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back to article US demands right to snoop the world

No sooner does the world agree to one request from US law enforcers for the right to snoop on its citizens than they are back with yet more demands. This week, however, the US may finally have pushed too far: the EU is not happy – and it is pushing back. First up is the news that, little over a month since signing up to the …

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Anonymous Coward

lol

"The US is our friend and ally, so we shouldn't be treated this way.""

I think you'll find, using school ground example, the US is not our friend, they are the sneaky kid that has a mob of mates who will shuve you down the stairs if you refuse to join him in his gang in doing something particularly nasty to a girl in the year below. Whilst being all nice and chummy with the teachers becouse his dad owns the school.

Sometimes he'll have his mob sort someone out that's bothering you, but he'll come back the next day and expect you to steal the test papers for the end of term exams for him or else you'll be in trouble.

At the end of the day everything he does is about him, his personal wealth, and amusement, you're just something he plays with.

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Anonymous Coward

Mars Attacks!

Anyone seen the 1996 film "Mars Attacks!"?

"I am your friend - don't run" - ZAP!!

A lot of similarities to real life to be drawn here - not hard to work out who represents who.

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Big Brother

Watching...

I would agree with this, but I can't help I'm being watched.... where did I put that tin foil hat?

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Amazing

I expect politicians to be venal, corrupt and devious, but effective. When I see such naivety, it amazes me (and scares me because she's supposed to be 'on our side').

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Paris Hilton

EU grows a backbone

Now THAT is news!

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Well...

Actually I'd have to say that the EU has been standing up for quite a lot of privacy policy lately as well as suing the UK over Phorm, and generally putting out a lot more common sense than certain governments I could mention.

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I think we've learned that...

Friendship with the US is a one way street.

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Indeed

And that street is the back alley.

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Grenade

Indubitably

It goes like this:

Be friends and bend over of get fsking bombed

That is all

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WTF?

Re: I think we have learned that ....

"Friendship with the US is a one way street."

Well it was for my Grandfather, and two of his borthers... they went from Canton PA to the UK in 1942 and never came home.

It is a mistake to equate the US Government with the American People.

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@PershingDriver

How ironic that you feel qualified to talk about a world war, when Pershing was an absolute moron who got a huge number of doughboys killed in the first one, because of his sheer stupidity and inability to take advice.

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Happy

@PershingDriver

"It is a mistake to equate the US Government with the American People."

True

However I have noticed a rather substantial of your countrymen tend to identify their views with that of their government, right or wrong.

This is pretty rare in Europeans.

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Anonymous Coward

You voted for them

Your responible for what they do.

And I don't get what the second world war has to do with anything.

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FAIL

@PershingDriver

Thanks for that rather useless inject. My Grandfather died fighting the Japanese in Burma who, as I recall, attacked the US. Furthermore, a number of my friends from my military days have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It may be a mistake to equate the government with the people, but in a democracy, the government is selected by the people. If the people felt strongly enough about their government it would change. Unfortunately, many Americans don't actually care about how their country interacts with others. Look at the way the invasion of Iraq happened despite strong condemnation from much of the international community.

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Um, it is a democracy

And you can tell a lot about a people (on average) by the leaders they allow to rule them. While there are certainly individuals of worth, the majority are represented. Of course that applies to any group of humanity and to be honest, we just don't (on average) measure up to much.

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Alley?

Back passage, more like!

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Re: "It is a mistake to equate the US Government with the American People."

Sad to see you got so many downvotes for your effort: I agree with you and have seen that as much as the U.S. gov't has repeatedly screwed us over whenever it gets the chance, in stark contrast, the U.S. people have often acted with kindness and sacrifice. Some of us appreciate that, and the occasional reminder is no bad thing.

To the person objecting to the name "PershingDriver", I suspect it references the tank rather than the general.

But as far as the article's subject matter goes, I'm glad the EU has told the U.S. gov't to mind its own business. And maybe it'll earn it more respect than it did successive UK leaders and their habit of brown-nosing them.

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Flame

Democracy ?

The US is a Democracy in name only.

The President is elected by 538 people. How can that be a democracy?

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Big Brother

Velv,

It's as democratic as the system that allowed us to be used & abused for thirteen years from 1997 by the most Stalinist collection of mealy-mouthed liars - elected by a pathetic minority (well under 30%) of vpters.

@Others

I have NEVER voted Labour in my 42 years of voting - so DO NOT identify me with that load of s***.

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Grenade

Indeed it is... so why make it yourself?

Recent US governments have been nothing but deceptive and self-serving, if not outright immoral and illegal. This affects the US people, too, of course.

The American people, however, did elect them, remember.

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WTF?

USA is NOT a democracy.... not in name or anything

USA is a REPUBLIC, not a DEMOCRACY. That is has democratic elements is a different matter altogether, in fact there are probably no real democracies in the World right now, and that is a good thing.

Hint: All nations that have actually added the word "democratic" to their names have all been totalitarian regimes.

A "real" full fledged democracy is as nonviable for a nation of any size as a "real" communist state. Plus democracy doesn't guaranty the rights of minorities per se. Separation of powers, checks and balances does.

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Silver badge

Not quite true

"in fact there are probably no real democracies in the World right now"

Switzerland probably measures up with all it's referendums etc. but it is not sizable.

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Anonymous Coward

Tangentially

Also note that this "increasingly going online" by "extremists" is arguably and probably provably largely instigated by the USoA thumping aloud that this might possibly be the case. It wasn't so much so before, but it is moreso now. But even so, if cost is no object then the best delivery is still by trusted courier, as in sending a trustable but otherwise ignorant distant relative by aeroplane or something, and alternatively, by paper letter. It's reliable and doesn't get snooped as egregiously as anything electrically connected.

And, donning my tinfoil hat, why are they demanding access? Doesn't snoop-central the NSA give them that already? So is this admission of incompetence, of inter-agency DSWs, or more of a propaganda campaign to get (non-american) people to get used to more big brother? And that's enough governmental mind control ray attracting for one day, so I'll put the tinfoil hat away again.

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Anonymous Coward

Friends? More like estranged and abusive family, like.

May I remind our dear MEP --who incidentally appears to be the only one who cares even a little bit about privacy, all the others sing "but what do you have to hide then eh?" with the choir-- that our friend and ally still has a law on the books authorising, nay, demanding, the USoA invade the country hosting the ICC if ever an american came too near? Incidentally, that country hosting the ICC is a NATO partner, pardner.

Proof by their own law, if any were needed, that having the USoA as friend and ally is a questionable boon at best. Personally I think we need an overarching EU privacy policy, that tells the EU to stop snooping on its own citizens and perhaps even stop its subsidiary governments from treating citizens as criminals-without-rapsheet-yet. But a good start would be to say to the US: No deal. No data. Finger weg.

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Thumb Down

U.S.A = World Police

We have the right to do anything we like as we have the big guns and nukes. *

* Excludes Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and any other country that stands up and tells Pres. B.O to STFU.

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FAIL

mmm... Not so much. Let me elaborate:

IRAN will probably "get it in da arce" if they do a wrong move, just as IRAQ did, ViIETNAM didn't won that war, the Americans got tired of it, and in the end it was a waste of Vietnamese lives since now they are turning to capitalism and sooner or later they will become like south Korea (only 30 years late and 1.000.000 wasted lives because they "won" the war, americans lost 60.000 more or less, that almost 20x1... that's a fucked up way to win...). AFGHANISTAN already "got it". SOMALIA has no money or strategic value so for Americans, that hellhole of a country doesn't exist (unless the UN wants to make some useless gesture and send some food and "peacekeepers", yea, that worked just fine last time...).

North korea LOST that war (yes it did, tho it is not finished yet... weird stuff)... i could go on but i have to go.. i thionk you got my point...

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Silver badge

America, Fuck yeah

We're gonna save the motherf*ckin universe.

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Megaphone

USA: Can we monitor your bank transactions?

EU: Say please.

USA: Please.

EU: Say pretty please

USA: Pretty please.

EU: Say pretty please with a cherry on top.

USA: Fuck you assholes.

EU: Now you're getting it.

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Not quite how I see it...

More like

EU: You've been monitoring our bank transactions for years.

USA: Oh, we didn't think you'd notice. Can we monitor your bank transactions?

EU: Hmm. I suppose so. But with some conditions.

USA: Thanks.

EU: Why have you decided to ignore our conditions?

USA: Fuck you, that's why.

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@Marcus

Do you really think that they would say please?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not quite how I see it...

You might have a point but you missed mine.

Seeing it like that is why America has so many enemies and such little trust amongst it's allies.

Seeing it like that is why the vast majority of British voters would have said "fuck you" If we were asked help invade Iraq and Afghanistan alongside America..

I am (in a humorous way) hoping the EU will grow a pair and finally tell America what it can do with it's fear-mongering.

Are you seeing my point yet?

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FAIL

Sorry, Marcus

Hmm. I wrote that at 4:00pm, so I can't blame being too tired/just got up. I guess my hidden-meaning detector is on the fritz. Another reason to use these:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/02/01/the_color_of_irony/

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Interesting behaviour

It is interesting to see how the US behaves as it's finances turn to shit and it watches the rise of China to financial superpower status as almost a spectator. Not saying they're going to be second fiddle or a busted flush but they're like the junior school bully that's now moved to secondary school and found that they are no longer that much bigger and tougher than everyone else. They behaviour seems reflective of that - lashing out at friends and making a grab for any power they can.

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Pint

Open Letter to EU government(s)

Please tell my government to politely go F*ck itself.

While I have to tolerate these intrusions from my government, you do not.

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Pirate

EU a backbone?

I wish, but it will never happen. Trust me. The core concept the EU was founded upon is "drop trow and bend over".

Skype is supposedly based in Luxembourg. If Skype were to put a back door into their peer-to-peer application due to US demands, one would expect that an Open Source competitor would start to take over.

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Anonymous Coward

Trust you?

Trust an Anonymous Coward instead of The European Council, The European Union, and The European Parliament put together?

Heck, why the fsck not.

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Troll

Skype backdoor

Skype probably has a backdoor in it. When asked for comment (on multiple occasions) Skype authors have never denied nor accepted that there is a backdoor. But the fact that they have not clearly denied it, speaks volumes.

Also I would bet that they are defending it with their life - you can not give this backdoor to CIA and hope it remains secret. It never will. But there still might be some kind of an arrangement where CIA can ask Skype to "decrypt" some (extreamly important) conversations.

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FAIL

About bloody time!

In it's days of decline the U.S. is acting as if it was a kingpin. Already too much data is leaked to the US by the ever obliging security services through the Echelon Agreement as the intimate relationship between the UK and the US.

The US doesn't let foreign spies operate on US soil, but Britain does (Menwith Hill spy base near Harrogate in North Yorkshire).

The US has even arranged NO FLY status for a Canadian citizen travelling from Ottawa, Canada to another Canadian destination.

All manifests for flights departing Bangkok are transmitted to the US even for non-US flights.

Currently the Obama administration, as did the Bush administration, deliberately flouts the US Constitution in it's spying on US citizens - no warrants are needed under the Patriot Act (please hold your hand over your heart) to look at any computer system, tap communications, etc.

Europe's privacy is compromised enough, especially with the UK's password or 4 years in jail law, but he US wants everything on everyone.

Europe should stand up and be counted. Europe is bigger than the USA but it kowtows as if it was a nothing.

The US already taps cell systems internationally: see < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_telephone_tapping_case_2004-2005 >, < http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/02/phone_tapping_i.html >.

The Trade Centre incident in 2001 was a result of US laxity in their security system, just as was the Pearl Harbour attack.

The Detroit 'bomber' was US intelligence at it'd best. The father of the bomber alerted the US, It issued the bomber a visa notwithstanding, he was cleared to board a US bound flight. And these rear ends think they can better protect the world by capturing all data including petty value financial transactions.

Whilst I have sympathy for those civilians who have lost their lives, the US invites violent reaction because it's long snout is into everything, whether justified or not.

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Big Brother

Privacy

I read a theory once that said a reason the US doesn't "get" privacy is that the US government has never overtly turned on its citizens. It's happened repeatedly in Europe though, so people are a bit nervous about handing out personal information. Or at least we were until myspace, wordpress, bebo, facebook, twitter and location based services came along.

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Anonymous Coward

"US government has never overtly turned on its citizens"

Just covertly. And they're doing a damn good job of ensuring their citizens watch the right media, buy the right products, eat the right (wrong) food, then die quickly so that they can be shoved into their XXL coffins, leaving the infrastructure free for the next generation of fatsos to pour 20 odd years worth of 'human resources' into the system.

Humans can't live off 75% corn. But try telling that to the food scientists who are re-arranging the components of corn to create almost all of the food Americans eat. The farmers won't even eat their own corn because they know it's shit, their only concern is collecting the money that the government pays them to grow it.

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Happy

I would like to tell the Obama administation to va faire foutre, on priciple.

And thanks to their incessant data mining principles, I just have.

Sorted.

[and not AC, they have too many dark secrets, we are expected to have no expectation of privacy whatsoever... join the dots people, join the dots]

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The Issue is 9/11

It's really quite simple. The United States - and most of the American people - will not tolerate leaving any stone unturned if it can help to prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11. It's a matter of life and death, and thus if petty concerns like privacy laws stand in the way, friendly governments are expected to summon their parliaments to make any necessary amendments to those laws. Of course this is unfair - the U.S. hasn't amended the constitution to remove the Fourth Amendment - but before 9/11, the U.S. hadn't experienced enemy action on its soil since Pearl Harbor.

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And they still wibble on and on about Pearl Harbour

How long is it going to be before they stop going on about 11/9/2001? (Please note, date in sensible format rather than US format)

I expect them still to be using the WTC as justification for demands in a hundred years time.

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Black Helicopters

title

3 buildings, 2 planes.

And the one NOT hit by plane (wtc7) collapsed first, just like the rest, stright down in 6 seconds.

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Grenade

9/11

was a false flag operation instigated by the US government to give the US public a new enemy to be scared of after the end of the highly profitable cold war. It's nice to see that it has had the intended effect of convincing the sheeple that they should be afraid of teh terrorists tho . .

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Joke

Hope and Change

Be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it!

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US Government, is no better than Chinese or North Korean

I do like most of the American people, but as for the Government, I have to say, one could just as well compare it to Al-Qaeda!!!

The difference is, that Al-Qaeda is more sincere.

The US Governments of the past 25 years have done nothing but run the country into financial ruins and cause the people grief and yet let various industries corrupt the nation.

What they call a democracy is nothing but legalized corruption (whoever pays the most gets his way).

Those who live in poorer areas have only an extremely slim chance of really getting out of it, and those who are rich in most cases stay rich and calm their conscience by visiting as many "help the poor" fundraisers as possible and make sure that everybody notices.

My goodness what a bunch of self-glorifying, self-centered, arrogant, and corrupt animals.

Call me paranoid, or conspiracy theorist, but when one tries to look at all these things that have been going on over the past 25 or even more years, it is hard to imagine, that there isn't a conspiracy.

At times I could even believe the rumors that the name "White House" does not originate from its colour, but from the fact the government established itself originally through the production and sales or "white dust"....

And just for those who read this because it ended up in one of those filters:

I am not a terrorist, I have no ambitions to blow Americans up, and I don't think it would be right to kill any American (or any other for that matter) politician.

I am very angry, and given the chance I would do anything legally possible to get rid of those "legalized criminals", but I don't think it is worth sacrificing human lives (in contrast to our politicians).

But then again one could argue, that politicians are not real humans, but the devils aids.....

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Hope! Change! Well...

As a US citizen, I recommend that the EU tell my government to shove it. Remember, our allies get the shaft. Better yet, act like an enemy. At that point, our president will bow and beg.

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Paris Hilton

I can't see what all the fuss was about?

Long form:

You mean because the US of A makes a public request they are now the bad guys?

Does one consider how many organisations/nations might be doing stuff like that without asking?

And does one think that because some politicians somewhere say "Maybe yes, maybe no" that it puts an end to practice?

Short form:

Get used to it, it happens anyway. (email anyone?)

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