Friday Nov 01, 201306:39 PM GMT
EU to review data protection laws: Comninos
Fri Nov 1, 2013 9:48AM
Interview with Alex Comninos
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Press TV has talked with Alex Comninos, from the Association for Progressive Communications from Giessen, Germany, regarding Washington’s spying operations worldwide.


What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: After Europe, China now has become the latest country to express their dismay over America’s spying activities worldwide. How do you size up the response by the European governments, especially Germany, that is where you are, to the spying?

Comninos: Germany and France have discussed the possibility of trilateral non-spying agreement between France, Germany and the US. At the EU parliamentary level, the EU parliament committee for civil liberties is looking at two measures.

The first would be to review what is called a Safe Harbor Agreement that has existed with over 4000 companies since 1998. The Safe Harbor Agreement allows them to contact European customers and to store their personal and contact information.

The EU parliament and German officials from Angela Merkel’s sister party are also talking about possibly reviewing data protection laws at the national and EU level to further protect European citizens from NSA spying.

Press TV: And what do you make of the contradictions that is coming out from the US? The White House, on the one hand, has said that President Barack Obama did not know about the spying until recently. This is while US spying agencies including the NSA confirmed that he did know about the operation from the beginning.

Comninos: Well, it is quite a contradiction and one has to ask oneself that both sides of the story may have possible negative consequences.

The one that is if Obama knew and was breaking trust he had with the European leaders and the other as if Obama did not know what that means to the extent that the NSA surveillance apparatus is operating outside of even presidential oversight and yeah, President Eisenhower did not warn us about the military industrial complex and we are also looking at a surveillance industrial complex in many parts of the world that operates without government, parliamentary and sometimes even presidential oversight.

So, I think whether he knew or whether he did not know, both have serious implications.

MSK/NN
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