Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 229

Civil Liberties MEPs go to Washington to discuss data protection, surveillance and counter-terrorism

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 marzo 2015

parlamento europeoA 11-strong delegation from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, headed by Claude Moraes (Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, S&D, UK), will go to Washington D.C. from 16 to 20 March 2015 to obtain up-to-date information on the state of play and progress in the US on major issues, such as data protection and the current legislative works by the US Congress on framing surveillance activities. MEPs will also update the American counterparts on the EU data protection reform and on counter-terrorism initiatives, including the EU Passenger Name Records (PNR) proposal. Before the departure of the delegation, Claude Moraes stated the following:”The European Parliament’s previous delegation to Washington in 2013 took place during an international diplomatic crisis between the EU and the US following the Snowden revelations on mass surveillance. The delegation took place at one of the most high profile moments with revelations breaking of both NSA spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone and on mass surveillance of EU citizen’s private information.Since the Edward Snowden revelations in July 2013, authorities both in the US and the EU agreed that a thorough debate on these issues was both welcome and necessary considering the breakdown of trust following NSA mass surveillance and data collection allegations.The European Parliament has begun its second phase Inquiry following the Snowden revelations. We have already shared our concerns with the US on mass European Parliament , spying and economic espionage and now return to Washington in 2015 to discuss key issues including;
1. Judicial redress for EU citizens in the case of transfers of personal data for law enforcement purposes
2. Safe Harbour for US companies
3. Reform of EU data protection legislation and US recent initiatives and trends on data protection
4. Passenger Name Records (PNR) in the area of counter-terrorism and law enforcement
Since 2013 there have been positive developments in the US. The commitments by the Attorney General to extend judicial redress to EU citizens under the Privacy Act, within the framework of the so-called EU-US “umbrella agreement” on data protection for data transfers for law enforcement, so they can access US courts under the same conditions as US citizens and without discrimination, was an important step towards rebuilding trust and achieving equal treatment between US and EU citizens on this issue.
On US Safe Harbour, negotiations are still ongoing between the EU Commission and the US on the serious failings of this agreement, following our conclusion that the Safe Harbour has not been properly implemented and has failed to provide the adequate level of protection of EU citizens required by EU legislation for data transfers to US organisations members of the Safe Harbour. We will also update the US on the data protection reform, giving it is one of the biggest international legislation on data protection, and how it will affect the US and our transatlantic relations, and will get insight of recent US initiatives on data protection, such as the draft consumer bill of rights put forward by the White House.
Following the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, we will also give the US a progress report on counter-terrorism and law enforcement proposals, including on the Passenger Name Records, given these are world-wide issues”.

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