back to article White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

The US government is "deeply disappointed" by the European Court of Justice's decision to effectively kill the long-standing "safe harbor" agreement covering the flow of people's personal data across the Atlantic. Under European law, personal information on EU citizens must stay within the Continent for privacy reasons. To …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Bombing in 15 minutes!

    There is a clear Responsibility to Protect here. I can feel the Regime Change coming. Has anyone seen Patricia KaganNuland lately? What's that? Ordering cookies? Gods above!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

      There is a clear Responsibility to Protect here.

      I don't think many of the commentariat understand. Which is a pity, because you're right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

        I don't understand, but since you already have 4 upvotes, I'll go with the majority.

        btw, did you mean in the loop?

        1. BillG
          Angel

          Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

          Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) said "By striking down the Safe Harbor Agreement, the European Union Court of Justice today called for open season against American businesses government's private data farming."

          Fixed it for ya.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

      Not so sure there's a CIA decapitation being contemplated.

      The plebs are revolting.

      Must pacify the revolting plebs.

      More Syria than Iraq.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

        "The plebs are revolting."

        Of course they are, they're not called the great unwashed for nothing you know.

    3. The Vociferous Time Waster

      Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

      Wait, doesn't the EU have WMDs and oil?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

        >Wait, doesn't the EU have WMDs and oil?

        Yup. Unlike eye rack which only had $oil. Silly eye rack.

        Won't get ANY trouble from a merca then.

      2. Col_Panek

        Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

        Well, we have to spy on y'all just to make sure.

    4. g e

      Re: Bombing in 15 minutes!

      If the EU isn't playing from the US rulebook then it's probably not a democracy so time for some 'Freedom From Above', presumably

  2. Joe User
    Mushroom

    Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

    The US government is "deeply disappointed" by the European Court of Justice's decision to effectively kill the long-standing "safe harbor" agreement covering the flow of people's personal data across the Atlantic.

    Here's a novel idea: How about abiding by the laws of the countries that you do business in?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

      >How about abiding by the laws of the countries that you do business in?

      Then what do you have a navy for ?

      1. Joe User
        Trollface

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        "Then what do you have a navy for ?"

        In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans....

          Au contraire, the RN (doing a sterling job) contained the Germans, but didn't rescue us or defeat them. And I say that as somebody proud of the fact that a great uncle served on the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

            Sending a gunboat usually worked if the natives were being difficult

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

            In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans...

            It was the Russian Army rather than the American Navy who did the rescuing. Until the end of 1944 75-80% of German armed forces personnel who were killed or posted missing in action were on the Eastern Front. On D-Day in 1944, and during the next few months, more than 80% of the German army were fighting the Russians.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Paris Hilton

              Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

              "It was the Russian Army"

              Ballcocks

              The Russians were Germanys allies - right up to the point the UK repulsed the German airfleets during the Battle OF Britain; only after giving up on invading the UK, did the Germans turn on, and attack the Russians.

              Back OT; I doubt M$s Win10,Win8.1,Win8, and Win7 data slurps are going to help the US cause in re-establishing this "Safe Harbour"; which - like most other economic treaties - only seemed to help the US side of the deal.

              Paris, the only Yank I want to find sneaking into my home.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                "The Russians were Germanys allies - right up to the point the UK repulsed the German airfleets during the Battle OF Britain; only after giving up on invading the UK, did the Germans turn on, and attack the Russians."

                There are so many mistakes in that one sentence that I can only suggest that you go away and read some proper history books. If you want less academic texts, Hastings, Schirer and Alan Clark will put you straight in about 10 volumes in total.

                However, in brief summary - following Stalin's paranoid purge of the Red Army in 1936, Russia could only appease Germany because it did not have the strength to do anything else. The UK did not repulse the Luftwaffe; it just become clear that sufficient air superiority could not be maintained for an invasion, and Hitler still hoped for peace with Britain. The whole point of the war was eventually to attack Russia to get the Ukraine, and Lebensraum for a vast German expansion eastwards.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Arnaut the Clueless Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                  "....following Stalin's paranoid purge of the Red Army in 1936, Russia could only appease Germany because it did not have the strength to do anything else..." Bollocks! Stalin had no clue as to what the Soviet forces could or couldn't do, indeed he probably had a very incorrect view given that everyone left after the purges was largely incompetent and/or too scared to tell Stalin the truth. Stalin had lowered the age of conscription, packing the Soviet Army out to 5 million by 1941, mainly poorly trained teenagers. As for doing nothing, the Soviets attacked Poland from the east in concert with the Nazis on 17th September 1939, attacked the Baltic states (as agreed with the Nazis in the Molototov-Ribbentrop Pact) and tried to conquer Finland.

                  "....The UK did not repulse the Luftwaffe; it just become clear that sufficient air superiority could not be maintained for an invasion...." So, in other words, the RAF did repulse the Luftwaffe. Just to make it clear, the Germans had the following goals for the Luftwaffe in order to go ahead with their half-baked invasion plan - 1, push the RAF from the coast back to bases north of London, so that the Kriegsmarine could operate in the Channel without RAF interference; 2, reduce RAF Fighter Command to the point where it could not interfere with Luftwaffe bombing in the Channel, so that they could dive-bomb the far superior Royal Navy instead of the RN sinking the Kriegsmarine; and 3, destroy British military installations in the south to prepare the area for the weak German invasion forces. The Luftwaffe failed in all three. The RAF were not driven out of their bases, they operated continually in the area for the duration of the Battle. The Luftwaffe bombers suffered such losses in daylight bombing even before the switch to targeting London that Goering was having to strip crews from training schools to try and keep the numbers up (which he failed to do), and the RN operated in the Channel throughout the Battle. The British Army was also well enough protected that they did not have to withdraw from the coast either. More to the point, the RAF was actually stronger by the end of the Battle whereas the Luftwaffe was weaker.

                  "....and Hitler still hoped for peace with Britain...." Hitler still hoped for a compromise with Britain as he had no actual plan for defeating the British Empire. He had cluelessly gone to war with the World's largest empire without either the military strategy or economic structure necessary to defeat it. His own generals had advised him upon waiting until at least 1942 and completely transforming the German economy to a war footing but he didn't, because he was banking on the Brits simply rolling over and giving in. When they didn't he had no option other to turn on the Soviets as he knew that Stalin's long-term plan was to let the Germans and imperial powers waste their resources fighting each other so Stalin could then invade Europe. In the end the Soviets did get half of Europe and had no intention of giving freedom to the Europeans they "liberated".

                  "....The whole point of the war was eventually to attack Russia to get the Ukraine, and Lebensraum for a vast German expansion eastwards." No. The Ukraine was the option Hitler thought would gain him support from the US and UK because it would be the result of his crusade against Communism. Hitler wanted to build an Aryan Empire but he knew just about all of the rest of the World had already been shared out between the powers, so invading the Communist Soviet Union to form his Aryan Empire didn't risk conflict with any of the other imperial powers or the US. Indeed, he reasoned they were likely to support him seeing as they had attacked the Bolsheviks in 1918 and had gone through their own Red Scares after WW1. The problem was Poland was sitting in the way of a direct invasion of Russia. Hitler assumed the Poles, who had fought the Bolsheviks to gain their freedom, would stand aside or assist him in attacking the Soviets. When the Poles demurred, Hitler stupidly sought an alliance with the Soviets to allow him to invade Poland, just to clear the way to the east. Poland had a mutual defence treaty with the UK and France, but Hitler made the miscalculation that that the Fwench and Brits would abandon the Poles and seek peace. He bargained on the Fwench not wanting to move beyond their expensive Maginot Line (he was right) and the British forces in Europe being too weak to do much alone against the Siegfried Line (again, he was right), but assumed they would then accept a truce and allow Hitler to turn his attention to the Soviets. The Allies rejected the offer which is why Hitler didn't actually order planning for the invasion of the Low Countries until October 1939. He then transformed it into a plan to knock France out of the war in the hope the British would "come to their senses". Even after Dunkirk, Britain stood firm. Hitler wasted weeks after Dunkirk waiting on a call from Churchill asking for peace, when he didn't get it he had to try and invade England to avoid a two-front war. In July 1940 his staff had already started planning "Operation Otto" for the invasion of Russia based on peace with the British Empire. The result was the half-baked "Operation Sealion" for the invasion of England, reliant on the Luftwaffe completing the goals listed above. When he lost the Battle of Britain he realised he had to strike at the Soviets before Stalin could attack him, regardless of further fighting with Britain.

                  Hitler's big mistake was attacking Poland. He could have instead routed his forces through the Ukraine from Hungary, which was already anti-Soviet and falling into the Nazi sphere in 1939. It was a harder military task but possible. An attack into the Ukraine from Hungary would have meant Poland would be an unwitting buffer between Russia and Germany and might have even been dragged into the fighting on the Axis side. Its biggest bonus would have been no conflict with the imperial powers. Hitler could even have built up his forces without the sideshow of the Italian failure in the Balkans leading to the three week delay in 1941, which actually stopped his forces capturing Moscow before the Winter of 1941. And it is highly likely the West would have tacitly approved.

                  So, no, Hitler didn't just want Lebensraum in Ukraine, he wanted an Aryan Empire without stepping on the toes of the other imperial powers. And Stalin was not some idle and placid victim, he was aggressively attacking his neighbours and intent on attacking Europe.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Arnaut the Clueless Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                    @ Matt Bryant

                    I must commend you for that long and insightful real politic description of WWII in Europe. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the subject but clearly there are big gaps still. In particular your explanation of why Hitler conducted his strategy the way he did, and the true importance of Poland. Thanks.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                @Ian Emery. Not everyone who helps you is your friend, but "If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."

            2. LDS Silver badge

              Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

              Ehmmm, it was the US and Royal Navy to bring supplies to the Russian and made them able to sustain the German invasion - without them the "mighty" Red Army would have been soon without vehicles, food and ammunitions, and would have been unable to combat. Something Russia tries to hide as much as it can.

              While the allied navy hindered Germany to get supplies by sea, especially the very needed oil, and many required strategic materials. What did the Russian navy in the Atlantic, Baltic and Pacific theatre? Nothing. After Tsushima, they were afraid of leaving their "safe harbours".... and remember, Russia waited until August 8th 1945 to declare war on Japan... one reason was to avoid the Pacific supply line cut, if Japan had taken control of the Pacific harbours.

              And it was USAAF and RAF to destroy ther German industry and supply lines (and meanwhile, the Luftwaffe...), crippling their armies power. Russia could barely bomb the front line (they had to wait to steal a B-29 and make a copy of it as the Tu-4, to have a bomber...)

              Sure, the East Front was geographically very large and that lead to a large number of casualties, but just counting the number of victims tells you very little about how a modern war is won. Moreover, Stalin was asking loudly to open a Western Front to weaken the pressure on the East one.... just, invading a continent from sea is a bit complex.

              1. Matthew Glubb

                Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                Something Russia tries to hide as much as it can

                That'll be why my grandfather just received a medal from a Russian officer for being on the Russian Convoys. I've got the video of a polite Russian from Meridian News, if you don't believe it.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                  >That'll be why my grandfather just received a medal from a Russian officer for being on the Russian Convoys

                  Ushakov Medal I'd guess - Russia are really keen to ensure anyone from the Allies who served on the Arctic Convoys receives one. Most countries allowed this but for reasons I'm really not sure of, British veterans were blocked (by the British government) until 2013.

                  If you know someone (or their widow) point them at this well hidden Russian convoy website http://www.russianarcticconvoymuseum.co.uk/wp/the-ushakov-medal/ so they can get theirs.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                The Germans won every battle they fought against the Russians, they lost the war because they tried to push forward too quickly through the deep winter.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: AC Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                  "The Germans won every battle they fought against the Russians...." Really? Never heard of Kursk? How about Leningrad or Stalingrad? I suggest you do a lot more reading.

            3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: Smooth Newt Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

              "...It was the Russian Army rather than the American Navy who did the rescuing...." The Soviets were massively dependent on Western military aid and Stalin would have been beaten without it. But the Nazis did not have the economic structure to pursue a long war with the British Empire alone and would have lost in the long run even if Hitler had not decided to stab his chum Stalin in the back (just before Stalin planned to backstab Hitler). Germany did not have the resources (especially oil) or manufacturing base to beat the British Empire even with all of Europe under Nazi control, hence Hitler's need to invade Russia (particularly for the Caucasus oilfields).

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. JohnMurray

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          Actually, it did nearly f-all to rescue Brits from Jerries. It did f-all until the Japs sank some of it in Pearl harbour. Oh, sorry: It sold some overpriced production-line ships to us at inflated prices on long-term lease....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

            >Oh, sorry: It sold some overpriced production-line ships to us at inflated prices on long-term lease....

            Least they could do really - given they'd spent much of the 1930s arming the Nazis - well beyond if you look at Ford's history - even after the war when Britain had to pay for the rebuilding of all the Ford factories in Germany we'd flattened.

            1. Martin J Hooper

              Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

              Not to mention IBM helping the Nazis round up the Jews - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_and_the_Holocaust

            2. Amorous Cowherder
              Mushroom

              Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

              So let's see here. Who's money financed the building of the Reich and "assisted" Hitler to hold back Uncle Joe's nasty Communist horde which might have threatened capitalists and royalists? Oh yes it was the US money men. Who was one of the most fanatical Nazis on US soil? Ermmm, it was that big all round American hero Henry Ford. Who openly admitted he found HItler to be a big inspiration and that fascism was the way forward. Who practically gave engines to the Third Reich for their vehicles? Oh, it's our friend Henry Ford again! Who helped design fizzy orange drink Fanta for the Nazis little sporting festival in 1936? Oh yes, US company Coca-Cola.

              So when the whole Nazi jamboree got out of hand, who had to step in to lend us a hand? Uncle Sam! Oh and who was making money of supplying arms to the Allied armies? Oh, it's our big hearted friends the US money men again! So Uncle Sam's boys had to go to war against a fascist enemy their very own government had financed and helped.

              No it's not a pop at the US, the UK had it share of money men and Nazi friends, mostly upper class twats and royalty who were more than happy to have Hitler hold back Uncle Joe Stalin from letting his communist horde take away their birthrights. However as most sane people know, it's the small cabal of ultra rich robber barons that play with us like little pawns in the their game of "See how much bigger my pile is than yours and see how many more nobodies I can crush making it happen.".

              Fast forward 70 years and now it's simply a different kind of money men, the same US Government helping the Bezos' and Zuckerbergs of this world screw over the every day folk in their rampant greed to make the biggest pile before they pop their clogs.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Amazing Blowhard Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

                "....the same US Government helping the Bezos' and Zuckerbergs of this world screw over the every day folk in their rampant greed to make the biggest pile..." I suspect a lot of that post is due to the envy you feel as you are simply not as capable at making a pile, let alone the biggest.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans....

          .. but only after the Brits invented the technology to help you with it ..

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          "In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans"

          Learn some history.

          The US supplied the RN with some crappy ships that tended to split in the middle in WW2, but most of their effort was concentrated in the Far East. it was the US that thought it was a good idea to equip aircraft carriers with teak decks (planes use a lot of petrol rather than Diesel, which is a bit of a fire hazard) thus enabling the Kamikaze to destroy carriers. The RN had far fewer carriers but with steel decks, so a friend of my father's watched as a Kamikaze hit their ship, bounced off and exploded harmlessly in the sea. Of course we had our own shipbuilding fiascos, like Warspite with its tendency to go round in circles, but it was aircraft and Enigma decryption that mostly sunk U-boats, and (despite Hollywood) a British ship that captured a Naval Enigma at sea.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

            "Of course we had our own shipbuilding fiascos"

            K-Class subs

            Wrong war but still my favourite

          2. TAJW

            Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

            Yah..some old stuff that already existed in early days until the American machine kicked in and started building. Or do you deny that the ships, planes, tanks and weapons built in the U.S. didnt turn the tide of the war? And are you saying the Americans that fought and died there should stayed home because they were useless and ineffective. Tell that to my father who was a waist gunner in a B17. He would take issue with it.

            You'd be speaking German or Russian now if they had.

        5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          "In the past, it came in handy to rescue the Brits from the Germans...."

          Maybe you watched that film where the US Navy helped BP to break Enigma codes?

        6. Thecowking

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          JoeUser, as a long time troll and agitator, can I congratulate you on a frankly beautifully crafted move.

          It's one line and it's... well it's beautiful. You even put the troll face on and still it went and went.

          You mad, beautiful, crazy, magnificent person you. I doff my hat. I doff it and I bow.

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          @Joe User

          You're not related to John Wayne are you?

        8. Stretch

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          Really? The US fleet went down in Pearl Harbour if you remember. The RN fought most of the war at sea and the Indian Army fought most of the war on land. The US sold weapons to everyone and was probably very happy with the situation in general. Now, go lose 50 Kg so you can fit on a plane and get out there and educate yourself.

        9. Wolfclaw

          Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

          At least of sailors didn't stand around waiting to get bombed in port and were up for a fight !

      2. RedneckMother
        Coat

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        "Then what do you have a navy for ?"

        err, lyric material for The Village People?

      3. kmac499

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        >How about abiding by the laws of the countries that you do business in?

        I wonder if we'll see US CEO's etc being extradited to Europe in the same way persons of interest are routinely extradited to the US.. Even when their 'offences' weren't illegal in the EU.

      4. LucreLout
        Joke

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        @YAAC

        Then what do you have a navy for ?

        Where else would the Rear Admiral deploy his seamen?

      5. davemcwish

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        "Then what do you have a navy for ?"

        Gunboat Diplomacy

      6. fruitoftheloon
        Happy

        Yet another AC: Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        Yanc,

        navies can also be rather good at intercepting weapons hidden in trawlers on their way to Ireland that were destined for terrorists, and were partly paid by folks 'collecting for the boys/cause' in certain cities of the east coast...

        The irony of this whole thing is balls-achingly hilarious, or is it just me?

        Cheers,

        jay

    2. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

      "How about abiding by the laws of the countries that you do business in?"

      Now you're just being completely unreasonable. Laws are for companies with business plans that actually make sense. How do you expect anyone to make money with everyone on level playing field?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        as long as we supply the measuring instruments for making sure the level of the playing field stays on the right level, we have nothing against level playing field. In fact, we DEMAND the level playing field. Or else.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

      Shouldn't have told porkie pies then..

      We are prepared to work with the European Commission to address uncertainty created by the court decision...

      It's NOT really the court decision that's CREATED the uncertainty, now is it? Come on... be honest.

      ...so that the thousands of US and EU businesses that have complied in good faith with the Safe Harbor...

      It wasn't businesses that had to "comply in GOOD FAITH" with the "Safe [sic] Harbour" scam it was the US government... and we all know what your word/assurance is worth, don't we?

      ...and provided robust protection of EU citizens' privacy in accordance with the Framework's principles...

      "Protection"?!??!!!?!!! ..from the US government and its agencies... by a US corporation?!?! WTF?

      You're having a laugh, right? Name one. ONE. Disingenuous fucktard.

      ... can continue to grow the world's digital economy.

      There it is.

      You STILL demand our business (money)! Regardless!

      Jesus Christ.

    4. g e

      Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

      That's OK, we've been deeply disappointed with the USA for decades.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: g e Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        That's OK, we've been bitterly envious of the USA for decades.

        TFTFY

      2. Col_Panek

        Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

        So have we. And we live here.

    5. FlatSpot
      Pint

      Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

      Convenient timing with the VW issue though, just a coincidence??

    6. streaky

      Re: Tantrum coming in 3, 2, 1...

      Here's a novel idea: How about abiding by the laws of the countries that you do business in?

      Here's a novel idea: how about making US constitutional law apply to non-US citizens living outside the US, or more specifically the 1st and 4th Amendment - and this all goes away.

      Damn right it's protectionism.

      thousands of US and EU businesses that have complied in good faith with the Safe Harbor

      US businesses are in no position to act in good faith because of the above. The key word here is 'reciprocity'.

  3. Brent Longborough
    FAIL

    Deeply disappointed

    Yeah, deeply disappointed they were found out.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Ungrateful!

    Why, oh why didn't we just leave the French to stew under the Vichy puppet administration?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ungrateful!

      As a French, I seriously wonder about that, too. Not complaining, mind you, just feeling so lucky. Considering the US-sponsored governments that followed, like Batista in Cuba, Nguyen in South Vietnam, the Shah in Iran, Noriega in Panama, Pinochet in Chile, I wonder why Vichy was not just replaced by a different puppet. It would do its utmost to protect American jobs without any consideration for privacy or whatever petty local interests, of course.

      You guys, you must really like us, thank you!

      1. Fazal Majid

        Re: Ungrateful!

        Not for want of trying. FDR's plans were to set up an occupation protectorate similar to the one in Germany or Japan, using elements of the Vichy regime:

        http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2003/05/LACROIX_RIZ/10168

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Ungrateful!

      "Why, oh why didn't we just leave the French to stew under the Vichy puppet administration?". You did, you did when you ran in panic from Dunkirk but then you where also attacked and had to ask for help.

      1. g e

        Re: Ungrateful!

        Asked Paid for help extra military resource at the last minute

        'Were' is also without the 'h' over here....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    Whoops!

    As the Cabinet Office, under mad Frankie Maude, made a big thing of using Gmail, clearly the Govt. must now be arrested for breaching the law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whoops!

      As the Cabinet Office, under mad Frankie Maude, made a big thing of using Gmail, clearly the Govt. must now be arrested for breaching the law.

      I wouldn't be too hard on them. Parliament email has been exposed to US tapping for years too because they use MessageLabs, and there is a little bit of an annoying non-EU backdoor in that setup (at least it was still there when I checked just now, they may remove it but I have logged the data). It means the US have had sight of what travels in and out of that domain for years.

  6. DavCrav

    "The US government is "deeply disappointed" by the European Court of Justice's decision to effectively kill the long-standing "safe harbor" agreement covering the flow of people's personal data across the Atlantic."

    Good. Spin on it.

  7. Big_Ted

    Pritzkers statement

    First line......

    "Since 2000, the Safe Harbor Framework has proven to be critical to protecting privacy on both sides of the Atlantic"

    Has she never heard of the NSA, Snowden and Prism ? ? ?

    Foot mouth etc

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Mushroom

      Re: Pritzkers statement

      It shouldn't be so shocking, yet I'm still surprised by how blatantly a politician can make a statement mean the opposite of the actual words in the sentence. There is no way that the sharing of private information of its citizens can possible protect said privacy in the EU and US. The ruling classes (progressive and conservative) really do think that all of us are just cows to be milked until they suck us dry.

      I celebrate this reversal. Fuck the plutocrats and the cronies that keep them in office.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Pointless Mumbler Re: Pritzkers statement

        "....the sharing of private information...." Oh yeah, I forgot, Facesbook and Twatter stole all that dross, it's not like their customers willingly chose to share it with / inflict it on the rest of us!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pritzkers statement

        And the ECJ has rapped our elites hands stating forcefully, 'these are our cows, not yours.' This'll definitely affect the trade talks, that's certain.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Pritzkers statement

          And the ECJ has rapped our elites hands stating forcefully, 'these are our cows, not yours.' This'll definitely affect the trade talks, that's certain.

          Upvote for a beautiful way of phrasing the situation. My compliments.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Pritzkers statement

      Has she never heard of the NSA, Snowden and Prism ? ? ?

      Or 5-Eyes, or BND or everyone else? Everyone has been slurping on everyone and if they can't slurp their own citizens, they "trade" with someone who can. Safe Harbor has been a sham for a long time. But with elections coming up, I'm sure we here in the States will hear a lot of pontificating and BS about what it does for "us".

    3. g e

      Re: Pritzkers statement

      'Course she's heard of it, that statement was likely more for US public/media than the EU public cos we're all (medi)evil over here and deliberately attacking US interests, almost (but not quite) like terrorists.

      Noam Chomsky had noted three or four categories of government labels for states like 'ally', 'friendly', 'cooperative' and 'rogue' which roughly translates to 'our bitch', 'can be relied upon with correct incentives', 'asks too many questions', 'bomb them'.

      We're (EU, not the pathetic UK gov't) not quite rogue (yet).

    4. Arctic fox

      @Big_Ted Re"Has she never heard of the NSA, Snowden and Prism ? ? ?"

      What actually amazes me is that she managed to say that without even blinking given that she certainly has heard of these issues. Takes a very strong stomach etc. etc.

  8. Grikath
    Devil

    The Senator is partially right...

    "This misguided decision amounts to nothing less than protectionism against America's global data processing services and digital goods. It is a mistake that will wreak havoc on businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, and cost good-paying American jobs."

    Tracking cookies, "personalised" ads, Phoning Home schemes, monetisation of customer data... All of that will suffer because data from the EU will have to be treated according to EU levels of data protection.

    The poor advertising industry... my heart bleeds for them...

  9. Mad Chaz

    "and provided robust protection of EU citizens' privacy in accordance with the Framework's principles "

    Well, the court apparently disagreed with that assessment. That is why the US was judged to NOT have followed the agreement's rules, never mind that even that was below what the EU demands.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they surprised?

    US authorities have repeatedly shown they care nothing for international laws, when they want to break one they just have a US judge declare it legal...why are they surprised other countries are getting tired of it?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Are they surprised?

      Overall I am not surprised at the EU's decision. To many in The Sewer on the Potomac think they can do whatever they want whenever they want wherever they want.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are they surprised?

      "US authorities have repeatedly shown they care nothing for international laws, when they want to break one they just have a US judge declare it legal..."

      Damn straight. It's MUCH better when a European judge declares it illegal.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: Are they surprised?

        When a judge is pronouncing on something happening to EU citizens living in the EU, then yes, I'd rather he/she is European, no matter what the decision.

  11. Camilla Smythe

    @ Grikath

    "Today's unfortunate decision harms consumers who benefit from transatlantic data flows under the US-EU Safe Harbor Agreement," said Senator John Thune, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

    Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) was more aggressive, accusing the EU of "protectionism."

    "By striking down the Safe Harbor Agreement, the European Union Court of Justice today called for open season against American businesses," he complained. "This misguided decision amounts to nothing less than protectionism against America's global data processing services and digital goods. It is a mistake that will wreak havoc on businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, and cost good-paying American jobs."

    Oh Fuck. Amongst other less important things in terms of Good-Paying American Jobs, American Revenue and Not Paying Taxes.. There goes the 'More Interesting and Relevant Internet'.

    Yo Ron.. You bought some socks. Wanna buy some socks?

    Yo Ron.. Wanna buy some socks?

    Yo Ron.. Wanna buy some socks?

    Yo Ron.. Wanna buy some socks, now?

    Yo Ron.. You bought socks a month ago. Wanna buy some more socks?

    Yo Ron.. Click here to buy some socks.

    Yo Ron.. Buy some fucking socks and save Good-Paying American Jobs.

    Yo Ron.. Wanna buy some socks?

    Yo Ron.. Wanna buy some socks?

    Yo Ron.. Click and buy some socks. Made in China. You unpatriotic fuck!1!

    Yo Ron.. I have two containers with a total of 400 Million socks. The deal is squeaky clean.

    Yo Ron.. Yes we will repatriate the money. Wanna buy some socks?

    1. AndyS

      Re: @ Grikath

      My current one is chainsaws.

      I've already got 2, how many more do you think I need?!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: @ Grikath

        "My current one is chainsaws.

        I've already got 2, how many more do you think I need?!"

        Maybe another to lend to Dabbsy.

        1. Camilla Smythe

          Re: @ Grikath

          Nah.. He'll just lose it in the tumble dryer.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Protectionism

    Well, yes, technically speaking, but not the normal definition.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Protectionism

      ...as in.. the politicians are actually protecting the plebs (from predatory foreign interests) for once? Difficult to believe isn't it! Perhaps the bung wasn't large enough.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So selling European data is

    a good-paying American job.

    Just sell American data then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So selling European data is

      They did. In fact they sold all of the US along with the data. The whole lot belongs to China now.

  14. LDS Silver badge

    Yes, protect the 'free flow' of data across the Atlantic...

    ... 'free' as in FBI/CIA/NSA/whatever are free to do whatever they like with your data...

  15. Werner McGoole

    There's been a spate of this recently

    Am I the only one to see a parallel with the VW scandal here?

    VW had an agreement with US regulators that said it would test its cars and guarantee they met the emissions standards set by the US. Except they didn't meet them except on paper. Everyone apparently knew that what VW claimed was impossible, but the charade continued until someone called them out.

    As it happens, the US also had an agreement with EU regulators that they'd ensure any data sent over to them was adequately protected, privacy-wise, to EU standards. Except it wasn't protected, except on paper. Everyone knew protecting it was impossible because of US law, but the charade continued until a certain Austrian called them out.

    The only difference I can see is that victims of the safe harbour agreement stand f-all chance of getting any compensation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Re: There's been a spate of this recently

      Yup.

      Meanwhile the land of hypocrisy will extort BEEEEELLLIONS from Toyota VW.

      Aren't they STILL extorting BEEEEELLLIONS from BP, "because" of Dick Cheney's little ($200 000) whoopsie in the gulf?

      Someone trying to scam, cheat and steal their way out of bankruptcy perhaps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's been a spate of this recently

        "Someone trying to scam, cheat and steal their way out of bankruptcy perhaps?"

        you missed "Again", the US subprime scam destroyed the economy of the rest of the world, how about some compensation for that.

        All these Austerity measures across Europe are the product of a state sponsered banking scam, all the shouting about 419ers and not a peep about how the US caused the West to crumble.

        VW can pay compensation when the US restores Europe's economy and pays off all our world bank loans. This OFC will never happen because the US has no collateral but they should be less vocal about their "New South Pacific trade initative", notice they excluded their Euro bitch the UK in that one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's been a spate of this recently

          > "...and not a peep about how the US caused the West to crumble."

          Let me get this straight. You claim the EU "crumbled" because of a US recession?

          Gee whizz, maybe if the EU wasn't such a house of cards, it wouldn't be so crumble-prone. Ya think?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There's been a spate of this recently

            Clearly you have no idea what I am talking about, try googling "subprime scam"

            try this if that is too hard http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2008-11-12/sex-lies-and-subprime-mortgages

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good

    The business model of Google, Facebook and now Microsoft in selilng people's personal data is broken. Give people a choice whether they opt out of that and pay something instead, and see if they really value what they're taking from you.

    Might cause Facebook's market share in Europe to plummet, but I doubt many over there would consider that a bad thing.

    1. Quortney Fortensplibe

      Re: Good

      "...Might cause Facebook's market share in Europe to plummet..."

      Unfortunately we both know that's not true.

      There are home-grown [and often superior] alternatives to all the huge Merkin web behemoths like Amazon, eBay, Facepuke, Twitter —but no-one uses them because everyone's already signed up for the Merkin versions.

      So it's a Catch-22: the big Merkin companies get all the new customers because the big Merkin companies have all the existing customers.

      Matters aren't helped by the fact that investors in Europe tend to [albeit slightly] pay lip-service to the concept of "getting something for your money", whereas in the US, with its culture of infinite credit, people are more likely to throw billions of dollars at companies with nothing more than an interesting idea.

      I mean, look at Uber, for a classic example. OK. Useful idea: disrupt the taxi industry a bit by making an app that allows people to get a cab via their phone. But that company is now worth kajillions and, for some unaccountable reason is soreading around the globe. Why is that? —because it's such an amazingly original concept?... or because, if someone in Europe came up with it, they'd be lucky to get a few hundred on loan from their bank manager, after having had their 'Business Plan' dissected in minute detail and probably having to put their house up as collateral —whereas, over the pond, venture capitalists will throw millions at any teenager with a half-arsed scheme, in the hope that one or two ideas will take off.

      Businesses in Europe don't stand a chance of competing —Safe Harbour or no Safe Harbour.

  17. Captain DaFt
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh deary me.

      OK, that one I'll have to grab and file. Thanks for that!

  18. Pliny the Whiner

    We're in agreement then

    You Europeans are right not to trust American companies. We in the Colonies don't trust them any more than you do, and personally, I envy the privacy protections that you have.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Policy heuristic

    If America calls it 'protectionism' or 'socialist', you're on the right track. Keep going.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Policy heuristic

      As a Yank I don't grasp your sentiment. Would you mind explaining it to me?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Policy heuristic

        "As a Yank I don't grasp your sentiment. Would you mind explaining it to me?"

        Ok sure.

        America has very different standards of when it comes to anti-trust and anti-cartel law. As well as irreconcilable expectations when it comes to privacy.

        When European courts have real grievances against monopolistic American companies, it tends to be framed by the American media as protectionism or "a shake down". Ignoring the fact that EU courts fine vastly more European companies all the time.

        Next, US mainstream political parties occupy a tiny island of the authoritarian right.

        Liberal, socialist, and communist are divorced completely from their actual definitions, and take on the role of 'dog-whilstle' terms. A sliding scale of insult in a red-baiting post-McCarthyist political game.

        I say 'heuristic', because literally any direction on the political map walks you away from neoliberalism / free-market fundamentalism. Since allowing corporations to ride roughshod over people is no way to run a country, if it pisses off the American political elite, it must be good so do more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Policy heuristic

          Okay, time to disect!

          >"When European courts have real grievances against monopolistic American companies, it tends to be framed by the American media as protectionism or "a shake down". Ignoring the fact that EU courts fine vastly more European companies all the time."

          So, since EU courts fine EU companies a lot, then US companies should just shut up and conform to EU practices too, got it.

          > "Next, US mainstream political parties occupy a tiny island of the authoritarian right."

          BUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! What planet are you living on? Authoritarian, yes. Right? It is to laugh. The primary synonym for "authoritarian" is "leftist" and that's what we've become under Obama's Reign. Don't even think of pinning this crap on the right.

          > "Liberal, socialist, and communist are divorced completely from their actual definitions, and take on the role of 'dog-whilstle' terms. A sliding scale of insult in a red-baiting post-McCarthyist political game."

          I'll grant you that 'liberal' has changed meaning in the US, but we have a pretty good idea what 'socialist' and 'communist' mean. All you have to do is observe the state of the populations afflicted by them. And seriously, "red baiting?" You're seriously behind the times. All the trust-fund activists here are wannabe Stalins now.

          > "Since allowing corporations to ride roughshod over people is no way to run a country, if it pisses off the American political elite, it must be good so do more."

          And you really think the EU government will rein-in your corporations and NOT turn into the Big Bad themselves? You're faith is very refreshing!

          1. fruitoftheloon
            Happy

            @Big John: Re: Policy heuristic

            BJ,

            it is actually really simple:

            - If i want to trade in the USA (which I really like, have visited LOTS and have many friends & family in residence) I HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR LAWS.

            Which is perfectly fine and reasonable!

            - If an American company wants to trade in the EU, it needs to FOLLOW OUR LAWS.

            It is of course a bit of an embuggerance (apols TP) that it would seem that our 'leaders' have twigged (with much regret I imagine) that they will have to DO THERE F'ING JOBS PROPERLY now.

            Apols for the shouting, I thought it might help!!

            Kind regards,

            jay

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Big John: Policy heuristic

              I'm actually in agreement with you. I would prefer the US corps be told "hands off" on data like in the EU. I also agree that US corps that don't want to follow EU rules should not do business there, and let the chips fall where they may. I'd guess the EU officials would not like that at all, and might come to regret their insistence (via one judge) on a "my way or the highway" approach.

              Why not just say "If you deal with a US site, you're on your own." Then folks can vote on it thru usage, always the best barometer of public opinion.

              1. fruitoftheloon
                Pint

                @Big John: Re: @Big John: Policy heuristic

                Big john,

                Yup I'm with you on that too.

                I can't help but think there is going to be a large dose of the 'law of unintended consequences' going splatt!!!! in both Brussels and Silicon Valley over the next few months.

                Have one on me!

                Cheers,

                Jay

  20. Slx

    Oh! Boo! hoo!

    Do you want access to the world's largest consumer market (by spending power and GDP) or, not?

    If you do, comply with our laws and consumer protection legislation.

    Simple!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      That won't work since the big tech companies (and their advertising paymasters) thrive on personal data... even if it's a picture of dinner with a comment like "look what I had last nights". For that, they nailed with ads for restaurants and markets.

  21. Kerome

    Hilariously funny to see all the political figureheads kow-towing the corporate line... Just goes to show how corrupt and unprincipled the American political system has become. They know proper privacy protection would potentially cost Silicon Valley quite a few billions and require them to decentralise operations to a fair extent.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Kerdumb

      "....They know proper privacy protection would potentially cost Silicon Valley quite a few billions and require them to decentralise operations to a fair extent." I find it ironic that the majority of Europeans whittering on about privacy have zero knowledge of privacy issues already addressed by law in the US (or elsewhere in the World). Sarbanes-Oxley ring any bells, the one Act that has had a bigger impact on data retention and protection Worldwide than just about any other? Here's a clue - not something started in the EU! I suggest you go read up on topics such as HIPPA (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/privacyrule/index.html) and the security provisions that meant already are in place in a lot of US companies. In short, many US IT houses already have been there, done that, and have the t-shirt to prove it (https://www.informationshield.com/usprivacylaws.html). Indeed, privacy law is a growing speciality in the US legal market (https://www.sba.gov/content/privacy-law), and anywhere the legal vultures are gathering shows you where the money is being spent. The widely held European baaaahlief in their legal superiority seems just as false as their constant claim to moral superiority.

  22. clazarus

    It doesn't make a bit of difference

    It's not like spy agencies depend on companies policies or laws to get at your data. They have compromised the pipes. This is only intended to give the illusion of privacy. Every country has spy agencies and they share their data. This is theater, sorry uh, theatre.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It doesn't make a bit of difference

      However, it's potentially a VERY expensive show for the actors to put on..

      Which helps make it the most entertaining pantomime I've ever seen :-D

  23. Kwll

    Well, sorry for your disappointment. Duly noted.

    Wonder when EU will be considered soon another terrorist country to pacify and democratize. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Democratizing okay, but pacifying will hardly be necessary. ;-)

    2. Alister
      Headmaster

      Wonder when EU will be considered soon another terrorist country to pacify and democratize. :)

      Well, given that you are spelling democratise with a "z" I would say it's already too late for you...

      :)

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Democratize with a zed

        I think you're mistaken in thinking that the z-spelling is distinctively American, although it may be more popular there. It used to be the norm (and maybe still is at OUP) that "-ise" is used for Latin roots and "-ize" for Greek roots, of which "democracy" is unquestionably one.

  24. Rol

    Oh bugger

    "Well wheel the little blighter in then Jeeves, I haven't got all day"

    "Sorry sir there's a problem"

    "PROBLEM! By heck, there will be a problem if I'm not buggering a wretched urchin from the under-classes within the next five minutes. Explain yourself"

    "It seems that parliament has outlawed child sodomy, even for the upper classes"

    "What, confound those numbskulls, they have no right. How is his family supposed to get by without my kind and benevolent charity?"

    "It appears the young boy has secured a paper round, sir, and gets £1.50 a week in wages."

    "Can this get any worse, legislated against and now priced out of the market to boot."

  25. CommanderGalaxian
    Facepalm

    Hold On!

    Does this mean Indian companies won't be processing and storing our data now?

    1. Rol

      Re: Hold On!

      It would be a slap in America's face if we didn't apply the ruling to everywhere outside the EU.

      Did I answer your question in a timely manner and give you good service?

    2. Rol

      Re: Hold On!

      Shitty company would like to announce their new British call centre is now open.

      Please be advised our staff are only available during playtime, lunch and up to 9pm on a school night.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hold On!

      Yes I hope so, personally I would like to see a tax on all out sourcing of European work for companies wishing to trade in Europe, if you wish to trade in Europe then you have to employ Europeans and pay the relevant taxes.

      We already charge import tax why not close the outsourcing loophole and train up Europeans in the latest technologies rather than foreigners.

      I would go further and not allow ownership of European collateral unless you are a European, lets get our infrastructure back under our own control and make Europe what it should be, a economic force that extenal forces have to deal fairly with.

    4. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Hold On!

      Does this mean Indian companies won't be processing and storing our data now?

      Don't worry, to paraphrase Shappi Khorsandi, you can still call them to find out what the weather is over there.

      To get back on topic, I don't know - Safe Harbor was an exclusive EU/US fix for privacy so this decision will not impact that aspect of data export. I would actually be quite interested to find out what protections are in place for data handled in India, but that would not fall under Safe Harbor.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. RedneckMother

    good!

    From TFA: Safe harbor ruling means it's 'open season against American businesses'

    As a citizen in (serf of) the US, all I can say is, "It's 'bout fuckin' time!"

    Y'all 'scuse me, I gotta run to the store... I'm low on ammo, and it's "Open Season".

    :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: good!

      Hey RM, did you know that the median income in Mississippi (the lowest paid state) is roughly the same as the median income in France? Sorry about your serfdom, but the rest of us are wallowing in luxury pretty hard right now...

      1. WaveyDavey

        Re: good!

        Shame you have to spend most of that income on shite health insurance.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: NaiveDavey Re: good!

          "Shame you have to spend most of that income on shite health insurance." Where you get just about instant access to a medical or specialist resource when you need it, as opposed to a socialist healthcare system where you pay shedloads in taxes for years, then get told you can go on the waiting list for the medical resource you need now and hope to get it in two years time. And health insurance costs in the US are nowhere near as expensive as taxation in Europe.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: good!

        "Hey RM, did you know that the median income in Mississippi (the lowest paid state) is roughly the same as the median income in France?"

        I've often wondered how these statistics are really arrived at. Is that Euro vs dollar, or €RPI versus $RPI? Does it take tuition fees into account as well as healthcare costs?

        Overall I agree that incomes in the US, in terms of purchasing power, are higher than those in the EU. That is true for the part of my family in the EU versus the part in the US. However, I feel that this tends to be outweighed by intangibles for most people. My US relatives seem to have much harder lives; short holidays, long commutes, litigation and medical costs. A few people in high level exciting jobs may live to work, but most of us work to live and that is where the EU is tilted differently from the US.

  28. HonestAbe

    YEEEEEEHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

    This news could not have come at a better time for me. I've never in my life been more than a jeuvenile delinquent, and even that was an embarrassingly large number of decades ago during high school.

    Now, however, thanks to some European bureaucrat I'd never heard of, I'M AN HONEST-TO-GOD OUTLAW. I can't wait to tell my five-year-old in the morning, since I thnk this will raise me a couple notches in his esteem.

    The only downside is that my Silicon Valley job has nothing to do with European data.... just boring silicon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: YEEEEEEHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

      You're only provisionally an outlaw until this is settled, so don't get above yourself.

      However, I suppose your kid won't know the difference...

  29. raving angry loony

    Well, maybe if the US government didn't mandate that any privacy protection be null and void they wouldn't have a problem with jurisdictions where citizen's rights are actually something that gets considered.

    Not so much a war on American business as a war on American government abuse. American businesses just need to store their data elsewhere. Preferably with a local subsidiary that isn't technically "American".

    It's not like the US government doesn't get access to the data anyway, what with GCHQ, the German equivalent, and a bunch of others all being in bed together when it comes to data sharing.

  30. lucki bstard

    in six months

    Betya, in six months this will be a dead issue and there will be no changes. As for the people outside IT they have no interest.

  31. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Serious question

    IANAL. I must admit I have but a very vague idea what kinds of "personal data" the EU protects and how. It stands to reason that there is some sort of "without explicit permission" clause. Otherwise all sorts of simple things that we all take for granted may suddenly become illegal. If countries A and B mandate that their citizens' "personal data" must be stored within their respective borders where can emails - arguably full of personal data and metadata - between citizens of these two countries be stored? And so on.

    I may be naive but I doubt even EU bureaucrats can by a stroke of legal pen prevent Europe's citizens from willingly dealing with American businesses. Today, I mean - in another 20 years we'll see.

    And if there is an "explicit permission" provision then an awful lot of endangered good-paying American jobs can be saved by simply updating the TOS with paragraph 11.4(g) that says, "you give us explicit permission ..." if it is not already there.

    So what really is the threat to Facebook? Can El Reg maybe commission a lucid explanation from Tim, Lewis, Andrew, or a pet international lawyer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious question

      And if there is an "explicit permission" provision then an awful lot of endangered good-paying American jobs can be saved by simply updating the TOS with paragraph 11.4(g) that says, "you give us explicit permission ..." if it is not already there.

      LOL, it isn't that easy - embedding it in another contact is called 'implicit, "explicit" basically means "separate from any other fluff".

      Never wondered why most of the websites where they have to ask permission have two tickboxes, one for the privacy terms and one for the T&Cs? Well, that is what "explicit" means, you are not allowed to hide such approval in the usual 6 point grey-on-white clauses at the end of another agreement. It must be in your face, upfront, separate and with details of what they're actually going to do with that information. That doesn't mean they're not allowed to use the kind of vague terms that will allow the likes Google to basically sell your data to your milkman if he feels the need to buy it, but they will have to tell you that upfront and get your permission separately from everything else or they do not have your permission and are handling your data in conflict with EU law.

      Slight aside: I'm not sure if this has made it up to EU level, but in the UK there are also rules about preselecting that tickbox so that you would have to UNselect it if you didn't agree, because that's still somewhat implicit. The recommendation is to make it a deliberate effort, but if I recall correctly pre-ticking it is OK if the data asked is not considered "sensitive" such as name and email address. Where information is deemed "sensitive" (for instance, medical information), the tick box MUST be unselected by default.

      So there. Sorry, longer answer than I planned but it's better to be precise in these things.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        Re: Serious question

        @AC: "Never wondered why most of the websites where they have to ask permission have two tickboxes, one for the privacy terms and one for the T&Cs? Well, that is what "explicit" means, you are not allowed to hide such approval in the usual 6 point grey-on-white clauses at the end of another agreement..."

        a) I must be using a different Internet from you. b) I looked it up (gotta justify my Reg handle): the EC Privacy Directive talks about "unambiguous" rather than "explicit" consent.

        Go through the motions of creating a new Google account (that's the way to provide Google with your "personal information"). I just did. There is a single checkbox that you tick to agree to both Terms and Privacy Policy. If you check it, you have unambiguously (and explicitly - not just "by using our services") agreed to them. It is up to you to actually read them. Google explicitly express their hope that you read them carefully, but I seriously doubt many punters do.

        The terms very clearly allow Google to use the information they collect, including your "personal information" (the terms for "personal information" are more restrictive than, say, for your IP address and search queries), in all sorts of interesting ways worldwide[*]. This means (IANAL) that even today these terms go way beyond the Safe Harbour agreement that, as far as I understand, covers data sharing between the EU and the US. [Google is on the Safe Harbour List, in case anyone wonders.]

        The way I(ANAL) interpret it no Safe Harbour is necessary since Google's privacy policy seem to comply with the EU Data Protection Directive (specitically, Article 26(1)(a) that deals with "unambiguous consent") as far as the users' personal information is concerned. Quite a few formulas in the privacy policy correspond quite directly to the Directive. Finding examples is left as an exercise for the reader.

        So what's about to change as far as Google are concerned if the Safe Harbor Framework is torn up?

        Things may get more difficult for (smaller and less scary?) companies with lazier lawyers and product managers than Google. I suspect they'll just have to reword their privacy policy in more specific terms and maybe implement a few opt-ins and opt-outs which should not be terribly difficult.

        [*] To quote: "Google processes personal information on our servers in many countries around the world. We may process your personal information on a server located outside the country where you live. " You have unambiguously agreed to that when you created an account.

  32. RISC OS

    I'm deeply disappointed

    that the NSA never obeyed the "safe habour laws" or respected my privacy rights... if yanks are "deeply disappointed", they need look in no other direction than the NSA's

  33. localzuk Silver badge

    Why

    Why don't the USA improve their data protection laws so that they match EU laws? There'd be no issue then...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why

      Because that wouldn't solve the problem. The problem...well, one of them, is the NSA, and the only 'fix' to that would be to crater Ft Meade and Ft Huachuca, that data center in Utah and a double-handful of other locations (not all in the U.S.)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear US government, there is something you have forgotten..

    There is something that appears to have been overlooked in the general hullaballoo about this entirely predictable EU decision: US citizens have rights too. If the phrase "unreasonable search & seizure" is unfamiliar to you, I suggest you re-read your own constitution, and this ought to apply as much to information and personal lives as goods and home.

    The key problem you have to address if not how to save US businesses. That comes all by itself after you start working on recovering the rights of those you purport to protect with more than just words. The key problem is that Europe is now showing just how far you have drifted away from protecting the personal lives of people in deference to the almighty buck and that isn't just damaging US business, it is damaging to your own citizens.

    You should not be "disappointed" with Europe, you should not even be disappointed with yourself. You should go and get your own house in order, at that point the rest will come almost as if by magic.

    I'm sorry it had to be Europe to finally draw a line, but it's not like this was exactly news to you, was it? Otherwise I would not have been stumbling over US lobbyist in Brussels for the last decade or so. Go and fix matters in your own house, for your own people. It will be painful, but I know you can.

    To US citizens, sorry, but the EU is not after your job and it's not on some rampage to "damage US interests". The EU enforces the kind of rights you ought to enjoy as well. If asking for privacy is damaging a business then maybe, just maybe, that business isn't good for you either. Just some food for thought.

    That's all.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Dear US government, there is something you have forgotten..

      EU citizens have rights too, and US has to stop to believe that "fundamental rights" apply - when they don't hurt US business interests - to US citizens only. If US business wants to operate in the EU, they have to respect EU citizen rights, and the US government also.

      It's incredible how much the hysteria following 9/11 has destroyed any good opinion people may have had about US - we saw the rise of an incredible number of hysteric politicians and cops resembling very much MacCarthy - people crushing the very fundamental rights US should be built upon, in an endless chase of "enemies" they see everywhere. Creating trust is difficult, but destroying it takes little.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Dear US government, there is something you have forgotten..

        "Creating trust is difficult, but destroying it takes little."

        Very true. And rebuilding it once it's destroyed is the hardest thing of all.

      2. JHC_97

        Re: Dear US government, there is something you have forgotten..

        It wasn't just the hysteria following 9/11 it was Bush appearing to steal the election. Basically people from countries where election rigging was the norm looked across at the USA and said hey they are corrupt as well. That is when America started losing the propaganda war.

  35. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Playground Bully

    So, the skinny little kid gets fed up and finally gives him a bloody nose, at which point said bully goes screaming to mummy complaining he's being picked on.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mining Data in Europe is probably more expensive than on US soil.

    "Deeply Disappointed" means - "We will make you pay for making it harder for the US to spy on your countries citizens."

    Perhaps it is not even that complicayed. Most likely the Europeans just think "We can't trust the US with our Data!".

  37. Ian Bush

    "We are deeply disappointed in today's decision"

    Ahhh, diddums ...

    "I strongly encourage the Department of Commerce to conclude ‎negotiations on a new agreement with the European Union that allows the free flow of data to continue"

    You broke your last toy by being naughty with it, why should you get a new one?

  38. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Safe Harbour bombed

    Pearler!

  39. Commswonk

    History repeats itself...

    IF I remember my history correctly the Atlantic Charter of 1941 was an instrument which - at least in part - was an expression of American dislike of Britain's Empire, although it might not have been quite that pointed in its wording. Having been a part of it until the War of Independence the US's dislike of empires was and is understandable.

    Odd then, that the US now adopts a stance expressing displeasure at other countries' resistance to what amounts to American Imperialism. Calvin Coolidge (30th President) once said "the chief business of the American people is business" and this seems to be mutating to "the chief business of the American people is other peoples' business".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: History repeats itself...

      Not odd at all... You're just being far too charitable..

      It was never anything as sophisticated as "Having been a part of it until the War of Independence the US's dislike of empires was and is understandable."

      The US loves empires.. always has done. Really, really loves them... Hence all the jealousy and scheming. All-out attacking anything which looks even vaguely imperial (even "allies") while desperately trying to fabricate one of its own. What do you suppose poor little Puerto Rico and all this "leader of the free world" shit are about?

      US desperately wants to surpass the shadow of its parent: by far the greatest empire the world has ever seen... and is still bearing a massive collective chip on the subject. Shirley you've noticed? Little belches of resentment and long harboured jealousy bubble up all the bloody time... just read through this very thread...

      1. Commswonk
        Happy

        Re: History repeats itself...

        You're just being far too charitable..

        That is (I think) the first time anyone has accused me of that, and I mean first time, not just On El Reg.

        I will strive to make sure it is also the last...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: History repeats itself...

          >I will strive to make sure it is also the last...

          That's the spirit!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safe harbor ruling means it's 'open season against American businesses'

    Safe harbor ruling means it's 'open season against American businesses' = baaaad....

    Safe harbour means 'open season for American businessess' = gooood....

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    significant uncertainty for both US and EU companies and consumers

    pure FUD and bollocks. "Consumers" - at least those in Europe, would be significantly certain hat their data is safe from the NSA, if it stays in EU. They'd be wrong, of course, but never mind that for now.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    accusing the EU of "protectionism."

    pot, meet senator Kettle.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm delighted

    to see such a high level of mutual appreciation in this forum, in relation to the historical subjects of who-helped-whom, particularly among the long-lasting allies, harmonio

    Oy, who threw that?! Come on, who threw it! Was it you?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm delighted

      You do realise that "Allies" is temporary for the duration of a conflict, and does not imply "friends"?

      The US, you may remember, fought a war to escape British rule and then was late entering WW1 and WW2 - as Alastair Horne remarks, one important aspect of the Battle of Verdun was that it convinced US businessmen that Germany would lose, so they decided to enter the war on the Anglo-French side. They were also very pro-German right up into 1941, which explained why Roosevelt had such problems.

      The special relationship of the US and the UK is more like BDSM than hearts and flowers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm delighted

        The special relationship of the US and the UK is more like BDSM

        That is possibly the most novel way I've ever heard someone describe waterboarding..

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reverse flow

    Perhaps we might see a little more paying of tax by the American behemoths in the country that generates the profit.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple has built a datacenter in Russia....

    .... However, apparently Facebook and Google have not.

    So Google and Facebook either can't afford to built datacenters in Russia - or - they can afford to neglect their Russian customers.

    It is ok for the Russians to insist that personal data stays within their borders, but it is not ok for the Europeans?

    Isn't it common sense that companies have to abide by the laws of the country they chose to operate in?

    If US companies determine that there's too many hurdles and it's just too hard to do business with the Europeans (and their laws) they should try their luck elsewhere.

    Those US companies that can adapt to european laws will remain succesful. Isn't that what business is about?

    The US have blatently damaged the trust of the europeans. And they blame the victim?

    Brilliant Strategy !

    1. Commswonk

      Re: Apple has built a datacenter in Russia....

      "Isn't it common sense that companies have to abide by the laws of the country they chose to operate in?

      Yes, but don't forget that common sense isn't actually all that, er, common.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this actually going to make any difference? Are they going to stop moving data to America?

    I doubt it but it's a nice political sideshow where you get one of the dumbest comments I've seen.

    I've just consulted my crystal ball and here is what I think will happen,

    America will go back to the ECJ and tell them in no uncertain terms that if they don't reinstate the safe harbour agreement they will fuck them over like they did to Russia with the cost of Oil. We own the dollar bitches.

    The ECJ will apologise and ask for a nice easy way out without looking like tools.

    America will create an organisation tasked with certifying that companies protect EU data, they will confirm they have https turned on and have firewalls.

    The safe harbour agreement is reinstated.

    Call me mystic meg.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I've just consulted my crystal ball"

      Just the one? What's the other made out of?

    2. Laura Kerr
      Mushroom

      @Mystic Meg

      America will go back to the ECJ and tell them in no uncertain terms that if they don't reinstate the safe harbour agreement they will fuck them over like they did to Russia with the cost of Oil. We own the dollar bitches.

      "Oh, jolly good. It's very nice money, isn't it? Even have all the notes the same size; must cut the old printing costs quite a bit, what what? How do your partially-sighted people cope? They don't? Oh, that's very interesting."

      "Yo betcha ass, mofo. Gimme that data or we'll bust a financial cap in yo sorry little ass. You's screwed wivvout da oil, douchebag."

      "Actually old boy, I'm not sure that's quite right. You see, there's this very nice man called Ayatollah Khamenei - runs Iran, don't y'know - and he's agreed to sell us all the oil we'd like to buy."

      "Ah don' care 'boud that, asshole. You pays in dollars for da oil, innit."

      "Well, he's said he'd be happy to take euros, sterling or even a basket of currency. Quite likes the rouble and zloty, too. Afraid he's not too keen on the dollar though, for some reason. I think some of your politicians have upset him."

      "You don' buy oil in dollars? You untrustworthy motherfuckers! You'll pay for this. You saw what happened to Iraq? You gon' get the same, boy. We gon' whoop yo' ass big time! An' we got WDMs! An' nooks! You wan' some mushroom soup, beeatch?"

      "Oh dear. Well, we have nukes, too."

      "Mais oui. Et nous aussi."

      "You know what this gon' do to the God-fearing folks in the USA? We rescued you in two world wars and this is how you repay us? You gon' destroy millions of American jobs. You protectionist douchebags! You sacks of shit! You motherfucking motherfuckers! This is WAR!"

      "Um... what is it you people say? Ah, yes: fuck you, asshole."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Mystic Meg

        MM, just let the hatred flow away and you'll feel much better.

  47. NanoMeter

    Protecting customers?

    No. Protecting NSA's and CIA's flow of information from Europe.

  48. oldcoder

    About time the EU did that.

    The treaty should never have been accepted in the first place.

    And that is from a citizen of the US.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: About time the EU did that.

      "treaty"

      It wasn't even a treaty. It was just a mutual agreement to look the other way.

  49. We Haven't Met But You're A Great Fan Of Mine

    "America will go back to the ECJ and tell them in no uncertain terms that if they don't reinstate the safe harbour agreement they will fuck them over like they did to Russia with the cost of Oil. We own the dollar bitches."

    Nice Bait ! ;)

  50. John 104

    A lot of hate

    The amount of Anti-American hate coming out of this forum right now is staggering.

    1. Laura Kerr

      Re: A lot of hate

      Not sure I'd put it like that - most of the anger is directed, quite rightly, at the US government and arrogant American companies who think that their next quarters' results trump EU legislation. It's not attacking Americans in general.

      That's something to keep in mind - if this was a mainstream tabloid site rather than El Reg, it would be a very different matter. It's good to see that Reg readers generally recognise the difference.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A lot of hate

        Yes but in America corporations are legally people. If you hate on US corps, you're hating on American people.

        1. Laura Kerr
          Thumb Down

          Re: A lot of hate

          If the US legal system treats corporations as people, then that's up to them. IMHO, it's a dumb thing to do, but little about the US surprises me any more.

          OTOH, equating individuals with the collective arrogance and selfishness displayed by the incestuous cliques running American major companies is such a breathtakingly crass suggestion that I can't even begin to take it seriously.

  51. Howard Hanek

    American Grudge

    The Americans never really got over the Stamp Tax of 1765 and this new insult by their EU colonies, er, allies will certainly generate more than 'disappointment'.

    They insist that their policies take precedence over any picayune concerns such as personal privacy or individual liberty. American national security policies by definition mandate insecurity for the individual.

  52. stringyfloppy

    Had enough of American games, eh?

    I have no problem with the elimination of the Safe Harbor thingy, as long as we (the USA) cease all videogame commerce with the UK. Let's see you survive without American games and gaming systems.

    1. Wommit
      Thumb Down

      Re: Had enough of American games, eh?

      Oh, you mean the dumbed down versions that you like to play? yes we'd all be better off without those, might even stop our IQs dropping during the game play. You're trying to be threatening now aren't you (it's a bit difficult to tell with the Americans.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Had enough of American games, eh?

        Dude, if I were wasting my time on games, I would be more careful with the word "dumb."

  53. Esme

    America <> Americans

    I treat individuals as individuals - there's good and bad in folks from all over the world, and I've met individual Americans who were perfectly pleasant as well as some that weren't. What I, and I know many others who feel the same way - have the greatest disdain for is America as a country. It seems to be a balkanised (no offence intended,friends in the Balkans), almost lawless mess of a place with ludicrous notions of being better than the rest of the world. It seems to feel that the UK is just another State of the US with a funny accent, and fails to recognise that culturally and politically we've a lot more in common with our European neighbours than we have with the US. Heaven knows there's plenty amiss with European countries, but really, it's the wretched mess called the USA that makes us look so good by comparison, and yeah, we know we've got a LOT of history to feel ashamed about. The USA's is worse even by our standards.

    America- no, Europe does NOT look up to you. Overall, you're a bloody mess, a poorly educated, religously intolerant, and seriously ethically challenged plutocracy. If Europe is a squabbling family, you're the 300 pound juvenile that left home and is now back demanding money with menaces. Well, here's the news - individually we might have trouble dealing with you, but collectively we can. Now bugger off and don't come back until you've developed some social skills. And don't think crying is going to impress us, either.

    1. Laura Kerr
      Pint

      Re: America <> Americans

      Beautifully put. Esme, have a pint and an upvote.

      And I'm nicking that comment as ammo for the next time I run into a UKIP clown who can't see beyond the borders of the Royal Bailiwick of Chertsey and West Weybridge :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: America <> Americans

      Divided by a common language.

      1. Col_Panek

        Re: America <> Americans

        What common language? I can't understand anyone north of Birmingham. Have no trouble with Belgians.

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Esme Re: America <> Americans

      "..... It seems to be a balkanised (no offence intended,friends in the Balkans), almost lawless mess of a place...." Which would seem to indicate your ignorance is due to you never having visited the place. I feel a lot safer in any American city I have visited than I have in many parts of London, Paris or Berlin.

      ".....fails to recognise that culturally and politically we've a lot more in common with our European neighbours ..." SERIOUSLY!?!?!? Have you missed all the hilarious times the European bandwagon has fallen on it's side over cultural and political in-fighting? Did you sleep through the whole Greek "not-a-default" default this year, where the Germans called the Greeks irretrievably lazy and crooked and the Greeks called the Germans Nazis? And the tiny group of chattering class you used as a sounding board obviously didn't hear any of the thousands of jokes every British kid hears at school about the French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, etc,, etc. Just look at the vicious nature of the Scottish independence referendum, or the current calls for an independence referendum from the Catalans, or the fact the Belgians didn't have a working parliament for over a year because of ethnic tensions just inside tiny Belgium between Flemings and Walloons. True, you do seem to share in the confusion that permeates Europe, but I suspect your assumption of cultural commonality is again born of ignorance.

      "....you're a bloody mess, a poorly educated, religously intolerant, and seriously ethically challenged plutocracy...." Strange then that the those "poorly educated" Yanks put men on the Moon, and lead the World in such technical fields as software, physics and medicine. That those religiously intolerant Yanks actually have laws on the separation of church and state since the writing of the Constitution, whilst the UK still recognises the Church of England as part of the system and gives the CoE seats in the House of Lords (and lets not even look at the massive influence the Pope has on Continental European politics). And if the rest of Europe is so ethnically unchallenged, why were the Arab youths rioting in Paris in 2005? Forgotten the riots in England in 2011? How come there is so much resistance to the current waves of refugees/migrants from the Middle East and Africa if Europe is so wonderfully accepting?

      TBH, take off your blinkers and get a clue.

      1. Laura Kerr
        Happy

        Re: Esme America <> Americans

        Oh dear... is it that time of the month, Matt?

        You'd do well to educate yourself on how empires collapse, and the phenomena that manifest themselves in the run-up to implosion. Even some basic history books will show you the parallels between contemporary America and the sunset years of the British, Spanish, French, Byzantine and Roman empires. The America of today isn't the America that put men on the moon. And I suggest you pay a visit to any of the Jesusland states if you think that laws separating church and state attract anything more than lip service in much of the US.

        You're right in that the EU isn't a harmonious institution, but it does provide a way for differences to be thrashed out without reaching for a gun. We've seen where that leads to. Shame the American government hasn't. A little humility from Washington would go a long way to repairing America's tattered reputation.

        Oh, and Esme said 'ethically' rather than 'ethnically'. You might want to learn the difference; it's quite important.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Esme America <> Americans

          At least he correctly marked his own post fail ( in case there was any doubt ) whilst proving Esme point on the standard of US education.

          Oh and about putting the Americans on the moon that was German rocket technology

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Anonymous Cluetard Re: Esme America <> Americans

            "....whilst proving Esme point on the standard of US education..." More fail from another of the baaaahlievers - I am English and was educated in England, though unlike the majority of Yank-bashers here I have actually managed to travel and work outside my country of origin. I can understand your confusion as your experience is probably gravely limited due to your tiny and ill-educated flock including neither anyone with a degree nor anyone that has travelled further than the local dole office.

            ".....Oh and about putting the Americans on the moon that was German rocket technology." Sure, if you want to pretend there was no American development of the technology the Germans didn't start. Indeed, if you really want to pretend the ballistic V-2 tech was the same as the Apollo 11 program then I shall simply claim the Congreve rocket means it was actually all based on English invention (except that was based on Indian rockets, and they were probably derived from Chinese fireworks, but still SFA to do with the Germans). Sorry to expose your immense ignorance but the Germans did not develop the chemistry or the physics behind the moon-landings, they were just part of the long historic development, going at least as far back as Galileo. Please go read some science books before your next blathering.

            /Just so there is no confusion - well, at least not additional confusion as your poor head is probably aching from trying to keep up - the smiley face is because I am laughing at you.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Laura Duh Re: Esme America <> Americans

          "....You'd do well to educate yourself on how empires collapse....the parallels between contemporary America and the sunset years of the British, Spanish, French, Byzantine and Roman empires...." Please take off your anti-imperialist blinkers and realise that revolutionary claptrap is simply sooooo last century. We have moved on from empires. Globalisation is the new "empire" - no need to conquer the natives, just turn them into consumers. The problem then for those like you that desperately want to see the "American Empire" fall is that the global in globalisation really is global - when the US catches a cold, Europe and the rest of the World get very, very sick, as shown in 2008.

          "....The America of today isn't the America that put men on the moon..." No, it has robot landers on Mars and sends pics of Pluto back from probes out at the edge of our solar system. I assume you were too busy frothing to keep up with the science news?

          "....And I suggest you pay a visit to any of the Jesusland states if you think that laws separating church and state attract anything more than lip service...." Actually, I've spent lots of time in Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, both Carolinas, and that's the funny thing - despite the vehement attacks the Christians in the South come under (mainly from other Americans) and the bullshit spread around Europe (eagerly consumed it seems), the truth is there is a lot less religion in daily life there than in many European countries. Ever been to Italy? Maybe you should visit some time.

          "....You're right in that the EU isn't a harmonious institution, but it does provide a way for differences to be thrashed out without reaching for a gun...." Hold on a sec, I suppose you're not counting the former Yugoslavia as part of the EU even though it is historic Europe? I do recall that bit of Europe had a bit of gunplay that required the US and NATO to step in because the EU was so indecisive over the whole mess. And let's not forget the EU came about because of the World's worst spate of gunplay (which again, the US had to come and help sort out).

          "..... A little humility from Washington would go a long way to repairing America's tattered reputation....." LOL! Face facts - the EU came about out of the desire for free trade zones, and whilst it was restricted to economics it was a reasonable success, but then the socialists started trying to grow it into their Federal Europe ideal, they turned the EEC into the EU, and it has gradually smothered itself in bureaucracy and popularist politics. A lot more humility from Europe would go a long way to helping the Europeans understand that, though the US has stumbled on the way, it is one of the most successful unifications of different states, and that the Europeans could learn a lot from the US about how to run a large union. I hope that makes you choke on your croissant.

      2. Looper
        Angel

        Re: Esme America <> Americans

        Matt Bry - Ant of a man feels a lot safer in any American city he has visited than he has in many parts of London, Paris or Berlin. Just goes to show how disconnected from reality these tunnel-vision types are.

        Forgetting about how Matt or any other cultural infant "feels". Crime statistics show a completely opposite picture about "safety" in the US and virtually anywhere else in the world (outside of a war zone).

        As with everything Mat says. Just reverse it and you will, in most cases, be approaching reality.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Loopy Re: Esme America <> Americans

          ".....Just goes to show how disconnected from reality these tunnel-vision types are....." At least I have actually travelled to many parts of the World, whilst you most obviously formed your opinions from the tabloids. I bet you have never been further abroad than a beer run to Calais at most.

          "....Crime statistics show a completely opposite picture about "safety" in the US and virtually anywhere else in the world (outside of a war zone)...." Really? Want to compare with Brazil? Or how about British troops deploying on a tour to Afghanistan were actually less likely to get shot than if they spent the same amount of time in Nottingham? Hey, wasn't Afghanistan a warzone....? Actually, if you want some silly stats to completely derail your bullshit, look here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate - and click on the "rate" column to get them in ascending order. The USA is number 111, well behind a host of European countries (#26 Greenland being the surprise one!) and Russia. Now you can go swivel on your own petard, you ignoramus.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Loopy Esme America <> Americans

            Christ! Seems there's been a breakout at Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum.

  54. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  55. Yudhisthira
    Devil

    All ready

    No thank you Staci has done it in the past!!, stay away form our files!!

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