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back to article Irish privacy boss hauled to court for NOT probing Facebook for spook links

An Austrian student is taking Ireland's data protection watchdog to court after the privacy regulator declined to investigate allegations that Facebook allowed US spooks to slurp its data. The Irish privacy office, headed up by data protection commissioner Billy Hawkes, told The Register that judicial review proceedings were now …

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Bronze badge
Pint

"But when it comes to the fundamental rights of millions of users and the biggest surveillance scandal in years, he will have to take responsibility and do something about it."

Quite right and nicely put. Have a pint for your efforts you Austrian student you...

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Coat

"wanted to get this hot potato off his table "

Ahhh, so that's the Irish angle?

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Its really about time Europe took a big stick to the UK and the Irish. They are big blockers and do everything that they can to sabotage Data Protection, Taxation, Banking Controls and a number of other things which cost the other members of the EU dearly. British resistence to effective controls on the banking sector, and the irish tactic of providing tax-breaks for multinationals is getting out of hand. But interestingly enough the Irish were the first to come to the EU and ask for solidarity when their own banking system collapsed.

The english speaking members of the EU really need to decide if they want to be a member of the community or not, but sabotaging as much as they can while collecting subsidies and "Special refunds" has got to stop. Cameron should not only hold a referendum to find out if the UK wants to stay in the EU or not. The rest of the EU should hold a referendum to decide if they should be kicked out or not.

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Thumb Down

Er what

Please tell me you are having a laugh, as in the UK is a nett contributor???

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Bronze badge

Haha, you do realise the UK puts more into Europe in contributions to subsidise the running of Europe and for subsidies to be given to other countries right? As one of the richest EU countries this is of course the case. If we do choose to leave, the EU is going to be a lot poorer! We do claw a little bit of that back on our own subsidise but no where near what we put in.

As for blocking things etc... as a member we have a right to disagree with what other European countries want to do, if those things do not benefit the UK. The only reason other countries agree is because these decisions do in fact benefit them. No country will agree to something that harms it, that is just crazy! All Europe wants are yes countries that never disagree, well, tough, we won't be agreeing if it doesn't benefit us, we are not fools.

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Speaking as a neutral outsider and student of history, having the people 'take sticks to the Irish' hasn't exactly proven to be a successful tactic, from any perspective.

Just sayin'...

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Anonymous Coward

The IRA only managed to get away with what they did because they had US backing. Different world now.

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I doubt it's not only financial reasons why Facebook locates there. No doubt there are also plenty of opportunities to slip a brown paper envelope keep the politicians' snouts in the trough.

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Anonymous Coward

If that was the case they'd get a much better return on their investment in the US, no need to set shit up abroad.

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Anonymous Coward

'slip a brown paper envelope keep the politicians' snouts in the trough'

You better believe it! Iceland punishes its banks and starts a faster recover. Whereas Ireland, protects its banks and crucifies its people in a slow drudge recovery. Meantime I don't see any poor politicians walking about...

What's worse our PM Kenny always blames the ex-government. The are to blame. But that's a little convenient and forgetful regarding his predecessor Fitzgerald. In the 1980's he let AIB Bank off with a hand slap over the ICI Insurance fiasco. If they had legislated then we would have been better off even if we couldn't completely escape the meltdown...

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Silver badge

Re: 'slip a brown paper envelope keep the politicians' snouts in the trough'

Iceland is not Ireland; the two are very different circumstances. The Icelandic solution doesn't work for everyone, because in the Icelandic case, the banks had enough global assets to protect domestic savers, so these were essentially ringfenced to benefit their population, and everyone else can go hang. This includes bondholders, but also people and charities and councils in the UK, for example.

This cannot work in Ireland because it's in the EU, so would have to treat (say) UK creditors the same as Irish ones. II's the "downside" to the tens of billions that the EU pumped into Ireland over the last few decades.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 'slip a brown paper envelope keep the politicians' snouts in the trough'

Wrong! Ireland announced a blanket guarantee for all of its banking liabilities. Iceland did not. By doing so Lenihan, now deceased, condemned Ireland to suffer the bulk of the losses from its speculative banking system. He did not have to do this. He was not compelled to do so by the EU. Hr didn't even consult them. They themselves were horrified, see Christine Lagarde comments at the time! He took it upon himself, because he believed the lies of the banks. It is considered our greatest financial mistake of all time...

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Bronze badge
Mushroom

Well you know...

...there is one very easy way to make sure your personal information isn't snooped on by governments on any of these lame social networking sites like Farcebook.

DON'T USE ANY OF THEM FFS.

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Silver badge

Re: Well you know...

. . . also make sure your friends and family aren't on any of them either. I don't know about you, but most of my friends are on it and they share photos with me in them and talk about me. No, I'm not narcissistic - I don't mean they talk about me non-stop - just that my name, likeness and contact details are all in there.

Likewise, Linked-in has my details because numerous people (ex-colleagues, clients, etc...) have put them in to send invitations. News sites, property sites, jobs boards, online stores - anything that allows you to forward content to other people - they all have contact details for people who don't actually use their sites.

Sure it's nothing compared with what people put up about themselves but no thickness of foil hat, save when constructed while living in a cave in Tibet, can prevent information about you and your activities finding its way on line.

I would say it's time for me to take the foil off but it's comfy and I've got hat-hair now.

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Anonymous Coward

Iceland vs. Facebook .......vs........ Ireland vs. Facebook...

The Irish DPC is similar to the EPA in NSA land. They defend Big Business letting them off with a simple Pope like hand-wave... Their people are not even technical. I asked them if Google's Analytics Data fed is back into Google's Ad Engine? They looked at me like 'ya wat ya now'?!

I wanted to find out too why Facebook's download feature left out half my emails? But they didn't care. They said users can still trawl through the slow browser interface to get at old messages. Of course that offers no means to save blocks of conversations. So much for passing data protection laws that were supposed to allow users to wrap up social profiles and move to another service if they wished. Talk about FB lock-in!

Part of the problem is, we are so desperate for jobs in Ireland. We always have been. Our politicians are just blood suckers, they never create jobs or wealth, just stealth taxes for all those who aren't multinationals. And since a significant portion of jobs come from US corps, the political elite have no intention of rocking the boat. Privacy-wise, they probably already promised a light touch regulatory approach in a back room somewhere. What if these companies had set up in Iceland, maybe they've had more of a fight on their hands?

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This is the kind of action we need

No idea how effective this will be, but at least it is a shot in the right direction. Hats off to that student.

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