back to article You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

US Attorney General Eric Holder has raised a few eyebrows by announcing plans to give Europeans the same legal protections as US citizens when Uncle Sam's agents seek their private information. Holder claimed the Obama administration would put forth legislation to offer EU citizens the same data protection rights and access to …


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  1. Marcel

    Human rights are non-negotiable

    So the USA starts by granting all non-Americans no rights at all. Then when we complain, by the grace of God, they grant us *some* human rights in exchange for collboration with their unethical behaviour. F**k you, Eric holder and your soon to implode land of the free.

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

      Looks like the EU is choosing to negotiate. I wonder how the US will undermine this newly forged framework.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

        With this new framework US companies are again free to run cloud services for Eu customers.

        The data will be slurped by the US govt legally, and US corporations illegally.

        There is nothing you can do about the US govt, but that hasn't changed.

        With the new law you can, as a foreign/pinko/liberal, go up against an honest god fearing American corporation in front of an East Texas judge.

    2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

      Canada? Australia? New Zealand? Japan? South Korea? Fat lot of fucking good it does to be a US "ally". Obviously you only matter if you're large enough that refusing to play ball makes a commercial difference to USian corporate interests.

      Fuck you, Eric Holder, and the corrupt government you represent. Even if you and the rest of the United States of Assholes are incapable of granting basic human rights to all human beings, regardless of nation...the fact that you can't even treat your closest allies with dignity and respect makes you contemptuous.

      A pox on you, and all your houses. Bastards.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

        @Trevor: shut up, bend over and take it like a good little ally.

        The legislation's a start but I can't see Congress passing anything much before the next presidential election. Anything that gives rights to foreigners is bound to be suspicious the Tea Party freaks.

        The EU is large enough to have to be listened to in trade deals but I don't think the loss of safe harbour will worry US companies too much.

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

          Where does this no rights for foreigners begin and end in USian law?

          Presumably if Im on trial for murder I don't get treated much differently whether I'm from the US or not.

          (i.e. access to the shitest lawyer I cant afford and banged up on remand in some corporate run SuperMax hell hole)

          Other than immigration and extra-border type scenarios where does the different treatment begin and end?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

      That is the exact problem here - "some". If your rights and redress is only applicable to your "data" then it is not going to do you any good as you will find that redress useless (to say the least).

      To put it bluntly - the 14th amendment as presently interpreted by US should go. Only when US international obligations (human rights one inclusive) automatically trump up any local local it can pretend to be following the rule of law. The same for UK. Parliament is sovereign and should not be bound my a**e. It is long overdue to be bound by the country basic human rights obligations instead of proliferating idiotic cases in the Eu courts.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

        I, for one, am glad that Canada has both a constitution and a charter of rights and freedoms that, combined, make up the supreme law of the land. I'd prefer it if the charter were kept more up-to-date with the UN-approved document, but it's better than the only thing at the top of the pile being some musty old parchment from late 1700s.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: some musty old parchment from late 1700s

          No, Trevor, that would be the ghost of some musty old parchment from late 1700s.

          The US of A is no longer the land that the Founding Fathers had envisioned, not by a long shot. Basic human rights are now something to be brushed aside when they become inconvenient. Democracy has been subverted, an oligarchy is now in place and freedom is just a word when the NSA is listening to everything.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: some musty old parchment from late 1700s

            Not that I disagree with most of what you said...but do take into account that said musty old parchment was written so long ago that many of the extant codified human rights are simply absent. Even were the land governed to the letter and the spirit of the laws it contains, it would still be a terrifyingly backwards and primitive nation.

        2. apjanes

          Re: Human rights are non-negotiable

          Unfortunately Trevor, our (speaking as a Canadian in the UK) government has completely sold out to the USA. Recent legislation is putting the Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) between the USA and Canada in regard to FATCA as supreme over the constitution and charter of rights. Ultimately Canada is selling it's own sovereignty up the swanee for the sake of filthy lucre.

  2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Noooo! Noooo! Run away! Save yourself!

    We have no rights here in the USA. And the 'forum for addressing grievances' is a sock puppet for the intelligence services. At least (in theory) we can vote the bums out. I don't see Holder offering you a couple of seats in our Senate.

    How about this: Give US citizens coverage under EU privacy laws and access to your courts.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Noooo! Noooo! Run away! Save yourself!

      I don't see Holder offering you a couple of seats in our Senate.

      No legislation without representation, eh? Maybe it's time we broke away from the overlords across the Atlantic...

  3. Breen Whitman

    That doesnt extend to drone strike policy.

    So europeans are worse off now. At least before, the drone targeting systems might have by-passed you because you subscribed to "".

    But now many europeans are going to be getting a big alarm call at 5am courtesy of Uncle Sam.

  4. Grikath


    I would like to suggest to mr. Holder that he takes his proposition , folds it until it's all corners, and shoves it where the Sun don't Shine.

    "Holder said the Obama administration would put forth legislation to offer EU citizens the same data protection rights and access to the courts under law as US citizens, …"

    We've seen what those rights entail nowadays. Thankyouverymuch.

  5. Silviu C.

    This also means that the TTIP negotations between the US and EU have advanced. Not good...

  6. Gert Leboski

    Well that's alright then, all is forgiven.

    Does anybody expect any of this tripe to be believed? Trust is not something that can be turned on and off easily. What they say is never what they actually do, in these cases.

    I already stipulate that we do not embark on agreements with any service providers who are based in the USA or have any of their hardware, that we make use of, based there. I am also phasing out any existing providers who do not fit the bill.

    However, we're really no better over here in the UK, to be fair.

    I despair of the human race at times, I really do.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    There's got to be a catch...

    You'll know what really happened once Europeans start getting mail declaring "The democratic/republican national committee wants to know what you think!".

    It will include a survey featuring nuanced, insight-generating questions like "How concerned are you that President Obama is in league with Al Qaeda and the demonic legions of Hell? Please choose from the following options--"very concerned" or "I obsess about it constantly." Or "Since this morning, how many sweet, retired grandmothers have you seen thrown out on the street by Republican budget cuts? Please answer on a scale from three to seventy-five". After your done answering those, you'll be asked to donate "whatever you can", as long as whatever you can is at least well into 3 figures!

    Welcome to your new freedoms and the American Way!

  8. TheColinous

    The problem is, of course, that Americans have no privacy rights as such. As we saw in the ECJ v Google ruling, Americans don't value privacy much if it goes against their freedom of speech customs. So, any EU citizen who tries to use this fig-leaf will quickly find that they get nowhere.

  9. skeptical i

    Rights? Rights? We don' got no steenkin' rights.

    Y'all really bought a pig in a poke, didn'cha.

    Although it was just decided in one of our courts (don't recall which) that police need a warrant to search cellphones, the reason being that they often hold more personal data than one's home. So not entirely useless, eh? Eh? Where'd you go ...?

    1. skeptical i

      Re: Rights? Rights? We don' got no steenkin' rights.

      That'd be the U.S. Supreme Court -- -- d'oh! Which means it applies nationwide, not just in one state or judicial circuit, does that sweeten the deal?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WOW! Are you guys in trouble, or what?

    The Pentagon cometh with a Trojan Horse including a very large barn full of manure.

    Americans have no rights. The military rulers have said that repeatedly...what they do is all legal no matter what anyone says, including the President, Congress, Supreme Court, FISA and my crazy Uncle Joe.

    So now you guys can have the same as US?

    NSA is willing to grant you rights to what pray tell?

    This sounds like some NWO Big Brother thing.


    You folks are in a heap of trouble.

    I am so sorry for you.

  11. Mitoo Bobsworth


    Repeat title as often and as loudly as necessary.

    The US of A is palpably driving itself into the ground - do you really want to hitch a lift with that ride?

  12. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Brought to you by the US Travel Industry

    Europeans can file for redress in America.

    What with the US having inferior privacy protection and multilevelled justice, I'm surprised Holden could keep a straight face when he announced this.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Brought to you by the US Travel Industry

      "Europeans can file for redress in America."

      I can't think of a quicker way to get yourself put on a no-fly list.

  13. eldakka Silver badge

    "Such a deal would at least provide Europeans a forum for addressing their grievances in the courts when they feel personal information has been mishandled or abused by authorities."

    Ahh, so Europeans will have the same standing as US citizens in addressing their grievances before US courts? i.e. go to court, US gov says all discovery/information is top secret because terrorism, therefore can't be used in the case, judge dismisses due to lack of evidence of wrongdoing.

    So awesome news!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am not an American!

    I am a human being....

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: I am not an American!

      Ahhahaha... we want information.

  15. RISC OS

    They say they offer the same data protection rights... doing and saying are too completely different things... politicans alwways promise to do stuff before an election, very few actually do what they promise. Who will be able to check that they are doing what they say when even their president "claims" he didn't know that other world leaders were being spied on?

  16. Anonymous Blowhard

    It's a trap!

    Next week they will announce new laws where US citizens have no protection.

  17. Toby 2

    Altogether now, can you say 'hegemony'?

    I wonder if, for example, this has anything to do with the EU suddenly deciding it actually *will* allow the US much more leniency in importing GMO products? I notice there has been very little media coverage of that... tit-for-tat-for-political-capital...

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I'm beginning to like global warming

    the sooner sea level rise sinks that corrupt sewer on the end of the Potomac the better.

    1. Steve Gill

      Re: I'm beginning to like global warming

      And it can take Brussels with it

      Oooh, I like your thinking - 90% of the world's politicians live close to the sea.

  19. Werner McGoole

    "This is an important first step towards rebuilding trust in our transatlantic relations."

    This is an insulting first step towards failing to rebuild trust in our transatlantic relations.

    There, FTFY.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is truly the most epic coverup ever

    Honestly, from which planet does this guy hail?

    We do not WANT the same privacy rights as US citizens because they don't actually have any. That's what the whole EU/US wrangling is about. I would not want to go near having any US "rights" because they tend to come at an exceedingly high price

    How about stopping the bullshit and actually fix the problem? Ah, yes, sorry, that would reduce campaign income from the very industry donors that created the US problem. So that's a no then?

    OK, that's fine. Then my reply is shorter, and ends with "off".

  21. mhenriday
    Thumb Down

    Hallelujah !

    «You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks» I e, nada, zero, zilch ! Thanks for nothing, Mr Holder !...


  22. a53

    re: Human rights are non-negotiable

    So it appears we now have a right to have our complaints filed in a bin. Oh joy of joys.

  23. 101



    "Uncle Sam will continue to suck your electronic devices dry, but now admits it, and will allow you to file a grievance if you should accidentally find out which will be filed appropriately in the nearest metallic circular floor bin for perpetuity."

  24. heyrick Silver badge

    Dear Mr. Holder - screw you

    Redress in America? Same "rights" as Americans?


    We have our own rights and laws. When we can drag your sorry ass to our courts, including extradition (taken seriously by your government), then we will have something worth talking about.

    But in a country where a secret supposed court hears secret things in secret and doesn't disclose (because it's all a secret), plus has a history of locating troublesome people offshore because your legal process seems to only apply when and where you want it to apply, I'm afraid granting us "rights" like that would be, for some of us, a brazen attempt to take away our rights. I can hear it now - "you can't do anything in your country because we offer a remedy in ours".


    Just no.

    You infringe our rights, you get to deal with it in our country. End of.

    (all we need now is for our own gutless politicians to realise this)

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