European Data Protection Digest

Implications of NSA Revelations Continue To Make News

SURVEILLANCE—EU & U.S.

November 14, 2013

The fallout from Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations continues to make headlines. Dutch and Belgian data protection authorities are leading an investigation “into whether consumers’ personal data on the global SWIFT money-transfer network can be accessed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) or other intelligence services,” Bloomberg reports. “We will investigate if the security of the networks and databases of SWIFT containing huge quantities of personal data related to bank transactions of, among others, European citizens, allow for or have allowed for unlawful access,” said Article 29 Working Party Chairman Jacob Kohnstamm. Meanwhile, the Cloud for Europe research project launched in Berlin on Thursday, and a recent study has indicated dragnet Internet surveillance by the NSA and the UK’s GCHQ violated European privacy law. Germany and Brazil have presented an Internet privacy resolution to the UN, and in the U.S., advocacy groups have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling for an investigation into Internet companies whose networks were accessed by the NSA. UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has voiced concerns about the scale of the NSA’s surveillance programs, and a Tech Dirt report questions the implications of the EU’s Data Retention Directive “in the ongoing debate over how to balance human rights with states' perceived surveillance needs.”
Full Story