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Twitter Moves Non-US Accounts To Ireland, and Away From the NSA 153

Mark Wilson writes Twitter has updated its privacy policy, creating a two-lane service that treats U.S. and non-U.S. users differently. If you live in the U.S., your account is controlled by San Francisco-based Twitter Inc, but if you're elsewhere in the world (anywhere else) it's handled by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland. The changes also affect Periscope. What's the significance of this? Twitter Inc is governed by U.S. law; it is obliged to comply with NSA-driven court requests for data. Data stored in Ireland is not subject to the same obligation. Twitter is not alone in using Dublin as a base for non-U.S. operations; Facebook is another company that has adopted the same tactic. The move could also have implications for how advertising is handled in the future.
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Twitter Moves Non-US Accounts To Ireland, and Away From the NSA

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  • as long as Ireland NSA is aware of the move.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know I could google it, but I shouldn't have to. The summary should tell me what the fuck "Periscope" is.

      Since it didn't tell me, I have to make assumptions about what it is. I envision it as a submarine periscope erupting out of the water, except it isn't a traditional submarine periscope. It's actually shaped like a massive cock, bursting through the hymen of the ocean blue.

    • by memnock ( 466995 )

      Since when has the NSA given a whit about boundaries? Or laws? As a matter of fact, now that the data is "foreign", it seems to fall more into their jurisdiction. At least that's the way I imagine those felons view the issue. Legally or not, the NSA will get the data if they want it.

  • Except... (Score:5, Informative)

    by GoddersUK ( 1262110 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @08:35AM (#49499671)
    • Yes, but it's only "Emails and private information from customers of US companies"
      • Why would the Courts rule Twitter isn't "a US Company"? It started in America, it's IP is American, it's employees are American, it's Executives are US Citizens living in America, etc.

        The legal system is similar to a computer program in that it is a series of somewhat logical principles akin to an algorithm. It is completely 100% different because the actual humans who run it can tell when you're trying to get around their rules, and part of their algorithm is to say "No, fuck you for wasting my time, and h

        • Re:Except... (Score:4, Informative)

          by onepoint ( 301486 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @12:01PM (#49500375) Homepage Journal

          I have a very general answer to this which if you research will lead to the exact answer.
          Companies in the USA are allowed to have subsidiaries ( look up the structure of any international bank )
          Subsidiaries are governed by local law and pass the profits up the chain.

          the government can not request a subsidiary outside of it's jurisdiction to hand over personal information
          ( maybe some other things, but not personal information )

          to carry this issue to the extreme ...
          Please see what Argentina did to citi bank recently (2015)
          Please see what NY ( 1996 to 2002 ) and the USA (last 6 years) did to Swiss banking
          NY told the Swiss ( in summary ) If you got nazi loot you can not do business with NY, Swiss banking replied by opening subsidiaries to handle NY business
          Swiss replied to the USA ... here are all the Americans that have accounts with us, you figure out who is evading taxes.

          • Analogy fail.

            The Executive Branch of New York State was using it's law enforcement powers to enforce a Statute passed by the Legislative branch. The Courts had no skin in the game of who won that particular point, and had multiple interests to consider (ie: is the interest of the public in having access to Swiss banks more or less important then the public's interest in helping return Nazi loot).

            You'll note that in a case where the Court's own interests were at stake (tax evasion means less money for the J

            • Not sure if I failed....
              I was showing how a structure could be used to go around.

              while the tax evasion I should have explained more

              I will say this, YOU WRITE real good. I enjoyed reading what you wrote.
              the voice I used was tonal to aggressive
              nice read...

              • The subsidiary workaround worked because a) the New York state subsidiaries genuinely had no access to the Swiss bank vaults, and b) because Federal Courts are much less respectful of state laws then the warrants Federal courts issue. In this case it just doesn't pass the smell test to claim that the US-based version of twitter doesn't have the ability to get data from Irish twitter servers, particularly since the database software is probably designed here. Good luck convincing a Court you genuinely can't

                • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                  it just doesn't pass the smell test to claim that the US-based version of twitter doesn't have the ability to get data from Irish twitter servers, particularly since the database software is probably designed here. Good luck convincing a Court you genuinely can't downgrade it to get rid of the security features you just added

                  If my direct boss - based in Texas - tells me to do something with the intent of breaking UK law, I say no. If I think he's going to use his access to a UK hosted system to break UK law, I'll get his access revoked.

                  He'll back me fully on that, and even if he doesn't, UK law prevents me being sacked for acting like that. Hell, the UK management team will thank me.

                  To subvert the security as you suggest, he'd need to do so without anybody in the UK finding out what he was planning to do, how he was doing it,

                  • Congratulations. You get a gold star.

                    Meanwhile your boss's boss has secretly installed a back door in your database software, which he could not tell you about due to a US Court Order, and if you figure it out and sabotage the back door he gets to get fined.

                    BTW: what precisely do you think is stored in a Twitter database that is protected by UK law? This is Twitter, not Hotmail. Almost the entire database are tweets, which count as public statements, and have no expectation of privacy. Most of the rest of t

                    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                      Hmm. How about my name, my email address, the person that referred me to twitter, the people with whom I've exchanged private messages, the contents of those messages, the IP addresses that I connect from, the adverts shown to me and the ones on which I clicked.

                      I'm also sure my boss wont get fined if I disable his backdoor. But thanks for the gold star.

                    • Got any reason to believe that companies are compelled by law to install back doors and not tell anybody? As far as I can tell, that's speculation. There are laws in place to force companies to install back doors in communication systems, and to hand over information without telling anybody, and these have been around for a long time. (The difference between the old ways and the post-Patriot Act ways is that the old ways got information on specific people specified by actual warrants, or information sup

                    • You might have a point on private messages and British law, but the rest of it just isn't protected. I didn't know it had that feature because I've never used it. It also may not be. UK Cops use Facebook posts all the time without a warrant, and those only go out to a select group of your friends. But as for the rest, it's fucking twitter. The whole point is that it's not private. Your handle, your name, and your tweets are all public information that you have no right to keep out of Court. And if you have

                    • It's a warrant. The restrictions on what it can do are very very limited. As long as the cops convince a Judge that that the public interest is better served by adding the backdoor then not adding it it's perfectly legal.

                      In other words:
                      Dude, there's a reason they're called "powers," not "easily-hackable APIs."

                    • A warrant is a document authorizing certain specific actions on certain specific people. It says nothing about making back doors available in general. There is no legal requirement to add a back door (except for communication systems, with CALEA). It is possible that the government is somehow pressuring companies into providing back doors, but there is no legal way to do that in secret, and I'd like to have some evidence before I believe it's happening. I'm not that paranoid.

                    • By that standard warrants don't have anything to do with searching a bag i9n your closet because it would probably be for the entire room and say nothing about a bag directly.

                      This is what happens:

                      1) Court issues warrant.

                      2) Twitter refuses to comply with warrant, claiming it can't due to the way it's designed it's database.

                      3) Court rules that bullshit and starts fining Twitter for contempt.

                      Now Twitter is fined every day it doesn't have a back door. Lawyers probably insist on claiming it has not been ordered

                    • A warrant to search a house might well cover a small bag in a closet. It depends on what the warrant was issued to search for. If there was probable cause to think a person might be held against their will, then looking into the closet would be legal but not opening a bag. If it was a search for something small, like drugs or stolen jewelry, opening the bag would be legal. I don't know what you're getting at here.

                      If you find two cases of this sort of thing happening in the US, let me know. I know ab

                    • A warrant to search a house might well cover a small bag in a closet. It depends on what the warrant was issued to search for. If there was probable cause to think a person might be held against their will, then looking into the closet would be legal but not opening a bag. If it was a search for something small, like drugs or stolen jewelry, opening the bag would be legal. I don't know what you're getting at here.

                      My point is that warrants are flexible. If the cops have a warrant to search a room you can't get out of it by arguing technicalities. The legal system is run by humans, not computers, so the guy who thinks of a clever way to reclassify his data has only made it slightly more expensive for the government to take it, and then guaranteed he'll get fined.

                      Many, many computer geeks see that the legal system is basically a series of algorithms, conflate that with the algorithms running their non-human computers,

                    • The justice system has some flex, but it's generally predictable. Human flexibility means it isn't the rigid computer-language-like system, yes, but if you can state an issue in fairly general terms you can generally use logic. If this wasn't the case, we wouldn't have tax loopholes, and we wouldn't have lawyers advising on how to do things the legal way.

                      Microsoft is going to lose, because the cold hard fact is that Microsoft USA has direct access to the emails the US judge wants, and the US judge can

                    • You do realize your entire chain of logic is predicated on the assumption that the Judge believes them when they claim they can't access it? Change that and even you admit that Twitter gets fined until it complies, which means installing a back door..

                      Moreover I think you need to do some research on the ability of the US Legal system to penalize Americans for failing to ensure foreign legal systems don't kiss the ring of a random District Court Judge. Denny Chin, for example, is generally a pretty good Judge

                • >>Are we being civil to each-other on the internet? Since when has that been allowed? Particularly on Slashdot.

                  look at the discussion on this thread ( our little section )
                  being civil is the top form of discussion.
                  and everyone is working at the top of their game

                  I've learned more in this little chat than the rest of the threads

    • by Anonymous Coward
      A secret agency like the NSA does not need to be well-managed, because everything it does can be hidden.

      A good indication of the quality control of the NSA is that Snowden, an employee of a contractor, was able to steal a huge amount of data.
    • The article says, without a hint of irony: "EU citizens will feel that their data is not protected under US law". Well, of course not. US law should have absolutely no meaning for anyone outside the US. Why would an EU citizen expect US law to have any relevance at all?

      What's missing from this picture is EU law. Ireland needs to stand up on its hind legs and enforce EU law. My understanding is that any data transfer to the US is forbidden, unless there is a confirming judgement from an EU court. Just like K

      • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

        US law should have absolutely no meaning for anyone outside the US. Why would an EU citizen expect US law to have any relevance at all?

        Have you read Twitter's Terms of Service []? Even the soon-to-come-into-effect version says that

        You understand that through your use of the Services you consent to the collection and use (as set forth in the Privacy Policy) of this information, including the transfer of this information to the United States, Ireland, and/or other countries for storage, processing and use by Twi

      • I feel like you haven't been reading many of these articles over the past 13-14 years here on /.

        The problem is conflicting jurisdictions. The PATRIOT act requires US businesses to hand over data stored when requested, even if it is outside of the US. Twitter are subject to those requests.The EU have strict laws regarding data protection but the fundamental issue is Twitter are breaking somebody's law whichever they choose to comply with.

        Let's paint the picture - a request for data on an EU citizen, posted
    • by alvieboy ( 61292 )

      Or eventually not.

      In case of Microsoft, since Microsoft is an US company, they can indeed force them to deliver data stored outside US.

      However, if "Twitter International Company" has no legal status in US, they cannot do it.
      I will assume Twitter, Inc., is a shareholder of "Twitter International Company", and that there is no other legal binding between both companies.

      If this is not true, then I agree with you, it's useless....

      • I think in the MS case, it was held in MS's own servers and not a separate entity servers in which MS had access.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The issue in that case is that a court has ordered access, it's not a problem with NSA hacking.

      I welcome this move. As a European it protects my privacy a little more. It also punishes the US economically for the actions of the NSA, and unfortunately money is the only language they seem to understand. It's a shame GCHQ's actions are not having quite as dramatic effect on the UK, but for my part I have now moved all my servers overseas so there's a few quid gone.

    • The legal argument there was that Microsoft USA had access to the data, and did not need to try to compel Microsoft Ireland to do anything. A US court can order a US entity do turn over information. If some data is not accessible to Twitter USA because it's in Twitter Ireland and they don't publish it automatically, then all Twitter USA could do is ask Twitter Ireland for the information. There has got to be precedent for this, but I don't know what it is.

      I'm not a lawyer, although I have had people p

  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @08:41AM (#49499697) Journal

    "....away from the NSA."

    Ha ha ha ha ha, yeah, that was +1, hilarious.

    -The NSA

    • Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
      So now they're outside NSA's jurisdiction and under that of GCQH, which was even ahead of the NSA with a "full take" collection system.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So now they're inside NSA's jurisdiction

        Fixed that for you.

        The courts have ruled that anything outside of the US is 'fair game'. Now they do not have to bother even with a warrant. You actually made their job EASIER. They do not even have to bother with the rubber stamp.

        Also isnt twitter posted in the clear and everyone can read everything? Sort of the point of the system. It is a vanity service of 'look at what I am doing'. I suppose you could use it for closed service sorts of things but there are much b

      • While you are right. the point is more to focus data retention and privacy law locally.
        Now all hell has to break loose in order for one side to learn or get data from the other.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Quite the opposite; this is a political move only. They've moved from *out* of the NSA's jurisdiction and INTO the NSA's jurisdiction. Their domestic wiretapping is of questionable constitutional legality. Their overseas work is completely legal.

  • IIRC the more common reason for doing this is to be able to claim that European data protection laws apply.
    Which is probably just as much bogus a claim as this one.
    • The beer is better over there too, and with lower taxes you can afford more of it. How many more reasons do you need? I'm ready to pack my bags any day now.
      • Re:Data in Ireland (Score:5, Insightful)

        by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @11:21AM (#49500225)

        The beer may have been better over there 30 years ago, but there's no way that's true now. In most places in the US you can't swing a dead cat without hitting half a dozen craft brewers making outstanding beer. You literally can't sample what's available in liquor stores fast enough and a lot of it is really good.

        I don't know if this is a trend that has been embraced by Ireland or not, but I would imagine that in many Irish brands suffer from what many "traditional" European beer brands are no different than most American beer brands -- owned by conglomerates, brewed on industrial scales. Maybe it makes you feel more exclusive to drink Harp over Buweiser, but I'm pretty sure its moslty psychological.

        • by wosmo ( 854535 )
          Your imagination isn't far off the mark. There's a few craft labels floating around, but precious few for a country that likes to think it's famous for its drink. It feels as sponsored as any 8pm TV program. Ireland - Brought to you by Guinness.
  • Can we use a proxy or VPN to create an account outside of the US? Just curious, if one has to be physically outside the US to get a non-US account.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you are worried about privacy why are you using Twitter at all? The mind boggles.

      • Good point.

        But the only important thing is, does the NSA have a copy of the dick pic he sent to the entire world? If so he's gonna move it to Ireland...

  • by NicBenjamin ( 2124018 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @08:56AM (#49499751)

    The NSA doesn't have jurisdiction over twitter because some complicated rule of international legal procedure says it does, it has jurisdiction in the US because US Courts can order US Cops to arrest the Twitter employees who refuse to hand them information. Microsoft has tried this, and while I don't think they've officially lost yet, it's very difficult for me to see a reason for them to win. The Constitution is silent on the matter of what happens when Court Orders affect people in other countries, which means there's absolutely no reason for them to give a shit about jurisdiction. In fact in several cases the US has sent Agents into foreign countries secretly, arrested/spied upon/etc. private citizens against the laws of those countries, and when they've gotten back to the US the Courts have said "great, the bad guy's fucked, when can you arrange a chump public defender so we can schedule the execution?"

    OTOH, it's likely this is all PR because European customers live in places where the Constitution spends a half-goddamn page describing the precise geographic limits of it's jurisdiction. They don't understand that a) when our Constitution was written a good 90% of the land mass of the US was somebody else's, b) no we did not amend the damn thing with the Gadsden Purchase, and c) the whole damn thing's supposed to be on a single page.

    It's also an interesting defense of their Irish tax strategy. "Of course we pay the ridiculously low Irish tax rate. We'd pay the US Tax Rate, but the NSA Gestapo would demand access to our servers."

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Microsoft's mistake seems to have been allowing its US staff to access those servers at all. If Twitter can arrange it so that US staff simply cannot get access then it seems like they would be safe, because the law in the US can only require a person to hand over something they have. At least that's my understanding of it, perhaps someone can correct me but I think the onus would be on the government to show that the US staff have the information it wants.

      • In this case, yes the original onus is on the government. But it's trivial. They simply say "But you're the CEO, stop playing dumb, somebody in your office can get to those servers or you're not really the CEO" and they have satisfied their burden. Now it's twitter's turn. They have to prove that their system is designed so that nobody in the US can get at the database.

        Which in turn means that if their guys develop the database software in the US, and update it world-wide, they have a real fucking problem b

        • Yes, they could potentially do this legally. Prosecutors quite often twist the law to try to make it cover things it does not. However, Twitter isn't some nearly unknown white-hat security hacker who just happens to know a few things, and can be quietly persecuted. Twitter is a service used by billions of people. And I promise you, "The U.S. government is trying to shut down Twitter because it refuses to turn over foreign data it isn't legally entitled to." is not a news story that will ever see the light o

          • That didn't stop them from fighting Microsoft, which until very recently bought metaphorical ink by the barrel as part-owner of MSNBC.

            This is the government. At some point some guy who happens to have a non-US Twitter account will do something bad and tweet it to his friends. The Feds will want his email address, his IP, and access to his deleted posts. They will have probable cause, so they will get a warrant. Europe will go ballistic. The US public will be evenly divided between a) people who do not give

            • Except that this isn't the same sort of thing as the Microsoft affair.

              In the Microsoft affair, Microsoft USA had direct access to the data stored in Ireland. A US court can order a US company to deliver whatever data they can lay their hands on. If this was illegal in Ireland, it seems to me that Microsoft Ireland may have violated Irish law by allowing full access to another entity.

              There's absolutely no point in trying to restrict access to people's tweets, because (unlike email) they're generally p

              • And you're going to convince the Courts you don't have access how, precisely?

                Courts can order you to do inconvenient things to get information required for investigations. They can force you to let the police use your house for a stakeout. They can order you to divulge reams of information it's not trivial for you to get.

                As long as the database supports remote access of any kind, then it's going to be literally impossible to convince the Courts twitter can't simply update the software to allow remote access

                • Except that it isn't Twitter refusing to grant itself such access. It's Twitter Ireland refusing to grant Twitter USA such access. The court can order Twitter USA to do whatever, but Twitter Ireland has to act, and they won't. It wouldn't be a comfortable position for Twitter USA, but if they can't get the information and have a perfectly good reason they can't get the information.

                  • You really don't understand how primitive the situation is regarding International Law in a country that hasn't addressed the topic in it's Constitution since 1789.

                    Why do US Courts legally recognize the Republic of Ireland's right to govern anything?

                    Because the President told them that those 26 counties are not-America, recognized Ireland as an independent Republic, and Congress has yet to pass a law declaring Dublin a territory.

                    What happens when the US Government asks for a warrant to search Irish data, or

  • Provided the data is viewed by someone in the USA, the NSA already has it. John Oliver already went through this. []
  • Get out of Dodge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @09:02AM (#49499767)
    Nothing more than a tax dodge with good PR spin.
    • Re:Get out of Dodge (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 18, 2015 @09:23AM (#49499831)

      Yep, Ireland is a favourite country for shuffling money through to avoid paying tax, to the point where this sort of corporate structure even has its own wikipedia page [].

      • by sootman ( 158191 )

        OK, show of hands... before today, who here would have thought "double Irish arrangement" meant something kinky?

    • Yeah, I was going to post the same thing. Even ISIS only uses twitter to post nonsense. The NSA doesn't really give two shits.

    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      Indeed. How is the internet in Ireland connected to the rest of the world? Through the UK? A country known for it's GCHQ agency, monitoring international all communications and working the NSA.

  • That is a huge step in the right direction from Twitter, but unfortunately it won't help much people from Central and South America, since all traffic out of the Americas is routed trough the USA anyway (and consequently trough the NSA).

    For those unaware, this is not hyperbole on my part, the whole Central and South American sub-continents are served by not much more than a handful of Atlantic underwater cables and Pacific underwater cables, all of them terminating in Miami,USA (if the exception of one or t

  • by ashpool7 ( 18172 ) on Saturday April 18, 2015 @10:25AM (#49500071) Homepage Journal

    If we pretend that laws mean something...

    then they would be *safer* here in the USA where the NSA is not allowed to spy on them, because it's
    A: in the USA (FBI territory, right?)
    B: whoever it is would need a warrant.

    Now, the NSA can do whatever they want, because they're completely
    A: outside of the USA
    B: totally foreign SIGINT

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Seriously, so many are real fools and do not understand the situation. The NSA is free to operate at will outside of America. Within America, they have restraints. In addition, once outside of America, China and Russia will have it easier to access networks as well. Yes, America's networks ARE far more secured than in most other nations.
    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      then they would be *safer* here in the USA where the NSA is not allowed to spy on them, because it's
      A: in the USA (FBI territory, right?)
      B: whoever it is would need a warrant.

      They just need an administrative subpena (we think this is relevant to something) since it is third party data. No notification of the target is necessary.

    • then they would be *safer* here in the USA where the NSA is not allowed to spy on them,

      Trouble is, the US Constitution is more like a guideline than a law, since there is no punishment for violating it. On the other hand, in non-US countries it would be possible to arrest the NSA agents for espionage, at least in theory, or at least publicly humiliate their agency by holding their agent until they say "pretty please".

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Now, the NSA can do whatever they want, because they're completely
      A: outside of the USA
      B: totally foreign SIGINT

      This is correct but also wrong.

      For example, one thing the NSA can't do now is simply get a court to order the company to bend over, hand over the data, and then stick a gag order on it so the company isn't allowed to even resist.

      By moving it outside the company, yes the NSA is now free to target them without restraint, but they are also free to talk about any attacks, and they are free to actively resist the NSA.


      then they would be *safer* here in the USA where the NSA is not allowed to spy on them, because it's
      A: in the USA (FBI territory, right?)

      Not really.

      B: whoever it is would need a warrant.

      Which they can get, from a secret court, that rubber stamps warrants. And they c

      • by ashpool7 ( 18172 )

        True, but, meh? Nobody outside the USA knew what the attacks are, or if they were actually attacked. Nobody's posted any pictures of implants they've found either.

        You left out quoting the top part where I was basically saying in absence of a kangaroo court... then this.

    • You are correct--in theory.

      In practice, the NSA collectively view everyone outside of the Agency as foreigners and enemies. Therefore, due process of law even within the USA's borders means fuck-all to them. So in actually, Americans within the US have no more real protections than non-citizens, especially when you have pliant judges and magistrates who will sign on the dotted line cuz National Security.

      In some rarefied Platonic universe, we all have natural, inalienable rights endowed us, but unless they a

  • The servers do not have to be in the US and they are close to enough to (some of) the five eyes to intercept communications anyway.Plus, the UK already do a 'full take' on all data, not just metadata. Whatever they say about 'not spying on the Irish' is not so. There has been enmity long enough in (and with) Ireland to make it a place of interest. The move is more symbolic than anything else. A better location would be Iceland. Again, it would be purely symbolic, but it does send a stronger statement. When
  • Seeing that they can use secret courts I would suspect that they will order Twitter employees to just hand the data or access over anyway. Then when they balk it can be handled in a secret court where nobody knows the results. Even better I could see a situation where they identify an employee or two and order them to hand the data over and not even allow them to tell twitter about the court order (if they can't tell some people then why can't these orders be restricted to their boss as well?)

    Lastly they
    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      Then when they balk it can be handled in a secret court where nobody knows the results. Even better I could see a situation where they identify an employee or two and order them to hand the data over and not even allow them to tell twitter about the court order (if they can't tell some people then why can't these orders be restricted to their boss as well?)

      How does this work when the boss discovers what the employee did, fires them, and refers them to law enforcement for prosecution? This seems like a grea

    • There are two legal entities here, which I'll call Twitter USA and Twitter Ireland.

      US courts can order Twitter USA to provide what data they like, but Twitter USA can only provide data they can get their hands on. US courts can't order Twitter Ireland to do anything. (Irish courts can order Twitter Ireland around, and there is well-established procedure to subpoena information internationally. It just doesn't work without the agreement of an Irish court.)

      So, I don't understand where this employee wo

      • If the Twitter US employees have zero access to the twitter Ireland data that would just be odd. A great setup but odd. Also there will certainly be US employee in Ireland; employees that plan on returning to the US someday.

        Some NSA good slides up to you in your favourite Dublin pub and hands you this warrant with all kinds of legal threats on it. What do you do? Threats like 20 years in solitary confinement. Yes they are way on the wrong side of morality but the reality is that the US court system more o
  • EU privacy laws. The US Government is at risk of losing safe harbour from the EU. If these companies did not locate somewhere in the EU, they would be at risk of being cut off from there customers. This is probably the greatest thing ever to happen to tech employment in Dublin.

  • The NSA should pay for the information just like everyone else who wants it! A national security letter must not be the crowbar to getting for free what others have to shell out quite a bit of money for. Security and all that, ok, but there's money to be made and a business model to protect!

    Huh? Oh, I mean, we protect our customer's privacy! That's the reason!

  • Ireland either (1) Agrees to a new treaty extending US National Security Letter, wiretap, and subpoena privileges to cover resources hosted in Ireland, OR (2) Ireland gets added by the US to the state sponsors of terrorism list

  • The NSA isn't supposed to spy on Americans, but if the logs are in Ireland, and are in Ireland _because_ they relate to non-US users, then the NSA is definitely allowed to get them. They can also collect data in transit more freely if both ends are outside the US, or if one end is in Ireland. This looks like a move to give NSA more freedom to spy on European Twitter users by segregating the Americans. Also, if politics in the US goes well, NSA will have less freedom to spy on Americans. This move is bet

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      I think the Europeans are less rational about this than the Americans.

      Your arguments are all "oh, Europe misbehaves too" as though that somehow means we shouldn't at least stop the fucking US "all your data are belong to us" bullshit.

      We're working hard for privacy and security in Europe too, why should the US get a free ride.

    • Small correction. If the NSA is getting this info from Irish servers, they are absolutely allowed to get it according to American law. It is of course absolutely illegal according to Irish law. Next up: drone strikes in Ireland, there is no law that forbids that either.
  • Call me a cynic - but if Twitter chose Ireland for "privacy" purposes then it's a huge coincidence it just happens to be cheaper - as well

    Switzerland is not as private as Ireland, because, um, CERN is just another name for GCHQ, unless.... oh crap, GCHQ is an NSA partner (cough* we keep the data, NSA keeps the index/metadata*cough).

    Never mind, I'm obviously delusional - GCHQ doesn't have access to Ireland, what was I thinking? As you were, carry on, nothing to see here...

  • I guess Ireland is the new Switzerland of the digital era.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine