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Foreign Data Unsafe From US Patriot Act, Says American Law Firm 328

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-arm-of-the-law dept.
natecochrane writes "A prestigious law firm warns non-U.S. businesses their data is unsafe from costly and invasive raids by American law enforcement even if they host their data in their own countries. The wide interpretation of the USA Patriot Act ensures U.S. cops can legally demand data from almost anyone, anywhere for any reason and countries and their citizens are largely powerless to resist. The advice has resonance with the arrest this week of Kim 'Dotcom' on alleged copyright violations in the U.S."
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Foreign Data Unsafe From US Patriot Act, Says American Law Firm

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  • legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clemdoc (624639) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:06AM (#38827403)
    Well, that demand doesn't need to be answered.
    • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Suki I (1546431) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:08AM (#38827415) Homepage Journal

      Well, that demand doesn't need to be answered.

      ^^This^^

      Other governments do not have to bow down to every 'request' and demand of the United States.

      • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:15AM (#38827495)

        Unfortunately for people in the UK our Conservative/Liberal government are a gang of spineless puppets who do whatever their US masters tell them. As were the previous Labour government.
        I have to wonder if a desire to suck US cock is a requirement to get into politics in this country?..

        • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

          by malkavian (9512) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:36AM (#38827641) Homepage

          No, our current group are bound by a one sided legal treaty signed in by Labour. The current group are looking for a way to end the agreement legally (as it's not great for business; I suspect citizens are an also ran, but useful flag to wave).
          That's the thing with international law and diplomacy, you can't easily turn around and say "We don't like it anymore, so screw you". Well, not without screwing up your international reputation and ability to strike future agreements. It needs to be done carefully.

          • by Suki I (1546431)

            No, our current group are bound by a one sided legal treaty signed in by Labour. The current group are looking for a way to end the agreement legally (as it's not great for business; I suspect citizens are an also ran, but useful flag to wave).
            That's the thing with international law and diplomacy, you can't easily turn around and say "We don't like it anymore, so screw you". Well, not without screwing up your international reputation and ability to strike future agreements. It needs to be done carefully.

            Doesn't the UK regularly refuse to extradite accused criminals that may be subject to capital punishment in the US and other countries? They refuse US demands when they want to and in this case, it looks like they just don't want to.

            • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

              by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:36AM (#38828273) Journal
              There is a specific clause in the treaty allowing extradition to be refused in cases where capital punishment is considered likely. I believe that this is required due to other treaty obligations (e.g. the ECHR), which prohibit UK citizens from being subject to the death penalty while under British jurisdiction (sending them off to another country to be killed counts). A more balanced treaty would also allow extradition to be refused if the crime were not illegal under UK law (we have this in most extradition treaties) and would have more symmetrical evidence requirements - currently, the standard of evidence required to extradite from the UK to USA is a lot lower than vice versa.
            • by w_dragon (1802458)
              Extradition generally requires 3 things:
              The law broken must exist, or have an equivalent, in the extraditing country. Hence Canada won't extradite draft dodgers to the USA
              The evidence presented must be sufficient to secure a trial - you can't just give a name and crime and expect to extradite someone
              The punishment if the person is found guilty must be within what the extraditing country would find reasonable. Thus any country without capital punishment will get assurances not to seek the death penalty b
          • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

            by rainmouse (1784278) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#38828027)
            For those interested in this treaty, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003 [wikipedia.org] It makes for some outrageous reading.
          • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jbolden (176878) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:10PM (#38829431) Homepage

            There is a perfectly legal way to do that. The UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague writes a formal statement of repudiation and submits it to the US and the UN. After six months the treaty is nullified.

            Countries aren't bound by treaties until the sun explodes.

      • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:19AM (#38827515)

        It's funny that U.S. conservatives complain about International law being applied in the U.S. and that those people are against a N.W.O. when it seems like the U.S. is leading the charge on forcing its laws on other countries as it sees fit. All the people with "U.S. out of the U.N. now" signs have no clue.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "Insightful"? Really? The patriot act is about the LEAST CONSERVATIVE piece of legislation ever enacted - just because all our politicians are corrupt money grubbing opinion whores and they claim to be on one side or another does not make them so. Vote Ron Paul for fucks' sake, he's the only politician in the running that doesn't entertain lobbyists - then you will see what comes from an actual conservative.

          • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:05AM (#38827917)

            Conservatism is about stopping the advancement of progressiveness and liberty, or in extreme cases, to roll it back.

            The police state is the ultimate conservative institution. And the Patriot Act is one of the police states most powerful weapons.

            • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

              by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#38828013)

              Conservatism is about stopping the advancement of progressiveness and liberty, or in extreme cases, to roll it back.

              You had me up to "liberty". Conservatism seems to like the idea of "liberty". They're not so big on "liberal" or "libertine", which are similar sounding, but mean different things.

              The police state is the ultimate conservative institution. And the Patriot Act is one of the police states most powerful weapons.

              Wasn't most of the crap in the Patriot Act dealing with data written by John Kerry, a liberal democrat (who was, admittedly, also an ex-prosecutor who was trying to make other prosecutors' jobs easier)?

              • Re:legally demand (Score:4, Informative)

                by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:22AM (#38828103)

                There are no liberal democrats, only democrats slightly less conservative than the average republican.

                • by Rockoon (1252108)

                  There are no liberal democrats, only democrats slightly less conservative than the average republican.

                  This idea that Obama administration is conservative stems from the fact that it isnt very liberal, but if you are actually paying attention you see that its more fascist than anything.. certainly not conservative by any real measure other than that "not liberal" canard.

              • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @01:08PM (#38830289) Journal

                If conservatives are so pro-liberty, why are they so against things like gay rights and gay marriage? Surely a fundamental part of liberty is being allowed to choose who you want to love and marry?

            • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

              by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:36AM (#38828275)

              Conservatism is about stopping the advancement of progressiveness and liberty, or in extreme cases, to roll it back.

              Ah, nope! Might wanna consult a dictionary on that one.

              Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve")[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.

              So by definition, conservatives are opposed to new laws that infringe on existing liberties. Actually, they are opposed to new laws in general.

              P.S. Most of the so-called "conservatives" in the US government aren't really conservative.

          • You took the dictionary meaning of the word, when gp post was talking more about the label. Politics is all about corrupting the meaning of words so they don't apply any more. Orwell taught us that, if you didn't learn it anywhere else.

            "U.S. conservatives" are more than happy with this type of thing. Looking at voting history, the "U.S. conservatives" typically vote for such things en masse, with maybe a few consistent dissenters like Ron Paul. The liberals vote for it too, but support is more spotty an

        • Re:legally demand (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:46AM (#38827733)

          All the people with "U.S. out of the U.N. now" signs have no clue.

          Of course they don't. They will never hear about this. Why? Because the pundits they watch and listen to will never mention this.

          And in the meantime, all they hear is how America is exceptional, we're on top and will always be there, and anyone who criticizes America hates it, yadda yadda yadda.

          They also hear distortions and lies about what is being done like The UN Gun Ban Treaty [factcheck.org] that Obama is going to use to take our guns away!

          No one seems to bother to check the facts. They watch or listen to some overpaid mouthpeice whose job is to scare the shit out of them so that these spewers of nonsense can get rating to justify their seven figure or more salary.

          It's hard though. There is sooo much information being thrown at us, how can a normal person check up on everything? You have to work 8+ hours a day, take care of your chores, exervise (I hope!), eat, connect with friends and family, etc ... and check up on those liars?

          The easiest thing to do is turn off the TV and most radio.

          The Economist and NPR seem to be the last reliable newssources left on the planet.

        • Funny? How so? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Pax Romana's a bitch, but not if you're Rome.

        • by Rockoon (1252108)
          Its funny that the current executive branch is liberal.. yet you are going on about conservatives in a story dealing with the expanding powers of the executive branch.

          Battered liberal syndrome?
        • by Skal Tura (595728)

          Ofc, that's just "good business", force your own laws to others, but cry foul if they try to do the same, little by little creep more power over others while giving none to them. Makes tons of sense.

      • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:21AM (#38827533)

        They are free to ignore the demands, true.

        The article, however, spoke of the conflict of IT companies that had interests in the U.S., who may be forced to obey U.S. law. Specifically, the story is about the privacy commissioner of my province (Alberta) recommending that our government only use companies with no U.S. connections to guarantee the privacy of the data.

        That means no American companies, no outsourcing to the U.S., and no data storage in the United States. The U.S. are international lepers in the privacy world and should be avoided at all costs.

        • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Interesting)

          by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:41AM (#38827695) Journal

          That means no American companies, no outsourcing to the U.S., and no data storage in the United States. The U.S. are international lepers in the privacy world and should be avoided at all costs.

          Unfortunately, even this is not enough. The non-US company would have to ensure any and all contact with the US is prevented, to ensure that there is not even a crack of a sliver of the door to US jurisdiction.

          The way they got a porno director here in the US who operated in California, was to order his product in Georgia and have them ship it there. BAM! Georgia claims jurisdiction and the guy goes to jail.

          In fact, one of the wedges used to argue for jurisdiction over megauploads, was that they used PayPal. So, now you can't deal with USD, nor can you particularly even do business with American companies. That cuts out a lot of business, and every multinational company.

          The world is getting so small now, that it will be impossible for any company or business person to ever manage to keep out from the from the ever expanding abuse of jurisdiction that the US is applying.

          • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Informative)

            by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:28AM (#38828883)

            This is par for the course in international business. I work for a Fortune 20 Or Less company, and we have data centers all around the world specifically to accomodate contractual language such as this. Support teams are made up of people from different countries to ensure we can meet the requirement of who can and cannot see the data.

            Each country is organized as its own subsidiary. This was probably expensive, but we can say "Go talk to the subsidiary in that country" because we don't have the data. International law is tricky, and you can be sure there are some very weasly lawyers at the top making sure everything is deniable.

            Short version, yes it's possible, but you have to organize things correctly. The whole point of the article is that it's easy to miss something and there goes your privacy.

        • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Suki I (1546431) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:50AM (#38827757) Homepage Journal

          They are free to ignore the demands, true.

          The article, however, spoke of the conflict of IT companies that had interests in the U.S., who may be forced to obey U.S. law. Specifically, the story is about the privacy commissioner of my province (Alberta) recommending that our government only use companies with no U.S. connections to guarantee the privacy of the data.

          That means no American companies, no outsourcing to the U.S., and no data storage in the United States. The U.S. are international lepers in the privacy world and should be avoided at all costs.

          If the person in question is not a US citizen and not in the US, then it is ultimately up to her or his country of citizenship and country where they are located if any state cooperation is given at all.

          Sovereignty does have a few perks.

          • Re:legally demand (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:23AM (#38828119)

            They are free to ignore the demands, true.

            The article, however, spoke of the conflict of IT companies that had interests in the U.S., who may be forced to obey U.S. law. Specifically, the story is about the privacy commissioner of my province (Alberta) recommending that our government only use companies with no U.S. connections to guarantee the privacy of the data.

            That means no American companies, no outsourcing to the U.S., and no data storage in the United States. The U.S. are international lepers in the privacy world and should be avoided at all costs.

            If the person in question is not a US citizen and not in the US, then it is ultimately up to her or his country of citizenship and country where they are located if any state cooperation is given at all.

            Sovereignty does have a few perks.

            It should also be noted that Megaupload (to take a recent) had US-based servers and bank accounts. These (IMHO) are fair game for the US government. They also generally were accessed by a .com domain, which is managed by a US-based company (would have been prudent to have .co, .eu, .co.uk, etc., addresses as well).

            However, extraditing him shouldn't be done, as he broke no law in the country he was in AFAIK. If they do extradite him, they'll also (logically speaking) have to extradite journalists who report on China if Beijing asks--even if the reporter/s in question wrote their stories in New Zealand. It's a dangerous precedent to allow this to happen, as simple "access to bits" is not an really appropriate in the networked age.

            The only time that an extradition could be allowed would be in the case of crackers who went into remote systems of another country, as they were specifically "trespassing" the systems (though not physically). Though they could also be prosecuted locally since most countries have cyber-laws that deal with this as well.

          • Why are you talking about people? It's irrelevant. I don't think you know what topic we're on. If a company blurs the lines of operation such that some work is done in the United States, US law applies where that line is crossed.

            If you use an Australian company that houses e-mail in a Gmail server in the US, that e-mail can be snooped. Even if no one from the US is administering that server, its physical presence is what determines the law, not the person doing the work, or which company owns it.

            This is

      • Re:legally demand (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Magada (741361) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:24AM (#38827563) Journal

        Things tend to happen to governments which ignore such demands. Just ask the Spaniards.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So far, it has been the policy of at least European Union, to turn around, unbuckle, and bend over.

        You want the lunch choices of our citizens flying towards your country, 3 days in advance? No problem! We'll even pick up the tab. To demand the same from them? Unreasonable

    • Or you can answer .... with bullets.
    • Yes, yes, only dirty Brits, I mean communists, sorry wrong era again, reverse-Americanized-Euroized-socialists-Islamo-Fascistic-Chinese-double-agent-super-terrorists-Illegal-Immigrant-Emigrants wouldn't comply.

      Perhaps we should conduct a raid to find some evidence we can use to get a warrant to justify the raid to have you detained indefinitely?

    • by metacell (523607)

      Well, that demand doesn't need to be answered.

      The country doesn't need to respond to the legal demand. But if you're a business in a country which bends over to the USA, then it's not up to you. Since much of the data gathering and transfer is carried out in secret, those businesses need to be warned so they can encrypt their data and choose where, when and what to put online.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Oh, the demand will be answered - just not in the way you're thinking of.

      Who's going to answer? The businesses that are going to move out of the US and/or away from it before this comes around, so that they can ignore the demand.

      Good job USA. We've once again shown why people shouldn't have any desire to do business with us.

    • Ironically, we're involved in the same debate, but in reverse.

      We are involved in an 'outsourced email' discussion, and some companies (ie: G-something) say, quite literally, "we can't tell you what countries your data will be in, only which ones it won't be in". When pressed on how they come up with that, they say "well, it's not in the ones where we don't have datacenters".

      Other companies (ie: M-something) have ITAR certified solutions that assure you it's US datacenters and US citizens.

      I can understand
  • The advice has resonance with the arrest this week of Kim 'Dotcom' on alleged copyright violations in the U.S.

    Except that, AFAIK, the Patriot Act doesn't have anything to do with Copyright. Or was it amended?

    • That depends, one of the charges against him was money laundering, if said laundering was used to fund terrorism (yes, that is a huge stretch by any imagination...), the Patriot act would apply...

      Law enforcement (Federal and Local) have been known to stretch the facts to get what they want though...

      • You man the U.S. sues him for violating their Copyright by illegally sharing money with other people?

    • Since the PATRIOT act allows the government to pretty much get logs of whatever for whatever reason they feel like, they can easily say they are fighting "terrorism" and gain these logs and then see that there was a "crime" committed (or plant evidence) and then charge you with that "crime".
    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      Not much terrorism in Vegas the last hundred years or so. Course, that little fact didn't stop them from using the Patriot Act to prosecute them for corruption. It was easier for them to go that way than it was to use the RICO Act like they should have. Course, I haven't met a cop or a judge yet that wouldn't take the easy way out of any situation...
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:10AM (#38827437)

    "countries and their citizens are largely powerless to resist"

    They need a nation-sized Rape-aXe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-rape_device#Rape-aXe [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:Rape Whistle (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nosfucious (157958) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:30AM (#38827601)

      Yes, It's called "having nukes".

      The various North Korean and Iranian despots are well aware of this fact.

  • So, bascially they take took FATCA and expanded the idea to get a worldwide power to get data on anyone. nice.
  • "Largely powerless to resist"... what a load of trash. Just let them try, and see what kind of "powerless resistance" comes back at them. These are fascist laws.. and here in Europe, we've learned a lesson or two on that subject which makes us less inclined to raise our right arm to the furher again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      Really now? Europe has tons of really, really, stupid laws (of course they differ depending on the countries), some criminalize belief (like the French law preventing people from saying that the killing of Armenians was not genocide) others criminalize even basic dress (Burqa bans), still others have the net effect of preventing religious freedom (minaret ban in Switzerland), etc.

      Yes the US is screwed up but Europe is just as screwed up too in their laws.
      • some criminalize belief (like the French law preventing people from saying that the killing of Armenians was not genocide)

        To be fair, laws like that are designed specifically to prevent another rise of the far right.

  • The US also has the power to launch one thousand nukes and wreak devastation across the globe. Why aren't we writing articles about that?

    • Re:Alarmist (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy (611105) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:26AM (#38827575) Journal

      Because the US hasn't nuked anyone in over half a century, and doesn't appear to show any inclination to. They have, however, seized data from New Zealand in the last week or so, and are currently trying to extradite a British citizen for actions that occurred solely within the UK and were already deemed not to constitute a crime under British law.

      • The US does not need to use for real, just need to have the ability to do so.
      • > "Seized data in the last week or so"

        LOL! Why don't people realise that in *every* modern country *all* traffic is currently being monitored by the FBI. The US has used trade treaties and agreements to have "Lawful Intercept" (now there's a misnomer if ever there was one) equipment in the ISPs of all its trading partners. This can be used to watch packets flying around the world in real time (oops, still believe TOR can't be defeated?). The Lawful Intercept installations are recent, but the ECHELON n

    • Because no-one will launch nukes. Even the U.S. pissed their pants when they saw what they had done to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The cold-war is over, and so are the last changes for a *real* nuclear conflict around the world. Sure, there are still two or three muppets out there which would throw a nuclear weapon at somebody...but no-one is dumb enough to throw one back just for the sake of it. It's over, get over it, worry about economy instead.
  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:14AM (#38827487)

    So if US cops "demands" Iran hand over the details of their nuclear scientist's e-mail traffic it is just going to happen?

    I call bullshit. The only reason they'd be able to acquire such data would be if the host country agreed to let it happen. That would be a problem with the host country's lack of privacy protection for their own citizens, and has little to do with the patriot act itself.

    • by hawks5999 (588198)
      We'll, if we don't get those emails, we will have to assume the worse and assassinate the scientist, blockade Iran and send drones in to blow up any alleged facilities where he was working.
    • by berashith (222128)

      It looks like the issue is foreign businesses, not foreign governments. If the businesses fought tooth and nail and could convince their government to take a stand, then there is likely going to be some pushback. Now, getting the businesses government to care will take quite some time, and likely some egregious action by the US, or things will just get pushed under the rug. The businesses that refuse will suffer by not being allowed into the US market.

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:18AM (#38827507)

    Team America: World Police
    Intended as satire. Used instead as guidebook.

  • "US cops can legally demand data from almost anyone, anywhere for any reason and countries and their citizens are largely powerless to resist"

    US can demand anything from almost anyone, anywhere for any reason and countries and their citizens are powerless to resist

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:29AM (#38827591) Homepage Journal

    The real State of the Union is very weak. The US debt is bigger than ever, the liberties of people are weaker than ever, the government is more powerful in terms of what it can do to individuals (and even citizens of other countries) than ever.

    The economy of USA (and Europe) are weak and getting weaker, the inflation is higher and getting higher, the wars are long and getting longer, the corruption - meddling of government in business and as a corollary meddling of business in government is enormous. Iran and India are now trading oil for gold, and in USA people who show the obvious illegitimacy of government power are thrown to jail - political [slashdot.org] prisoners [wikipedia.org].

    Do not forget. [slashdot.org]

    Government is supposed to be there to protect your liberties and freedoms, but this does not mean to protect your liberties and freedoms against other non-government civilians.

    Government is inherently evil, but it must exist to occupy the space where otherwise the evil would exist that didn't have public legitimacy on its side.

    The point of government is to exist to occupy space of where the inherent evil lives and to protect the individuals from the inherent evil that occupies that space. Now, whether it is realistic to expect some entity to occupy space of evil and not turn evil itself ... (and my argument goes further, but I am not going there in this discussion), but basically government exists to protect people FROM ITSELF.

    It is the government force that we are all vulnerable to. Other individuals and companies - that's a private matter.

    Now governments failed people completely, including the court system, the Supreme Court in USA as well, so this just shows how inherent the evil is and how it permeates into whatever entity that is occupying that space.

    But the Constitution is law above government, and government broke that law long ago and it continues to brake it every day. Government protecting people from government does not mean that government must protect people from other people.

    The theory of government and understanding of government is completely flawed.

    The system that exists to supposedly protect people from crime should not be the same and must not be conspiring with the system that exists to occupy the space of evil government power.

    Once you mix together the system of government, which is supposed to provide you with freedoms from itself, and you mix it with system that may be set up to provide you with security from other individuals, you end up with a government system that has the tools and the will to destroy your liberties.

    The separation of power (legislative, judicial, executive) in government is not done correctly and that's where the fault in current government theory shows itself.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:32AM (#38827611) Homepage

    The advice has resonance with the arrest this week of Kim 'Dotcom' on alleged copyright violations in the U.S."

    MegaUpload maintained a large nexus in the US, which is what exposed them to prosecution. We can disagree about the extradition (not particularly in favor of it myself, but it is probably legal under treaty), but if an American citizen set up a business with a nexus in NZ or Germany that severely broke their copyright laws, they would be fair game the moment they set foot on their territory or of a sympathetic state's territory. Let's not conflate these issues. They're bad enough on their own.

  • lets see the USA charge head first in to China or Russia like they do the weaker little nations, i bet the other two big boys on the block wont lay down to having their sovereignty violated like the rest of the world is forced to tolerate
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:36AM (#38827657)

    The patriot act and all these powers were granted to the government to fight the war... to hunt down the terrorists and snuff them out. That was the point.

    To that end, I don't think many people would have a problem with the powers IF they used them expressly for that purpose and no other. Sadly, government being run by people and people being people... the power is abused... frequently. My favorite is the guy that got his ex-wife on a terror/no-fly list so she couldn't fly out of town. There are other examples but few are that petty.

    The patriot act needs to be rescinded. It has done most of the work it was put in place to do in the first place. We're pulling our troops back... it's time to retire the act. By all means, let the CIA still go hunting for bad guys. It was foolish ever to chain them. That didn't happen until the Clinton Administration and that point is by some credited as being one of the things that allowed 9/11 to happen in the first place. But the legal authorities granted by the patriot act beyond letting the CIA do it's job should be retired.

    As to data not being legally safe in other countries... US law has no effect on foreign countries. They don't have to comply unless they wish to comply. In which case it has more to do with what those countries wish then the US.

    Really, if you're afraid for your data... fear the NSA... they don't bother with warrants and never have... not their game. They get the information because they can not because they have a right. I don't especially fear them though... they're always after bigger fish then little ol' me.

  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:43AM (#38827705)
    It looks like there is a great business opportunity here - set up cloud services and guarantee in writing that (a) no data will be hosted in the USA, it's protectorates, or in extremely US-friendly countries (England, Canada), and (b) you won't turn over data to any US authority under any circumstance.
    • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:07AM (#38827937)

      Two words Julian Assange ...No US server, no connections to US companies, all hosted in US unfriendly countries ...

      He tried this, and look what happened ...

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        He got a talk show?

  • Unfortunately, TFA is right. Look at what we did with Spain. Look at what were pressuring Canada into doing.

    "Nice X ya got there, it'd be a shame if Y were to happen to it."

    Why blow someone up, then they can't make you money. Duh.

  • by IonOtter (629215) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:59AM (#38827853) Homepage

    Dear American User:

    We are very sorry, but your government is behaving like a spoiled child that thinks it can get it's way by screaming and kicking it's feet. While normally we would not be terribly concerned by this childish display, we are annoyed that you, the parents, are not doing anything to bring them under control.

    As a result, you will not be permitted to utilize our service until you rein in your spoiled brat government and teach them proper manners, and how to act like a world citizen.

    Thank you.

    "Name of Service"

  • by Insightfill (554828) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:08AM (#38827961) Homepage

    Let's be sure to always write it PATRIOT so people know it's a acronym and hopefully ask questions. Seems like every bill is given a nifty acronym or backronym, usually with the intent of glossing over how horrid these bills are. I could propose a "Cats Underwater Teeth Extraction" bill, and call it the "CUTE" bill and nobody would be the wiser. You wouldn't vote against something "Cute" would you?

    Worse is the more common case; the actual bill title seems perversely the opposite of what the bill accomplishes. "Clear Skies Initiative/Act", anyone?

  • by b4upoo (166390) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:42AM (#38828343)

    While the US is out and about signing treaties and agreements with foreign governments that allow us to seize foreign files and evidence you can bet that we are giving other nations the right to do the same within the US. If that were not true we could never get them to sign those treaties and agreements. One issue where this has come to light in the past is in outrageous and deliderate gouging on international phone calls. You make a call to a nation in Africa for twelve minutes and get a phone bill with $3,000 for that one call. You refuse to pay and your local phone company gets involved and cuts you off as they are forced to honor reciprical arrangements.
                  No treaty or agreement should have any effect upon US citizens within our own borders.

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