The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

PARIS (AFP) – European data protection agencies have asked the EU to help investigate the extent of U.S. electronic spying revealed by intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, warning that the surveillance may have breached privacy laws.

France’s CNIL agency said Monday that European data protection agencies “consider they should evaluate the exact impact of the PRISM program on the privacy and data of European citizens,” and have written to the European Commission for its help to get information from the United States.

Revelations about PRISM and other programs by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to capture and store personal information gleaned from emails, phone calls and web searches have sparked outrage in Europe, especially after tech giants such as Google and Facebook were implicated.

The revelations threatened the start last month of crucial EU-U.S. free trade talks, but Europe agreed to go ahead with the negotiations after a joint working group was formed to investigate the spying.

In a letter to European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding, the agencies said the “collection of and access by the American intelligence community to data on non-U.S. persons are of great concern to the international data protection community.”

Despite some clarifications from Washington, “many questions as to the consequences of these intelligence programs remain,” it said.

It said the agencies had a duty to “assess independently to what extent the protection provided by EU data protection legislation is at risk and possibly breached” by the U.S. intelligence-gathering program.

Reding, who is also the EU’s justice commissioner, said last month the EU was determined to deliver new European data protection laws in the wake of the revelations.

European sources have said governments’ anger over the data surveillance is genuine, following reports of widespread spying on Washington’s European allies.

Snowden, a 30-year-old former NSA contractor, received asylum in Russia on August 1, after spending more than five weeks stranded in a Moscow airport avoiding extradition to the United States.

He is wanted by Washington on espionage charges linked to his media disclosures about the secret details of the U.S. surveillance programs.

President Barack Obama has defended the spy programs as a “modest encroachment” on privacy necessary to keep Americans safe.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Susan Collins

Youtube Screenshot

How thin can one person’s skin possibly be? Sen. Susan Collins tested the limits of that question with her response to a sidewalk chalk message asking her to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act, codifying the abortion rights of Roe v. Wade into law.

“Susie, please, Mainers want WHPA —–> vote yes, clean up your mess,” the chalk message outside Collins’ home in Bangor, Maine, read. They said please, in a medium that causes no damage, and she called the police.

Keep reading... Show less

Jim Lamon

Youtube Screenshot

.Arizona Republican Senate candidate Jim Lamon has repeatedly said he wants to save and preserve Social Security. But his own campaign website reveals that he aims to raise the program's eligibility age and to privatize it, leaving millions of Americans to fend for themselves.

In a video message on his website, Lamon claims, "Social Security is headed for a train wreck, for bankruptcy. Politicians who kick the can down the road, we must save Social Security. I intend to be bold in the U.S. Senate to make it happen."

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}