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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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:53AM (#23981625)

    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.

    Seriously though, when are we the people going to say enough is enough. We do not need any more surveilance and invasions of our privacy. If we keep on this path then the so called war on terror will be lost not by the efforts of terrorists but by our own governments. Perhaps moving to Zimbabwe is not such a bad idea after all.

  • How bad is this? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by damburger (981828) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @11:57AM (#23981683)
    I've been critical of the US on Internet forums; is this going to give me hassle getting in when I visit next month?
  • Inaccurate summary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aaron England (681534) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:07PM (#23981803)
    I RTFA. The Times does not say that the EU is going to hand over private information to US authorities. Rather the article informs readers that the two bodies of government are working towards a common set of privacy standards and safeguards that should be implemented if said bodies of government decided to one day share private information.
  • As a EU citizen... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EvilAlphonso (809413) <meushi,slashdot&gmail,com> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:15PM (#23981891) Journal

    I would like to know which country isn't planning to go down that route so I can sell all my stuff and move out of the way.

    Having worked as a contractor for other European Institutions, I know absolutely nothing gets in the way of the Commission once it decided something. After all, it's not like they have to be re-elected or anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:39PM (#23982225)

    This sort of thing has been going on for years, decades, and centuries. It's just that it's getting harder to flee to another location and start over fresh.

    None of this will affect normal citizens, until they inconveniently find themselves on the wrong side of the law, or more accurately, the wrong side of some asshole's pet peeve. Then, all hell breaks loose. But, the rest of the masses will be assured through propaganda that this wasn't an average Joe, but a terrorist/criminal/whatnot. And all will feel "safe" again. Until they're on the wrong side of interested parties.

    The short story is that those that aren't in the ruling class have never been really free, neither 1000 years ago, nor today. Governments change, the accepted political paradigm of the day changes, the "non-evil" social structure changes, but the rules stay the same. You have no rights. If things become inconvenient, rules change.

    And I suspect it will stay that way, mainly because there are only 2 types of people. People that will complain but abide, which are the majority, and people that will fight to death even if the only reason for doing so is dignity, and these people are a minority, and that is exactly why rulers have always been able to get away with it.

    Interesting enough, you can see this kind of behavior in other mammals that have a strong social structure.

    I'm a fighter by nature, and will likely die doing so (my expected life span suggests that there will be many regime and governmental changes along with wars before my natural death occurs), but I have little hope that outrages on the /. and other internet forums will change anything. If anything, the internet is a great place for average citizens to blow off steam, get a sense that others also feel angry at the current situation of things, and then get on with their lives as if nothing ever happened. I'm positive that the internet has decreased the number of public demonstrations and violent uprisings.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:48PM (#23982355)

    in electronic mail (back at DEC in the 80's and early 90's). I regularly traveled to the UK and europe to teach my 1week course there. the same course was given in the US every 6 weeks or so.

    one thing that I learned when I was attending the 'train the trainer' for this course was that euro privacy standards are (well, USED TO BE) very strict. in the course, we used to talk about PMF (personnel master files) and how LITTLE could be shared even in the same company (DEC) but between different countries. email for things like 'all-in-1 mail' (wow, anyone remember that?) used to depend on having access to personnel info (more or less) and yet we taught that very little could be shared between countries, mostly just the first and last name and country they were in and that's about it!

    my my, how things have changed.

  • Sig reply (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@gnuUMLAUT.org minus punct> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:00PM (#23982491) Homepage

    Here's a reply to your signature:

    All Americans suck because all European politicians are just as bad as their American counterparts.

    Fuck the EU politicians.

    Signed, a citizen of Denmark.

    Interesting anecdote: "Junibevægelsen mod EU" (the june movement against EU, a quite small political party) did arrange a weekend trip to Bruxelles a good year ago, where we got to meet with a politician's advisor gave a talk about the market price of corn and agricultural subsidies, and a journalist who spoke (among other things) about telephony and roaming charges (the politicians wanted to offload their phone bill on the citizens; self-serving bastards). And of course some time off to goof off and eat dutch fries (you know, with fish and mayonnaise).

    Here's the punchline: what I learned from that trip is that although it is indeed possible to travel to Belgium, and if you prepare in advance you may be able to get the attention of a politician, citizens of pretty much anything other than Belgium have to spend a large amount of time doing so, plus they have to take off a sizable portion of their work week to meet the politicians when they're actually there. In short, regular citizens don't have any real access to a political body that governs non-trivial parts of their lives.

  • by Zemran (3101) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:29PM (#23982817) Homepage Journal

    So when is the EU finally going to request fingerprints and private data from US travelers?

    Why would they want it? So the US wants to horde lots of personal data that serves no other purpose other than to violate basic human rights, why should any one else want to be as stupid? It will waste money keeping and attempting to process this data to no worthwhile end except the jobs that it will create for the friends of those that pass these stupid laws.

    It makes us all feel warm and fuzzy at night, knowing that the good old USSA have got the world police looking after us.

  • by Richard_J_N (631241) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:49PM (#23983059)

    As a Eurpoean (who used to believe in the "American Dream"), I'm thoroughly sick of the way the US behaves, and I'm disgusted that none of our leaders have the nerve to tell the regime to get lost. The EU should cease all co-operation with the USA until the USA starts behaving like a free country. Guantanamo alone is such a blot that the EU should have imposed trade sanctions over it (like we did to apartheid South-Africa).

  • by rwxrwx (1310115) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:06PM (#23983215)

    Hey, it's your leaders that are agreeing to this shit. Put the blame on their shoulders ... they could have said "no".

    If you had any idea as to how the EU Officials get into office you wouldnt have posted that half ass comment.

    Most European citizens do not even get to vote for country officials or representatives. Most EU Officials or governing body positions are appointed positions, from either voted politicians , or other appointed politicians.

    In some EU Countries citizens are not even allowed to vote on most EU policies and laws.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:16PM (#23983315)
    Being a EU resident I place very big question marks behind this current development. Personally I don't understand why the EU allows itself to be dictated by a country which is on the edge of sheer bankruptcy (just take a look at what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost per day, the amount which was calculated and more important: how its being paid for).

    Still, having that out of the way I realize like no other that saying no to the US isn't always that easy and the consequences of such actions can be quite drastic, right to the levels of pure idiocy, childish behavior and plain out oppression.

    Don't believe me? Say, whats that yellow stuff you're eating there? French fries? Oh no, silly me; those have been renamed freedom fries because France opposed the US' stupid war. Of course it turned out that France, like some other EU countries, was absolutely right to refuse but don't think that the US will admit to that. Quite the contrary, even now some countries like Belgium are being belittled because they refuse to be part of the occupation army in Afghanistan and Iraq. So forgive me when I say "talk is cheap" if you really think that all it takes is saying no.

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if this deal wasn't being enforced here and there. But if that is the case it would surprise me why the EU doesn't simply tell to US to go take a hike. Its not as if they can afford to wage war against the EU without a big fat loan from that same EU (and China).
  • Re:Fabulous (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:21PM (#23983357)

    No there are not. There are national elections for European parliament, but there is no choice. I can only choose between our own European politicians, who I would NEVER vote for. I cannot vote for German Green party members, or for Danish Socialists, or for Italian Catholics. These are national elections, not European ones.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:54PM (#23983679) Journal

    Because if they didn't, it was going to become a situation where passengers and planes couldn't land in the US or even fly through US airspace unless the information was taken and passed on. A visiter from the EU would have to take a flight to a country that does the fingerprinting and then fly into the US. Evidently, there is or was enough people in the EU who saw this as a problem and the rules were changed. For people not going to or through the US, this doesn't effect them so their opinions sort of matter less.

    When I say matter less, I don't mean that they are irrelevant, I mean that your opinion about something that would never effect you isn't as important then the opinion of someone who is effected. Granted, people's opinion over government actions is just as important as anyone's who is subjected to that government. But their opinion over having to give fingerprints to enter or fly through the US when they never do that, doesn't carry as much weight as someone's who is directly effected by it.

  • by Reziac (43301) * on Saturday June 28, 2008 @05:26PM (#23985063) Homepage Journal

    The difference is that the spectre of Communism generally aided us in preserving our freedoms (at least once we got past the McCarthy scare), by providing a well-defined example of what we DON'T want to be like.

    The current nebulous "terrorism" bogeyman is not sufficiently defined to use as a bad example. Apparently this means we need to make our own bad example, so we know exactly what to look for should such a bogeyman actually appear.

  • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000&yahoo,com> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @06:05PM (#23985345)

    Eastern Europe, Asia, Western Europe, Africa, would ALL be better off had the USSA (as you so lovingly put it) had left all your affairs alone 1900 to 1970, right?

    While some places may of been worse if the US didn't do anything in other places people have suffered gravely because of the US. For instance President Ford and Henry Kissinger [gwu.edu] gave the green light to Indonesia's Suharto to invade East Timer, and supported the invasion with firearms despite a congressional ban. About 200,000 East Timorese were massacred after the invasion, that's 1/3 of the population of East Timor. Or take Iran, in the 1950s the US supported an overthrow of a democratically elected government and replaced it with the Shah. At the same tyme Ford supported Suharto he also supported General Pinochet's overthrow of Chile's elected president after which tens of thousands of people disappeared [desaparecidos.org].

  • by Archtech (159117) on Sunday June 29, 2008 @12:13PM (#23991115)

    So when is the EU finally going to request fingerprints and private data from US travelers?

    When it wants to get bombed.

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