Equal rights for EU citizens?
This is the US we are talking about - where getting away with something makes it legal.
The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will give his opinion on the so-called Europe versus Facebook case on 23 September. The ECJ revealed on Monday that Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion would be given later this month after it was postponed in June. The case involves “Angry Austrian” Max Schrems, who …
"all that remains is for the US to introduce a law that would give EU citizens the same right to judicial redress as Americans enjoy in Europe."
How about a law preventing the data of foreign nationals from being arbitrarily snooped upon?
After all, isn't the current setup that data is taken and those who know are silenced? If so how can you sue?
Likewise what is the point of suing in America over copyright, the country that requires content to be registered in order to hope for any sort of redress...
All countries spy on each other and their citizens for national security and that includes computer reading of e-mails and Farcebook comments, etc. Anyone who thinks they have some God given immunity to surveillance because they live in the EU, is very naïve. If you use e-mail, a phone or leave your home, you are under frequent surveillance so get use to it. There is legitimate reasons for the access to the data so it's pointless to whine about your privacy because you chose to use electronic communications that leaves you subject to monitoring
"I, and many others, expect laws to be upheld."
There needs to be a bit of precision about exactly which laws are the subject of such statements. In the context of the article and this comment, US laws probably are being observed: those who are not "US Persons" as US law defines them, are eligible to be selected for NSA surveillance unless protected by treaty or agreements between the NSA and their SigInt agencies. Such interagency protocols are reported to limit activities by "Five Eyes" SigInt agencies against citizens of any of the five countries. Such surveillance usually would be illegal under the laws of the country in which it occurs. Similarly, US citiizens may be targeted for surveillance by another nation's SigInt agencies; such surveillance may be quite lawful according to the laws governing the SigInt agency, but quite illegal under US law if done in the US. Again, the legality might be modified by treaties or limited by interagency agreements.
Activities customarily described as "spying" or "espionage" very often include actions that are not illegal (for the spy, under his or her country's laws) and quite illegal where performed (e. g, burglary or wiretapping). Many espionage activities, or course, are unquestionably legal as well. Examples include analyzingf general or technical publications of foreign organizations; meeting and engaging in conversations with foreign nationals, either in-country (most countries) or not; and attending and participating in scientific and technical conferences.
> There needs to be a bit of precision about exactly which laws are the subject of such statements. In the context of the article and this comment, US laws probably are being observed ...
But not EU law - and it really looks like they (the NSA) weren't (and still aren't) observing US law either.
EU data protection law is fairly clear - (to over simplify somewhat) your personal data cannot be "exported" anywhere where it would be subject to less protection than if it remained on European soil. Up until now, the "Safe Harbour" agreement has held that US companies using it can be classed as "equivalent to being in Europe" for this purpose - but now it's been shown to be a complete and utter lie (as many suspected, but no-one could prove).
I really hope (and have high expectations) that the ruling will be that Safe Harbour isn't fit for purpose, and that will really stir up the brown stuff as it will make it illegal for the likes of Facebook, Google, etc to export your data without proper informed consent. It will really put a crimp on their operations and it will hurt the USA - to the extent that their government will actually have some serious impetus to address the problem. If Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and a few others suddenly turn on their
paid for puppets politicians and demand something be done - I think we may see some action.
At the very least, it is bringing more and more out into the open - which is a very good thing.