In the wake of information disclosed by Edward Snowden regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s actions through the PRISM program, two French individual liberties defense associations have filed a motion to open a criminal investigation regarding these actions which contains, in addition to claims against U.S. law enforcement entities, allegations against U.S.-based companies that provide Internet services.
The bromide that people in glass houses should not throw stones comes to mind when one hears European Union authorities criticizing the U.S. privacy framework as a whole because of the recent National Security Agency revelations.
Earlier this summer, EU Vice-President Viviane Reding called EU data protection reform “the answer to PRISM [one of the Snowden NSA disclosures]” and called PRISM a “wake-up call.” Reding said that the EU-U.S. safe harbor “may not be so safe after all” and warned that the commission will present a “solid assessment” of the safe harbor by the end of the year, ominously suggesting that the withdrawal of an adequacy finding for the safe harbor (required under EU law for it to remain in effect).
In an August 13 letter to Commissioner Viviane Reding, Article 29 Working Party Chair Jacob Kohnstamm requested more information regarding the United States’ national security surveillance program, including the widely-publicized PRISM program.
Earlier today, in a brisk memo (reproduced in its entirety below), EU Vice President Viviane Reding called EU data protection reform “the answer to PRISM” and called PRISM a “wake-up call.” She itemized the need for broad jurisdiction and enforcement, and stated that governments collecting data on EU citizens outside their territory never should obtain it directly from […]