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Surveillance and espionage

The EP must stand up for strong data protection


Commenting on the Prism and Tempora surveillance programs and the spying attacks by the US National Security Agency (NSA), Jan Philipp Albrecht, European Parliament rapporteur/draftsperson for the new EU data protection regulation and the EU-US Framework Agreement on data protection, stated:

"The European Parliament has to act on the massive violations of data protection rules and the rule of law. Boundaries need to be set on both sides of the Atlantic to protect the interests of EU citizens. Besides a parliamentary inquiry, strict and consistent data protection rules are needed in the EU and the United States. In addition to this, both the simplified data processing by US companies under the Safe Harbor Agreement and the agreements with the US on the transfer of bank and airline passenger data need to be reviewed. Moreover, EU data protection law has to allow people in Europe to regain control of their data and prevent outside access.

MEPs will tomorrow be voting on a resolution which contains numerous demands from the Greens. This resolution is an important first step. However, these words will be useless if nothing is done about the unacceptable behaviour of the partners in the United States. Without this pressure, the US will continue to refuse common data protection standards in the proposed Framework Agreement with the EU. Therefore, it is irresponsible of conservative and liberal MEPs to want to open up the negotiations for a transatlantic trade agreement (TTIP) without binding concessions from the United States on data protection. Placing increasing free trade above fundamental rights and the rule of law will destroy citizens' trust in the EU."

Negotiations on the transatlantic trade agreement will begin on Monday (July 8).


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