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2/11/2016
05:30 PM
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Congress Passes Judicial Redress Act, UK Snoopers' Charter Gets Closer Look

European citizens win right to sue the Americans over privacy violations, while Britain ponders new ways to commit privacy violations.

After several delays, the US Senate and House both passed the Judicial Redress Act and have sent it on to President Obama for his signature. The law will give European citizens the right to sue the United States if law enforcement agencies misuse their personal data.

It's a positive step towards convincing the European Union's Court of Justice (ECJ) that the US will adequately protect European citizens' privacy, and convince them to support the newly proposed EU-US data transfer agreement, Privacy Shield.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, lawmakers continue work on an extensive surveillance law, nicknamed the "Snooper's Charter." It was struck down initially for being too sweeping, and a joint committee this week suggested 86 changes, saying  it still requires a significant overhaul.

One of the key points of contention is the intent to allow authorities access to citizens' "Internet connection records," without giving any satisfactory definition of that term.

If such a law passes in the UK, it would no doubt fall afoul of the ECJ's opinions on privacy. The ECJ struck down the EU-US Safe Harbor data transfer agreement -- the predecessor to Privacy Shield -- largely because of the US's far-reaching surveillance laws.

The UK is currently a member state of the EU, but some time between May 2016 and December 2017, the nation will hold a referendum when when citizens will vote to decide whether to remain in the EU or leave it. If this Snooper's Charter passes and the UK exits the EU, the UK may be looking at a messy tussle over data transfer just like the US had over Safe Harbor / Privacy Shield.

 

 

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Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
2/23/2016 | 10:12:19 AM
Like I thought...
Good piece at The Register about how the UK is going to have to deal with the EU's data privacy regulations, whether they leave the Union or not, because apparently the Court of Justice is already making it clear that the UK's own laws don't pass muster:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/23/leave_or_stay_in_the_referendum_gdpr_has_to_be_implemented_by_the_uk_whatever_the_result/

 
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/12/2016 | 7:31:34 AM
EU
This is why I'm desperate for the UK to remain in the EU. If we are given sole governance as many seem to be pushing for, little will stop the government from enforcing all of its most draconian tracking and anti-encryption legislation, regardless of what the experts say.

I must say, although the intelligence surveillance seems more embedded in the US, there are at least politicians there that seem to understand it all.
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