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European politicians propose anti-snooping rules post NSA revelations

27 February 2014

On 12 February 2014 the European Parliament published a press release indicating that their Civil Liberties committee had agreed on a text to be voted on by the European Parliament on 12 March by which consent to any EU-US trade deals should be withheld unless the US fully respect EU citizens data privacy.

Ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA spying scandal, the members of the European Parliament have been analysing how they should react and the text referred to above condemns the "vast, systemic, blanket collection of personal data of innocent people, often compromising intimate personal information", adding that "the fight against terrorism can never be a justification for untargeted, secret or even illegal mass surveillance programs". 

Apart from calling for Parliament to withhold its consent to the current Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) unless TTIP fully respects EU privacy and human rights, the text also calls for the "immediate suspension" of the Safe Harbor privacy principles.

As part of a proposed digital "new deal" the MEPs also called for the EU Member States to accelerate their work on the draft EU Data Protection Regulation so that it can be passed by the end of 2014.

Finally, the MEPs, also with the support of Germany's Angela Merkel, called for an EU internet and cloud solution thus proposing "a technology fortress Europe".

Whilst the proposals of the MEPs are laudable, the likelihood of an EU only internet is unlikely as much as it is unfeasible.

This article was written by Robert Bond.

For more information contact Robert on +44 (0)20 7427 6660 or robert.bond@crsblaw.com