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The Loss of Trust


The Loss of Trust

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Robert Diggins
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Many call the US a soft police state, because they've turned up the heat slowly and no one is shocked any more.
PHYData DBA
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L' Eomot Inversé (9/7/2013)
This is going to damage the US economy. Already people over here are recommending that no company should put any sensitive data into the cloud without a contractual guarantee from the cloud provider that the data will never be stored on a computer in US territory or on any computer owned or administered by a company with American management or with a majority of its stock held by Americans or any subsidiary of any such company.


Would you mind telling me at least where "over here" is for you?
Maybe even an article or some other publicly available example of what you mention?
Tom Thomson
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PHYData DBA (10/2/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (9/7/2013)
This is going to damage the US economy. Already people over here are recommending that no company should put any sensitive data into the cloud without a contractual guarantee from the cloud provider that the data will never be stored on a computer in US territory or on any computer owned or administered by a company with American management or with a majority of its stock held by Americans or any subsidiary of any such company.


Would you mind telling me at least where "over here" is for you?
Maybe even an article or some other publicly available example of what you mention?


I split my time evenly between Spain and the UK (with trips elsewhere), but by "over here" I meant in the Europeann Union generally.

There have been articles about this, if I recall correctly, in the Telegraph, the Times, the Independent and the Guardian, but dont ask me for dates and pages, I don't remember. I haven't been in spain for about 11 weeks, so I haven't being reading Spanish newspapers, but it would surprise me if El País, El Mundo del Siglo XXI, and La Vanguardia haven't had articles. There have been moves to have it declared illegal (by an EU court as opposed to a national one) to make Swift Data available to US institutions (I think that's on the grounds that it's being used for purposes not permitted by the safe harbor agreement), and at least one motion in the European Parliament to declare it illegal (motions of that sort in the parliament are just noise, but sometimes the noise scares the European Commission into action). One of the best sources of information is http://www.theregister.co.uk/ but sorting the wheat from the chaff there isn't always easy.

I've heard noises from Spanish, Dutch, French and German data protection agencies that suggest they are not at all happy with the US because there seems to be a total unwillingness to cnform to international obligations entered into by the government (especially if the administration that signed the treaty was a different part from the current one). One of the Commissioners was also pushing on this about a month back, I can't remember which one.

I think people in the USA have problems understanding why the European reaction is what it is. The reason for it isn't that some military guy with good access decided to blow it all. It's not even that what he blew is directly relevant to European concerns about data protection (although European concerns about human rights have been brought into play). It's that what he blew confirms what people have suspected for a long time; that as far as the USA administration and some of the government agencies are concerned the (USA) law doesn't matter, the constitution is irrelevant old hat, and anything goes. The latest relevations aren't directly relevant to data protection issue but if that's how well you lot protect really secret stuff how well should we expect you to protect merely "safe harbor" stuff? And they have tended to give the impression that the NSA (and perhaps some other agencies) and the administration are not interested in any limits that the laws (or the constitution) of the USA places on them, which makes it pretty obvious that they won't care a toss about treaty obligations or international law either. And it was proved 11 years ago that your really secure military systems were secured to a level vastly inferior to what the average 11 year old could manage (google Gary MacKinnon; yes, he was more than 11 years old; he was also a nutcase, trying blank and default passwords, not a competent hacker). So there's always been distrust in your capability to meet your obligations; and evidence that your government and your NSA don't care about your own law doesn't encourage trust in your intention to do so.

So what it comes to, is that a lot of people in the EU are saying something like "if they appear neither willing nor able to meet their obligations to keep this data secure and to refrain from using it for any purposes other than those agreed, hadn't we better stop letting them see it?".

In my view, the people saying that are right. In my government's view (I'm a Brit) they are wrong. Other EU nations have different governments with different views. If you look at El Reg (you should be able to guess which that is of the sources of articles I listed above - it refers to itself as "el reg" just to annoy its majority audience, who are as anglophonically monolingual as the average American) you'll find a big variety of opinion - but do read the comments as well as the articles if you want a feel for how people (at least people with an IT connection, somehow, maybe just a vague connection, who like provocatively presented news in English) are thinking. About the end of August for the date, I think - could well be wrog, though.

Tom

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...
I've heard noises from Spanish, Dutch, French and German data protection agencies that suggest they are not at all happy with the US because there seems to be a total unwillingness to cnform to international obligations entered into by the government (especially if the administration that signed the treaty was a different part from the current one). One of the Commissioners was also pushing on this about a month back, I can't remember which one.

I think people in the USA have problems understanding why the European reaction is what it is. The reason for it isn't that some military guy with good access decided to blow it all. It's not even that what he blew is directly relevant to European concerns about data protection (although European concerns about human rights have been brought into play). It's that what he blew confirms what people have suspected for a long time; that as far as the USA administration and some of the government agencies are concerned the (USA) law doesn't matter, the constitution is irrelevant old hat, and anything goes. The latest relevations aren't directly relevant to data protection issue but if that's how well you lot protect really secret stuff how well should we expect you to protect merely "safe harbor" stuff? And they have tended to give the impression that the NSA (and perhaps some other agencies) and the administration are not interested in any limits that the laws (or the constitution) of the USA places on them, which makes it pretty obvious that they won't care a toss about treaty obligations or international law either. And it was proved 11 years ago that your really secure military systems were secured to a level vastly inferior to what the average 11 year old could manage (google Gary MacKinnon; yes, he was more than 11 years old; he was also a nutcase, trying blank and default passwords, not a competent hacker). So there's always been distrust in your capability to meet your obligations; and evidence that your government and your NSA don't care about your own law doesn't encourage trust in your intention to do so.

So what it comes to, is that a lot of people in the EU are saying something like "if they appear neither willing nor able to meet their obligations to keep this data secure and to refrain from using it for any purposes other than those agreed, hadn't we better stop letting them see it?".

In my view, the people saying that are right. In my government's view (I'm a Brit) they are wrong. Other EU nations have different governments with different views. If you look at El Reg (you should be able to guess which that is of the sources of articles I listed above - it refers to itself as "el reg" just to annoy its majority audience, who are as anglophonically monolingual as the average American) you'll find a big variety of opinion - but do read the comments as well as the articles if you want a feel for how people (at least people with an IT connection, somehow, maybe just a vague connection, who like provocatively presented news in English) are thinking. About the end of August for the date, I think - could well be wrog, though.


Thanks Tom, good articulation of some of the major issues.
Tom Thomson
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An update on the international implications of the end of trust.

A week ago today the EU parliament passed a resolution asking the EU commission to suspend all passing of information to the US authorities under the EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program agreement, because the data is being used by the US for purposes forbiddent by that agreement. The request is of course "just a request" since the TFTP was agreed before (just one day before) the commission ceased to have the power to enter into such agreements without the agreement of the parliament (until 1 December 2009 it required only the agreement of the European Council of ministers which had representatives of each national government); however the parliament has made it clear that the commission is unlikely to get agreement from the parliament (which has been required for about the last 7 years) for any future agreement with foreign states or groupings if it refuses to comply with this "request", so it's a "request" in pretty much the sense that "hands up" from a gunman pointing his weapon at you is a request.

This has been reported by Pinsent-Masons, a (the?) leading Britsh international law firm, in their online newsletter; you can read the report here.

This wasn't a result of only the Snowden disclosures. The USA's illegal seizure of funds being transferred between a Danish company in Denmark and a German company in Germany, which it achieved by misusing such information (and misusing other inernational agreements at the same time) back in February last year, which teh US claimed was legal because the money was payment for Cuban cigars imported into Europe by the German comany, a claim that really takes one's breath away when one recalls that every time anyone objects to the extraterritoriality of the embargo the US claims there is no extraterritoriality because the embargo applies only to comapnies operating in the USA (which is actually what the various legal instruments creating teh embargo state, so as well as breaking international agreements and law the US authorities were breaking their own law as well on that occassion) had already wound the EU parliament up, as had the EUROPOL March 2011 report that the US authorities were not making any attempt to provide proper justification for their requests for data and the abuse of access to Swift data identified by the Belgian government in 2006 which had resulted in it becoming illegal for Swift to hold any of its data concerning Europeans on any server that could be subject to US legal action, which of course led to the TFTP agreement because it was felt the US needed properly justified access to the data in the light of the events of 2001.

I hope that Americans will not be too surprised that after 12 years of outrageous abuse by the US government of its access to our data the EU parliament has decided that enough is enough, and no longer feels that it can allow that access since it has been made pretty clear that your governments, of whichever party, (much like most politicians pretty well anwhere) have no intention of abiding by the agreements they enter into about limitations on its use.

Tom

Jim P.
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L' Eomot Inversé (10/30/2013)
An update on the international implications of the end of trust.


As an American, I fully support this move.

I will make a note that the NSA's job is to collect data on foreign nationals at whatever level.



----------------
Jim P.

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Robert Diggins
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Jim P. (10/30/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (10/30/2013)
An update on the international implications of the end of trust.


As an American, I fully support this move.

I will make a note that the NSA's job is to collect data on foreign nationals at whatever level.


Your note has been duly recorded. Hehe

Seriously, aren't we all now foreign nationals, in the Global War On Terror? The military can detain us indefinitely, without charge, domestically now. It's now legal to use propaganda domestically. The drones are over US skies, soon to be armed. We can be extraordinarily rendered, tortured, disappeared with no chance to appeal. No one has to know. The USA has been officially deemed a battlefield and none of us gets to have our rights as citizens apply with any precedence over our status as potential enemy combatants.

The end of trust; yes indeed.
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