EU, Merkel to raise NSA program with US officials

Jun 10, 2013
This undated photo made available by Google shows failed drives that are destroyed at a data center in St. Ghislain, Belgium. Google says it destroys malfunctioning storage drives on site to protect user data. (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou)

Senior European Union officials will question their American counterparts about previously undisclosed U.S. surveillance programs during a trans-Atlantic ministerial meeting in Dublin starting Thursday.

German Chancellor will also raise the issue with President when he visits Berlin next week.

The European Commission said Monday it was concerned about the impact of such programs on the privacy of EU citizens and said overall problems involving data privacy had already been raised by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding during talks with her U.S. counterparts in April.

"This case shows that a clear for the protection of personal data is not a luxury or constraint, but a fundamental right," Reding said in a reaction to the case.

The 27-nation EU and the U.S. have long been in talks about data protection as part of negotiations on judicial and police cooperation.

Any issue touching on national security is dealt with separately by each of the EU's member states, but data protection is negotiated by the bloc as a whole.

Germany's Interior Ministry says it is in contact with American authorities to try to clarify details, and determine whether there was any infringement of German citizens' rights, after reports emerged last week of a phone records collection program and Internet-scouring program used by U.S. intelligence. The top U.S. intelligence official has declassified some details.

Obama is due in Berlin on June 18 for his first visit to the German capital as president. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Monday: "You can safely assume that this is an issue that the chancellor will bring up."

Germans are traditionally sensitive to data .

Explore further: UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

5 /5 (4 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU, US discuss data protection deal

Apr 14, 2011

EU and US officials met in Hungary Thursday to try to move forward negotiations for a framework deal to protect the privacy of European citizens' data in future anti-terror operations.

EU data protection reform to replace national laws

Nov 28, 2011

The European Union wants to replace a mishmash of national laws on data protection with one bloc-wide reform, updating laws put in place long before Facebook and other social networking sites even existed.

EU urges US to bolster data protection practices

Dec 06, 2011

(AP) -- The EU wants the United States to strengthen data protection practices in order to create a uniform "privacy landscape" on both sides of the Atlantic, a top official said Tuesday.

French official: Europe must defend privacy rights

Nov 18, 2011

(AP) -- Europe and the United States don't agree on how to strike the right balance between protecting privacy rights and battling the terror threat, the head of France's data protection watchdog said Friday.

EU Parliament backs US passenger data deal

Apr 19, 2012

(AP) -- The European Union parliament on Thursday approved a new data agreement with the United States that tightens restrictions on sharing information about passengers flying from Europe to America.

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

Nov 25, 2014

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

Nov 25, 2014

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

Nov 25, 2014

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.