Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Andrew Duff MEP: Europeans Must Be Protected From Prism Snooping

Andrew Duff MEP
Lib Dem MEP for the East of England has backed calls from his colleague Sarah Ludford, the ALDE group shadow rapporteur on the update of EU data protection law, is demanding that an 'anti-FISA' clause be reintroduced in the text of the proposed new Regulation.

They want to ensure that EU customers are shielded from US National Security Agency data-mining authorised by the Patriot Act and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, such as the recently revealed 'PRISM' programme.

Andrew Duff said:

"MEPs have been pushing the European Commission for years about how the EU can safeguard Europeans against these intrusive powers, but have been given the brush-off."

"I was therefore shocked to learn that before the new draft EU privacy law was published, Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding and her colleagues caved in to American pressure. They dropped an 'anti-FISA' clause that would have ensured no snooping decision by a foreign tribunal could be recognised unless regulated by a treaty or agreement in force."

'MEPs on the European Parliament Civil Liberties committee will get the chance to question Mrs Reding tomorrow on this matter, including about why she was giving bland answers while tearing up real safeguards. But in the meantime I have backed my colleague Sarah Ludford, who has have told the Parliament's rapporteur on the Data Protection Regulation, Jan Albrecht MEP, that a protection clause should be reintroduced.'

"Telling data subjects that their data is being transferred abroad - or is in 'the cloud' - will not ensure protection against intelligence demands from foreign jurisdictions. Only a clause of the type that was dropped can achieve that. Since it corresponds with existing agreements, I would expect the Commission now to help secure this safeguard."

"Without these guarantees, it is difficult to see how negotiations on the Data Protection Regulation can be successfully concluded."