back to article EU Digital Commish: Ja, we should have done more about NSA spying

Europe’s outspoken digi Commissioner, Günther H-dot Oettinger has admitted that the European Commission did too little, too late in reaction to Edward Snowden’s NSA spying revelations. Following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) striking down the EU-US data sharing Safe Harbor agreement on Tuesday, Oetti …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Yeah right...

    Like ANY new agreement with the US will stop the NSA from spying on everyone...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Indeed it won't

      But now we can at least officially stop pretending we didn't know about it.

      Politicians are like cats : they will shit on your rugs until you rub their nose in it. Only then will they officially do something about it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah right...

      Exactly. The world will never be the same.

      The precedent is set. ECJ can, has done so and will continue to overrule both the commission and the local legislature and executive in any Eu country participant to the relevant conventions. It may move like a glacier, but is similarly unstoppable too.

      On top of that, the way the current ruling is written it sets a binding precedent for the court to strike down any "renegotiated" or "new" data sharing convention which does not explicitly specify data protection requirements on USA judicial system after they have obtained Eu data on USA soil via USA court order.

      It will be real fun when the next logical ruling comes after that as it will. I have a big bag of popcorn stashed for the day when a USA company will be dragged to the ECJ after surrendering Eu data, held by an Eu subsidiary on Eu soil to a FISA request. Now that will be fun.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pirate

        Re: Yeah right...

        Yeah, yeah, all very well for a couple of weeks until:

        The second-best option is a re-negotiated arrangement, said Oettinger, for once sticking to the Commission official line.

        ..it all gets papered over with a fresh "framework" of lies and we all go on being pimped out as before. Safe in the knowledge that there's very, very little chance of another Snowden "burning his life to the ground" to blow the lid off their bare-faced fraud.

        Methinks the only real change is going to be a small increase in the price of European cattle.

        Safe Harbor II - The lie won't die

      2. Michael Habel

        Re: Yeah right...

        I gather that the 'Merikans have a cunning plan to tell the ECJ to go fourth, and multiply! IIRC they're calling this new ploy TTIP. And, no thanks to Greece, and the Syrian Refugees. Most of us are completely (If not), happily oblivious to this ticking time bomb!

        So as the Black Knight was so off to have stated... 'Tis only, but a scratch!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yeah right...

          calling this new ploy TTIP

          That in itself will not survive in its current form its meeting with the ECJ. By the way, I am not sure it will survive a meeting with the USA supreme court either.

          The arbitration procedures and all the other wonderful corporate backdoors crafted into that piece of corporate power grab will be ruled contrary to the relevant Eu conventions. In fact, some of them may run afoul of the USA constitution as well.

          So even if TTIP in its current form is ratified (massively tall order, I do not see it happening especially in Germany), it will be ruled illegal shortly after that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yeah right...

            >In fact, some of them may run afoul of the USA constitution as well.

            Like prism then? So?

            >So even if TTIP in its current form is ratified (massively tall order, I do not see it happening especially in Germany), it will be ruled illegal shortly after that.

            Shortly? "Safe Harbor" was obviously a fraud from day one: So OBVIOUS that it was really a fraud BY the EU against its subjects, rather than against the EU. How "shortly" after "ratification" was that one ruled illegal?

            1. Michael Habel

              Re: Yeah right...

              From what I took from TTIP, that would be the simplistic beauty of it. It would have the in-built power to basically tell the ECJ, and possibly the SCotUSA to get on with its business. As it would automatically trump all other local laws. As for Germany? IIRC I think we might have already quietly passed it a few weeks back already. Though I probably should go ask uncle Google beforehand, making that kind of comment. Either way it wasn't that long ago when it did make the news. If only for five seconds on the State run Propaganda Channel.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    They still don't get it.

    'He said clarity was urgently needed for “the many medium-sized companies that are now feeling insecure”.'

    Clarity is there: don't send personal data to somewhere where you can't trust the government.

    What's muddying the waters now is Model Clauses and the like. If Safe Harbour failed anything else will fail for the same reason because the underlying facts of the matter haven't changed.

    Politicians need to realise that there are some binary choices: you can have back doors or you can have secure systems, you can poke your nose into everyone's affairs or you can be trusted. You can't have both, you have to make up your mind and accept that you must go without the alternative. At present they're behaving like little children believing that if they clause their eyes and wish very hard they can get whatever they want.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: They still don't get it.

      "clause their eyes"

      close

      Dammit!

      1. xybyrgy

        Re: They still don't get it.

        But clause had such a nice *legal* ring to it...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: They still don't get it.

          "But clause had such a nice *legal* ring to it..."

          Yeah, nice Freudian slip I think.

    2. DropBear
      Unhappy

      Re: They still don't get it.

      "clarity was urgently needed"

      Nono, those "medium-sized companies" know full well there's a snowflake's chance in hell they'll suddenly stop sending data overseas; the clarity sought is regarding what new piece of legal excuse can they use to justify going on as usual...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: They still don't get it.

        "clarity ... legal excuse"

        That's another binary choice.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: They still don't get it.

      He won't get clarity until we know what the result from MS vs DOJ is. He needs a finding which says that EU data held by a US company wherever the server is (inside the EU or outside the EU under a safe harbour agreement) requires that the US court system makes a request to the relevant EU country's court system to be able to get at it.

      And if he's really thinking about the alphabet agencies then he needs to insist that the US company hold the data in a data centre inside EU territory.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They still don't get it.

        >He won't get clarity until we know what the result from MS vs DOJ is...

        Nothing to do with it. That's about MSFT feeding EU data into the US "legal" system for police and court use.

        Absolutely nothing to do with NSAFT feeding that data directly into other US government agencies (which do not exist) under blanket secret orders (which were never made) by secret "courts" (which aren't legal).

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      @Doc Syntax -- Re: They still don't get it.

      Clarity is there: don't send personal data to somewhere where you can't trust the government.

      Actually it probably is deeper than that, or maybe it should:

      1) Don't send your data anywhere.. ever.

      2) Even if you don't send it, governments (and not just the US) will get it.

      Let's be real.. it's not just the NSA involved in this... it's basically every country.

  3. Arctic fox
    Flame

    “This ruling provides an opportunity for self-criticism.”

    The understatement of the millenia.

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Can someone please think of the medium sized companies who'll suffer? No, me neither. Biggies like FarceBorg, yes, but medium sized companies that have EU branches *and* have a need to store personal data in 'Murica? Ad pushers maybe but anyone else?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Can someone please think of the medium sized companies who'll suffer? No, me neither."

      Yes, actually.

      Any medium sized company that uses a US service for payroll, pensions, HR, CRM, marketing... They're all sending personal data abroad.

      A few months ago I looked at several SIP providers to try to find one that didn't rely on safe harbour. Some said explicitly that they did on their web sites. One who I emailed said they didn't but on their web site relied on another UK company who did. Maybe I should repeat the exercise now, reminding them of the ECJ ruling.

  5. GrumpenKraut
    Facepalm

    H-dot can be useful!

    Listen to what he says (yes, painful) and take it as "that's exactly what we do NOT want".

    Alternatively, do something more rewarding like picking your nose.

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