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EU Databases Government Privacy Security United Kingdom Technology

EU Seeks New Powers To Obtain Data 'Directly' From Tech Firms ( 40

Zack Whittaker reports via ZDNet: European authorities are seeking new powers to allow police and intelligence agencies to directly obtain user data stored on the continent by U.S. tech companies. The move comes in the wake of an uptick in terrorist attacks, including several attacks in Britain and France, among others across the bloc. Tech companies have been asked to do more to help law enforcement, while police have long argued the process for gathering data overseas is slow and cumbersome. The bloc's justice commissioner, Vera Jourova, presented several plans to a meeting of justice ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday to speed up access for EU police forces to obtain evidence -- including one proposal to allow police to obtain data "directly" from the cloud servers of U.S. tech companies in urgent cases. "Commissioner Jourova presented at the Justice Council three legislative options to improve access to e-evidence," said Christian Wiga, an EU spokesperson, in an email. "Based on the discussion between justice ministers, the Commission will now prepare a legislative proposal," he added. Discussions are thought to have included what kind of data could be made available, ranging from geolocation data to the contents of private messages. Such powers would only be used in "emergency" situations, said Jourova, adding that safeguards would require police to ensure that each request is "necessary" and "proportionate." Further reading: Reuters
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EU Seeks New Powers To Obtain Data 'Directly' From Tech Firms

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  • 'Emergency' indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Thursday June 08, 2017 @05:14PM (#54580649) Journal
    Now all you need is to declare a never-ending 'state of emergency' and you can take whatever you want from whomsoever you want, whenever you want, and shoot anyone in the face who gets in your way.
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Thursday June 08, 2017 @05:21PM (#54580691) Homepage Journal
    Before you start shouting, consider that these tech companies are using your data and selling and sharing it to anyone they want. So just stop. You should be more concerned that the data exists in the first place.
    • You mean the anonymous encrypted data that Apple deletes after six months?

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Thursday June 08, 2017 @05:37PM (#54580791)

      If that was true, the police could just buy the dataset without any need for legislation. But user data is too valuable for tech companies to directly sell it. Instead, they sell all sorts services built on top of the data. For example, you can post an ad on Google or Facebook that only working class middle aged red-haired women with breast cancer and a passion for model railways can see, but you won't know who those people actually are.

      • I think I know 2 people that would get this ad. I don't know about the cancer thing, but they match the other criteria.

  • possible futures. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Possible futures:

    (a) Because terrorism / the children, the internet finishes dying as a means of free, open, un-censored and un-surveilled communication between human beings. All communication happens on a handful of central services subject to pressure from governments all around the world.

    (b) People learn to communicate without centralization, using strong encryption, as the standard form of online socialization. No one in the middle gets to see, profit from, or surveil the plain-text.

    1000000:1 odds on

    • In the current socio-political climate, it's going to end up being Option A. Only fools and the tragically uninformed will use the Internet for anything important.
      Currently, it's basically impossible to conduct your lifes' business using the Internet and have any reasonable modicum of privacy. I've tried using Tor, and while the Captchas all over the place (usually because of Cloudfront) are annoying but negotiable, there are sites that flat-out won't allow you access of any kind if you're on Tor; wanting
  • 1- that the EU is calling attention to itself so much, people may realize that they never elected these politicians in the first place. 2- that it's bringing attention to companies harvesting us for Data. So bring on the outrage and focus it to one thing: taking back your power. We don't need apps, we don't need corporations we don't need politicians or anyone else to format who we are.
  • by locater16 ( 2326718 ) on Thursday June 08, 2017 @05:30PM (#54580755)
    Oh no, another terrorist attack and people expect US to do something to stop them! Quick, who can we deflect the blame to? The internet, of course. It's all their fault,terrorists never existed before the internet. Or something. Assistant boy, to the press release!
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      So one wonders how much planing is required to go to the discount shop buy a knife and then hire a truck and pick a crowded spot. One assumes it must require a whole organisation, to plan that, discussion going back and forth on what type of knife to buy, where to buy it from, what brand of knife, how long you should own the knife before the attack to prevent being flagged for owning a knife and the truck, where to rent it, what brand of truck, how much fuel to buy and the target location, oh wait, no plann

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        A holy book, a place of worship and some funds. A person with the documents to rent or buy what is needed.
        The security services need to track the funding, support groups, faith and law reform groups who support fund and hide the people of interest, find all the people in the nation who are supporters, stop the flow of all new supporters into a nation.
  • We're supposed to be developing adequate encryption and ad hoc mesh networks to bypass the ISPs anyway.

"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!" -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_