Friday, 14 June 2013

Does the EU protect us more than Westminster?

Even the most voracious Eurosceptic should realise that the EU has at least taken a more proactive line over the prism surveillance scandal.than  Westminster.

According to leaked documents published by the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers, the NSA can order internet firms to give it access to private emails, online chats, pictures, files, videos and other data uploaded by foreign users.
Google has said that its compliance with the requests did not give the US government "unfettered access to our users' data", but notes that nondisclosure obligations prevented it providing detailed information to the public.
Along with Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter, it has asked to be able to be allowed to publish information about the number and scope of the requests received.
 BBC 12th June 2013

William Haugue  reaction seems to be ringing up GHCQ and asking them if they  are doing anything wrong and being simply told No and accepting it completely

It only increase the perception that British Security Services are increasingly coming under the control of Thieu US counterparts and their independence brought into question. 

Meanwhile the EU's Justice Commissioner has written to the US attorney general, questioning him about America's data surveillance programme, Prism.

Viviane Reding wrote that she was concerned America's efforts "could have grave adverse consequences for the fundamental rights of EU citizens".
A series of leaks suggest major tech firms have passed information to the National Security Agency, the US government's snooping organisation.
"European data protection laws put restrictions on how data gathered about people, including social networking data, can be used," said Dr Ian Brown, associate director of Oxford University's Cyber Security Centre.
"The firms will now face serious questions from national data commissioners and even potentially from individual users in Europe over whether they followed all the European data protection laws that are supposed to stop things like this happening."
  BBC 12th June 2013

The Blog Left Foot Forward gives examples of the contribution of Members Of the European Parliament to the scandal which covers the three largest groupings.

It doesn't include Plaid MEPs Jill Evans contribution but its well worth reading.

She said:

"These revelations raise fundamental questions about democracy and privacy."I share the outrage of many people that US intelligence agencies apparently have easy access to our online personal data. Mass surveillance of citizens is unacceptable. We have to ensure that we adopt the strictest data protection standards in the EU in response to this. We have to have the assurance that our privacy is not being breached. So many of us depend on the convenience of communicating online and we want to continue to do that in the knowledge that the system is not being abused."I am writing to the UK Foreign Secretary to ask whether the data of anyone in Wales has been accessed without their knowledge in this way. It would be a very serious matter if in fact GCHQ has been using US intelligence agencies as a way of circumventing UK legislation."
So what of the Eurosceptic in Ukip and the Conservative party going to say now?

If the UK withdrew from the EU would that mean the British government would seek to prevent the US spying on our citizens?

Or would the UK government simply roll over as it and comply as it does now.?

The EU has many faults but in this it standing up from us to two Government (The USA and UK) who are breaking the law and snooping on it citizens

And in many cases the Eurosceptic agenda is the right wing seeking to remove for example Employment rights. protection that the EU gives us 

When the Eurosceptic talk about Freedom they mean freedom to spy on us and  exploit the poor and vulnerable.

Even if you disagree with the above statement. You've got to admit the EU is standing up to the USA more than our Westminster government.


  1. I seem to remember when Plaid, the Left of the Labour Party and the TUC were Eurosceptic. What changed?

    1. Yes I think there's still a great of Euroscepticism on the Left . But much of the social policy working time directives,Human rights charter etc have come from Europe where even the right parties like the German Christian Democrats are more progressive then the UK Tories. We need to recognise this while keeping an eye on increasing bureaucracy and centralism.