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04.07.2013

NSA surveillance

European Parliament votes to investigate the NSA spying scandal

The European Parliament today voted by a large majority to adopt a resolution on the USA's NSA and other EU Member States' surveillance programs. This resolution calls for an inquiry by the European Parliament's civil liberties committee. The Greens/EFA group regrets however that there was no majority for a proposal to postpone the start of negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement until mandatory data protection standards can be guaranteed.

After the vote, MEP Rebecca Harms, Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said:

"Unfortunately, the European Parliament has largely restricted itself to simply expressing its outrage. The Conservatives and Social Democrats have openly decried the US spying as a scandal. But they have failed to draw any serious conclusions, this is cowardly.

At least, the European Parliament's civil liberties committee will now be able to start a comprehensive inquiry into the NSA spying activities. The US secret services' spy activities as well as European intelligence agencies' possible support of these activities needs to be fully explained.

Unfortunately, there was no majority for our request to suspend the start of negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement until there are binding data protection standards in place. However, we now want to give European citizens the opportunity to put pressure on the EU Commission and have therefore today launched an online petition against the opening of negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement."

The Green online petition against the opening of negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement, without binding data protection standards, can be found at: http://www.yeswestop.eu