'Investigative Reporting' Prize for Telepolis
Online Magazine Awarded
Hanover/Munich, July 6th 2000 - The internet magazine Telepolis (http://www.telepolis.de/tp) won the European Online Journalism Prize awarded by the Media Conference NetMedia 2000 (http://www.net-media.co.uk/eolja/) in the category 'Investigative Reporting'for reporting on Enfopol.
The prize is presented in different categories by a jury of members recruited from 15 European countries, and is sponsored among others by Reuters, News Network, AOL Europe and Chello. The award will be presented on Thursday, 6th July 2000, at 7 p.m., Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1.
Armin Medosch will receive the prize on behalf of the editorial staff. Medosch: 'We only succeeded in reporting so well on Enfopol because different European journalists and groups like the British civil rights organization Statewatch and the Austrian civil rights society Quintessenz cooperated on this subject.'
The freelance authors Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti, Germany, Erich Möchel, Austria, Duncan Campbell, Great Britain, Jelle van Buren, The Netherlands, working for Telepolis and the Telepolis editors Armin Medosch, London, and Florian Rötzer, Munich, began reporting in 1998 on the planned Europe-wide supervision of the Internet and other new technologies.
In November 1998 Telepolis presented different secret working papers by the European-Council working group 'Police Cooperation', which published their documents using the abbreviation 'Enfopol' (Enforcement Police). The Enfopol papers published in the internet attracted the attention of European data protectionists and politicians, as well as civil rights organisations:
The German member of the Bundestag, Jörg Tauss, SPD, accused members of the Federal government to hold back documents and to prevent a public discussion of the project. 'By deliberately circulating false information' the intervention faculties of the security authorities would be extended unacceptably.
In May 1999 the Ministers of the Interior, and the Ministers of Justice of the European Union member countries adjourned the decision on the corresponding Council resolution. They declared the decison was adjourned not because of factual reservation, but because it was intended to offer a public discussion first. The subject should be on the agenda again in autumn.
This year in spring an internal paper of the working group, dated 18th october 1999, became known, which indicated that the member countries considered making a statement to the press responding to the negative press reports: 'Several delegations admonished caution regarding the preparation of a press release and remarked this could provoke a chain reaction and further negative press reports'. Telepolis editor Florian Rötzer referred to this as 'the greatest compliment for our work'.
Up to now no further publications of the Enfopol working group have become known, nor has a Council resolution been passed. Nevertheless, the European legal aid agreement, that Telepolis has been reporting on regularly, was modified to provide the legal requirements concerning the frontier-crossing monitoring of telecommunication equipment, including satellite telephony.
Armin Medosch - Redaktion Telepolis
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