Wednesday, June 12, 2013

EU Lawmakers Blast US for Surveillance Snooping; Say Rights of 500M EU Citizens Violated by Spying

European Union (EU) lawmakers blasted the United States yesterday (June 11) for its recently revealed data snooping program, attacking Washington for treating its European allies as "foreigners" who are legitimate targets for surveillance, the Global News (Canadian) website reports today (June 12, 2013).

The four major groups at the legislature all condemned the U.S. programs, and the EU's top justice official said she will confront U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on whether U.S. services are vetting data of EU citizens and companies, and will insist on the fundamental respect of rights.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said she will be seeking clear commitments during the June 14 trans-Atlantic ministerial that EU citizens will be granted the same rights as U.S. residents when it comes to data protection.

The EU parliament held an emergency debate on June 11 in Strasbourg, France, with lawmakers widely criticizing the programs as unworthy of a close ally. Dutch liberal Sophie in't Veld said it was unacceptable for the 500 million EU citizens that "a foreign nation has unlimited access to every intimate detail of their private lives. This is a very big issue," she said.

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