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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:Legality? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:10AM (#38827439)

    Why does a bully have power over others? Because others don't put up a fight.

  • 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 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.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:20AM (#38827519)
    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.
  • 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: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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:legally demand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:43AM (#38827703)

    "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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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:Rape Whistle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archtech (159117) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:59AM (#38827849)

    This is a case where simply saying "No" would actually work. Try it, "No, you may not have the data."

    See, very simple. No need for weapons or belligerence.

    Very nice, until you suddenly find that your company's operations in the USA have been closed down, or all your money in US-controlled banks has been frozen. That no one who has ever met you, or any of your family, or anyone with the same initials as you, is allowed to enter the USA or any of its widespread dominions. That no US-based corporation (or corporation that ever hopes to do any business in the USA, or with US-based corporations) will give you the time of day. That all your communications may be tapped, and diligently searched for the slightest excuse to harass or prosecute you for further alleged wrongdoing. That no one will hire you. That other governments hoping for favour from Washington (i.e. all governments except perhaps Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea) will presently follow suit. And on, and on, and on.

    Oh, and you may unexpectedly find yourself being extradited to Sweden on multiple charges of aggravated rape.

  • 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"

  • Re:Legality? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gbjbaanb (229885) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:01AM (#38827871)

    so does Russia, Britain, France, Israel and North Korea. they don't go around insisting that their laws apply to foreign firms with foreign data in foreign sovereignties.

    the US is just lost the plot on internationalisation - they might have realised there are places outside the US borders, now they need to understand that those places *aren't* America.

    I swear most of America's politicians and lawyers are about as mature as a 6 year old - not yet understanding that the world consists of people other than themselves.

  • 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.

  • 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 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?

  • 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:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:20AM (#38828081)

    you dont have a clue what true conservatism is. A real conservative hates the police state, the "Patriot Act"(No real patriot would ever have voted for this garbage), and believes the constitution stands as written, not as some old ghosts in black robes "interpret" the meaning(I think it is very clearly written, but then again I didnt get brainwashed at a liberal institution). A TRUE conservative is against liberalism, but wants true liberty. A true conservative is more like a libertarian than republican. Do not confuse Republicans and Conservatives. They are no longer the same thing. If conservaitves had their way laissez-faire would be a fact of life. There would be no government intervention. you progressive idiots are the ones that want the all powerful government.

  • 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.

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

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:55AM (#38828493)

    I think it's a joke that you call your current office 'liberal'.

    The fact that our liberal party is run by fascists doesnt change the fact that they are our liberals. We dont have a party that is more liberal.

  • 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?

  • by V for Vendetta (1204898) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @01:29PM (#38830577)

    If you don't want women to wear a burqua, simple enough, convince them.

    Sorry, but you don't know what you're talking about. This has nothing to do with conviction/belief, but with too many girls and women forced to wear the burka by their (male) family (members). They get killed for not obeying to their demands. This is to protect those girls and women who want to execute their freedom rights.

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

    by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @05:32PM (#38833621) Homepage

    We dont have a party that is more liberal.

    Yes. This is what we call a "defect".

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