Europe warns U.S.: you must respect the privacy of our citizens

The Guardian reports: European Union officials have demanded “swift and concrete answers” to their requests for assurances from the US that its mass data surveillance programmes do not breach the fundamental privacy rights of European citizens.

The European commission’s vice-president, Viviane Reding, has sent a letter with seven detailed questions to the US attorney general, Eric Holder Jr, demanding explanations about Prism and other American data snooping programmes.

Reding warns him that “given the gravity of the situation and the serious concerns expressed in public opinion on this side of the Atlantic” she expects detailed answers before they meet at an EU-US justice ministers’ meeting in Dublin on Friday.

She also warns Holder that people’s trust that the rule of law will be respected – including a high level of privacy protection for both US and EU citizens – is essential to the growth of the digital economy, including transatlantic business and the nature of the US response could affect the whole transatlantic relationship. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Europe warns U.S.: you must respect the privacy of our citizens

  1. delia ruhe

    Anyone who expected the EU to do its poodle parade on this issue doesn’t know Europe. Germany, Britain, and France know from experience what it’s like to give megalomaniac leaders the benefit of the doubt on issues of national security. They long ago had it up to here with their Stalins and Hitlers and Francos and Mussolinis, their Popes, their Holy Roman Emperors, and their Napoleons.

    When Obama says that his evesdropping program isn’t for Americans but rather, for “foreigners,” he didn’t mean Canadians: Harper would be honored to turn Canadian privacy entirely over to Washington in return for an autographed photo of Obama to hang on the walls of the PMO. He means Asians and Europeans. Merkel is right to caution him — she, after all, has direct experience of the Stasi.

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