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US To Get EU Private Citizen Data 290

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the no-one-is-safe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a case of 'all your data are belong to us,' the US government is close to coming to an agreement with the EU that allows it to get private citizen data on EU citizens to 'look for suspicious activity.' So, now we know what step three is: set up a security agency in the US to resell otherwise unavailable data."
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US To Get EU Private Citizen Data

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  • by dlb1 (1170591) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:40AM (#23981465)
    So when is the EU finally going to request fingerprints and private data from US travelers?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:44AM (#23981511)


    fuck you America

    signed, Europe

  • Fabulous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Instine (963303) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:44AM (#23981523)
    Just what I would have wanted my unelected EMPs to do on my behalf. Thanks guys. Keep up the good work.
  • Re:Fabulous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jo42 (227475) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:49AM (#23981567) Homepage

    The terrorists have won.

  • by brxndxn (461473) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:49AM (#23981569)

    fuck you America

    signed, America

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:51AM (#23981597)
    Hey, it's your leaders that are agreeing to this shit. Put the blame on their shoulders ... they could have said "no".
  • Gah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:52AM (#23981609) Homepage
    The EU is so good at selling us out they even take paypal.

    The right standard for decisions about handing private data over to the US should be; will the President and the members of congress submit to having the same data about them printed in European papers?
  • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:56AM (#23981665)

    We don't want to put anything on their shoulders.

    We do want to remove something though.

  • Reciprocity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:57AM (#23981687) Journal
    I think it's time we start publishing data on our politicians and the heads of corporations that deal with the government and see how they like it.
  • Sweet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:03PM (#23981749) Homepage
    I really don't have a problem with a country messing with its citizens and even its geographical neighbors -- I think that's well within every countries right even if I don't like the specifics of what they are up to (China for eg.). However, this apparent effort my the American government to rule increasingly larger parts of the words his really disheartening. How about they stick to spying on their own citizens, that's much more fair (since it is a democratic nation)
  • Re:Fabulous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:04PM (#23981765)

    Ach, please don't say 'terrorist' like it's labels a group of people with a common cause.

    The terrorist moniker is a dumming down.

  • Reciprocity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by denoir (960304) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:07PM (#23981789)
    Well, this goes hand in hand with another law proposed in the EU. If it passes all blogs of EU citizens will have to be registered with the government. So now the US can get private data on EU citizens and perhaps in return the EU can get a list of those criminal Europeans that have unregistered blogs on US servers.

    A quote from the MEP that was responsible for the proposal:

    I think the public is still very trusting towards blogs, it is still seen as sincere. And it should remain sincere. For that we need a quality mark, a disclosure of who is really writing and why.

    I may have to flee to China to keep some of my individual rights. Lovely.

  • What's next (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Qwavel (733416) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:11PM (#23981843)

    >> So, now we know what step three is: setup a security agency in US to resell otherwise unavailable data.

    No, step three is that they setup a security agency in Europe so they kidnap these suspicious looking people and put them on flights to Syria (or wherever) for torture.

  • Re:Fabulous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:35PM (#23982165)
    And so have shady politicians and the war profiteers.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:36PM (#23982177)

    To shorten things:

    Fuck you, America

    signed, world

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:37PM (#23982191)

    We should go out of our way (from an EU perspective) to make the EU just as attractive to travelers from the US as the US is to travelers from the EU.

    While I really understand the feeling, I totally disagree with it, as it is the wrong thing to do. Fingerprinting and photographing people at the border is wrong. It should not be done. It doesn't stop terrorists, it may make it a bit less convenient for them to do their thing, but that inconvenience is limited to the crossing of borders. When a would-be terrorist has crossed the border, it's kinda too late already. Fingerprinting is no deterrent after the border has been crossed. It's just stupid to believe otherwise.

    There are great systems in place to keep unwanted persons out of the country: normal police work, and exchange of information on criminals between governments. Osama bin Laden would not have much of a chance to enter the USA, unless he manages to get a very well done fake passport.

    The EU gives a great example on how it can be done. Traveling within the EU, crossing state borders, is often so easy you don't notice it. If you miss the sign next to the road, that is. There is often not more than that to crossing a national border. And for foreigners entering the EU as visitor, that is generally also easy.

    But does that make the EU borders more transparent than US borders? I truly doubt it. People from some nationalities have to apply for visa before entering - that of course includes a more thorough screening. And then of course there exists a black-list of unwanted individuals, those people trying to cross the border will likely be arrested and/or sent back.

    And all this does not make the EU more susceptible to terrorism by foreigners - on the contrary. Most if not all serious attacks in the EU were all done by nationals or residents, the greatest threat comes from the inside as always.

  • Re:Fabulous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:41PM (#23982253)

    It's one of those "we gotta do something" things.

    Voters demand actions from their leaders when things go wrong. They can't just sit there and say "Ok. We can't do anything. Let's grab popcorn and watch the world come to an end". Even if that's the only thing to do. They wouldn't get reelected if they did. The media would rip them apart.

    So they do something. It doesn't solve the problem, actually, it pisses off a lot of people, but it appeases the masses who don't think but just demand action. They got action now. And it's sold as the miracle cure to a disease that can't be cured easily, or at the very least not directly.

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:44PM (#23982301)

    I don't know whether the people really want it or not. No-one not deep into politics really knows, nor understands, the full meaning of this treaty. What it means for them, for their country. And that is a big problem with many of those treaties: it is also why the "EU Constitution" (which for starters shouldn't have been called like that) was voted down. This was, at least in The Netherlands, largely because of unhappiness with the Dutch government, and somewhat unhappiness with the EU, not because of rational understanding of this "constitution".

    The matter is way too complex to really understand - I don't think it should have had a referendum in the first place. Instead it should have been set up by one EU parliament, and ratified by the next after the elections. Then competent people (the politicians) that can understand the meaning of the document can vote on it, and indirectly the general public votes as well. Not everything is suitable for referendum.

    I for one don't really and fully understand the implications of these agreements. I do understand the national parties that are also active in the community, the province, and the national government. I know what they stand for, and will vote for who-ever is closest to my ideas. And with that, they can support or reject these mighty complex treaties the way I would very likely have done it, if I had the time and understanding to really know what they mean.

  • by rs232 (849320) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:49PM (#23982363)
    "I've been critical of the US on Internet forums; is this going to give me hassle getting in when I visit next month?"

    Yes, and you'll be less likely to criticize the government the next time, which I suspect is the chief purpose of such legislation. You see, without the ever present specter of communism to protect up from, the US needed something else to scare us with. Step forward Al-Qaeda and the IslamoFascist bogyman.

    "A watched population is a compliant one", Adam Suttler .. If he didn't say it, he thought it .. :)
  • Re:Fabulous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:00PM (#23982481)

    and I have no idea why any EU official would possibly think this is a good thing..

    deals. its all about closed-door deals. you scratch my back and I'll tattle on your neighbor.

    follow the money, as they say. or the motivation. its about 'making an offer you can't refuse. I honestly do believe that. when the US comes knocking, you CANNOT say no. and that's a goddamn SCARY thought, albeit a true one.

    why do you think the riaa/mpaa have so much international power? they're a US entity, afterall. but when the US 'suggests' an idea to a foreign semi-friendly nation, they NEVER EVER decline. ever notice that?

    the US gives and the US gets. its all about deals. it was never about right or wrong, but about power trades and exchanges.

  • Re:Reciprocity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:17PM (#23982685)

    They generally seem to [wired.com] not like it [cato.org]. But ten to one if someone consistently delivered this kind of retribution against privacy-violating politicians, they'd find themselves in jail, because that's one of those things they'll make sure is written into the law: they can do it, but you can't. Since we're all "working together to end terrorism" now, anybody actively opposing such good-willed spying will be classified as a terrorist and silenced in one way or another.

    By Odin's beard, I sure am cynical today.

  • by anonieuweling (536832) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:36PM (#23982891)
    Democracy on a national level is already very indirect and very vague and *you* trust even farther away EU politicians (who you'll rarely see, get to know, etc) to decide on a treaty that might very radically change the world around you? What you can eat? What you can do? Where you can go? Yes, all that kind of stuff. Exactly because it is a constitution we need a vote. And if it is too complex it is to be explained *WAY* better before, and not after, accepting it. It's not a matter of trust. They, who work for us, simply shouldn't push ahead with something that was voted down thrice. (yes that is what they will do after a slight break because of the Irish no...)
  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:36PM (#23982895) Homepage Journal
    Fuck you American Government. signed, We the People.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:46PM (#23983023)

    Re-elected? They don't even have to be elected. It's one of the most disgraceful and anti-democratic constructs in the EU.

  • by drsquare (530038) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:52PM (#23983097)

    The matter is way too complex to really understand - I don't think it should have had a referendum in the first place. Instead it should have been set up by one EU parliament, and ratified by the next after the elections. Then competent people (the politicians) that can understand the meaning of the document can vote on it, and indirectly the general public votes as well.

    Great, so EU politicians living a thousand miles away who don't even speak your language can make decisions like this data sharing, and you have no say in it whatsoever. The way the EU is acting recently, it's becoming less like a democratic organisation, and more like a giant, unaccountable fascist beaurocracy.

    The reaction to the Irish vote just sums it up: the people have rejected it, but they're going through with it anyway, because they're in charge and 'they know best'. Most of the arrogant politicans in favour of the constitution haven't even fucking read it. In fact the document is purposefully long and complicated so no-one can understand what it's actually about.

    Personally I don't see why the EU can't just be a trade zone, and fuck off all this federal superstate crap. Thank god we're not in the Euro, the last thing we need is these jokers running our economy.

  • by dbcad7 (771464) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:09PM (#23983247)
    As a matter of fact.. the people from 911 all had to apply for, and received, visas to get here.. so a lot of good even collecting the information does.
  • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:12PM (#23983281) Journal

    I understand why you feel the way you do, but I disagree. The Us vs. Them is not Europeans vs. US citizens, it is both sets of citizens against both sets of authorities. Two natural allies (the citizens of both countries) selling each other out to their respective governments is a sad thing. Best thing to do is keep the US as the extremist in as many areas such as this as possible. Don't give them the benefit of justifying it further.
  • by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:15PM (#23983303) Homepage Journal

    Politicians are people too. If ordinary people cannot understand what a treaty or constitution is designed to do, there is something wrong with either the people or the document.

    When you vote for someone, you should be voting for someone competent (heh, wonder how often that actually happens), but how do you have the slightest chance of determining their competence and how they will respond to an issue like a treaty if you are completely incapable of understanding the impact of said treaty?

    If it's really that complex, the politicians need to break down what it's going to do so that the general public understands it. Note, this would be in a perfect world. More likely is that they'll lie and say what people want to hear in order to get votes...

    When you vote for people, and "trust" that they will do the right or competent thing, without understanding the issues yourself, things will go wrong, corrupt politicians will be elected, and the public will get exactly the government they deserve.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:17PM (#23983321) Journal

    The matter is way too complex to really understand - I don't think it should have had a referendum in the first place. Instead it should have been set up by one EU parliament, and ratified by the next after the elections. Then competent people (the politicians) that can understand the meaning of the document can vote on it, and indirectly the general public votes as well. Not everything is suitable for referendum.

    The problem is with the document itself. It should be a real constitution, like the US and many other countries have. A document that delimits Europe's influence over its member states and its people, and clearly states what they can and cannot do, and how they do it. It does not have to be more than a few pages in very simple language that anyone can understand. Then we'll have something meaningful to vote on... and I think it'd good and right that we actually get to vote on it, too.

  • by Fred_A (10934) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:42PM (#23983539) Homepage

    Politicians are people too. If ordinary people cannot understand what a treaty or constitution is designed to do, there is something wrong with either the people or the document.

    The problem is that this so called "constitution", now renamed "treaty" is more or less a sum of all the inter state treaties that have been agreed upon since the 1950s. And it's now something like 300 pages long and an absolute mess despite some apparent attempts at organising the whole thing.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with a constitution (which is merely the topmost law), or a treaty, it's *all* the treaties at once. No wonder nobody could read it. Only people who have made a career of studying European laws and agreements can navigate through it.

    I have the published version commented by the designed committee of the original version (the one that failed to pass the first time, supposedly pretty much the same as the current one) and I have to say that the comments didn't help much.

    A proper constitution would be a good start in making the eurofolks feel they're part of the same thing though. I'd vote for a properly written one.

  • Re:Fabulous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich AT annexia DOT org> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:44PM (#23983569) Homepage

    The EU Council of Ministers consists of the ministers from all national governments (different ministers depending on the subject being discussed). You know, those ministers who always approve unpopular measures when they're in the Council and then later at home blame the EU for having to implement those same measures in national law.

    It's a real shame that Slashdot mods can't go over +5, because this needs to be modded up to +500 and every person living in the EU needs to understand exactly how this undemocratic process is working.

    The worst thing about the EU Constitution (erm, I mean Lisbon Treaty)? It enshrines this abuse. The worst thing about friend-of-Holywood Charlie McCreevy [europa.eu]? NO ONE can directly threaten to vote him out.

    Rich.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:46PM (#23983597) Journal

    While your right in that Fingerprinting people when they enter a country doesn't necessarily stop terrorism, it does go a long way to finding those responsible and possible stopping future acts.

    If we had records and proof of all the countries the 9/11 hijackers visited and were able to discern who they traveled with before the events on 9/11, it would have lead a clear trail to other conspirators and perhaps information pertaining to future planned events. I know it is a bit like treating people guilty until proven innocent but that is being done without an accusation of wrong doing so there isn't an immediate harm to a person. Something as basic as knowing who is entering and leaving a country is a right of sovereignty which might actually surpass any or most rights to privacy. That is at least how the supreme court reconciles the searches at the border with the 4th and other constitutional amendments. OF course the constitution would be useless if we didn't have sovereignty, it restricts our government, not others.

  • To put it simply; (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JamesTRexx (675890) <m.nystrom@m b i t z . nl> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:53PM (#23983673) Homepage Journal
    Politicians == terrorists.

    I don't fear my Islamic neighbour, but I do fear what the government is doing to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @03:06PM (#23983805)
    Fuck you Government, signed, We the People.
  • by Reziac (43301) * on Saturday June 28, 2008 @04:06PM (#23984325) Homepage Journal

    I don't know about this 'Irish vote' of which you speak, but politicians overriding what the people want happens everywhere. We are seeing a surge of such behaviour here in California, at both state and local levels. I think the problem is that once an elected gov't gets just so entrenched, it becomes immune to everything outside of its own power. Electing a different official, even one who starts out honest, is at best a temporary fix and far too small to influence the whole. The powers that be will make sure anyone too disagreeable gets un-elected next time around.

    As to TFA, I found this disturbing:
    =====
    For example, the two sides have agreed that information that reveals race, religion, political opinion, health or "sexual life" may not be used by a government "unless domestic law provides appropriate safeguards." But the accord does not spell out what would be considered an appropriate safeguard, suggesting that each government may decide for itself whether it is complying with the rule.
    =====

    And I'd like to know what the EU is getting in return -- I'd bet it's access to similar data on American citizens.

    Asking my name and country of origin are reasonable enough when I enter your country. Anything else is none of your country's business.

    Same goes for MY country.

  • by polar red (215081) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @04:39PM (#23984603)

    Personally I don't see why the EU can't just be a trade zone

    I suggest you read some history, count the number of wars in europe BEFORE and AFTER the foundation of the EU (the European Coal and Steel Community, 1951). The rest is 'filler'.

  • by muffel (42979) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @08:56PM (#23986415)

    I suggest you read some history, count the number of wars in europe BEFORE and AFTER the foundation of the EU (the European Coal and Steel Community, 1951). The rest is 'filler'.

    Why not count the number of wars in Europe BEFORE and AFTER the introduction of color TV?
    Or the number of wars in Europe BEFORE and AFTER the assassination of JFK?
    Or the number of wars in Europe BEFORE and AFTER the Berlin Wall was built?

    Were you actually trying to indicate some sort of proof with your statement?

  • by I cant believe its n (1103137) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @09:08PM (#23986493) Journal
    WRONG AGAIN: Look up "not so representative democracy"
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @10:43PM (#23987049) Journal

    Lol.. "I don't agree" != "troll". Let me translate that, Not agreeing with something doesn't make it a troll.

    If you disagree with the premise, then state it. Labeling it troll only causes me to respond like this which will have others view the the comment for perspective. Then on meta moderation, the troll mod will likely be removed which means you done no damage. Use your brain people, Words are far more powerful then arbitrary moderations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2008 @01:34AM (#23987815)

    Why do you have the idea that someone fought for someone else's freedom? America only joined in the fight against Hitler after Hitler declared war on America and was attacking shipping along the east coast of America. America was not helping out, it had left it too late for that. If they had helped out when help was needed the Russians would not have claimed so much of Europe. As it was Russia was the one that provided most of the help and demanded most of the reward.

    Dear little Britain provided more help than America and they were no more threatened. They are closer but in the end the Germans had already lost due to normal stupid military mistakes (overstretched supply lines etc.) and the US came and helped with the clean up. The Russians really kicked arse but we do not like to give them any credit so the yanks claim it all.

  • by TirolTiger (978018) on Sunday June 29, 2008 @05:28AM (#23988699)
    What a typical British uninformed tirade by 'drsquare'. Some of his points are valid as I too agree that the EU politicians do not care what their constituents say, and that goes for the British politicians as well, who incidentally, are far more ready than the bigger EU States on the Continent to steal our private data and give it to the damned yanks. I live in Austria five minutes from the German 'Border', and we cross back and forth nearly every day. The thought of having to always carry two currencies again is an awful thought. We love the Euro Zone, and only wish the Labour Hypocrites in Government had done as they said, that is to go into the Euro Zone 'when the Exchange Rate was right'. It is now far better than Blair and Brown ever hoped, but neither has/had any intention of joining. Shame on the liars. The only problem for us is that because Britain did not join the Zone, and because the EURO has risen so strongly against Sterling, my pension (from my employer) which comes from Britain is now worth nearly 20 per cent LESS than it was SIX months ago! AND drsquare talks as if he knows all about the Euro Zone and the strength of the pound! Think again, and before you mouth off again, try to get your facts correct.

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