“Appropriate safeguards”

If it is not the government, it is the EU prepared to play fast and loose with our civil liberties.  See Mark Townsend in The Observer this morning,

“The EU is close to finalising an agreement with the US that would allow the FBI to see the internet browsing habits and credit card histories of UK citizens. However, the prospect of an agreement between Brussels and Washington that will lower barriers to swapping previously private data, including travel history and spending patterns, will alarm civil rights advocates.

Talks about the transfer of highly personal information held by the UK government and leading companies to American security agencies began following the September 2001 terrorist attacks. US counter-terrorism officials argued that increased information on the movements and habits of European residents would help prevent a repeat attack.

Details of a joint report by US and EU negotiators indicate that progress on the agreement is advanced, following years of opposition from European states with stricter privacy laws. One final hurdle still to be cleared is whether British and European citizens can sue the US government over its handling of their personal data.

Another area of concern relates to what ‘appropiate safeguards’ have been agreed to prevent the US authorities from requesting further information such as the religion, political opinion and ‘sexual life’ of a British resident.”

Appropriate safeguards? Don’t hold your breath.

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