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back to article US diplomat: If EU allows 'right to be forgotten' ... it might spark TRADE WAR

US diplomat warns of "trade war" if "right to be forgotten" proposals in Europe are followed through. The introduction of planned changes to EU data protection laws could herald a trans-Atlantic "trade war", a US diplomat has warned. John Rodgers, economic Officer in the US Foreign Service, said that "things could really …

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I suppose we should be happy big corp wants our data

Because if nothing else, it means we have some wealth.

There are people who they're not interested in at all, and I'm glad I'm not one of them.

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Terminator

Re: I suppose we should be happy big corp wants our data

I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle.

My 'laws' say I can have them so please comply.

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Facepalm

Re: I suppose we should be happy big corp wants our data

So you'd rather be one of the ones whose data they don't want? i.e. someone with absolutely nothing? Don't think so.

I think you misunderstand me. I said we should be happy big corp wants our data.

I never for a second said they should actually get it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I suppose we should be happy big corp wants our data

"Because if nothing else, it means we have some wealth.

There are people who they're not interested in at all, and I'm glad I'm not one of them."

What worth do you have? Not intellectual by the sounds of it.

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Re: I suppose we should be happy big corp wants our data

And to answer your question, apparently quite a bit to people who want to sell things.

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Anonymous Coward

SO what?

Let there be a trade war. WTF ? Whats the worst that might happen?

Lets try this out and call USA's bluff.

Big bully baring its muscles? This is our chance Europe.

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Go

Re: SO what?

IIRC they have a massive trade deficit which means they rely on rest-of-world for their shit more than themselves.

Go for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SO what?

given that Europe can't fight, cause it's got not guts (army, balls, etc), and can't compete in any other field, like... innovation, manufacturing... yeah, let's start a trade war, this is cheap and easy, and boosts our politicos votes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SO what?

Let there be a trade war. WTF ? Whats the worst that might happen?

Lets try this out and call USA's bluff.

Big bully baring its muscles? This is our chance Europe.

Absolutely correct. The ONLY way to deal with blackmail is to call on it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SO what?

We won't get their expensive military kit and the bits for their ("our") nukes. We won't be able to buy Apple phones and HP laptops. We won't have to buy the output of Hollywood. We won't be able to sell them Mulberry bags, French films, Parmesan cheese, BMWs or champagne. They will go around flogging everybody half price Boeings to try to destroy Airbus. They will also try to bend the entire Middle East to their will to stop our supplies of oil and gas, but good luck with that.

I haven't run my slide rule over this, but I suspect that a very powerful country dependent on imports might just have more to lose than a loose federation which borders on countries with vast natural resources that are in need of further development.

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Re: Re: SO what?

"They will go around flogging everybody half price Boeings..."

The ones that are grounded? :)

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Re: SO what?

I am afraid , this is a very childish talk. Fortunately, even your politicians are wiser.

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Re: SO what?

Yup US trade deficit $41.55bn last November - and that was considered to be an improvement.

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Big Brother

Re: SO what?

No way Apple, HP et al are going to let the USG keep them from marketing anywhere they want. The stuff's made in Asia anyway. Remember how contraband found its way into Libya and Iraq during the Times of Embargo? What could happen is increased tariffs on goods made in Europe. Americans might then have to sell their souls to buy a Mercedes. As an American ex pat living in America, I'm not sure there are many unentailed souls left anyway.

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Black Helicopters

Trade War?

This assertion is made but forgive me for being thick, it's not actually explained how this might be the case. Will the US or US companies actually refuse to do business in the EU if they can't have the right to do as they please with your data? Seems far fetched.

Microsoft have already admitted that the Patriot Act can be used to access your data on the 365 platform because they are an American company and the legislation says that it applies to them no matter where they operate. The same applies, presumably, to Amazon and Google too. So how does the right to be forgotten sit with the 'right' to 'do what we want to, where we want to, when we want to' in the Patriot Act?

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Re: Trade War?

"it applies to them no matter where they operate" - it depends on what they are doing.

This is the US interpretation of a US law. In actual fact, if Microsoft operate on European soil, they are probably doing it through a European subsidiary, which is subject to the laws in the region they are operating.

It has to be this way, otherwise all employees of US owned (I'm talking US holding companies owning the regional subsidiary) companies working on outsourced operations for, say, UK government agencies could be forced to divulge national secrets if asked by the US Department of Homeland Security.

It's different for business transacted over the Internet, because it's much more difficult to enforce national boundaries.

Where the issue is further clouded (pun intended) is if a non-US organisation stores data in a US owned storage cloud. I can envisage situations where US DHS could ask for the data to be migrated onto servers under US jurisdiction, and then they have the law behind them to get it disclosed!

I think that Office365 is probably run by Microsoft US, and the servers are probably on US soil, so the statement about that is probably true. A reason to consider carefully how you use SAAS and cloud based storage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trade War?

@Peter Gathercole - correct.

I think that point has been made before.

As soon as you have a US component in your business chain you have exposure under the various backdoors that anti-terror legislation has enabled (the so-called "emergency" powers that turned into "everyday" powers, as anyone with an above room temperature IQ would have predicted).

The devil is in the detail - if your cloud has fuzzy edges like most cloud services do you are never quite sure if you're breaking EU law. The correct way of fixing that would be to have EU only data centres with no US association, but that would deprive those poor US companies of all that lovely revenue they appear to be getting by breaking the law.. Hell no, let's just impose our laws on others.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trade War?

As far as I know all our Azure services and Office 365 are hosted in Europe and therefore have to be compliant with EU law. I checked this point when I opened our Azure account.

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Re: Trade War?

"A reason to consider carefully how you use SAAS and cloud based storage."

Agreed. The lack of control and security for commercially sensitive data makes the use of such cloud services inadvisable for any company with US competitors.

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Re: Trade War?

quote: "As far as I know all our Azure services and Office 365 are hosted in Europe and therefore have to be compliant with EU law. I checked this point when I opened our Azure account."

Ask them very carefully if there is the possibility that your data could end up on US servers as part of a distributed backup. ;)

I friend of mine had to ask a similar question, in respect of providing services to local government where the UK required that data to be held on UK servers, and only on UK servers. MS confirmed that they could not guarantee that at that time (this was a while back mind, for BPOS).

MS may be able to confirm they can do what you've asked for, however the shadow of "geographically disparate" DR backups (i.e. copied to US servers so the Patriot Act applies) may still loom over any cloud service from a company that operates in the US.

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Re: Trade War?

> This assertion is made but forgive me for being thick, it's not actually explained how this might be the case.

When I read the article, I was looking for some logical leap of faith as to why this legislation would cause some economic ripple effect which would trigger some kind of market catastrophe.

And then it dawned on me: what they're actually saying is "we don't like this legislation, so we're going to shit on you as hard as possible."

<sigh>

The Merkins, they really don't change, do they?

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Re: Trade War?

"Microsoft have already admitted that the Patriot Act can be used to access your data on the 365 platform because they are an American company and the legislation says that it applies to them no matter where they operate."

And that is more likely the reason the US is kicking up such a fuss.

Imagine a US criminal moves to the EU then demands Google, Bing et al to delete all his data - suddenly US law enforcement don't have a shred of evidence...

The war on terror would suddenly lose a lot of data for tracking people (a good or bad thing depending on your perspective)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trade War?

There will be the usual caveats with respect to someone under active criminal investigation, the EU Data Protection laws framework already provides for that. However, what it will not aim to support is the mass data grabbing the US likes to exercise (basically treating everyone as a criminal, even IF they prove their innocence).

Screw that. I already have a FB project which feeds it BS to see what happens, and the results are interesting enough not to ever give it any valid data. Far too dangerous. If you care about your privacy, avoid both FB and anything more than search from Google, and use the latter via startpage.com and their ixquick link proxy.

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The USA is sabre rattling again

Europe should not give in to the threats of rogue states.

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Coat

Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

I think the EU already refuses to deal with terrorist states, doesn't it?

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404
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Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

Thought ya'll liked Obama? He's the one in charge, yes?

You think you don't like it? We have to live here.

o.O

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Meh

Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

" He's the one in charge, yes?"

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of US politics knows the US president "leads" (at best) a "coalition of the willing."

The "coalition" that passed the PATRIOT act, often without reading it (but fair play it was one of the biggest acts ever passed).

The "coalition" that bailed out US banks to roughly 50 years of NASA's current budget in 1 year.

The "coalition" that opened the best AQ recruiting office on the planet in Cuba.

The rest of the time the President is more like "Cat hearder in chief."

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Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

You forgot to add the Coalition with Dubya in charge when some of this happened so bugger all to do with Obama!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

No, they still have relations with Israel.

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Happy

Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

That was exactly my point.

The "coalition of the willing" I had in mind was between the President, the Congress and the Senate.

Obama OTOH is more in the role of "Cat hearder in chief."

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Vic
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Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

> Thought ya'll liked Obama?

Nope.

We just prefer him to the other geezer...

Vic.

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Re: The USA is sabre rattling again

Then you have the power to make the change. History is littered with revolt.

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har har

"We have a right to privacy in our Constitution, but this does not mean a fundamental right to data protection,"

no, it means warrant-less interception of emails and phone calls

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Re: har har

Yep... gotta love how judges "interpret" plain English so that it doesn't do what a reasonable person thinks it would...

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Alert

Diplomat

Diplomat: a man sent to lie abroad for his country.

US diplomats are usually shills for US business interests. (GM food, anyone?)

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Devil

just remember, you're not the customer, you're the product.

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Big Brother

Ok, ok, please no more anti-American corporate postings....

....I have used up my day's allotment of upvotes already and it's only 9.49am!!

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Oh, yeah?

"We have a right to privacy in our Constitution, but this does not mean a fundamental right to data protection"

That's one opinion. And not a very convincing one either.

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Mushroom

Yeah......right.......

So in fact very similar to that Sarbanes-Oxley kneejerk bollocks which means that, because corporate America is as bent as a three-bob note, anyone anywhere in the world with a connection to the financial reporting side of a company with a US presence falls under its aegis.

Sort that pile of horseshit out and we'll talk.

While you're at it, you could think about amending that Constitution to recognise a few important things that have happened in the last 30 years or so. Ramming your head so far up your own arse that you can't see the problem isn't a long-term solution.

We need a "Sod off you two-faced git" icon.

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Re: Yeah......right.......

You beat me to it. SoX - where only the auditors benefit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah......right.......

Sox prevented the financial crisis in 2008, didn't it?

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Trollface

Boot on the other foot

EU Laws that the US would have to abide by...

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Megaphone

Would 6pm be a good kick-off time for you?

Tough words, yankees.

Come at us, we'll have you.

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Mushroom

Laughs..

The EU can't defend itself from itself... Every EU army/air force/navy you have cannot operate without American help, and you know it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Laughs..

"The EU can't defend itself from itself... Every EU army/air force/navy you have cannot operate without American help, and you know it."

You sound like you believe the (usually bollox) fiction pumped out by hollywood.

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Trollface

Re: Laughs..

Truth sucks, eh? Muaaaahahahahahahaha.

;)

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FAIL

Re: Laughs..

No, I read EU news daily - France needs American air tankers, British builds and mothballs carriers, EU builds jets that can't do their jobs,... name an EU country that can defend itself or it's interests.

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Facepalm

Re: Laughs..

Given that a good percentage of the Yanks I have met get confused about the location of various countries I think we're fairly safe from an American invasion seeing as the buggers can get to out of space (I guess it is only straight up after all) but would have problems pinpointing Malawi on the map.

And most of the shit that America relies on so heavily was invented in Europe in the first place.

Yeah, good old US manufacturing. Tell me, had any problems with your aerospace or motor industries lately?

I could go on but I'm getting bored.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Laughs..

"Operate" ... doing *what* exactly?

I.M.O. it would be a perfect outcome if Europe had to abandon the Great American Quest of Bombing Rubble into Smaller Rubble in countries nobody cares about and who doesn't even appreciate the liberal application of gratis lessons in applied Freedom and Democracy!

Without the US we could go back to the old, "keep it in the family"-ways, and maybe bomb Turkey a bit or run tanks across Belgium as tradition demands, that lot got it coming for decades already.

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