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Old 06-12-2013, 05:56 PM  
Ace Gunner Ace Gunner is offline
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EU justice chief seeks answers on U.S. data spying

EU justice chief seeks answers on U.S. data spying



European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding addresses the European Parliament
during a debate on the constitutional situation in Hungary in Strasbourg, April 17, 2013.



(Reuters) - The European Union's chief justice official has written to the U.S. attorney general demanding an explanation for the collection of foreign nationals' data through its Prism spy program.

In a letter seen by Reuters, the European commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, Viviane Reding, said she had serious concerns about the possibility that U.S. authorities had accessed European citizens' data on a vast scale.

Reding has pushed hard for stronger privacy rules in Europe throughout her mandate. In 2012, she sought to introduce measures that would have set up barriers for foreign judicial authorities to access data about European citizens.

But EU officials say the proposals were diluted by her counterparts in the European Commission, the EU executive, because of concerns such laws would strain relations with the United States at a time when the EU was preparing for talks on a free-trade deal with Washington.

"I would request that you provide me with explanations and clarifications on the Prism program, other U.S. programs involving data collection and search, and laws under which such programs may be authorized," Reding wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder.

U.S. officials have confirmed the existence of a secret program to draw data from the Internet, code-named Prism, which according to documents leaked to the Washington Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper has given them access to data from firms such as Google, Facebook and Skype.

Reding has tried to make it more difficult for U.S. authorities to obtain data from European telecoms and technology companies by introducing stricter requirements such as the approval from a judicial authority.

"In-house people didn't want to create any possible tension with the U.S.," an EU official said, referring to opposition inside the European Commission to Reding's proposals in 2012.

Holder and Reding will meet in Dublin on Friday at a scheduled ministerial gathering.

DETAILED QUESTIONS

In her letter, Reding asks Holder to explain whether EU citizens were targeted under Prism, how broad U.S. access to the data would have been and how EU companies and citizens can appeal against the monitoring of their private correspondence.

EU officials have for several years asked the United States to explain how laws such as the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment Act affect EU citizens and companies. The European Parliament, in particular, has become vocal about limiting data sharing and protecting privacy.

Since 2011 the European Commission has tried to negotiate a transatlantic data protection agreement that would limit U.S. access to European data.

The talks have stalled partly over the issue of what rights EU citizens had on U.S. soil, a commission official told Reuters earlier this week.

EU officials also are debating whether data protection should be included in negotiations for an EU-U.S. free-trade deal on which formal talks are expected to begin next month.

European businesses have warned that without legal certainty, technologies which rely on data protection such as cloud computing will not be able to grow in Europe.

Companies considering adopting cloud technology still cite security as their biggest concern and European officials say they are aware that Europe's cloud market hinges on privacy.

"The storage of the data in the foreign servers and related legal uncertainty constitutes a real impediment," a Commission official said.

Lobby groups in Brussels say they need to know which set of laws - EU or U.S. legislation - they should follow.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Hey, other countries:

Newsflash to other countries: Yes, we're spying on you. We've had a whole organization set up for that for many years. And you're trying to spy on us and all your neighbors as well, so .
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Hey, other countries:

Newsflash to other countries: Yes, we're spying on you. We've had a whole organization set up for that for many years. And you're trying to spy on us and all your neighbors as well, so .
yes, because in your stupid lil world, spying on citizens of other countries is the same as spying on activities of other governments.
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dylan View Post
The latest sign of the international backlash over President Obama's sweeping electronic surveillance programs.

The Socialists had this to say:

GERMANY
Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics before Obama visit. Germany’s Interior Ministry said it had already been in contact with U.S. officials to determine whether there had been any infringement of German citizens’ privacy — considered an almost-sacred right in a country with a history of deep privacy infringements under Nazi and East German governments. In Germany, privacy regulations are especially strict. "The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is. Such behavior is neither anchored in German law, nor has it been judged acceptable by the Constitutional Court. Therefore, one has to assume that basic rights, especially the right to data protection, are worth less in the US than in Europe. You can also rely on German companies and authorities to be more law-abiding."


The Free State of Bavaria
Markus Ferber, member of the European Parliament for Bavaria accuses Washington of using "American-style Stasi methods. I thought this era had ended when the DDR fell," he said, using the German initials for the failed German Democratic Republic.


European Union
Interestingly, it was the assurances the US President gave to the American people this weekend that seemed to infuriate the European lawmakers the most. The PRISM programme “does not apply to US citizens and it does not apply to people living the United States,” he told a press conference on 7 June. If they aren't spying on Americans' internet use, then that means they are spying on people in other countries - including allies in Europe. “What is coming from other side of the Atlantic is very worrying because they are justifying this system by saying it is not applicable to US citizens, only to foreigners,” declared Belgian Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt in Strasbourg this morning.“Who are the foreigners? I think we are the foreigners, the Europeans.” He went on to say, "What's most disturbing about this is the pretence of counter-terrorism or the pretence of the war on terror or the pretence of even proper cause is not even in this. It's 'we just need the data'."


Britain
David Blunkett has urged the government to review the law on the oversight of intelligence agencies in order to strengthen ministerial scrutiny of information on UK citizens provided by US intelligence agencies. "Can we take a closer look at how other agencies, including the National Security Agency and our friends and colleagues in the US, use material gathered from network and service providers, and offer it, rather than having it sought from them, in a way that makes authorisation extremely difficult?" William Hague, the foreign secretary, insisted British laws did not allow for "indiscriminate trawling" for information.



Russia
President Vladimir Putin said, “I can tell you that at least in Russia, you cannot just go and tap into someone's phone without a warrant issued by court. ... That's more or less the way a civilized society should go about fighting terrorism with modern-day technology.”



Austria:
The leader of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Hannes Swoboda said "data protection is an integral part of every citizen's right to privacy. We will not accept any government or company simply ignoring this right." He demanded that the EU provide full disclosure on the on the data surveillance connected to the PRISM case. "If any European government was aware in spying on EU citizens' data, this must have the most serious repercussions," warned the leader.



Israel
“Democracies around the world struggle to defend themselves against terrorism without at the same time undermining the very freedoms which they value and which they are willing to fight to protect."


Canada
Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart’s office issued a statement Monday saying developments in the U.S. and here have raised “significant concerns” about the scope of information being collected. Stoddart acknowledged that at this stage she, too, is at a loss to really know whether any lines have been crossed.


U.S. surveillance have also caused anxiety in many other countries including Australia and New Zealand - Sorry, I got a little tired...
well thank you for posting -- I enjoyed reading about how other governments see our superior brand of corporatist fascism.

this is going to leave a mark.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:04 AM   #19
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I like the EU courts since they seem to stand up against Video game Developers and their polices against second hand sales.

This is another reason.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
I like the EU courts since they seem to stand up against Video game Developers and their polices against second hand sales.

This is another reason.
you mean they seem more intelligent than our gov't does. and they are. the idea here in the USA is, putting stupid folks in charge insures a desired outcome -- failure. stupid folks are more likely to cheat and lie too -- gotta have an edge.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Buzz_TinBalls View Post
we need an independent council created to keep security and nail these asshats
Yeah, but one of these louts will pick the guy.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Hey, other countries:

Newsflash to other countries: Yes, we're spying on you. We've had a whole organization set up for that for many years. And you're trying to spy on us and all your neighbors as well, so .
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Buzz_TinBalls View Post
yes, because in your stupid lil world, spying on citizens of other countries is the same as spying on activities of other governments.
In my stupid little world, otherwise known as the real world, our legitimate interests in foreign intelligence go well beyond foreign governments. We also want to know about non-government actors like al Queda, A.Q. Khan, radical elements of the Syrian opposition, Columbian narco-terrorists, etc.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:52 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
In my stupid little world, otherwise known as the real world, our legitimate interests in foreign intelligence go well beyond foreign governments. We also want to know about non-government actors like al Queda, A.Q. Khan, radical elements of the Syrian opposition, Columbian narco-terrorists, etc.
Sound like opinion....such things are never specified if ya' notice.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Sound like opinion....such things are never specified if ya' notice.
Yes, of course it's opinion. I can't give you a comprehensive list of all of our legitimate interests, but I can give you a couple examples.

al Qaeda - We have an interest in learning of their plans to attack us before they do it so that we can stop them.

A.Q. Khan - He was an individual who took it upon himself to steal nuclear secrets and take them home to Pakistan where he enabled the Pakistanis to develop nuclear weapons. We have an interest in preventing individuals from stealing technology of all sorts, especially dangerous WMD tech and giving it to our adversaries and our rivals.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:23 AM   #26
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Many of those interests are not the interests of many Americans but of the various statists—including global mercantilists. It's just another buzz word.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:34 PM   #27
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Many of those interests are not the interests of many Americans but of the various statists—including global mercantilists. It's just another buzz word.
I only listed two and the vast majority of Americans would consider them both American interests.
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