NSA spied on EU

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, Edi, K. A. Pital

Post Reply
SomeDude
Redshirt
Posts: 26
Joined: 2013-01-10 12:08pm

NSA spied on EU

Post by SomeDude » 2013-06-29 07:19pm

http://www.spiegel.de/international/eur ... 08590.html

America's NSA intelligence service allegedly targeted the European Union with its spying activities. According to SPIEGEL information, the US placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyber attacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington.

Information obtained by SPIEGEL shows that America's National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions. The information appears in secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A "top secret" 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington.

The document suggests that in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the EU representation's computer network was also infiltrated. In this way, the Americans were able to access discussions in EU rooms as well as emails and internal documents on computers.
The attacks on EU institutions show yet another level in the broad scope of the NSA's spying activities. For weeks now, new details about Prism and other surveillance programs have been emerging that had been compiled by whistleblower Snowden. Details have also emerged that the British intelligence service GCHQ operates a similar program under the name Tempora with which global telephone and Internet connections are monitored.

The documents SPIEGEL has seen indicate that the EU representation to the United Nations was attacked in a manner similar to the way surveillance was conducted against its offices in Washington. An NSU document dated September 2010 explicitly names the Europeans as a "location target"

The documents also indicate the US intelligence service was responsible for an electronic eavesdropping operation in Brussels. A little over five years ago, EU security experts noticed several telephone calls that were apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the Justus Lipsius Building where the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council is located. The calls were made to numbers that were very close to the one used for the remote administration of the building's telephone system.

Security officials managed to track the calls to NATO headquarters in the Brussels suburb of Evere. A precise analysis showed that the attacks on the telecommunications system had originated from a building complex separated from the rest of the NATO headquarters that is used by NSA experts.

A review of the remote maintenance system showed that it had been called and reached several times from precisely that NATO complex. Every EU member state has rooms in the Justus Lipsius Building that can be used by EU ministers. They also have telephone and Internet connections at their disposal.

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Thanas » 2013-06-29 07:37pm

Typical for the USA.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30118
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Simon_Jester » 2013-06-29 07:44pm

No surprise, this.

I think what it comes down to is that the American security establishment makes very little distinction between "enemy" and "ally," except insofar as an "ally" means "someone who does as they are told."

Certainly this makes a farce of claims that all the surveillance is there to keep Americans safe from terrorism...
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
thejester
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1811
Joined: 2005-06-10 07:16pm
Location: Richard Nixon's Secret Tapes Club Band

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by thejester » 2013-06-29 07:44pm

Are you fucking serious? This is what the NSA is supposed to do. Spy on other nations to gain the US an advantage. Where exactly is the cause for outrage?
Image
I love the smell of September in the morning. Once we got off at Richmond, walked up to the 'G, and there was no game on. Not one footballer in sight. But that cut grass smell, spring rain...it smelt like victory.

Dynamic. When [Kuznetsov] decided he was going to make a difference, he did it...Like Ovechkin...then you find out - he's with Washington too? You're kidding.
- Ron Wilson

User avatar
Zaune
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6787
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Zaune » 2013-06-29 08:14pm

thejester wrote:Are you fucking serious? This is what the NSA is supposed to do. Spy on other nations to gain the US an advantage. Where exactly is the cause for outrage?
The part where several of the nations allegedly targeted by the NSA sent soldiers to fight and die alongside yours in Iraq, and I think I'm justified in suggesting that the very least they deserve by way of fucking gratitude is not bugging their official communications!
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

I Have A Blog

User avatar
TimothyC
Of Sector 2814
Posts: 3759
Joined: 2005-03-23 05:31pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by TimothyC » 2013-06-29 08:32pm

Zaune wrote:The part where several of the nations allegedly targeted by the NSA sent soldiers to fight and die alongside yours in Iraq, and I think I'm justified in suggesting that the very least they deserve by way of fucking gratitude is not bugging their official communications!
Do you honestly not think that everyone is trying to spy on everyone else to gain an upper hand in every field of international relations?

Are you really that naive?
"I believe in the future. It is wonderful because it stands on what has been achieved." - Sergei Korolev

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Thanas » 2013-06-29 09:07pm

thejester wrote:Are you fucking serious? This is what the NSA is supposed to do. Spy on other nations to gain the US an advantage. Where exactly is the cause for outrage?
Maybe the scope of the whole program. Other than that, nothing that the USA has not done before.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 21559
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2013-06-29 09:28pm

For that matter, spying on other nations, even friendly nations, isn't just something the US does.

This may not be nice, but it's nothing new.

Block
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2333
Joined: 2007-08-06 02:36pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Block » 2013-06-29 10:40pm

Thanas wrote:
thejester wrote:Are you fucking serious? This is what the NSA is supposed to do. Spy on other nations to gain the US an advantage. Where exactly is the cause for outrage?
Maybe the scope of the whole program. Other than that, nothing that the USA has not done before.
Literally every nation in NATO attempts to spy on the others. This is nothing new for ANYONE. Cry about it.

User avatar
Highlord Laan
Jedi Master
Posts: 1254
Joined: 2009-11-08 02:36pm
Location: Christo-fundie Theofascist Dominion of Nebraskistan

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Highlord Laan » 2013-06-30 12:37am

Thanas wrote:Typical for the USA.
And for Germany. And France. And Russia. And Israel. And England. And any other nation on earth with an intelligence agency. But I suppose that since the USA does it too, than we must be evil.
Zaune wrote:
thejester wrote:Are you fucking serious? This is what the NSA is supposed to do. Spy on other nations to gain the US an advantage. Where exactly is the cause for outrage?
The part where several of the nations allegedly targeted by the NSA sent soldiers to fight and die alongside yours in Iraq, and I think I'm justified in suggesting that the very least they deserve by way of fucking gratitude is not bugging their official communications!
Please tell me you're not actually that naive.
Never underestimate the ingenuity and cruelty of the Irish.

User avatar
DesertFly
has been designed to act as a flotation device
Posts: 1378
Joined: 2005-10-18 11:35pm
Location: The Palouse, armpit of Washington.

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by DesertFly » 2013-06-30 02:52am

To be honest, this doesn't surprise me in the least. I don't necessarily share their viewpoint, but it is easy to see how thinking "everyone else is a potential threat, therefore we must keep tabs on as much of what everyone else is doing as we can" makes a certain kind of sense. I have no data, but I honestly expect everyone else, from the USA's old allies: Britain, Israel, France, to old enemies: Germany, Russia, Japan, is being spied on and is spying on us in return, to the best capabilities of all involved parties.
Proud member of the no sigs club.

FTeik
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2035
Joined: 2002-07-16 04:12pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by FTeik » 2013-06-30 03:18am

Considering, that much of this spy-business is justified with the "war on terror" I can understand, where some of the outrage comes from, because by targeting the EU, the USA places them next to terrorists. Not that I have much sympathy for some of those politicians, since they couldn't be bothered when it were their ordinary citicens being spied on.

On the other side, we don't hear about this from EU-countries like Germany, France or Spain.

So either their intelligence-agencies are much better at keeping secrets (including keeping the media and politicians of their target-countries silent when leaks appear) OR they don't do this stuff (most likely, because they CAN'T for technical or budgetary reasons).
The optimist thinks, that we live in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist is afraid, that this is true.

"Don't ask, what your country can do for you. Ask, what you can do for your country." Mao Tse-Tung.

User avatar
Metahive
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2795
Joined: 2010-09-02 09:08am
Location: Little Korea in Big Germany

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Metahive » 2013-06-30 03:18am

So the only defense that people can muster for this is "others do it too!"? I shouldn't be surprised since the US applies the same mindset to things like torture and murder as well, "others do it too!". Good thing the nation that justifies all the privilege it demands from the rest of the world for its, uh, "Universal White Knight" status sets the bars for its own standards on Kindergarten level. I mean, they'd otherwise have to expend some sort of real effort to earn that status and we can't have that, can we?
People at birth are naturally good. Their natures are similar, but their habits make them different from each other.
-Sanzi Jing (Three Character Classic)

Saddam’s crime was so bad we literally spent decades looking for our dropped monocles before we could harumph up the gumption to address it
-User Indigo Jump on Pharyngula

O God, please don't let me die today, tomorrow would be so much better!
-Traditional Spathi morning prayer

SomeDude
Redshirt
Posts: 26
Joined: 2013-01-10 12:08pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by SomeDude » 2013-06-30 03:46am

FTeik wrote:Considering, that much of this spy-business is justified with the "war on terror" I can understand, where some of the outrage comes from, because by targeting the EU, the USA places them next to terrorists. Not that I have much sympathy for some of those politicians, since they couldn't be bothered when it were their ordinary citicens being spied on.
Actually, they are: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/opini ... .html?_r=0
Viviane Redding, Vice President of the European Commission wrote:Here we go again: Another violation of the basic right to privacy. Another public outcry. Another blow to citizens’ trust in the security of their personal data. Yet more evidence that something fundamental has to change if we want to stop citizens from worrying about somebody watching every time they visit a Web site or write an e-mail.

The Prism scheme allows the national security agencies of the United States to access E.U. citizens’ personal data. While the scale of the program is not yet entirely clear, Europeans are being put at a severe disadvantage compared with U.S. citizens. Through Prism, American national security authorities are able to survey E.U. citizens in a way that would likely be unconstitutional if applied to U.S. nationals. What is more, E.U. citizens are not even given a chance to use American courts to attain any kind of remedy or recourse.

This is a wake-up call for all those who have been blocking the European Commission’s reform of Europe’s data protection rules — ignoring just how much consumers worry about attacks on their right to privacy. The vast majority of citizens have long suspected that their data held by companies could be used — or abused — without them knowing about it.

This lack of trust is highly damaging to citizens’ faith in the rule of law. It is also damaging to economic growth, as vast swaths of our economy depend on citizens entrusting business with their data. Those who ignore people’s concerns are putting a lot more at stake than they probably realize.

The European Commission has answered such concerns. Europe is one of the few places in the world that already has strong data protection rules, dating from 1995. And we have proposed to reform the E.U.’s data protection rules to make them even stronger — and to set clear rules for the flow of data beyond Europe. The reform, adopted by the commission in January 2012, still needs to be adopted by member states sitting on the council and by the European Parliament to become law. Only if we enact this reform will citizens regain their trust in the way their personal data is handled.

People must be given greater control over their data, with a reinforced right to be forgotten and a right to data portability. People need to know that staying silent is not the same as giving consent to have your data processed. And they need a guarantee that when their privacy has been violated, they are not the last ones to find out about it, via leaks in the media.

The Prism scandal caused a storm in Europe because it hit a raw nerve. Europeans care about their privacy. They want rules that can help prevent violations of their rights by companies or law enforcement agencies from Europe and beyond.

The tools to enable us to deal with this kind of scenario are contained in the European Commission’s proposal. It’s time that governments as well as members of the European Parliament show their commitment to protecting citizens’ data. It’s time they start working with the commission in a sober, constructive way to make sure the proposals are adopted swiftly.

The E.U.’s draft law contains four key building blocks for a system of strong data protection.

The first one is a clear provision on the territory where the rules apply. It has to be made certain that companies from outside Europe abide by E.U. data protection laws when they offer and sell products and services to consumers in the Union. If you want to play in our backyard, you have to play by our rules.

Secondly, we need a broad definition of personal data. This should include not just the content of e-mails and phone calls, for example, but related traffic data as well, such as information on where something was sent from or how long somebody spent talking on the phone.

Thirdly, we must not limit the rules to those companies that collect citizens’ data. Rather, we have to include processors of those data as well — such as cloud providers — because, as the Prism scandal shows, they also present an avenue for those who want to access data. The E.U. needs specific rules on the obligations and liability of those processors.

And finally we must have safeguards against the unfettered international transfer of data. The rules must ensure that E.U. citizens’ data are transferred to non-European law enforcement authorities only in situations that are well defined, exceptional and subject to judicial review.

The Prism scandal has sparked a debate about civil liberties in general and privacy in particular. Politicians in Europe and beyond should show that they have listened. Trust is something that is earned, not given. The E.U.’s data protection reform is the right tool to earn citizens’ trust. It is within our reach. It is time to act.

Viviane Reding is vice president of the European Commission and the E.U. justice commissioner.

SomeDude
Redshirt
Posts: 26
Joined: 2013-01-10 12:08pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by SomeDude » 2013-06-30 03:47am

And to everyone who just dismissed the outrage because this is 'normal': imagine if EU countries bugged the Oval Office and hacked into the White House e-mail network. Would you be outraged or not?

User avatar
TimothyC
Of Sector 2814
Posts: 3759
Joined: 2005-03-23 05:31pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by TimothyC » 2013-06-30 04:07am

SomeDude wrote:And to everyone who just dismissed the outrage because this is 'normal': imagine if EU countries bugged the Oval Office and hacked into the White House e-mail network. Would you be outraged or not?
I'd be pissed at my own government that the EU was able to pull it off, and probably pushing for a "How did you let this happen?" investigation/
"I believe in the future. It is wonderful because it stands on what has been achieved." - Sergei Korolev

User avatar
thejester
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1811
Joined: 2005-06-10 07:16pm
Location: Richard Nixon's Secret Tapes Club Band

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by thejester » 2013-06-30 04:19am

Zaune wrote:
thejester wrote:Are you fucking serious? This is what the NSA is supposed to do. Spy on other nations to gain the US an advantage. Where exactly is the cause for outrage?
The part where several of the nations allegedly targeted by the NSA sent soldiers to fight and die alongside yours in Iraq, and I think I'm justified in suggesting that the very least they deserve by way of fucking gratitude is not bugging their official communications!
The EU as an organisation certainly didn't, and in any case, who cares? Some South Korean officials were recently caught making some pretty hamfisted efforts to recruit spies within the Australian delegation negotiating a new free trade agreement. Presumably because there has not been a South Korean Edward Snowden, this revelation resulted in a few 'how embarrassing' articles in the Australian press and not 'BRAVE ANZACS FOUGHT AND DIED FOR KOREA WHAT A SLUR ON OUR NATIONAL HONOR'.
Image
I love the smell of September in the morning. Once we got off at Richmond, walked up to the 'G, and there was no game on. Not one footballer in sight. But that cut grass smell, spring rain...it smelt like victory.

Dynamic. When [Kuznetsov] decided he was going to make a difference, he did it...Like Ovechkin...then you find out - he's with Washington too? You're kidding.
- Ron Wilson

User avatar
K. A. Pital
Glamorous Commie
Posts: 20809
Joined: 2003-02-26 11:39am
Location: Elysium

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by K. A. Pital » 2013-06-30 05:20am

Germany and other EU nations should start a campaign to expel American forces from Europe. Later they should leave the NATO command as France once did.

Then the US will know that actions have consequences, and all that.

But not gonna happen. Europe is essentially an American-occupied territory where U.S. forces are staying to ensure something-something (save them against the red/uh-rab/immigrant menace?).
Lì ci sono chiese, macerie, moschee e questure, lì frontiere, prezzi inaccessibile e freddure
Lì paludi, minacce, cecchini coi fucili, documenti, file notturne e clandestini
Qui incontri, lotte, passi sincronizzati, colori, capannelli non autorizzati,
Uccelli migratori, reti, informazioni, piazze di Tutti i like pazze di passioni...

...La tranquillità è importante ma la libertà è tutto!
Assalti Frontali

User avatar
Siege
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4108
Joined: 2004-12-11 12:35pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Siege » 2013-06-30 06:33am

Describing an EU containing a scattered handful of American military bases as "essentially an American-occupied territory" is a bit much, don't you think?

If there are any consequences to this next in a long line of revelations about how the American government doesn't give a damn about European privacy rights (and let's face it, why should it? It doesn't seem to particularly care about the rights of its own citizens either, so to expect it to respect those of foreigners is silly) it'll be along the lines of the EU withdrawing from information sharing and joint intelligence agreements, or throwing up other barries to the transfer of data.

I also expect the Commission to use this incident as well as the revelations about PRISM and how the US taps hundreds of millions of German phone calls a month, etc. as a stick to get the member states to adopt its data protection directive overhaul. It certainly does wonders to undermine the FTC's earlier statements (made in April I think) about how the USA takes privacy protection super seriously and there's no reason for Europe to worry. Congratulations on further undermining your own credibility, I guess?
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

User avatar
Atlan
Jedi Knight
Posts: 597
Joined: 2002-11-30 09:39pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Atlan » 2013-06-30 07:09am

The only offense the NSA committed here was the capital one in espionage: Do Not Get Caught.

Everybody knows the other guy is doing it. Any politician claiming otherwise is either so naive as to not belong in politics, or lying (Lying. They're lying.). But now people are making a fuss about it, because the dirty little secret of international relations is out on the street, for everybody to see, and you get to score points with this with your electorate. That, and it's kinda fun to rag on the USA after they've been so hardassed about China's hacking attempts.
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects."
R.A. Heinlein.

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 27004
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Broomstick » 2013-06-30 07:15am

SomeDude wrote:And to everyone who just dismissed the outrage because this is 'normal': imagine if EU countries bugged the Oval Office and hacked into the White House e-mail network. Would you be outraged or not?
I actually expect nations to spy on each other. It's been going on since forever. I wouldn't be at all surprised and I expect such attempts are made on a regular basis. I'd be disappointed that our side wasn't more effective in keeping our secrets.

This sort of thing is also why codes are still used when sending messages, and some communications are still done on paper rather than hackable e-format or buggable phone lines.

Seriously, people don't realize that nations spy on each other routinely? Even allies spy on each other, and always have.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 27004
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Broomstick » 2013-06-30 07:24am

Siege wrote:If there are any consequences to this next in a long line of revelations about how the American government doesn't give a damn about European privacy rights (and let's face it, why should it? It doesn't seem to particularly care about the rights of its own citizens either, so to expect it to respect those of foreigners is silly) it'll be along the lines of the EU withdrawing from information sharing and joint intelligence agreements, or throwing up other barries to the transfer of data.
From the American viewpoint, the requirement of many European nations that you register your address with the government, that you have limited time in which to do so when you move, that a government can force you to name your child from an approved list of names, and that some countries like the UK have wall-to-wall surveillance cameras shows an appalling disregard for citizen privacy rights.

Personally, I think the entire world needs to get better with protecting information in e-formats, from e-mail to electronic fiscal transactions to identity theft. Of course, that would make it harder for the various governments to spy on each other and their own citizens so I expect them to either say the current safeguards are sufficient or even push back. (Yes, 9/11 and the "war on terror" has given the US government an excuse to do just that, I just don't think they're unique in this regard.)
I also expect the Commission to use this incident as well as the revelations about PRISM and how the US taps hundreds of millions of German phone calls a month, etc. as a stick to get the member states to adopt its data protection directive overhaul.
Which side effect I approve of.
It certainly does wonders to undermine the FTC's earlier statements (made in April I think) about how the USA takes privacy protection super seriously and there's no reason for Europe to worry. Congratulations on further undermining your own credibility, I guess?
Sure... the US takes privacy seriously to the extent they don't want anyone to have spying capability EXCEPT the US government.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

FTeik
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2035
Joined: 2002-07-16 04:12pm

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by FTeik » 2013-06-30 07:31am

SomeDude wrote:
FTeik wrote:Considering, that much of this spy-business is justified with the "war on terror" I can understand, where some of the outrage comes from, because by targeting the EU, the USA places them next to terrorists. Not that I have much sympathy for some of those politicians, since they couldn't be bothered when it were their ordinary citicens being spied on.
Actually, they are: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/opini ... .html?_r=0
Viviane Redding, Vice President of the European Commission wrote:Here we go again: Another violation of the basic right to privacy. Another public outcry. Another blow to citizens’ trust in the security of their personal data. Yet more evidence that something fundamental has to change if we want to stop citizens from worrying about somebody watching every time they visit a Web site or write an e-mail.

The Prism scheme allows the national security agencies of the United States to access E.U. citizens’ personal data. While the scale of the program is not yet entirely clear, Europeans are being put at a severe disadvantage compared with U.S. citizens. Through Prism, American national security authorities are able to survey E.U. citizens in a way that would likely be unconstitutional if applied to U.S. nationals. What is more, E.U. citizens are not even given a chance to use American courts to attain any kind of remedy or recourse.

This is a wake-up call for all those who have been blocking the European Commission’s reform of Europe’s data protection rules — ignoring just how much consumers worry about attacks on their right to privacy. The vast majority of citizens have long suspected that their data held by companies could be used — or abused — without them knowing about it.

This lack of trust is highly damaging to citizens’ faith in the rule of law. It is also damaging to economic growth, as vast swaths of our economy depend on citizens entrusting business with their data. Those who ignore people’s concerns are putting a lot more at stake than they probably realize.

The European Commission has answered such concerns. Europe is one of the few places in the world that already has strong data protection rules, dating from 1995. And we have proposed to reform the E.U.’s data protection rules to make them even stronger — and to set clear rules for the flow of data beyond Europe. The reform, adopted by the commission in January 2012, still needs to be adopted by member states sitting on the council and by the European Parliament to become law. Only if we enact this reform will citizens regain their trust in the way their personal data is handled.

People must be given greater control over their data, with a reinforced right to be forgotten and a right to data portability. People need to know that staying silent is not the same as giving consent to have your data processed. And they need a guarantee that when their privacy has been violated, they are not the last ones to find out about it, via leaks in the media.

The Prism scandal caused a storm in Europe because it hit a raw nerve. Europeans care about their privacy. They want rules that can help prevent violations of their rights by companies or law enforcement agencies from Europe and beyond.

The tools to enable us to deal with this kind of scenario are contained in the European Commission’s proposal. It’s time that governments as well as members of the European Parliament show their commitment to protecting citizens’ data. It’s time they start working with the commission in a sober, constructive way to make sure the proposals are adopted swiftly.

The E.U.’s draft law contains four key building blocks for a system of strong data protection.

The first one is a clear provision on the territory where the rules apply. It has to be made certain that companies from outside Europe abide by E.U. data protection laws when they offer and sell products and services to consumers in the Union. If you want to play in our backyard, you have to play by our rules.

Secondly, we need a broad definition of personal data. This should include not just the content of e-mails and phone calls, for example, but related traffic data as well, such as information on where something was sent from or how long somebody spent talking on the phone.

Thirdly, we must not limit the rules to those companies that collect citizens’ data. Rather, we have to include processors of those data as well — such as cloud providers — because, as the Prism scandal shows, they also present an avenue for those who want to access data. The E.U. needs specific rules on the obligations and liability of those processors.

And finally we must have safeguards against the unfettered international transfer of data. The rules must ensure that E.U. citizens’ data are transferred to non-European law enforcement authorities only in situations that are well defined, exceptional and subject to judicial review.

The Prism scandal has sparked a debate about civil liberties in general and privacy in particular. Politicians in Europe and beyond should show that they have listened. Trust is something that is earned, not given. The E.U.’s data protection reform is the right tool to earn citizens’ trust. It is within our reach. It is time to act.

Viviane Reding is vice president of the European Commission and the E.U. justice commissioner.
Actually I hadn't PRISM in mind, but the onesided hand-over of travelling and banking-data the EU has supplied Uncle Sam with since at least 2008.
The optimist thinks, that we live in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist is afraid, that this is true.

"Don't ask, what your country can do for you. Ask, what you can do for your country." Mao Tse-Tung.

User avatar
Terralthra
Requiescat in Pace
Posts: 4741
Joined: 2007-10-05 09:55pm
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Terralthra » 2013-06-30 08:00am

SomeDude wrote:And to everyone who just dismissed the outrage because this is 'normal': imagine if EU countries bugged the Oval Office and hacked into the White House e-mail network. Would you be outraged or not?
I'd actually be shocked if most of them hadn't tried, at least once, to bug the White House and/or infiltrate the White House or DoD networks.

User avatar
Flagg
CUNTS FOR EYES!
Posts: 12797
Joined: 2005-06-09 09:56pm
Location: Hell. In The Room Right Next to Reagan. He's Fucking Bonzo. No, wait... Bonzo's fucking HIM.

Re: NSA spied on EU

Post by Flagg » 2013-06-30 08:05am

SomeDude wrote:And to everyone who just dismissed the outrage because this is 'normal': imagine if EU countries bugged the Oval Office and hacked into the White House e-mail network. Would you be outraged or not?
I'd be outraged if they were able to not outraged at them for trying. This may come as a huge shock to you, but countries, even allies, spy on each other. Always have, always will.
We pissing our pants yet?
-Negan

You got your shittin' pants on? Because you’re about to
Shit. Your. Pants!
-Negan

He who can,
does; he who cannot, teaches.
-George Bernard Shaw

Post Reply