„The world’s citizens, companies and governments should continue to press the United States to reform its spying practices. Keeping data out of the United States is no answer. There is no easy substitute for reforming government surveillance.“ Tim Edgar stated yesterday on TechCrunch and I totally agree with him. But it is not only a reform of the government surveillance we need.
In 2014 we read many articles and News about the surveillance by US American authorities, about the data disclosure and transmission requests companies receive. And we read even more opinions, if the demand is legal or morally justified. The companies try to increase their data processing transparency. The authorities‘ hunger for data remains unchanged, though. And it is not a „bad habit“ of just US American authorities and agencies we have learned by the practices of GCHQ which has to comply with UK laws, which for their parts are based on the European data protection directive. We don’t just only have a problem with government surveillance. We have a global problem. A global problem and not just a challenge that is getting very obvious with a globally connected and accessible world: Our moral and legal systems in particular regarding privacy, freedom of speech and about the question how to balance conflicting human rights are not conform. And currently, we are far away from any global alignment: Means of penalty, the suspects rights especially the right to be heard before a court, the control of spying agencies and military authorities, just to mention the obvious ones.
The regulators and politicians need to concentrate on an alignment of the global system, the basic principles and – especially European politicians – to stop arguing about IP addresses, cookies and similar minor privacy topics. Now, it is up to EU regulators to push for a global solution and to straighten up what they have neglected by agreeing on SWIFT and PNR.