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back to article Europe MPs: Time to change our data-sharing policy with US firms

A European Parliament report has condemned dragnet surveillance programmes by the NSA and the UK's GCHQ, suggesting the schemes are motivated by political and economic espionage as well as the stated counter-terrorism objective. A draft report of the EU Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee, which has held a series of high …

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Anonymous Coward

Well duh!

The most dangerous (in terms of military hardware), capitalist and paranoid nation on the planet wants us to tell us everything we do and that was seen as a good thing in the past?

Labour really have a lot to answer for.

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Boffin

Politicians really have a lot to answer for.

There, ftfy.

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Showing where there true loyalties lie...

Two Tory MPs voted against letting/getting Snowden to make a video report. These people are loyal to America, not to the people who elect them.

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Big Brother

Oh Dear ...

"prohibit blanket mass surveillance activities and bulk processing of personal data"

Is it me or did they just basically describe Google's business model there?

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Re: Oh Dear ...

Yeah! Google ,Farcebook, Yahoo and anyone else who depends on Ad revenue, of course as soon as we agree to cookies on any site there goes privacy.

Perhaps the NSA should just insert a cookie warning/message onto every web page and into every phone call .

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Re: Oh Dear ...

...bulk processing of personal data...

Hang on a minute, isn't this the sort of activity encouraged by the Data Retention Directive?

This would be the very same law pushed through at the EU level and supported by member state politicians when their own governments couldn't get it passed at the national level - thereby showing complete contempt for democracy and using the EU as little more than a tool for politicians to evade personal responsibility for pushing through laws that they have trouble justifying at home ('it's not our fault - the EU made us do it!!!')

I know that the activities of both the NSA and GCHQ and the fallout from their actions need urgent consideration, but that doesn't mean that the EU should ignore their own failings.

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Re: Oh Dear ...

For an EU politician it makes a difference whether it's us doing it or the US doing it.

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Unhappy

Re: Oh Dear ...

"- thereby showing complete contempt for democracy and using the EU as little more than a tool for politicians to evade personal responsibility for pushing through laws that they have trouble justifying at home ('it's not our fault - the EU made us do it!!!')"

That would be the British Home Office drafted EU directive supposedly written in response to the Madrid train bombing (which the Spanish, who've fought ETA for decades) wanted no part of.

In reality the EU has acted more as a brake on surveillance compared to the UK than the UK govt (whoever's in power at the time) has ever been.

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Re: Oh Dear ... @John Smith 19

In reality the EU has acted more as a brake on surveillance compared to the UK than the UK govt (whoever's in power at the time) has ever been.

Agreed, but just because nation states have been behaving even more badly does not excuse the commission's own dubious actions IMO.

Just look at the current TTIP negotiations as one such example, and in particular pay attention to investor-state dispute settlement and corporate sovereignty. The commission apparently wants to be able to sign away then ability of national governments to regulate their own affairs. It's not even the commission itself that will be claiming this power as it does with many other things - they plan to hand it over to the private sector (despite being previously burned by the likes of ACTA).

Come to think of it: if companies are given the right to sue governments in secretive courts and override the will of parliaments by doing so, where does that leave our ability to stop unwanted snooping on us? A lot of that spying would appear to be done one way or another by the private sector, and given the private sector's apparent willingness to bow to US authorities on most matters I can't see this ending well.

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Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

The compelling reason for dragnet surveillance is that it is a necessary tool against attacks from terrorists and rogue states. Fair enough, allow it to continue, stop any attacks when possible, but prohibit the use of any dragnet collection in domestic law enforcement actions. It is not admissible as evidence, either for prosecution or even for a criminal warrant. Make dragnet surveillance data 'legally poisonous' to domestic LEO, and most of the associated civil liberties problems vanish.

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Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

<sigh>Stop falling for the lies. The "use against terrorists" is only an excuse to get the powers, and not the real reason. Once the data is gathered, regardless of the reason deployed (or, as it seems for NSA and GCHQ, without any reason given - they just did it because they could) it can and will be used for any other reason that someone in power (or even access) can get away with.

Think on this - look at the information Snowden has given us. Now consider what a bad actor could have done with the data that he had access to. If the data is there it will be used and abused.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

How does that help with political/economic espionage?

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Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

Explain to me how to tapping telephone conversations by US Congressmen and European leaders helps stop terrorism. I can hardly wait for your answer!

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Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

It is already against the law to use this surveillance data, but it is being done.

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Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

@henrydddd

That's an easy one. "If you're not with us, you're against us". We have to identify terrorists and the only way to do that is to record everything, everyone says!

If you're not speaking for American interests (more accurately: the interests of the few Americans in control), then you are against those interests - as per the previously mentioned mantra, this means you are against US. If you are against US you are a terrorist!

So it's only through monitoring of all communications that we'll be able to discover the identity of the more clever terrorists - you know the ones who act completely unlike the normal perception of a terrorist and isn't actually going to commit acts of terror - those are the hard ones to catch!

As for economic espionage that's something I can't comment on, but obviously if I had any information that could benefit an American corporation and I didn't pass it along, then I'd be acting against that American corporation and therefore against America, thereby making myself a terrorist... Just sayin'

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Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement @SeymourHolz

...'legally poisonous' to domestic LEO...

I seem to recall that to some degree this is already the case in the US, but the authorities there seem to manage to find ways around this. Witness for example the use of data gathered by the NSA being used domestically by the DEA.

The data would be handed to the DEA by the NSA unofficially and the DEA would come up with some bullshit excuse so they would never have to reveal the existence of the real reason for the arrest, much less the data that supported it.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/5/4590452/dea-nsa-surveillance-cover-up

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Gimp

Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

"The compelling reason for dragnet surveillance is that it is a necessary tool against attacks from terrorists and rogue states. "

No. That's what's called a justification.

It's underlying reason is simple.

The people in charge are data fetishists.

They do it because they can. Because the MIPS and the storage are cheap enough that they can now spy on everyone in case they "threaten" in some nebulous, undefined way the fetishists world view of what is "right."

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titchy tiny steps

I'm begining to hear office air-heads talk about 'all this spying stuff'. It's painful to hear, but it's a start.

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Holmes

"Time to change..."?

See icon for details...

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Not just US firms

Any British firm is going to hand over the data to GCHQ (if they don't just steal it) who are going to hand it over to the NSA. So the only EU countries you can trust with your data are those that hate the Americans.

I can see a bright future for French cloud services.

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Re: Not just US firms

"In 1991 another former head of the French secret services revealed that microphones had been placed under first-class seats on Air France ..."

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/sorry-angela-but-berlin-does-it-too/story-fnb64oi6-1226747832259#mm-premium

You might want to hold fire on the French cloud thing...

Cloud - that bag-o-shite snake oil....

I was chatting with the largest UK Gov cloud provider and asked 'Look, what do you mean by cloud" - the answer: "Well, its more a concept than anything concrete..."

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Re: Not just US firms

I'd guess the volumes of ssd's and hdd's that have been amassed to make up the cloud, are the very reason we as consumers are paying more to avoid being in it. I really hope the cloud just blows away as we'd all be looking at hardly used drives flooding the market and driving the prices down to what they should be.

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Re: Not just US firms

But the French secret service spying on foreigners for the French is allowed.

The problem is GCHQ spies on British companies for the Americans

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Coat

Re: Not just US firms

and asked 'Look, what do you mean by cloud" - the answer: "Well, its more a concept than anything concrete..."

Well, in his defence, I don't think the idea of a concrete cloud will fly either.

Yes, the concrete one ------->

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Anonymous Coward

I'd say it's about 2 years until there's a market for an easily set up network harddrive specifically for creating a personal cloud.

Hook it up at home. Then a small guide on how to reach it and how to encrypt it.

There'll still be larger cloud computing, it'll just be for save games and university student projects.

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Btsync is a pretty good start.

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Holmes

You astound me...

It's like you have read the product description for Synology's NAS drives and Cloud Station software or something...

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Disclosure

There should be a disclosure requirement imposed in all civilised nations. If the state sees fit to acquire your data, then it should either present it as evidence in a court case or inform you in writing of what it collected[*] and why no later than two years after it was collected. With court oversight, perhaps this can be extended ot five years if there's something that takes that long. Once disclosed, they should delete it.

[*] If collected but not read, they don't need to read it in order to tell you what it was, merely that it was (for example) emails between you and party X between certain dates.

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Unhappy

If they have THE PATRIOT Act (or equivalent) don't trust them.

Anything else is just BS.

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