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Get ready for some serious DoubleSpeak

Posted by on October 28, 2015.

Two mutually exclusive principles continue their collision course: the European demand for privacy and the US demand for access to personal data.

On Monday this week the European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova was talking about the need to replace Safe Harbor with something mutually and legally acceptable. Following talks between Washington and Brussels she said, β€œThere is agreement on these matters in principle, but we are still discussing how to ensure that these commitments are binding enough to fully meet the requirements of the court.” She expects substantial progress by the middle of November.

So as far as the Commission is concerned, these minor legal complications of the Schrems ruling will not be allowed to prevent US companies shipping European data to the US.

Meanwhile, next day in Washington, the Senate passed CISA (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act) by 74 to 21. CISA provides legal immunity for US companies sharing data with law enforcement. This is a flawed law that does little for security other than make it easier for government to access data, while providing companies immunity for sharing with government.

So we now have two laws that basically say on the one hand you cannot pass data to a third party, and on the other hand, yes you can.

The US government will never give up its desire for total access. The European law is clear that European personal data cannot be stored by US companies under such circumstances. In the middle is the European Commission, an unelected body that is more keen to satisfy the wishes of the US government than its own laws.

Now it is true that we don’t yet know the final wording of CISA, and we don’t yet know the form of words that will be agreed between the Commission and Washington, but one thing is certain: only DoubleSpeak of the finest order will make them meet in the middle.


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Submitted in: Expert Views, Kevin Townsend's opinions, News, News_politics, News_privacy |