Tuesday, July 12, 2016

OpenStack 07/12/2016 (p.m.)

  • Tags: surveillance state, EU, safe-harbor, privacy-shield, NSA, State-Dept.

    • The EU has accepted a new version of the so-called Private Shield law that would allow US companies to transfer Europeans’ private data to servers across the ocean. The EU struck down the previously-reached agreement over US surveillance concerns.

    • The majority of EU members voted in support of the Privacy Shield pact with the US that had been designed to replace its predecessor, the Safe Harbor system, which the highest EU court ruled “invalid” in October 2015 following Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass US surveillance.
    • The newly-adopted agreement will come into force starting Tuesday.

      The deal, which is said to be aimed at protecting European citizens’ private data, defines the rules of how the sharing of information should be handled. It gives legal ground for tech companies such as Google, Facebook and MasterCard to move Europeans’ personal data to US servers bypassing an EU ban on moving personal information out from the 28-nation bloc. The agreement covers everything from private data about employees to detailed records of what people do online.

      “For the first time, the US has given the EU written assurance that the access of public authorities for law enforcement and national security will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms and has ruled out indiscriminate mass surveillance of European citizens' data,” the statement said.

    • The new deal now grants greater guarantees to European customers and provides “accessible and affordable redress mechanisms” in case any disputes concerning US spying arise. An ombudsman will also be created within the US State Department to review complaints filed by EU citizens.
    • Privacy Shield, however, has also faced sharp criticism. Concerns about extensive US spying activity were raised in Europe after whistleblower Edward Snowden released a trove of controversial material on Washington’s surveillance practices.

      Digital rights group Privacy International (PI) said the newly-adopted pact had been drawn up on a "flawed premise" and “remains full of holes and hence offers limited protection to personal data”. 


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