Look at this, folks. This is their response to our spying on them. This! Granted, Europe is weak but I never realized how weak. This is how weak. In order to not make much of a fuss on us spying over them they've decided to "study" the issue with the United States and provide a final report in October. I know England is like Shrodinger's cat where it's in and out of the EU at the same time but, based on my time in government, I am quite sure they were getting crumbs from this spying effort since governments treat the sharing of information based on what the other side can provide. Europe is a joke. No wonder the Chinese left.
Whisked away from OT to P&N by the forces of order and goodJoint EU-US group to assess US spy ops
A joint EU-US expert group will investigate the alleged US spying on EU officials
and report its findings in October, the European Commission says.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said the group would meet this month
to begin assessing the "proportionality" of the US surveillance programmes.
She called the surveillance "a wake-up call for us to advance on our data
There could be no EU-US trade deal without mutual trust, she warned.
The operations were revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, now a
fugitive from US justice, who was last reported to be in the transit zone at
Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
Ms Reding said the working group would focus on the US Prism operation under
which, according to Mr Snowden, the US National Security Agency (NSA)
systematically collects vast amounts of phone and internet data, including
communications at EU offices.
She said she had also asked UK Foreign Secretary William Hague to clarify the
scope and proportionality of the UK Tempora programme - a vast surveillance
operation allegedly run by the UK spy agency GCHQ and co-ordinated with the
"The fact that the programmes are said to relate to national security does not
mean that anything goes," Ms Reding said. "A balance needs to be struck
between the policy objective pursued and the impact on fundamental rights, in
particular the right to privacy... privacy is a fundamental right, it is not
She was speaking in a European Parliament debate on the NSA spying
allegations, in which several MEPs voiced alarm about Mr Snowden's revelations
and demanded a full explanation from the US authorities.
The parliament, Commission and EU governments are currently negotiating a
major revision of the EU's data protection legislation.
Manfred Weber, a German MEP in the centre-right European People's Party
(EPP), said "you don't spy on friends" and the US actions were "not acceptable".
"Our trust has been shaken, but we still have shared interests. We in the EPP
believe a free trade agreement [with the US] should be concluded." He added:
"The battle will be played out in the field of data protection."
Sophia in 't Veld, a Dutch MEP in the liberal ALDE group, said: "We have to
guarantee to citizens that they're covered by European, not US, law.
"The bugging of offices, blanket surveillance of millions of citizens - that's not
national security, I don't buy that anymore," she said, calling for US President
Barack Obama to give an explanation directly to the European Parliament,
representing the EU's 500 million citizens.
She said it would be "misguided" to suspend the long-awaited EU-US trade
talks, set to begin this month, "but it's absolutely clear we cannot sign an
agreement with a partner we cannot fully trust".
A British Conservative MEP, Timothy Kirkhope, accused some other MEPs of
"posturing" over the spy allegations and urged the parliament to gather all the
relevant facts before condemning US behaviour.
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