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US Activists Oppose US Govt Calls To Weaken EU Privacy Rules 151

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lizard-people-lie dept.
judgecorp writes "The European Commission has proposals for data privacy (including the 'right to be forgotten') and the U.S. government is opposing them. Now U.S. activists have arrived in Brussels to lobby against their government's opposition to the European measures. The move comes following reports of 'extreme' lobbying by U.S. authorities against the European proposals." Although the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues, it doesn't seem like a bad idea in principle.
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US Activists Oppose US Govt Calls To Weaken EU Privacy Rules

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  • It cuts both ways (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pjt33 (739471) on Monday January 21, 2013 @07:52PM (#42652307)

    ...the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues...

    is one way to look at it, but the other way to look at it is that free speech raises some privacy issues. As the Stanford Law Review article recognises, there's a tension between the two and different cultures choose to give them different weights. That doesn't make either culture right or wrong.

  • Re:It cuts both ways (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BitterOak (537666) on Monday January 21, 2013 @08:13PM (#42652451)

    ...the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues...

    is one way to look at it, but the other way to look at it is that free speech raises some privacy issues. As the Stanford Law Review article recognises, there's a tension between the two and different cultures choose to give them different weights. That doesn't make either culture right or wrong.

    True, and in the pre-Internet days, it didn't matter very much if two different cultures weighed those two issues quite differently But it gets much more complicated when we're all connected. Suppose a European creates a Facebook account (hosted in the US) and later wants some information removed. Which country's laws should prevail? It gets even more interesting if it isn't a big international company like Facebook, but a small US-based blog site, that someone in a foreign nation chooses to participate in. Whose laws prevail then?

    The Internet is a wonderful thing, but difficulties do arise when different countries' approaches to freedom of speech differ, and both counties share the same global Internet.

  • by BitterOak (537666) on Monday January 21, 2013 @08:17PM (#42652491)

    If Universal posts the latest Spiderman movie and I re-post it, they can have it taken down. This is just normal copyright and that's not limited to big companies or rich people.

    But the copyright for a photograph belongs to the person who took the picture, not the person in the picture. (I recognize that in some cases, they may be the same person.) Suppose in the example given the picture wasn't taken by the person depicted with the beer bottle but by a third party, who gave consent to the second party to post the photo in her album which depicts the first party holding a beer bottle.

  • Re:Fortunately (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mill3d (1647417) on Monday January 21, 2013 @08:38PM (#42652633)
    Since these companies are based in Ireland for tax purposes, that might indeed end up happening...
    On the other hand, that could also force said companies' tax dollars back into the US which wouldn't hurt at this point...
  • by PTBarnum (233319) on Monday January 21, 2013 @09:17PM (#42652857)

    Sovereign nations don't often let other countries dictate their policies, but they quite often listen to what other countries have to say about them. The article does not say that the US threatened the EC, it just says that the US is lobbying the EC. If one country is proposing to do something that another affects the interests of another country, the latter can and should lobby the former. Foreign companies and governments lobby the US government on a regular basis, this is just the reciprocal of that.

  • Democracy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by manu0601 (2221348) on Monday January 21, 2013 @10:42PM (#42653347)
    Another practical example of how undemocratic the EU became: no need to lobby elected Members of European Parliament, just lobby the unelected European Commission. I got the feeling that a single US lobbyist weight more on UE politics than any number of EU citizens.
  • by Zemran (3101) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:03PM (#42653443) Homepage Journal

    They have very good reason to feel threatened. If Europe starts to get its act together, American people may start to think that it is possible and demand the same.

  • by Larryish (1215510) <larryish&gmail,com> on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:13PM (#42653505)

    ... the definition of a terrorist is someone who threatens others with violence in order to have their demands met.

    What if the terrorists wear badges?

  • by similar_name (1164087) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @12:55AM (#42654057)
    How would Slashdot be forced? Why would a European law have jurisdiction in the U.S.? I suppose the EU could begin blocking sites that don't comply. Some sort of Great Firewall of Europe I suppose.
  • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @02:40AM (#42654453)

    Enough with the revisionism.

    *You* said "invade". Nobody else did.

    OP spoke of "unofficial threats", which is probably not far off the mark: "But if you make FB do this, they'll lose money. And this is bad for you, because...".

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