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EU Warns Cloud Customers of Data Surveillance by U.S.

The European Parliament published a new study prepared by the Centre D'Etudes Sur Les Conflits and the Centre for European Policy Studies that raises concerns of cloud data surveillance. Titled "Fighting cyber crime and protecting privacy in the cloud", the document pays special attention the current legal framework of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which grants U.S. authorities the right to monitor the data of non-U.S. residents and organizations.

In its recommendation, the document authors write that the European Parliament should consider "amending the [data protection] Regulation to require prominent warnings to individual data subjects" and that "no data subject should be left unaware if sensitive data about them is exposed to a 3rd country's surveillance apparatus."

"The EU should open new negotiations with the US for recognition of a human right to privacy which grants Europeans equal protections in US courts," the document concludes.

Slate recently quoted William Kennard, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, stating that fears of mass surveillance are unwarranted. According to Kennard, all law enforcement and national security investigations require legal and judicial permission, which FISA, however, explicitly circumvents for non-Americans.

As long as FISA remains unchanged, there is little that the U.S. government can do to alleviate any fears that data will be monitored.

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