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We here in the States cheer or jeer the essentially cosmetic 'reform' of the massive, and formerly secret, spying done on the people by the NSA and the other 15 state agencies involved in 'top secret stuff' (16 in total that we know about, at least.)

Meanwhile this kind of MetaData collection-- and that's all you need to know any given person's daily life in great detail, and a base for pulling the literal details of that life -- has been done in the open in Europe for years.

Today, the EU high court struck down the 'directive' which allowed such data collection.

EU high court strikes down metadata collection law
Citizens made to feel that they "are the subject of constant surveillance."
says the headline at 'ars technica'

They quote the ruling:

The Court takes the view that, by requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data. Furthermore, the fact that data are retained and subsequently used without the subscriber or registered user being informed is likely to generate in the persons concerned a feeling that their private lives are the subject of constant surveillance.

. . .

Although the retention of data required by the directive may be considered to be appropriate for attaining the objective pursued by it, the wide-ranging and particularly serious interference of the directive with the fundamental rights at issue is not sufficiently circumscribed to ensure that that interference is actually limited to what is strictly necessary.

Naturally, privacy and electronic privacy groups (and I'd imagine human beings) are thrilled. As Ars Technica quotes one activist "The Court says basically that the fight against crime and terrorism, although important, doesn’t trump privacy rights.”

Sounds pretty respectful of human rights to me.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)


    Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

    by Jim P on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 01:21:33 PM PDT

  •  Once again, Europe leads the way (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, Choco8, cotterperson, 3rock, DRo

    Us exceptional Americans, not so much. And remember, their risk of "terrorism" is greater due to proximity, open borders and far higher Muslim populations.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

    by pajoly on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 01:34:22 PM PDT

    •  Their actual experience of terrorist incidents (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Choco8, cotterperson, 3rock

      has been dozens, if not hundreds, over decades. But the US establishment won't feel safe until everything and every one from Aardvark to Zambia is under our thumb or in chaos and ruin.

      I think it no coincidence that people who watch a fair amount of TV and movies in the States tend to overestimate the amount of actual violence in the world by huge degrees.


      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

      by Jim P on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 01:43:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That of course assumes combatting terrorism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Choco8, 3rock

        is the real motivation or just an excuse. I assume you agree with my opinion that it is just an excuse to funnel trillions into the pockets of the MIC. If the government actually gave a shit about the safety of its citizens it'd start by stopping the rampant abuse and all too often murder of Americans by cops, secure the health of our air and water, etc.

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

        by pajoly on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:12:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Aarvarkistan? Lovely in spring. (0+ / 0-)

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 06:09:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  guess Europe is not an empire these days (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, Choco8, whenwego, cotterperson, 3rock

    that needs to control the world

  •  Further details (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, cotterperson, 3rock, Sandino

    I posted a diary much earlier today and with a less snappy title.  Ars Technica are quoting from the EU press release (which is therefore freely quotable) as I did.

    I give more details about the European Court of Justice which gave the judgement as advice to two nations' (Ireland and Austria) highest courts on how to interpret the Directive when set alongside the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.  

    Much more background in my diary however you do need to know that the Directive provides the model for national laws (as an example, the retention period had to be between 6 and 36 months but the individual governments decided the actual figure within that range)  The legislation in Austria and Ireland may be struck down immediately. In the other 26 countries there may be variations as to whether further primary legislation is needed and then this might only happen if a challenge succeeded in the nation's supreme court. Such complaints might be "fast tracked" and would of course all win as each nation's highest or constitutional court would follow the ECJ guidance.

    What's more likely to happen is that a new Directive on Data, which is I believe already being considered in the European Parliament, would make the necessary changes so as to harmonize the legislation EU-wide again.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:47:13 PM PDT

  •  Quick, rename everything European to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, blueoasis

    Freedom.

    Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Tue Apr 08, 2014 at 02:50:57 PM PDT

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