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By NWV News Director, Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
November 15, 2008

Under a United Kingdom government security plan examined by reporters from the London-based Daily Telegraph, all countries would submit classified -- even secret -- information into a central intelligence unit so that any member nation will have access to it.

But the proposals risk hard won intelligence gathered by British agents being leaked by less scrupulous security services, particularly in the former Communist states of Eastern Europe, according to security experts and writers Bruno Waterfield and Duncan Gardham.

Although the Government has contributed to the proposals being drawn up as part of unifying European countries and their resources, Britain's security services -- MI5, the internal agency, and MI6, the overseas intelligence agency -- will likely put up stiff opposition to these plans, claim Waterfield and Gardham.

"This is serious business even for the United States," said former US Marine intelligence officer and NYPD detective Sid Frances.

"The United States shares top secret intelligence with the British intelligence and law enforcement agencies. That means that very soon, US secrets will be distributed to nations that should not have access to our military and law enforcement secrets," claims the decorated Marine and cop.

Historically British intelligence officers have enjoyed a good relationship with their US counterparts, regularly exchanging information particularly in the fight against terrorism.

However, there has been a degree of mistrust between the British authorities and European security agencies. In the 1990s the French intelligence service was blamed for leaking information shared by MI6 to the Serbian military,

"We have well-worked principles about how we share information using bilateral relationships built up over many years," said Waterfield and Gardham.

"We share information whenever we need to do so and while the idea of dumping everything in a big pool may have a superficial attraction, we would want to know that everyone was contributing equally and the information shared was properly protected."

The intelligence-sharing plan from the European Union Future Group is expected to form the basis of legislation next year and calls on countries to abandon the "principle of confidentiality" which has governed the sharing of intelligence for decades.

The proposals stop short of calling for a European spy agency but say there is a need for "increased synergies between police and security intelligence services."

It suggests a network of "antiterrorist centers" in each country coordinated by SitCen, the European Union's intelligence assessment center in Brussels.

"While the US won't directly be involved in consolidating intelligence, any secrets we share with Britain, France, Germany or other countries will be open to espionage by enemy nations or terrorist groups," warns Det. Frances.

"Once we submit classified information to foreign entities, we no longer have control over what groups have access to our secrets," he added.

Other proposals suggest standardizing police surveillance techniques and extending the sharing of DNA and fingerprint databases to include CCTV video footage and material gathered by "spy drones."

The plans are based on the idea that the EU can do better than national governments with the report adding: "It appears that this sector cannot be managed politically by individual member states."

It is also suggests that the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), which currently only involves France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, should become an EU body.

The proposal will step up pressure on the UK to allow the deployment of armed foreign police officers in Britain during "crisis" situations, including public order disturbances at international summits.

Other proposals include the formation of a paramilitary police force which can be deployed by a Brussels "mission command" in international hotspots outside the EU's borders.

The confidential 53-page document, called European Home Affairs in an Open World, sets out plans for an EU program of security measures from 2010 to 2014.

It has been drafted by a top-level group consisting of justice ministers from Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, France, the Czech Republic and Sweden as well as the European Commission.

The plans have alarmed both the Conservatives and civil libertarians as both an erosion of national sovereignty and a threat to freedom.

Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Home Secretary, told the British press, "This report reveals the enormous scope of Brussels' ambitions for EU control over vital areas of national security policy. While practical cooperation between EU partners is important -- the Government must resolutely resist any attempt to fetter British control over this important policy area."

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Government sources said they were still considering the proposals but were keen to see greater cooperation in gathering intelligence at European borders. A Home Office spokesman said: "The UK has followed the workings of the Future Group and has fed in where possible.

"The report contains some useful ideas regarding how EU countries can cooperate on global issues such as combating terrorism."

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