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The European Parliament backs my report for stronger privacy safeguards for EU citizens following NSA scandal

Category: Articles-General.
Posted: Wednesday 12 Mar 2014

Today the European Parliament backed my report calling for the EU to adopt new rules on data protection and negotiate with the US to ensure stronger safeguards for its citizens in the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal. The inquiry also calls for the suspension of the Swift and Safe Harbour agreement on the transfer of bank and consumer data, and for the reinforcement of protections for journalists and whistle-blowers. The resolution, in which MEPs set out their findings and recommendations to boost EU citizens' privacy, was backed by 544 votes to 78, with 60 abstentions.

In my role as lead Rapporteur for the Parliament's report and inquiry I led six months of hearings - including a delegation to Washington. The successful vote means the next mandate of the Parliament will continue work following the Snowden revelations and calls on the US to end blanket mass surveillance and provide EU citizens with judicial redress for when their personal data is transferred to the US to ensure stronger safeguards for its citizens.  MEPs also agreed to warn the European Council they are set to reject any free-trade agreement with the US if it includes any provisions for exemptions from the EU new rules on data protection.

The inquiry into the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens has been the most comprehensive inquiry to date, with testimony from all key actors including from the source of all these revelations, Edward Snowden.

My report condemns mass surveillance programmes being used by the US and EU member states and includes a comprehensive review of how citizens should be protected from indiscriminate mass surveillance, while ensuring that intelligence agencies continue to do the vital and valued job of protecting us against terrorist and cyber threats.

A host of detailed recommendations form a digital bill of rights, including increased international protections for journalists and whistleblowers, proposals to strengthen EU cloud computing, and proposals on IT security and encryption standards.

Posted by: Admin on Wednesday 12 Mar 2014

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