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U.S. to Gain Access to EU Retained Data 323

Posted by Zonk
from the fingers-in-other-people's-messes dept.
shenanigans writes "After the EU recently ratified controversial data retention laws for ISPs and other telecommunication companies, it now looks like the US government will get full access to the data. From the article: 'US authorities can get access to EU citizens' data on phone calls, sms and emails, giving a recent EU data-retention law much wider-reaching consequences than first expected'. Apparently, the US has been calling members of the EU to 'ensure that the data collected [...] be accessible to them'."
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U.S. to Gain Access to EU Retained Data

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  • No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:36PM (#15325969)
    We know no country in the world misses a chance to be US's little bitch.

    Those who do, get attacked.
    • Re:No surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I for one welcome our new American overlords....

      Hmmmm, hey wait!!!!
    • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well, it's about time that the civil liberties of the citizens of some other country were attacked by the US government. We don't want to hog all the totalitarianism.
  • by Bacon Bits (926911) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:39PM (#15325987)
    I mean, the US is based on equality. Might as well invade everyone's privacy equally, right?

    But don't worry, the US Government would never abuse that information! That would be unethical. That's why everyone in the US is so pleased with the President and his national security policies.

    • by Cheapy (809643) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:21PM (#15326195)
      Despite your sarcasm, I think it's important to point out one thing. The people who support the Invasions of Privacy are those who are afraid of the Terrorists (boo!).

      Even though you have a higher chance of dying from car accidents (why don't we ban all cars?), people are scared shitless of terrorists.
      • by liliafan (454080) * on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:35PM (#15326249) Homepage
        The purpose of terrorism is to promote terror, given the way people are so afraid of terrorist, I would say Bush and Co have done a great job advertising for terrorists.
      • We were scared of Communists, too. I seem to remember surviving the Cold War with my rights intact.
        • Well, I guess it's true that people were smarter then than they are now. Or maybe public relations has just gotten to the point where we can sell the American people anything. You do agree that the Bill of Rights enumerates inaliable rights, correct? It's not something that can be set aside just because 51% of the people agree that it's not nearly as important as gaining temporary safety.

          Oh, and there were plenty of people who didn't quite survive the Cold War or the first Red Scare with their rights intact

      • Even though you have a higher chance of dying from car accidents (why don't we ban all cars?), people are scared shitless of terrorists.

        I'm not scared of dying from a terrorist attack per se, I'm afraid of the effect on civilization. Look at airline travel in the US: it used to be easy, because it was relatively trustworthy. Now it's way slower and a bigger PITA.

        People are afraid to build tall buildings because they might be a target. We have bag searches at all major public events.

        Government intrusio

        • by czarangelus (805501) <iapetus @ g m a i l . com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:58PM (#15326344)
          Maybe the real problem is our civilization is leading an unsustainable existence. If one person can disrupt the lives of 300,000,000, then it is almost inevitable that eventually someone crazy enough to try it will come along. If you put too many rats in a cage, eventually they will start killing one another even if there's more than enough food and water for them to survive.
        • When the politicians are the ones passing laws (or breaking laws, as the case may be) it's easy to blame them. And in this case, they are. Do you not realize that their actions affect all of us? Do you not care that the same tactics used by the KGB are now being used by the USA?
        • by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl&excite,com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @05:18PM (#15326414) Journal

          I'm not scared of dying from a terrorist attack per se, I'm afraid of the effect on civilization.

          So, GP was right-let's not worry too much about it, and all the "effects" you listed on civilization go away. They're results of our own fear and hysteria. Statistically, you've got less chance of dying in a terrorist attack then from a lightning strike OR a car accident-and yet, I bet if you need to, you're very willing to go out and drive your car during a thunderstorm. Me too. Why? Because I refuse to live in fear of every remote possibility.

          People are afraid to build tall buildings because they might be a target.

          Which is their right...

          We have bag searches at all major public events.

          Which is no one's right, see Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. This should be stopped at once.

          Government intrusions into privacy is just a symptom of a larger attack on civilization by the terrorists

          Absolutely wrong. This is a symptom of:

          1. The tendency of government to increase its power given the opportunity. Terrorism only provided the OPPORTUNITY to pass measures like the "PATRIOT" Act--it did NOT provide the will to do so.
          2. The arrogant belief of the current administration and Congress that they are above the law and Constitution, and the reluctance of anyone (including in some cases the Supreme Court!) to rein them in, sharply if necessary.
          3. The refusal of the population in general to accept that sometimes random events will be human-caused, and that sometimes we should simply accept them as random. Sometimes, a school getting shot up or a plane getting crashed does NOT necessitate "someone" doing "something"-you must first determine if the cure is worse then the disease.

          When these people are exterminated, there will no longer be a reason for these problems, and things can go back to the way it used to be when we didn't have to be paranoid and cautious.

          I see. So they're really looking out for us, and they'll quit breaking the law just as soon as those other nasty people go away?

          In short, don't blame politicians for being overly cautious -- that's their job.

          Actually, HERE. for example, is the President's job:

          "Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

          United States Constitution, Article II, Section 1 (President's Oath of Office). (emphasis added).

          The job of politicians is to solve problems using a CERTAIN set of tools, provided by the US Constitution. It is not their job to "manufacture" tools outside of that framework-unless they want to undertake the arduous task of amending the Constitution. It is possible to do so! It was made very difficult, and for GOOD reason. However, until lawmakers -do- undertake and succeed at that process, they should not be able to step outside the Constitutional framework.

          They can't just sit back and do nothing, their job is to solve problems, even if you don't like the solutions.

          Actually, as I recall, their job IS to find solutions people like-that's why we have elections. Their job is also to find solutions which are legal and Constitutional to implement-that's why we have judicial review. Their job is NOT "whatever I feel like today", it's to work -within- an existing framework.

          When the problem goes away, so will these privacy issues.

          There has always been terrorism, and there always will be. It's like the disingenuous "But when we win the War on Drugs we'll give back all the privacy we took away in its name!" while knowing damn well that their "war" is unwinnable. The "War on Terror" is the same way--it's ALWAYS going to be possible to inspire terror

          • I don't feel like debating this; I made my point, and it stands on its own. But I have to take issue with this, because this is so pervasively wrong by so many people...

            We have bag searches at all major public events. [...] Which is no one's right, see Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. This should be stopped at once.

            Two points to make. First of all, the fourth amendment is about GOVERNMENT search and seizure. Private events such as concerts, sporting events, etc, can insist on strip searches if

            • by laughingcoyote (762272) * <barghesthowl&excite,com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @07:19PM (#15326896) Journal

              I don't feel like debating this; I made my point, and it stands on its own.

              Translation: I believe this, my mind is closed, and I will persist in believing that anyone who disagrees is wrong despite my lack of ability to assert it.

              Private events such as concerts, sporting events, etc, can insist on strip searches if they want.

              And you state my assertion is incorrect? Right to privacy is a guarantee that applies in all circumstances. Let a private party insist on strip searches if they like. They will shortly be getting hit with a massive lawsuit.

              Note the same point can be made about the first amendment when fools scream about censorship by a private entity.

              While this situation is trickier, the courts have indeed limited the power of "private entities" to restrict or attempt to restrict free speech. When we have corporations which in many ways rival the government in power and influence, should we not restrict their abilities to infringe upon those things we have established as fundamental rights?

              Also, your distinction between "public" and "private" falls a bit flat--most such searches are conducted or assisted by law enforcement, and therefore should fall under every bit the same restrictions.

              Finally, the Constitution establishes RIGHTS, as do several treaties which the US has signed and ratified. These are meaningless if only the "government" is prohibited from taking them away-would you be happy if the government was forbidden to kill you, but anyone else who wished to was free to do so?

      • Even though you have a higher chance of dying from car accidents (why don't we ban all cars?), people are scared shitless of terrorists.

        And I wonder why that is.

        Is it the outrages that have been perpetrated and the thousands who've died?

        Or is it the governments of the West hyping it out of all proportion?

        How much must we spend on ultimately futile "anti-terror" measures, that can never protect everything anyway? How many better causes (health, education, the environment, world hunger...) must lose

      • The people who support the Invasions of Privacy are those who are afraid of the Terrorists

        Are those people aware that bad foreign politics have contributed quite a bit to make people attack america and that only good politics and not spying citiziens will fix it?
        • Are you aware of what's good for us is typically perceived as bad for them and vice-versa? are you aware that no amount of politics can solve the worlds problem and that governments need the power to exert their authority, because without authority, government is useless? you can't please everyone all the time, especially in america. What brand of diplomacy do you consume that you can propose not only to make all Americans happy, but the entire world happy.. all the while relieving yourself of any authority
      • Even though you have a higher chance of dying from car accidents (why don't we ban all cars?), people are scared shitless of terrorists.

        How was this insightful at all? It's meaningless and doesn't stand up to the simplest analysis. Fewer people die from murder than car accidents (in the U.S.), are you saying that murder should be legal?

        Not only that, there are very legitimate concerns about terrorism. There is a possibility that terrorists could get a nuclear warhead and run across the border with it and bl
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:39PM (#15325988)
    I'm sure with a track record like the Bush Administration's, with domestic wiretapping, indefinite detentions and torture, acts of aggression and brinkmanship against sovereign nations, lying to the U.N., and managing to convince the majority of Americans that this was all incidental, that this access to data won't be abused. After so many mistakes, they've surely learnt their lessons now.
    • domestic wiretapping, indefinite detentions and torture, acts of aggression and brinkmanship against sovereign nations, lying to the U.N.

      Sounds like the manifesto of pretty much any superpower.

      and managing to convince the majority of Americans that this was all incidental

      Judging by Bush's approval ratings I don't think your point here works.

  • by novus ordo (843883) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:40PM (#15325992) Journal
    "President George Bush did not deny the allegations in a television statement last night, but insisted that his administration had not broken any laws."
     
    Nixon would be proud.
    • A lot of right-wingers are telling each other that America's biggest mistake of the last century was getting rid of Richard Nixon. Apparently if we'd overlooked his whimsies, he would have prevented the commies from taking over Vietnam, ended the cold war 10 years earlier, and maybe prevented the New Coke debacle. No, it doesn't make sense to me either, but that's the party line. So don't be too glib in comparing GWB to RN.

      The ironic thing is that when Nixon was in office, the far right despised him.

  • by the_skywise (189793) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:41PM (#15325997)
    That's the key phrase. The FBI, Scotland Yard and other equivalent government police forces already share data of this nature. (IE large bank transactions, criminal histories, etc)
  • Oh, I get it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:42PM (#15326002)
    Country A can't spy on its own citizens (legally), but country B can (because they are "foreigners"). Country B can't spy on its own citizens (legally), but country A can (because they are "foreigners"). Gee, I wonder how they'll solve that problem?

    I'm starting to think I should just set up a web page and post my photograph, fingerprints, blood type, DNA records, phone conversations, credit-card, passport, travel history, social-security numbers, and real-time GPS coordinates. It would save alot of hassle and expense.
    • Re:Oh, I get it... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by paulthomas (685756) * on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:54PM (#15326056) Journal
      Country A can't spy on its own citizens (legally), but country B can (because they are "foreigners"). Country B can't spy on its own citizens (legally), but country A can (because they are "foreigners"). Gee, I wonder how they'll solve that problem?
      You know, this system used to be called Echelon. It was a survellience system allegedly used to spy domestically by having other countries do the dirty work. Supposedly it worked (or works) by evaluating pattern checks on unlikely phrases that enemies of the state might use. I think a few other countries admitted to being part of Echelon, but the US never made a statement on it.

      Bread and circuses have led us to total apathy. I asked an acquantance of mine if he was worried about it. He responded: "Are they tracking cell phones?"

      Secrecy is no longer important. Sure, people will make noise about it. Maybe a tenth of them will be sincere enough to really rally people against this prison that is building up around us.
      • Re:Oh, I get it... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by payndz (589033) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:49PM (#15326295)
        Echelon definitely exists, and will be automatically checking this post the moment I click on 'Submit'. James Bamford's excellent book about NSA, 'Body Of Secrets', goes into quite some detail about Echelon (whose members are the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - basically, if your country's predominantly white and English-speaking, you're in the club). Funnily enough, Bamford was one of the people targeted by NSA's 'First Fruits' phone and email surveillance program that kept (or may even still keep) an eye on journalists likely to expose information about NSA's activities.

        NSA is, of course, entitled to email me to deny this. So they get the chance, I'll include a few Echelon keywords to make sure they pick this up: bomb assassinate Bush Blair Osama kill terror gas anthrax Chavez oil Castro Iran Iraq hijack suicide bomber 9/11 jihad. Hi guys!

        • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:29AM (#15328051) Journal
          So they get the chance, I'll include a few Echelon keywords to make sure they pick this up: bomb assassinate Bush Blair Osama kill terror gas anthrax Chavez oil Castro Iran Iraq hijack suicide bomber 9/11 jihad. Hi guys!

          Echelon 2.0 is going to allow user tagging and RSS feeds, so you'll no longer need to include keywords in the body of your post! Plus, they're working on a nifty AJAX interface that will tie into Google Maps APIs, making it easier than ever for field agents to track you down.

          What's really exciting is that if you are an Amazon affiliate, you'll be earning money if an agent buys a book from the list of books you've checked out at the library!

          Who knew that totalitarianism could be so engagingly interactive? It's a brave new world, to be sure.
          • bomb assasinate Bush Blair Osama kill terror anthrax Chavez oil Castro Iran Iraq hijack suicide bomber 9/11 jihad
            I find your ideas intruiging and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

            you'll be earning money if an agent buys a book
            You will know "they" are watching you when Amazon says "People who bought this book also bought: Wiretapping For Dummies, How To Inflitrate Friends And Blackmail People, The Eleven Habits Of Highly Effective Crossdressers."
    • by Potor (658520) <.farker1. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:20PM (#15326191) Journal
      I'm starting to think I should just set up a web page and post my photograph, fingerprints, blood type, DNA records, phone conversations, credit-card, passport, travel history, social-security numbers, and real-time GPS coordinates. It would save alot of hassle and expense.
      ... which is why you posted AC.
    • Exactly, in Europe, each country spies on the other, then they share the data through Interpol. That way, each country can 'guarantee' the privacy of its citizens.

      In the USA, the NSA, Tobacco police, Coast Guard, Army, Airforce, Navy, CIA, FBI, State Troopers and Local police all do their own thing, then share the information through the supermarket tabloids...
  • Sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mikya (901578) <mikyathemad@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:43PM (#15326006)
    I have to apologize for the US. I didn't vote for Bush!
    • Don't apologize. Why should be America reponsible? It has been the EU who gave all the data to America, so it's EU who should apologize.
    • Re:Sorry (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vicsun (812730) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @05:50PM (#15326546)
      So, tell me, how hard would it be to stage an armed coup? I hear the second amendment was crafted with just such a scenario in mind.

      (I'm waiting for the FBI raids website known to harbour militant and anti-US sentiments headline tomorrow. This is my attempt to bring slashdot down, FYI)
    • I too would like to apologize, i didn't vote.
  • by daeg (828071) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:43PM (#15326007)
    Every time I think that the US comes out on top on violating basic rights to privacy, some country in the EU outdoes us. You'd think with such a rich history of war, the citizens would know better.
  • Tell us again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:48PM (#15326028) Homepage Journal
    how it's no big deal when your European governments retain data on you because you know that they'd never misuse it.

    LK
    • by Tablizer (95088) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:06PM (#15326113) Homepage Journal
      After J. Edgar Hoover, Lewis Libby, and Richard Nixon, it should be pretty obvious that government officials cannot be trusted with secrecy. The temptation is too strong, and we all know how successful politicians are at resisting urges to take shortcuts to get an advantage.

      I don't get why consersatives who don't trust the gov't to guide the economy *do* trust it to manage private info well. If they F-up the economy, aren't they likely to F-up security as well? Somebody please explain this logic to me.
    • [Tell us again] how it's no big deal when your European governments retain data on you because you know that they'd never misuse it.

      Who said it wasn't a big deal? Of course it is.

      But at least I have power over my own government (and to some small extent, over the EU). If G. W. Bush wants to put me in one of his camps, I cannot vote him out of office ...

      • Re:Tell us again... (Score:2, Informative)

        by Lord Kano (13027)
        Who said it wasn't a big deal?

        Pretty much every Brit who dismisses American surprise about the London camera system.

        But at least I have power over my own government (and to some small extent, over the EU). If G. W. Bush wants to put me in one of his camps, I cannot vote him out of office ...

        He can't run again, he'll be out of office in 2.5 years regardless.

        LK
  • No way. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by James A. V. Joyce (798462) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:52PM (#15326047) Journal
    Ohhhhh...no. No fucking way. This is some kind of joke, right? Because if not, the fact that the US government is not only willing to fuck over its own citizens but also to use its political largesse to dick with everyone else is just about enough for me to start condoning terrorism. This is essentially what this is, really - the implicit threat behind all of this smells terribly badly. I was already pissed off more than enough by the EU wanting to implement this in the first place.
    • Re:No way. (Score:2, Funny)

      by swab79 (842256)
      This is some kind of joke, right? Because if not, the fact that the US government is not only willing to fuck over its own citizens but also to use its political largesse to dick with everyone else is just about enough for me to start condoning terrorism.
      Careful.. remember they can track you down now :)
      • All's not lost yet! Let's have a look at the directive [europa.eu]. First of all, the member states of the EU have to devise new laws on how to implement the directive in their own legislations; the deadline is September 15, 2007. According to article 15.3, the application of the directive can be postponed until March 15, 2009. 16 member states have already declared to postpone according to article 15.3.

        Second, regarding access to the data:

        "Member States shall adopt measures to ensure that data retained in accordance

  • by ratta (760424) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:55PM (#15326060)
    should absolutly try to solve this kind of problems together with our American fellows, since in a global world a problems for someone is also going to be a problem of all. I mean, please let's not start Yet Another Flamewar about EU vs USA.
  • The article (Score:5, Informative)

    by AlanS2002 (580378) <sanderal2@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @03:56PM (#15326068) Homepage
    US authorities can get access to EU citizens' data on phone calls, sms' and emails, giving a recent EU data-retention law much wider-reaching consequences than first expected, reports Swedish daily Sydsvenskan.

    The EU data retention bill, passed in February after much controversy and with implementation tabled for late 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months, aimed at fighting terrorism and organised crime.

    A week later on 2-3 March, EU and US representatives met in Vienna for an informal high level meeting on freedom, security and justice where the US expressed interest in the future storage of information.

    The US delegation to the meeting "indicated that it was considering approaching each [EU] member state to ensure that the data collected on the basis of the recently adopted Directive on data retention be accessible to them," according to the notes of the meeting.

    Representatives from the Austrian EU presidency and from the European Commission said that these data were "accessible like any other data on the basis of the existing ... agreements" the notes said.

    The EU representatives added that the commission would convene an expert meeting on the issue.

    Under current agreements, if the FBI, for example, is interested in a group of EU citizens from a member state who are involved in an investigation, the bureau can ask for help with a prosecutor in that member state.

    The national prosecutor then requests telephone operators and internet service providers for information, which is then passed on to the FBI.

    This procedure opens the way for US authorities to get access under the EU data-retention law, according to the Swedish newspaper.

    In the US itself meanwhile, fury has broken out in the US congress after reports revealed that the Bush administration covertly collected domestic phone records of tens of millions of US citizens since the attacks in New York on 11 September 2001.

    President George Bush did not deny the allegations in a television statement last night, but insisted that his administration had not broken any laws.
  • ...where I get fucking pissed at those incompetent fools in office.

    As far as I'm concerned that data shouldn't even exist at the disposal of my own country, let alone foreign interests.
  • About time (Score:5, Funny)

    by nosredna (672587) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:02PM (#15326098)
    Finally, a step in the right direction! After years of fucking with our own citizens, we're finally reaching out and fucking with somebody else's.

    Hey, at least we're not violating our own constitution on this one.
  • by Marsmensch (870400) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:06PM (#15326120)

    I know that a lot of people will disagree, but I think this is actually an argument in favor of a strong EU, rather than the other way around. If EU citizens got their act together and created more grass roots pressure groups to put pressure on Brussels, it would be easier to keep a united europe from being arm twisted by the US rather than so many small countries. Just remember how much respect the US has had for Danish wishes to keep Greenland a nuclear free zone...Or how much heed was paid to Blair's request to have steel import quotas not be applied to the UK in spite of the fact that he went out on a limb for them engaging his country in an illegal invasion on what were clearly false pretenses. Remember how Blair wanted token US participation in the climate change conference so as not to appear to come home empty handed? How much deference did he win on that one?

    The fact is that to have your voice heard, you need to be an effective counterweight, and pack some clout. This doesn't mean that everything has to be turned into a childish pissing-contest, the way it so often is, but that you need to have enough clout to have your wishes taken into account in bilateral relations

    It is EU citizens' responsibility to have this sort of policy reverted at the EU level, not the US's (just as it is US citizens who have to deal with the NSA's very liberal interpretation of wiretap laws...), but once a decision has been taken, the EU has more of a chance of having it be respected that a country with some 5 million inhabitants on its own, just like washington is taken more seriously at the international level than, say, Iowa would on its own.

    EU-wide NGO's and parties are still in their infancy. I really hope they get their act together sooner rather than later, people too often forget that reverting any democratic deficit in the institutions has a lot to do with effectively using the conduits available. Democracy is a process you can't expect to get anything out of if you're not willing to put something into it.

  • CRUNCH! KNERCH! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikiN (75494) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:09PM (#15326139)
    ...the sound of mobile phones and computers being crushed to bits. ...coming to a garbage truck NEAR YOU.

    How long does this sick comedy have to go on before people decide it is time to kick all their stuff into the bin and go live in a cottage somewhere out in the woods with only the most basic amenities, keeping only a PO Box number for the bare essential communications?

    I'm getting really pissed at the Powers That Be for pulling their virtual torture ropes ever tighter around privacy and personal liberty.

    Soon people will decide that "Amish Paradise" is actually at a much more comfortable distance away from the proverbial Hell than the other alternatives.

    (Kudos to Weird Al for making me borrow his song title.)
  • by X-rated Ouroboros (526150) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:10PM (#15326145) Homepage
    ...is a threat to national security.
  • ...since this planet seems more unlivable day by day.

  • Backwards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikesd81 (518581) <mikesd1@nospaM.verizon.net> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:15PM (#15326167) Homepage
    Only in America, the land of the free, can the government illegally spy on your phone calls, internet activity, and reading habits, and get away with it. Hell according to some poll, American citizens are OK with it. In my eyes it's treason what the gov't is doing. If this is the land of the free then why do I have to worry about what I'm saying on the phone when I'm talking to my friend about buying a firearm? Just the phrase "Let's go shooting today" can get me on a red list? Please.

    I love my country, not my gov't.
    • Re:Backwards (Score:2, Interesting)

      by alan.briolat (903558)
      I love my country, not my gov't.

      If only everybody could make that distinction - too many are believing that the gov't has the nations best interests at heart. Just look at obvious manipulations like the "USA PATRIOT Act". Give something a name that people will think is a good thing, and you're all clear. Some people really believe that to disagree with the gov't is unpatriotic.

      The real Patriots are stocking up on ammunition right now.
    • alright buddy, that does it! now you are on the red list!
  • by kernel_pat (964314) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:17PM (#15326172) Journal
    I've lost all faith in everyone, I can't wait until somebody invents teleporters and then they can beam me out of my house as soon as they think I might try and do something illegal.
  • by linuxhansl (764171) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:20PM (#15326192)
    always assume that everybody else is dumb too?
    • No, terrorists have never heard of encryption.
    • No, terrorists cannot route packets to foreign computers and back.
    • No, terrorists have not heard of proxy servers.
    • No, terrorists can't steal cellphones, or setup phony account to make calls.
    • No, terrorists have no other means of communication.

    Come on, they are terrorists, they are dumb, right? The only reason why they attack anybody is because they are evil, right? Plluuuueeeaaasssee.

    I'd be surprised if with all this data retention and spying (both US and EU) there will be single terrorist caught *before* the act.

    Guess how many terrorists have been caught by the London camera network - which was installed to track down terrorists. If you guessed "zero" you'd 100% correct. Instead that very camera network is now used to keep track of every vehicle that enters the inner city on London.

    Somehow through the EU politicians get away with things that would be doomed to fail in any memberstate - well, maybe except Great Britain.

    I wish we would gather the same kind of energy to fight poverty, and other more pressing social issues.

    • There won't be. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:49PM (#15326300)
      I'd be surprised if with all this data retention and spying (both US and EU) there will be single terrorist caught *before* the act.
      There won't be. And the simple reason is that there is too much "noise" to sort through to find "terrorists".

      But ... it is popular with our government because it is "high tech" and doesn't cost as much as real experts doing real research.

      All this will do is allow the government to find who you were calling after you've blown yourself up. They hope that that will lead them to someone higher up the chain.

      It might.

      But it is more dangerous because it can be used to track who your political opponents are calling and what they're saying to each other.

      Our ForeFathers were willing to die fighting for their Freedom.

      Now, our people are willing to surrender their Freedom for the "protection" offered by the government.
    • Guess how many terrorists have been caught by the London camera network - which was installed to track down terrorists. If you guessed "zero" you'd be 100% correct.

      I'm against invasion of privacy just as much as you are but if you use incorrect arguments that'll work against your case. The terrorists from the 2005 London bombings were caught on camera [wikipedia.org]. Not in time to save anyone, but it does help with investigations.

      The question that needs to be asked is whether or not the extra security we gain is w

  • Jeeeeezzz!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:27PM (#15326217)
    FOR HEAVENS SAKE WILL THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT - FUCK OFF!!!!! It's no bloody wonder the world wants to stick a bomb under the White House when these paranoid schizophrenic war mongering assholes will not leave you or anyone to live in peace. I beg and plead with every decent United States citizen to do the world a favor and oust these prats from turning everyone against you. Enough is enough - and trust me I will be doing the same on my side of the pond. Long live freedom.
    • Re:Jeeeeezzz!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by s_p_oneil (795792)
      The thing most people outside the US seem to forget is that approximately half of us in the US tried to oust that idiot in 2004, and more than half of us tried to keep him out of office in 2000 (he didn't win if you count the actual votes). Half of us are as angry about the current government as you are, and lately even the people who voted for him are having second thoughts about him.

      The problem can be summed up in this bumper sticker I recently saw:
      Right is wrong. Left is stupid.

      That may not be true in ot
  • is this so big? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by user24 (854467) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @04:46PM (#15326290) Homepage
    I live in the EU, so naturally I'm concerned about this.. But: I don't care who reads my sms messages because frankly I expect them to be insecure. My phone calls themselves, yes I worry a little over that because it would enable social networks to be drawn up. But by far the biggest thing I was concerned about was my email, which accounts for well over 90% of my communications.

    Then I remembered that I use web based email from a well known search engine who are based in the US. Isn't my data already within US jurisdiction?

    (yes, I know TFA is refering to EU-ISP-owned data, but I think it's less of a sudden move than many realise)
  • by SeaFox (739806)
    In Soviet Global Counterterrorism Effort:

    U.S. gains access to EU!
  • by Galston (895804) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @05:15PM (#15326401)
    I am moving to China.
  • As Nelson would say: "Haa-Ha".
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @06:14PM (#15326658) Homepage Journal
    There's already been a fight over data transfer from the EU to the US. EU privacy laws are strict and forbid leaking data to any place without the same protections. There were long negotiations ending in a fudge.

    So is the EU simply ignoring the law this time?
  • by smchris (464899) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @06:34PM (#15326726)
    Instead of people spending all their time wondering why we aren't doing anything to stop Dubya from setting up his 1000 Year Empire, they can take a moment to think about what they are doing to stop their own countries from capitulating to everything the U.S. demands.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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