back to article Has President Trump’s executive order on 'Public Safety' killed off Privacy Shield?

President Trump’s Executive Order (Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States) has caused controversy over its temporary ban on all citizens from certain countries entering the USA. It has consequences for data protection. However, law-firm Hunton and Williams has just published a blog which concludes that “ …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    "...temporary ban on all Muslims entering the USA from certain countries"

    I thought it was all citizens from countries that Muslims are the majority and have already been reported on harbouring or facilitating terrorism (With the exception of Saudi Arabia)? Because no where in the order text does it explicitly say Muslims. So Christians (while in the minority) come under this ban.

    Which begs the question: has the writer based this article on the actual order or from other media?

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      It's country specific and designed for red-neck approval - note that it does not mention Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Pakistan. Pence jotted it out on the back of an envelope, spilled coffee on it and handed it to his puppet to sign.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "Pence jotted it out on the back of an envelope, spilled coffee on it and handed it to his puppet to sign."

        But the list of these countries wasn't put together by Trump or Pence, it was Obama's administration that came up with the list.

        1. KjetilS

          "But the list of these countries wasn't put together by Trump or Pence, it was Obama's administration that came up with the list."

          [Citation needed]

          1. wolfetone Silver badge


            Citation here.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          But the list of these countries wasn't put together by Trump or Pence, it was Obama's administration that came up with the list.

          My memory may be a bit fuzzy but I don't remember a blanket ban on those countries (except religious minorities, as if anyone with two braincells to rub together isn't capable of constructing a mental Venn diagram).

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "it was Obama's administration that came up with the list"

          It's been pointed out that the list is of the predominantly Muslim countries in which Trump doesn't do business. Are you suggesting that this was a carefully laid ethics trap & they fell into it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            As I understand it Obama's list removed the visa waiver for those countries. Which if I recall, the waiver scheme meant that as long as you ticked the right answers on the green form (Member of Nazi party - no, Campaigned to bring down US - no. etc) the Immigration officials would [probably] let you in when you turned up at the US airport.

            Which meant that individuals from those countries needed to get visas (ie be approved by US immigration) before they got on an aircraft.

            Whereas Trump just decided point blank to stop anyone - even with already established permission to be in US - from entering if they had a link to that country.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. John G Imrie

        It's country specific

        but goes on to exclude minorities from the ban. So as it's directed at Muslim majority countries, guess who's actually affected.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pence? I assumed it was a Bannon job. He's the one who wants to bring the current state down. Pence seems to have a fundamentalist streak but I don't think he's aiming for a Reichstag fire.

    2. Chris 3

      So the Trump campaign Website still has the pledge to ban Muslims up. The order bans all travel apart from from 'persecuted religious minorities' aka Christians. It is a policy carefully constructed to be a Muslim ban and only someone incredibly naive would think otherwise.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you read the article you can tell the author read the frikking order

      ... but yes, 'Muslims' is a mistake, which we will correct.

    4. marquix

      rest assured, it's just FROM OTHER MEDIA -- CNN-style Fake Media at that :)

      Nearly all of them do it lately (and think they are right or know something special now). This is all background noise -- and a waste of time anyway!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Where's my cluestick

        Ignorant, marquix, ignorant. And wrong...

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Nice Try, now go home.

    I don't think, given the evidence so far, that Mike Pence or his sock puppet, give a damn about the constitution - like the media, they current US government appears to see lawyers and the constitution as "the opposition" and will ignore them.

    The US government is now making Brexit look like a carefully thought out plan.

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: Nice Try, now go home.

      I think it's more than they simply don't "give a damn about the constitution", I think this is the trolling of the alt-right, formerly conducted in cyberspace, being moved into the realm of public policy. I don't think the actual details of the policy are of any great interest to its proponents: the intention is to prod a big stick into "the great liberal conspiracy" and roll around laughing at their cries of anguish. More worrying even than the constitution, they clearly don't give a damn about the effect on actual people embroiled in this mess and simply regard them as characters in their comic strip propaganda.

      1. JCitizen

        Re: Nice Try, now go home.

        @Warm Braw - BAZINGA!!

    2. John 104

      Re: Nice Try, now go home.

      @ Version 1.0

      I don't think, given the evidence so far, that Mike Pence or his sock puppet, give a damn about the constitution

      Oh, you mean just like the supposed 'Constitutional Scolar' Obama?

      1. Chris 3

        Re: Nice Try, now go home.

        Still upset that he took all your guns?

        ... oh wait.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I doubt that the Redress Act was ever anything more than a figleaf. However if the Exec Order focuses attention on the whole sorry mess so much the better.

  4. big_D Silver badge

    Privacy Act != Privacy Shield

    From what I am reading, the two have little to do with one another.

    The Privacy Act is for the transfer of data between Federal Agencies in the USA.

    The Privacy Shield is a blanket statement for companies transferring personal data from the EU onto their US servers. As these are not Federal Agencies, the changes in the Act should not change the viability of the Shield.

    However, if the Act says that the Federal Agencies can access EU sourced personal data stored under Privacy Shield with gay abandon, then it is a very serious problem for Privacy Shield.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privacy Act != Privacy Shield

      The only reason Privacy shield was approved is because USA agreed on at least some minimal level of rights and redress options for European Data Protection subjects.

      The new exec order removes that and puts us back to where we were pre-Schrem. It is solely a matter of when it will get to court. The moment it gets to court _ALL_ data protection agreements between USA and Eu are immediately null and void. That will effectively remove Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, etc ability to do business in the Eu. That and countless lesser subjects.

      I feel like a gigantic bag of popcorn is needed here.

      1. salamamba too

        Re: Privacy Act != Privacy Shield

        Add Visa to the list, their data centres are both in America.

      2. Robert Helpmann??

        Re: Privacy Act != Privacy Shield

        I feel like a gigantic bag of popcorn is needed here.

        Yes! Lots of buttery popcorn is in order along with a second bag to hold the rotten tomatoes for when participation is called for.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But if you are a dual citizen of an EU country and a country on Trump's blacklist then you cannot travel to the US to seek redress.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Privacy Protection??

    What "Privacy Protection"?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “the Order should not impact the legal viability of the Privacy Shield framework”

    That's probably true because it was fucking worthless even before Trump's "refinements"

  8. John 104

    I would suggest that any foreign national seeking redress of any kind in the United States would go through the proper legal channels, just like any other country. There is no magical exception to the rule of law in the United States just because the topic is a sensitive one.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Shame you missed off the end of your post where you explained how they can do that even though they're not allowed in.

      1. John 104

        You don't have to be in a country to take legal action against it. Do you suppose people who want to immigrate to the U.S. first start out by illegally entering and then applying for citizenship? The laws are in place for a reason. They aren't very well enforced and are difficult to work with, but they are there.

        If I wanted to become a citizen of the UK how do you suppose I would go about it? Just show up and hope for the best? No, I'd go through proper channels and do it the right way. It might be a pain in the arse, but if its something I want, then I'll do what I need to. If I feel that I'm mistreated by the UK customs folks, then I have available to me methods to address it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Just show up and hope for the best?"

          That's the general consensus over here.

          BTW that's not racist, it's fact but the fact I feel the need to put this shows why the right are starting to gain traction.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Do you suppose people who want to immigrate to the U.S. first start out by illegally entering and then applying for citizenship?

          They shouldn't do, but that's not what we're talking about. Visa and green card holders with lives in the US are are not being allowed in. They are legal foreign residents but can't get in.

          So if you say they don't have to be inside the US to sue, they can sue the US government in a foreign court... The US is noted for abiding by foreign courts' judgements, isn't it?

          The US is also not abiding by the Geneva Convention when it comes to refugees.

          But don't confuse refugees, foreign residents, and illegal immigrants. They are three different things and insinuating that everyone is an illegal immigrant is a false argument.

  9. Baldy50

    Your Honour

    These are blatantly trumped up allegations.

  10. ma1010
    Big Brother


    What is this "privacy" thing of which you speak?

    Haven't you heard of Snowden? Or NSA? Or GCHQ? Us 'Merikans have the "Patriot Act", but doesn't the U.K. have the "Snoopers Charter"? And just about every remotely modern country has multiple agencies that snoop on everything and everyone, the US, UK, France, China and everybody else, pretty much.

    I'm not saying this is a good thing, because I don't think it is. However, hair splitting over Trump's order misses, I think, the simple reality: there is no privacy from any government's snooping. We can split all the hairs we want about this law or that law, but the reality is the government will ignore any and all laws when they decide they want to know anything about any of us. The law may hinder prosecution in some cases ("fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine), but they will spy to their hearts' content.

    1. NonSSL-Login
      Big Brother

      Re: Privacy?

      While the US will ignore any privacy protections put in place, it is worth making it as hard as possible for them to get and use the data as well as pulling them over the coals for doing so. The alternative is say nothing and bend over....

      Make them jump through hoops for everything.

  11. martinusher Silver badge

    Nicely thought through, but...

    Given that the DHS has given the finger to the courts in ignoring the injunction(s) against them over this travel ban fiasco we can assume that the Administration is just going to do whatever it wants, either ignoring relevant law or changing law to suit its purposes.

    We have a full-blown constitutional crisis going on in the US. We could have shrugged it off as early days missteps due to the lack of experience with how our government works among leading figures in the Administration (including the President) but it seems that they know exactly what they're doing and intend to use controlling information flow, propaganda and intimidation to quash any kind of dissenting voice.

    Although the Nazi thing is overused to the point of being a cliche the awful fact is that we have accidentally given a bunch of Fascists power in the US and they're consolidating their hold on power using well known techniques that are straight out of the Nazi playbook. (No, we're not doing the street theater thing -- this is the US 2017, not Germany 1933.) Its probably not too early to overreact.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    patchy and deficient

    This fits tRump's hairpiece description to a tee; "patchy and deficient."

  13. p.houppermans

    Both Safe Harbour and Privacy Shield don't fix anything

    US service providers have known for years that they were incapable of delivering privacy from well before Edward Snowden and Max Schrems vs Facebook (on reflection, make that decades, not years). You may recall I talked about this quite a while back - there are profound differences in law that make the ability to offer privacy at best a myth.

    There are constructs possible to improve on this situation, but I fear that if you're a service provider with a HQ in the US, life is about to become even more difficult - not just because of former President Obama's departing tweaks to Executive Order 12333 but also because of the very stance the Trump Troupe has with respect to any rights that the population may dare to assert.

    Entertainingly, though, Privacy Shield has a review condition and that date is coming up.

    Tick, tock, tick, tock..

  14. heyrick Silver badge

    The EU needs to man up

    And realise that all that is going on is some nice sounding bull, but European citizens simply aren't going to get any reasonable level of privacy, and this "redress in a US court" thing is worthless. Theach whole arrangement fails basic privacy expectations.


    Remember his campaign promise? This is what he said that he was going to do . AMERICA FIRST...

    He is doing what he promised. He won, Dems lost. Get over it.

    1. I&I

      ...THEN THE WORLD !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You mean like how Republican supporters "got over" Obama and didn't complain about his presidency or dispute his legitimacy once he got into power? Sure...

  16. Not That Andrew

    I'm starting to think Bannon and Pence are Apocalyptic Christians of the sort who think it's their duty to ensure the End of Days.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      I don't think they could organise an apocalypse in a munitions factory. They just want to make America white again and see consequences as something that happens to other people.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        They just want to make America white again

        Hate to break it to everybody, but true Americans are not white.

        The whiteys are those damn gun-toting religious-nutjob immigrants...

  17. Zolko Silver badge
    Big Brother

    what privacy ?

    Did anyone seriously think that data in some US concerns database was safe and private ? Make that "data on the Internet" actually. I never believed that any my data I want to have private was to be on Internet. I also assume that if I travel to the US, all my personal data will be given to the US spy agencies, but since I don't go there I don't really give a toss. Well, they might also have it if I don't go there, but unless they want to kidnap me on the streets in Europe I should be safe (and I don't think I'm an important enough fish for that).

    It's quite simple: if you don't like the way the US is turning into a fascist state - and that was way before Trump - don't go there. There are many other nice places in the world.

  18. marquix

    It's about time then to fix the U.S. Privacy Act 1974

    Really "great" article, essentially concluding that the Privacy Act 1974 is rubbish. OK, maybe it is.

    And what, the hell, has that got to do with "Trump being bad"?! Yet another sample of media attitude towards Trump: always good to stir up some revolt somewhere but proving empty when looked upon with any trace of reason.

    I hope this CNN-style Fake News Industry (which The Register chooses to be part of) will be cleaned out thoroughly under Trump -- because MY TIME is too valuable to listen to "news" like that from the BBC ("another beauty!") to The Regiwster (yet another beauty)...

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: It's about time then to fix the U.S. Privacy Act 1974

      Well, basically it is like this. There was an agreement regarding data transfer. It was torn up and thrown away as it was worthless.

      So hastily a new agreement was hammered out. This stuck, despite likely being about as worthless as the last one.

      Now that cockwomble of a failed hotel manager has signed an edict that basically says "fuck you" (twice if one is Muslim). So people are running around scrabbling for things that might be applicable to salvage the international data transfer agreements before the EU gets pissed and rules the whole lot illegal, as I very much hope they do.

      Everybody will freak out for a while but soon Europe will come to realise it doesn't need to rely on American cloud solutions.

      This isn't fake news. It's just your inability to join the dots.

  19. TheJokker

    Sorry but America has witnessed the chaos in Europe with respect to uncontrolled immigration of Muslim immigrants and does not wish to "enjoy" your experiences...

  20. Tom Paine

    [...] I cannot see how this Privacy Act offers an adequate level of protection.

    Indeed, I suspect this was known to be the case with the original Safe Harbor agreement.

    Which raises the obvious question: if it made no difference in the real world under Safe Harbor, and it made no difference under Privacy Shield, why should now be any different?

    Consider that enforcing compliance with this law would mean massive fines on any US-based firm collecting PII. That's not just the obvious stuff like Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon etc; I bet the Ford Motor Company has a customer list somewhere. And the GDPR (which isn't in force yet) will enable fines of 2% of GLOBAL TURNOVER.

    Do they have any power to legally seize assets or cash if a firm ignores the fines, I wonder?

    How about if Trump threatened to fire a Tomahawk at Brussels?

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