EU top court: NSA spying means US servers are not a fit home for Europeans' data

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Frankly m’dears, I don’t think they give a damn.


Why does it matter where your data is stored if the US government can demand a copy of it anyway? It isn’t like storing it in the EU somehow makes it impossible for any US-based company to retrieve it. Indeed, as long as that data can be viewed by anyone in the US - including the user themselves if they’re traveling - it can be accessed by the company itself.

Sure, they’ll have to break EU data protection laws to do so, but they were doing that anyway when they disclosed the personal information to the US government in the first place.

It does matter because the European Commision (+ Council + member country’s governments) cannot use Safe Harbour as excuse anymore (trust us, we have a treaty. everything’s fine.).

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Is it possible there’s some ulterior motive for all of this spying, or is it just done because it can be?

I mean, are they feeding all this behavioural analysis to some proto-AI in the hopes of mining algorithms to upgrade it to AGI or is it like echelon and really just for interference in business?

Or is it just the laziest way of having important data on hand when you suddenly need it?

All of the above? None? Micro-management of potentially dissident ideological structures? Of all ideological structures?

If it’s really such an unnecessary expenditure, is the process just massaging the egos of those in power or what?

I just can’t unpack the motivation.

Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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Absolutely corrupt power behaves senselessly?


The thinking is pretty simple: if you have everything on everybody, you can control anyone. (Qu’on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j’y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre. - attributed to Cardinal Richelieu.) They want to get those six lines of handwriting… on everyone.

That’s the thinking. Whether this is entirely practical or possible in execution is perhaps a different kettle of fish - it can be a bit like drinking from a fire hose, I think. You have to know whose records to query, and that is where the difficulty lies. The NSA sure missed Snowden’s change of heart, eh?

Mind you, that points out the difficulty for us as a species: sociopathic control freaks rise to the top, but they are really not very competent to run the joint.


Spying has consequences … economic consequences. Serves those bootlicking US companies right.

It won’t stop mass surveillance instantly but it will have repercussions for TTIP and will probably serve as a chilling effect against further anti-privacy laws in the EU and USA.

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What economic consequences have there been?

Quoting from the corresponding Ars Technica article:

Facebook, and many other US companies with Irish subsidiaries, will need to keep European data within the EU; or the US will need to provide real privacy protection for EU data when it flows back to the US. As the latter is unlikely due to pressure from the NSA and other intelligence agencies, we suspect most US companies will opt for the former.

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It remains to be seen what exactly this case-by-case basis means in practice. For some reason I suspect that it won’t be quite as broad in the end. However every EU business that considers storing customer data on American servers or using American services faces tricky legal questions now. Suddenly European competitors start to look a lot more attractive.

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Those predicted drops never actually materialized. Indeed, the US tech sector has done phenomenally well since the Snowden release in 2013 despite the stagnant EU economy.

As far as the cost of keeping data in the EU, well, big multinational companies like Facebook already run EU data centers and small ones will probably just ignore it or work around it through corporate restructures or asking the user for permission to copy their data to the US (Sales Force has already done this).

I think its cute how the EU keeps trying to be relevant to the Internet.

You know, the way CERN did for example…


The assumption that more information equals easier work ‘spotting bad guys’, without realizing that much data is useless without a way to winnow out the 99.9999999% of it that’s completely innocent conversations about, like, getting the groceries, or teenagers talking to friends about stuff.

Even blackmailers can be impeded by having to sort through all the banal everyday stuff for something ‘objectionable’ enough they can threaten someone with releasing it and have it actually be a threat.

“Do what I want or I’ll show the world your sappy but nonsexual texts with your significant other” isn’t going to be much motivation for most people.

Yeah, it always stuck me that the data mining would have to be driven by good ol’ fashioned, actual investigation.

Then maybe the trove of data might be useful specifically because you know exactly who to look for. But is it really so important to completely undermine the whole point of America… (I am less critical about GCHQs mission in the UK because, well, we’ve never really enshrined those rights, depressing, I know) …just so you can have instant access to a small amount of historical data on someone you already have the intelligence enough to know to investigate in the first place?

It seems like an awfully long way to go for such a small gain, especially when the system is so open to abuse and slippery-slopiness.

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