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European Privacy Lost - and How to Get it Back

ComputerWorldUK - At the beginning of this year, I discussed a report written for the European Parliament, which warned that the US legal framework allowed the authorities there to spy on EU data held by any US cloud computing service. I also noted as an interesting fact that the NSA was building a huge new data centre, and that encryption might not offer the protection we thought.

Back then this was mostly regarded as wild speculation. The general message was "don't worry, everything's fine." Of course, in the wake of the leaks from Edward Snowden, we now know that nothing is fine, that our communications are being spied on and stored on a previously unimaginable scale, and that not only is encryption not as safe as we thought, but has been wilfully undermined by the US and UK governments so as to make spying on everyone easier.

One of the authors of that prescient EP report was Caspar Bowden, who has put together an updated look at the state of EU privacy in the light of the Snowden revelations. It's entitled "The US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programmes (PRISM) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) activities and their impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights" [.pdf] and is indispensable reading for anyone who wants to know where we stand and - more importantly - what we might be able to do.

Here's the summary: