Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FISA Changes Mean Heartburn for European Lawmakers

Dugie Stanford has a nice article in yesterday's Washington Internet Daily on European legislators' concerns over the weakening of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. US intelligence agencies may now put Americans' international communications under surveillance without court authorisation. My comment at the end of the story:

Americans are "quite right" to be alarmed over broader warrantless surveillance of their communications,
but the revamped law makes no practical difference to Europeans, said Ian Brown, a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Intelligence agencies "don't tend to take much notice" of other countries' privacy laws, and the National Security Agency historically has wiretapped foreigners whenever it wanted, he said. In fact, Brown said, most European intelligence units care less about privacy than their U.S. counterparts. He predicted European Parliament members' efforts won't get far.

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