asylumx writes: Europe's top court on Tuesday ruled that a 15-year-old agreement allowing American companies to handle Europeans' data was invalid, a decision that could affect how technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google operate overseas. The European Court of Justice examined the case of an Austrian citizen who claimed that his data, in light of revelations by Edward Snowden that U.S. agencies spied upon people in other nations, wasn't being adequately protected by Facebook.
The U.S. Mission to the European Union issued a statement saying that "the United States does not and has not engaged in indiscriminate surveillance of anyone, including ordinary European citizens." The PRISM surveillance program is "targeted against particular valid foreign intelligence targets, is duly authorized by law, and strictly complies with a number of publicly disclosed controls and limitations," the statement said.
asylumx writes: Six seismologists and one public official in Italy have been convicted of manslaughter charges for failing to correctly predict a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in 2009 that killed at least 300 people. During a meeting a week before the quake, the scientists declared it was unlikely but not impossible for a major quake to occur, even though the area had been experiencing recent seismic activity. From the article: The Italian geophysics institute expressed "regret and concern" about the verdict in a statement Monday. It said the ruling "threatens to undermine one of the cornerstones of scientific research: that of freedom of investigation, of open and transparent discussion and sharing of results." Let's hope other countries don't follow suit!
asylumx writes: We've been following this story on Slashdot for a while now, well the US Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days. While the vote that the tracking was illegal is unanimous, there is some disagreement whether it simply constitutes a search (which should require a warrant under the 4th amendment) or if it was a breach of reasonable expectation of privacy. The latter seems to imply that GPS Tracking without a warrant is sometimes legal.
asylumx writes: Congress is looking into allegations that National Security Agency linguists have been eavesdropping on Americans abroad, including military officers in Iraq who called friends and family in the United States. One former linguist said military intercept operators would often share recordings of what he called "phone sex" and "pillow talk."