert on human rights and data protection stressed the importance of respecting personal freedoms when developing laws to tackle the growing threat of online crime.

“We need a balance between security and data protection”, Professor Korff said. “The big trend that we have seen is ever more co-operation in justice and home affairs, which is ever more intrusive on individual rights and human rights.

“The blurring of the lines between national security and law enforcement is one area that I am particularly concerned about, which relates to European Union competence, of course, and the whole issue of the [Edward] Snowden revelations.”

Professor Korff, who lectures in the Faculty of Business and Law at London Met, is one of the world’s leading experts on data security and how it should be legislated. He recently attended the major Octopus ‘Cooperation against Cybercrime’ conference in Strasbourg, which brings together leading authorities from across the globe to discuss this important issue.

He was called as an expert on European human rights and surveillance law before the European Parliament inquiry into surveillance in October 2013, and will be one of three experts speaking at the European Data Protection Day event at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 28 January. He was recently made an Associate of the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford for his work on cyber security and human rights.

“Generally, you cannot have enhanced co-operation in the justice and home affairs area, let alone in the national security area—and the two are really difficult to separate—without enhanced protection for human rights and enhanced involvement of the European Parliament,” Professor Korff added. “That is going to be crucial.”

Professor Korff’s appearance at the Houses of Parliament shows how London Metropolitan University staff and students make a real impact on society by shaping policy and developing understanding of key social issues. For example, in November last year research from the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at London Met exposed worrying trends among young people’s approach to consensual sex, making headlines around the world.

Find out more about the Faculty of Business and Law at London Metropolitan University

Watch Professor Korff give evidence to the Select Committee on the EU hearing here.