Caspar Bowden has been aggressively lobbying the EU Parliament over the implications of the FISA Amendments Act for some time. In short, the Act authorizes capturing data from ‘Electronic Communications Service Providers’ when the data possesses foreign intelligence value. The result is that business and personal information, in addition to information directly concerning ‘national security’, can be legitimately collected by the Agency. (For more, see pages 33-35 of this report.)
Caspar’s most recent article outlines the unwillingness of key members of the EU Parliament to take seriously the implications of American surveillance … until it ceases to be an issue for policy wonks, and one of politics. Still, the Parliament has yet to retract recent amendments that would detrimentally affect the privacy rights of European citizens: it will be interesting to see whether the politics of the issue reverse the parliamentarians’ decisions or if lobbying by corporate interests win the day.