EU may freeze data-sharing with US

The EU has reviewed existing data-sharing agreements with the US.

European Union�™s justice and right commissioner Viviane Reding has threatened to halt data-sharing arrangements with the United States because of recent revelations about Washington�™s spying scandal.

Reding has called on the US to adjust its surveillance activities to comply with EU law and enable legal redress in the US courts for Europeans whose rights may have been infringed.

As a result of the disclosures made by American whistleblower Edward Snowden, the EU has reviewed existing data-sharing agreements with the US and is drafting new Europe-wide data protection rules requiring US Internet companies operating in the EU to obtain permission to transfer data to the US and to restrict US intelligence access to it, The Guardian reported.

The British newspaper said, during negotiations in Washington last week, Reding pressed Americans to obtain their figures on the scale of the US surveillance of Europeans but she failed at the end.

The commercial data exchange, known as “Safe Harbor”, was found to be flawed.

“The commission will underline that things have gone very badly indeed. Our analysis is Safe Harbor seems not to be safe. We’re asking the US not just to speak, but to act,” Reding said.

“There is always a possibility to scrap Safe Harbor … It’s important that these recommendations are acted on by the US side by summer 2014. Next summer is a Damocles sword. It’s a real to-do list. Enforcement is absolutely critical. Safe Harbor cannot be only an empty shell.”

Washington has come under increasing criticism from the international community since June after Snowden, former National Security Agency contractor, exposed its secret massive spying program monitoring worldwide phone calls and Internet communications under the excuse of counter-terrorism.

Revelations indicated that US intelligence agencies have monitored the communications of 35 world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The agencies have spied on tens of millions of phone calls in France and Spain.


Source: Press TV