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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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?

    3. frank ly Silver badge

      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').

  2. Wommit
    Paris Hilton

    EU grows a backbone

    Now THAT is news!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

  3. Richard 81

    I think we've learned that...

    Friendship with the US is a one way street.

    1. The Original Ash

      Indeed

      And that street is the back alley.

      1. Adam Salisbury
        Grenade

        Indubitably

        It goes like this:

        Be friends and bend over of get fsking bombed

        That is all

      2. David 45

        Alley?

        Back passage, more like!

    2. PershingDriver
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Flame

        @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.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        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.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      5. LaeMing Silver badge

        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.

        1. Velv Silver badge
          Flame

          Democracy ?

          The US is a Democracy in name only.

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

          1. Ted Treen
            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***.

          2. rciafardone
            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.

            1. Mark 65 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.

      6. Ned Leprosy

        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.

      7. John PM Chappell
        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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. rciafardone
      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...

    2. Mark 65 Silver badge

      America, Fuck yeah

      We're gonna save the motherf*ckin universe.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Tony S

      @Marcus

      Do you really think that they would say please?

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge
          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/

      2. Mark 65 Silver badge

        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.

  8. Ty Cobb
    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  10. JaitcH
    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  12. heyrick Silver badge
    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]

  13. John Savard Silver badge

    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.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      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.

    2. Tonik
      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.

    3. Goat Jam
      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 . .

  14. Herby Silver badge
    Joke

    Hope and Change

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

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    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.....

  16. tweell

    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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    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?)

  18. Graham Marsden
    Stop

    "necessary and proportionate"...

    ... does not mean "you've got it, we want it, so hand it over!"

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear America.

    **Please** just fuck off and take every bit of crap you've ever dumped on us back please.

    Lets be right about a few things.

    1. In a real war, you lose every time. You have a Zap Brannigan mentality: "i just sent in another million troops to quell the trouble" If it were a fair fight with 10 planes, 10 tanks and 200 soldiers, you'd get your fucking arses battered. As has happened and is happening.

    2. You dont have the right to dictate to me what i can on the other side of the planet you arrogant twats. Nor should i have to give you my eye scans or fingerprints because i MIGHT decide to visit the crap hole that is America. "If you dont give us those things we will refuse you entry into the land of the free". Oh, ok then, BYE!!!!!

    3. Almost all americans (I've met/worked with plenty) are just like their govenrment, short sighted and with a unnering belief "they know best".

    4. If you cant lock down your poorley configured IT systems, dont come crying and throw your toys out of the pram when Johhny Foreigner walks right into them. Stamping your feet because you dont get your own way speaks fucking volumes about you.

    And yes, i really dont like America or Americans. Much the same way as i dont like the french. However, given a stark choice of a one way trip to froggie land or America, well, i can eat snails.

    Please, America, just go away and shut up.

    PS, this isnt a racist comment, i just REALLY dont like America/ns. And no, not anonymous because in THIS country, i'm free to say what i feel and i have balls.

    1. heyrick Silver badge
      Happy

      @ cornz 1

      Funny how people instinctively pick on the French. What is this, some sort of jealously because they are more interested in their customs and culture than that of other places? Isn't that how it should be (Sarko, are you listening?).

      I feel like I should come to the defence of my current home country by pointing out the oft-made joke about French military victories^Wdefeats.

      Remember the shock&awe that would sort out Iraq in a few weeks? Yeah... ditto for Afghanistan.

      The Americans seriously cheated in WW2 by being the only country in the entirety of human existance to actually use weapons of mass destruction, on *civilian* targets no less. Just to poke a stick for the sake of it, the attack on Pearl Harbor was in December 1941, and the Battle of Britain which America subsequently won for us (with only 7 US pilots, no less) was in the summer of 1940... Any American being taught about the US winning that particular WW2 conflict might like to check the dates carefully.

      Need I even bother to mention Vietnam, or has everybody seen Full Metal Jacket by now?

      Well, look at that. Suddenly the big bold victors are looking a little less jubilant! The French might suck at wars but they can fight when they want to. Just ask the King of France... oh, wait...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I should add

      that i have **NO** issues with canada or canadians. None. Zilch. Zero.

      Truely a lovely country and people (even the french variety).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        No,

        Its because I dont like the French.

        I like the Germans, the Swiss, the vast majority of the far east, even some of the middle east.

        But the Usa and France, nah.

        Sorry.

        As i said, its nothing personal and my decision was made after visiting Calais back in the 80's.

        It was a miserable experience.

        Beer, least we agree on that.

        1. heyrick Silver badge
          Happy

          @ cornz 1

          Ahh... You went to *CALAIS*. Miserable dump. Totally agree with you.

          But, then, you could say everywhere has to have an awful place to balance the quota. The good bits are that much better for having a horrid place to compare with! People who visit Calais and Paris (*how* much for a beer? FFS!) don't see what the country is really like. I suppose it is akin to making an impression of the UK by taking in London and Liverpool only...

  20. Trevor_Pott Gold badge
    Heart

    Dear European Union

    Please let us in.

    Yours faithfully,

    Canada

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Joke

      Quebec can join immediately

      so can the Maritimes - the rest of you are on your own

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Goat Jam
    Big Brother

    "the Obama administration has unilaterally decided to tear up the agreement"

    The Obama Administration decided no such thing, they simply enacted the wishes of the secretive shadow government that pulls his strings.

    Has nobody noticed that when it comes to things like this there is zero difference between the Republicans and the Democrats? Faffing about arguing over things like universal health care just serves as a distraction for the "useful idiots" from what they are really interested in which is world government and domination.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      @ Goat Jam

      Seems a really screwed up perspective - to want to rule the world but not really acknowledge that it exists and might have its own opinions.

      Well, fine, Obama (or whoever you're a puppet for), rule the world. I can't see why anybody would want to rule the entire planet. Sounds like a bloody hassle. And, note, when you take the dictator route, there will eventually be a bigger asshole with more ambitious plans. It's the way these things go.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    All sorts of people (and states) are appropriating data and goods in ways we as individuals/communities/countries do not approve: does this mean that we should do nothing and say nothing even though we don't expect to be able to stop them?

    Bribery, corruption, war crimes and torture are unlikely to be abolished by the disapproval of either society or other nations: would you say that because states behave badly and they are unlikely to change their ways simply because their domestic laws impinge on the rights of citizens of other states, there should be no national or international laws against corruption or war crimes?

    "Silence means consent" - and the probability that the USA is likely to continue to assert a right to all information about everyone everywhere and to regulate everything in the world to serve this end surely does not mean that the EU should not object?

  24. Velv Silver badge
    Terminator

    Europe and it's "Neighbours"

    Not so long ago, Europe made pacts with the USA as it was worried about the communist Soviet bloc neighbour.

    Now our land joined Neighbours are no longer the threat - in fact they are the source of much new wealth, manufacturing and tourism in an evolving truly democratic society.

    The USA had better learn to play fairly with the other kids VERY VERY soon, otherwise they are likely to find themselves sitting in the corner of the playground with nobody to talk to. Why did they invade Iraq? We all know it was for the oil, but the main driver was the threat from Iraq to sell its oil in Euro's instead of Dollars. The Euro will become the dominant world currency, and the US will be totally screwed.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      @ Velv

      I think the dollar has been on a buttered slide to hell for a while now, but the country is so tied up in import/export (as well as having a good line in childish tantrums) that American influence will be around for a while yet.

      I was under the impression that the next dominant currency may well be the Yuan. It won't be the euro - witness Greece. Witness... was it Portugal? Europe is getting by, but isn't powerful enough or cohesive enough to take on the world.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Saruman the White

    has ever been our friend and ally.

  26. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Like one of our «Anonymous Coward[s]»,

    I think it's high time to inform Sophie in 't Veld that rather than the US (government) being «friend and ally», to us Europeans, it is the Sparta to our Peloponnesian League - if somebody gets out of line, they are invaded and brought into the fold (see recent history in the Balkans). The EC should have stood up to the US government during the original negotiations on SWIFT ; it has the opportunity to in part redeem its reputation by doing so now. «No taxation without representation» was the watchword of the original Tea Party (in some years, the tax on tea comprised some 10 % of the British government's revenues) ; perhaps it's time for us Europeans to adopt the same measures to deal with US embassies (proconsulates) that were used to deal with the destroyed nuclear reactors at Chernobyl - i e, to build hermetically sealed concrete sarcophagi over them, taking care to see that the residents are unable to tunnel out....

    Henri

  27. jason 7
    FAIL

    Special Relationship - Wife beating more like!!!!

    I hate it. I hate us having dealings with the US Govt.

    Why? Because behind the scenes there is no US Govt.

    Obama says what he likes but 10 minutes later he gets a call from the real guys in charge and they tell him whats going to happen.

    Those guys? Why the UNELECTED corporations and institutions that have the mission to keep and control 99% (and more if possible) of the wealth.

    The President of the United States is just a figurehead puppet. They give him a couple of strings to pull but the rest are held by others.

    They do an incredible job. I mean just look at how they have brainwashed the vast majority of the US population to think that a modern, civilised and very wealthy country providing access to free health care for its citizens is communist/socialist and a terrible thing. Its a master stroke of genius.

    Welcome to modern 'democracies'.

    1. BioTube
      FAIL

      Actually, they're right on the last one

      Nationalized healthcare's socialist by definition(and so is Obama, thank you very much), so you're the one telling fibs.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    The US Goverment's posiiton is very consistant

    After all, the IRS claims the tax forms should just be one line and read:

    1. How much did you make last year? ____________

    Make out a check for the amount on line 1 to "Internal Revenue Service".

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