from the oh-don’t-you-worry dept.

Leading privacy expert Caspar Bowden, warned European citizens not to use cloud services hosted in the U.S. over spying fears. Bowden, former privacy adviser to Microsoft Europe, explained at a panel discussion hosted at the recent Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference in Brussels, that a section in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act 2008 (FISAAA) permits U.S. intelligence agencies to access data owned by non-U.S. citizens on cloud storage hosed by U.S. companies, if their activity is deemed to affect U.S. foreign policy. Bowden claimed the Act allows for purely political spying of activists, protesters and political groups. Bowden also pointed out that amendments to the EU’s data protection regulation proposal, introduce specific loopholes that permit FISAAA surveillance. The president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves (at a separate panel discussion) commented that, “If it is a US company it’s the FBI’s jurisdiction and if you are not a US citizen then they come and look at whatever you have if it is stored on a US company server”. The European Data Protection Supervisor declined to comment but an insider indicated that the authority is looking into the matter.

This is a problem, because in America is it where the citizens believe “I have nothing to hide, and I’m a citizen, therefore the Government wouldn’t look at my data.”  How wrong people are for thinking like that.

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