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EU To Vote On Suspension of Data Sharing With US 330

New submitter badzilla writes with a story from ZDnet that says a vote is scheduled in the European Parliament for today, U.S. Independence Day, on "whether existing data sharing agreements between the two continents should be suspended, following allegations that U.S. intelligence spied on EU citizens." One interesting scenario outlined by the article is that it may disrupt air travel between the U.S. and EU: "In the resolution, submitted to the Parliament on Tuesday, more than two-dozen politicians from a range of political parties call the spying 'a serious violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,' and call on the suspension of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) system. Prior to leaving the airport, airlines must make passenger data available to the U.S. Names, dates of birth, addresses, credit or debit card details and seat numbers are among the data — though critics say the information has never helped catch a suspected criminal or terrorist before. Should the PNR system be suspended, it could result in the suspension of flights to the U.S. from European member states."
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EU To Vote On Suspension of Data Sharing With US

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  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:18AM (#44187383)
    The British GCHQ taps fibre connections, collects data on EU citizens and shares it with US intelligence services. In response the EU wants to stop sharing information on passenger records for people flying between the EU and the USA. .... Well I suppose its easier than suggesting that EU governments should not spy on its citizens.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The British are not the EU, in fact they are viewed by most as an US shill inside the EU. In the area of surveillance they are ahead US by quite a bit.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:48AM (#44187621)

      The US is spying on EU citizens.

      The Brits are spying on EU citizens.

      Therefore, for the EU to be upset at the US is foolish.

      How do you arrive at this conclusion? Is it the "everyone else is doing it as well" argument the rest of us grew out of when we were 3?

    • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:55AM (#44187683) Homepage

      Britain and the EU have an odd relationship unlike almost any other country in the EU.

      Yes, technically, we are part of it. But we're exempt from other parts associated with it (we don't use the Euro, etc.). We pump more money in than some others and, as compensation, we're allowed to opt-out of certain things.

      Also, if you ask people in Britain what it means to go to Europe, it doesn't include touring around Britain. Britain and the EU are - to the British - two separate entities. Even more confusing you have things like the EC and the continent of Europe and lots of other definitions over the years that we are sometimes in, sometimes out.

      However, GCHQ has hit a LOT of flak for its actions. The question really is - if what the US does is illegal, and the EU is doing it back, why do we have a formal legal statement of something else entirely? Why bother? Why not just legalise what we do or not? But, ultimately, the attitude is - if we DO share things with you, why distrust us and find things out illegally for your self? And if you do that, why should we bother to trust you or give you anything anyway?

      The GCHQ involvement is a side-issue, and you can guarantee that whatever sanctions the US has imposed on it, those on GCHQ will be worse.

      But, politics what it is, I find it hard to believe that anything will happen, certainly anything that will affect air travel. More likely a few trade agreements will have more lenient terms than they would have otherwise and promises to clean up, and that'll be the end of it.

      Though, I swore off going to the US many years ago after they basically took liberties with what rights they think they have (which include this EU passenger data crap). If I was forced to enter the US now, I'd do so for as short a time as possible and carry no electronic equipment whatsoever and encrypt all communications home. That's the only sensible business choice and has been for years, and it just happens to be the complete antithesis of the intention to collect that data in the first place.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:59AM (#44187713) Homepage

      The British GCHQ taps fibre connections, collects data on EU citizens and shares it with US intelligence services. In response the EU wants to stop sharing information on passenger records for people flying between the EU and the USA

      Well, it's right there in the article:

      Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the European Commission is examining if the U.K. broke EU law, which could lead to an infringement procedure against the British government. This could lead to financial sanctions imposed by the European Court of Justice.

      That the UK did this is also something they're looking at.

      Well I suppose its easier than suggesting that EU governments should not spy on its citizens.

      That's exactly what they're suggesting.

      There's also this:

      I can not understand why a U.S. citizen has the right to redress in the EU, but an EU citizen does not have the right to redress in the U.S.

      As usual, the US won't sign an agreement which says a US entity would have to face laws in other countries, but expect they will get access to those laws when convenient.

      It's a one-sided arrangement that isn't working for anyone but the US, and I believe you're going to start seeing countries deciding they're not going to sign up for any more of those. I think people are getting fed up with having terms dictated to them, and aren't going to be willing to keep doing it.

      • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @11:04AM (#44188123)

        "It's a one-sided arrangement that isn't working for anyone but the US"

        To be fair the reason the EU and even Russia have these agreements with the US is that they expect in return the US will warn them of terrorist threats on their soil and work with them on intelligence issues. So it's not entirely one-sided, there are benefits, the problem is that the equation is changed and so do those benefits still outweigh the downsides?

        It has to be consensual, the EU has no problem working with the US on this basis of intelligence cooperation, and neither does Russia, and neither does anyone else, but if the US then starts spying above and beyond what has agreed then the whole system has to be examined as to whether working with the US is indeed a net positive. The calculation was that when it was limited to those activities designed in legally binding agreements that it was a net positive, but now that it's clear the US' intelligence program has gone way beyond those agreed limits it's no longer clear that the original calculation involved in authorising the intelligence sharing agreements is still valid.

        For example, the EU obviously determined that giving up citizen names, addresses, credit cards and so forth to the US was worth it for the intelligence shared back, but now it's clear that the US may have been mining private conversations and other personal information on top of that agreed, potentially mixing it together into one big data mining operation, that calculation has changed, and the EU has to hence re-evaluate that.

        Opting to give up citizens personal data for security is one thing because the decision has been made (whether we here on Slashdot like it or not) that doing so is in the net interest of EU citizens, but having that personal data mixed in with illegally gathered trade and personal data that might be used to the detriment of EU citizens and economic interests is a whole different ballgame. Suddenly it's not so clearly in the EU's interest, though I guess perhaps that what you mean when you say it's one sided?

        I agree with everything you say though by the way.

    • by Psyborgue ( 699890 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:01AM (#44187725) Homepage Journal
      France too []. It was reported in Le Monde this morning but hasn't hit the international press yet in full force. Here [] is an English article from a local French paper. Apparently the whole assembly (congress) knew about it and was on board.
    • You act as if the UK wants to be part of the EU. They're too busy trying to suck up to US which is why it turns out it was the UK that was helping the US run a spying scheme that would make the nazis jizz their pants with jealousy.
  • The equivalent of recalling an ambassador for the "intelligence" community.

  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 )

    It's cute to see Swede^H^H^H^H^H the EU pretend it has balls and stand up to the Reich^H^H^H^H^H United States. ;)

    Face it, guys; the Fascists have already got their One World Government; they've even given it a warm and fuzzy Progressive/Socialist facade that everytbody on both sides of the ocean (whether they love it or hate it) has bought hook, line and sinker.

    • by wmac1 ( 2478314 )

      You found this just now?

      US has been putting unilateral sanctions on different countries (like Iran) and forcing every other country to execute the internal laws of the US. Everyone (Japan, Europe, Korea, Turkey, India and even China) is competing to conform with the B.S.

      The problem is that every B.S. is fine until it involves us. Then it is not!

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      Um, the people pushing this sort of thing are about as far from socialist as you can get, it's the hard right behind most of this and has been for years.

      The socialist countries (i.e. most of those in the EU) are the ones pushing back against it.

      Still, nice attempt at trying to blame something on socialism that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  • Evidently... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:40AM (#44187565)

    Evidently, the US doesn't need the data sharing agreements. They seem to be pretty good at getting the data they want with or without any agreements.

    • Re:Evidently... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tsa ( 15680 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:50AM (#44187637) Homepage

      Indeed, so we will have to do something with more impact, like not buying any US fighter planes anymore. That JSF is expensive rubbish anyway, so that's a double win for the EU. Bit of course nothing like those will happen. The lap dog will yap a few times, growl a bit and then curl up in the US's lap again.

      • Re:Evidently... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:08AM (#44187779)

        Indeed, so we will have to do something with more impact, like not buying any US fighter planes anymore. That JSF is expensive rubbish anyway, so that's a double win for the EU. Bit of course nothing like those will happen. The lap dog will yap a few times, growl a bit and then curl up in the US's lap again.

        You might want to be careful about that. If you cut off the US military-industrial complex, they might find another way to secure their funding, like start another needless war. They're already salivating with what's going on in Egypt right now.

      • by Fuzzums ( 250400 )

        Apart from the fact that no decent it specialist would trust the software running on the JFS.

        If I can turn off my television with a remote control, I can also turn off a JSF with a well crafted series of radar pulses.
        Good luck with finding that easter egg.

  • by trifish ( 826353 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:46AM (#44187611)

    Remind them the EU is the largest economy in the world and that we will are morally more entitled to set the rules for the democratic world. Not them, not anymore.

  • The US needs a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to privacy.

    Nevermind the NSA conspiracy theories, the corps are already doing it almost everything and what they aren't doing the cops are.

    Nothing else can stop the march of technology that can and is wholesale systematically slaughtering our privacy. Technology makes it possible to systematically monitor your every move from the time you leave your house to the time return and every interaction you make when you go online, every phone call, instant message, email and mailed letter.

    Frankly I can't blame the Euro's for withholding the data, we have jack for data privacy protection, nevermind the whole NSA bit. Almost none of our data has to be encrypted and our standards for protecting data are a joke. We collect everything, dispose of almost nothing and sell or rent it all to the highest bidder. sigh...

  • Other countries would be monitoring communications in just the same way if they had the opportunity to do so...

    By making use of and becoming dependent on US products and US services you walked right into it, and the US government doesn't even pretend to offer any rights to foreigners located outside its borders. The constitution is for US citizens.

    If you don't like being spied on by the US government, don't use products from companies under their jurisdiction.

  • Side effects (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eulernet ( 1132389 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:58AM (#44187703)

    There is an interesting side effect about this data problem: the cloud.

    Currently, the biggest cloud providers are based in US.
    But due to the NSA disclosure, most companies cannot afford to give their data to outside countries, especially since it's now clear that NSA spied european companies economically.

    So local cloud providers will quickly emerge, and this will directly impact Google and Amazon's services.
    US clouds cannot be trusted anymore.

    • Re:Side effects (Score:5, Informative)

      by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:46AM (#44188007)

      Agreed, fully.

      Recently I had the need of a virtual server - just to run my web site, host my documents, and various other tasks. So searching for this I specifically searched for local Hong Kong companies (which is where I live), to host such a server. And a short search later I found one that offers cloud servers, just what I needed.

      A few months ago I was thinking about the same issue - and then I was considering Amazon. I am a customer of Amazon already, for their glacier cold storage service, where I keep back-ups (all encrypted before they leave my systems). They have a good reputation, and overall very good prices, however it being a US company made me not even consider them now.

      And that's a direct result of Snowden's revelations.

    • Re:Side effects (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheP4st ( 1164315 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:57AM (#44188079)

      US clouds cannot be trusted anymore.

      They never could, only difference is that now it is confirmed and I can enjoy of saying "I told you so!". However, I would not trust any cloud service regardless of its country of origin with important data.

  • And another.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SlashDread ( 38969 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:09AM (#44187785)

    Very luke-warm response from the EU politicians. France will "consider suspending trade negotiations for 2 weeks", The EU will now "suspend data sharing talks". Well 2 big woopdiedoo's. The real trade negotiations are well hidden from the EU PUBLIC (Not he NSA of course :), and the snoopers from the NSA already have our data, there is no need to share. We already give it!

    THATS the real issue for Europeans people... WTF don't our politicians CARE about this? That scares me more then the whole snooping.

  • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:22AM (#44187871) Journal
    If the EU stops providing the data, and the U.S. blocks flights, how long do you think it will last. The U.S. will realize how much they are being harmed by their tantrum and be forced to stop it. Sure, the EU will suffer a few problems too, but I would think it is more closely linked to other countries in Eurasia and Africa than with North America. America is more reliant on connections to other continents (requiring a lot of air travel) than is Europe. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope America lets its business leaders make it a true second rate nation by outsourcing everything. Then they won't have as much weight to throw around. In any case, it's time to stand up to their bullying. The white hat they think they wear has turned dirty grey, at least. It's amazing how treating your friends like enemies can change opinions.
  • by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @10:36AM (#44187967)

    I had no intention of going to the US in the first place. I won't go there as long as the fingerprinting, cancer machines and other general invasions of privacy are cut out. It's a shame, as I'd love to do a coast to coast road trip in a lovely rented Cadillac.

    (don't get me started on the amount of information my Polish wife has to provide the US embassy just to get a visa)

    • Aren't you going to miss those angry, obese guys with blue gloves sensually running their fingers through your hair, massaging your balls, sliding their fingers up and down your ass crack and inside of your waistband? And where else can you go for a nice strip search, either electronic or for real? You also get to know what if feels like to be a suspected terrorist with our intensive 'interviews' upon entry. They will only want your entire life history and a very, very good explanation of why you would even

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Thursday July 04, 2013 @11:37AM (#44188323)

    Everybody knew this, in the back of his head, the sudden gasps are a bit melodramatic.

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @04:24PM (#44190173) Homepage
    Seems to me with the amount of spying that they're doing with Germany they're doing just what they claimed the Chinese do and that's steal secrets to give their economy an advantage. The US thinks the Chinese doing it is an act of war so surely this is and the US should abide by their own standards so the trade deal should be called off, they should boot US troops out of Europe and make Obama apologise publicly for America's nazi-like spying regine.

    The European economy isn't strong enough to be having Americans cheat in business.

    It's not like this wouldn't be the first time the US has done this: [] (section 10.7) and [].

    Oh and this was entertaining: []

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