EU Parliament Urged To Reject Agreement With The US To Hand Over Passenger Data

from the privacy-matters dept

There's been an ongoing discussion between the US and Europe (and other countries as well) about the US's demands that anyone flying to the US should have all sorts of data passed along to the US first. And while an agreement has been made, apparently the rapporteur in charge of examining this issue of sending passenger data to the US, Sophie in't Veld, is now urging the EU to reject the agreement.
The key issue appears to be that the details of the current agreement violate existing European rights and rules -- including the fact that the US will retain this data forever (contrary to some claims that it would just be held for 15 years -- which was already problematic). Apparently, the agreement goes so far as to give US law enforcement a direct login to European computer systems, so they can sift through reservation data at will. Basically, this is yet another case of US law enforcement overreaching in what it wants to be able to spy on, and just assuming that everyone will go along with it, despite a lack of clear reason for why. Now, what remains is whether or not EU officials will give in.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    Yes, yes. Reject the US government. They'll just push harder! Don't remember to push back, with everything you've got. Don't let them systematically take over other countries like this.

     

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  2.  
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    Pixelation, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

    Hey EU, all your data are belong to US!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

    It is not at all difficult to imagine why US authorities may seek some of the information discussed in the article.

    If certain people in the EU see it as an issue, then perhaps they may wish to consider the possibility that clearing US Customs will be infinitely more difficult.

    This is not to say that privacy concerns are illegitimate, but only that it is a bit weary to keep reading about the big-bad US trying to stick it to the rest of the world by "demands" and "overreaching".

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 9:43pm

    It would be the height of foolishness for the EU to have adopted their agreement with Australia as a standard and then allow the United States variations to that standard.

    In Canada we've already suffered from the over-enthusiam of American authorities who wrongly deported a Canadian citizen to Syria where he was detained and tortured for a number of years while the security apparatus in the States and Canada denied any mistake before admitting one and our citizen came back home. We still have the problem of Canadians appearing on a no fly list on a Canadian airline (Air Canada) apparently based on the US no fly list who can still travel back and forth across the border with relative ease and fly on American carriers once in the United States.

    It's not just the permanence of access to data that American authorities want but what the maze of American security agencies will do with it once they have it even as they work at cross purposes, which they often do, and European citizens get to pay the price for it.

    Ensuring security from terrorists is vital and something all nations and groups of nations must do. Just not at the cost of eroding the rights of the citizenry because some in the security apparatus just love the idea of tonnes of data they can have fishing expeditions into.

     

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  5.  
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    Joe, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 9:50pm

    It always greatly annoyed me that when I fly from Vancouver to Toronto, all my personal details are sent down south to the US government because the flight path crosses over US airspace. It annoys me more that no one in government put up a fight over this.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 10:38pm

    Re:

    "This is not to say that privacy concerns are illegitimate, but stop having them because it annoys me."

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 10:49pm

    For the EU, this is a problem where they are pretty much screwed. If they want access to US airspace, they pretty much have to accept the rules.

    The EU can choose to enforce their rules, but they will find that they are not able to change US law.

     

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  8.  
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    rml, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 10:58pm

    The solution is easy: reciprocity.

    For every bit of personal data that leaves the EU for the US (as passenger data, as a result of dragnet request by law enforcement, NLSs, letters rogatory, MLAT requests, FISA orders, subpoenas, search warrants, or what have you), an equal amount of personal data from an American must be transferred to the EU, so our law enforcement, governments, secret services, and companies can rummage through your information at will, share it at will, modify it at will, datamine it at will, use it for advertising purposes at will, tax you at will, deny you access to the EU at will.

    Seems only fair.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:23pm

    Re:

    Amend 'american' to 'american politician' and I'd totally agree, otherwise both sides will have innocent people having their info poured over instead of just one.

    Bet if politicians had to share that level of details with a foreign government they wouldn't be nearly as eager pushing for stuff like this.

     

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  10.  
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    Squig (profile), Feb 29th, 2012 @ 11:32pm

    Re:

    This would probably be illegal under European law (which is where the problem actually lays).

     

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    john cage (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 12:09am

    EU is Doing Right

    I think EU is doing the right thing, they should surly reject the agreement :P

     

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  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 12:10am

    Re:

    It is not at all difficult to imagine why US authorities may seek some of the information discussed in the article.


    The concerns are not over the US requesting data. It's how they have access to it, how they store it and how long they have access to it.

    If certain people in the EU see it as an issue, then perhaps they may wish to consider the possibility that clearing US Customs will be infinitely more difficult.

    Again, the concern is not about sharing the info, but how much and how the info is shared.

    This is not to say that privacy concerns are illegitimate, but only that it is a bit weary to keep reading about the big-bad US trying to stick it to the rest of the world by "demands" and "overreaching".

    No. They are demands and they are overreaching. For someone who constantly puts us down petulantly for not knowing what we're talking about based on your "expert" knowledge, I'm surprised you'd comment on a subject you appear ignorant about.

    The concern here is that the US has continued to ratched up its demands further and further, and now basically wants universal, unlimited access to European passenger roles. As the video makes clear, the EU is fine with sharing reasonable amounts of data with limits on how it is accessed, how long the US has access to it, and how it's stored.

    The demands over those things are clearly, overreaching.

     

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  13.  
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    rml, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re:

    I disagree. Politicians are sly enough manipulate the system and to work in exceptions in new bills for themselves.

    It's the voter who needs to feel the pain, as an incentive to push for better legislation through their representatives.

     

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  14.  
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    rml, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re:

    I think it may be perfectly permissible, really. It already happens, and if there is a really flagrant breach like the SWIFT affair some years ago, new legislation (such as the treaty on sharing passenger data under discussion) will make it permissible in retrospect.

     

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  15.  
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    Johan Åkerman, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 1:46am

    Slavery is rising again. If you think I am overreacting just check what happened the last 15 years. In like 20 years they have removed paper and coins and also controlling your bank transfers, where you are at your cellphone or other device, what you are writing and to who, and to what IP adresses you are connected to. And have made VPN and encryption illegal... You all know they already now want this to happen. They are trying, one law at the time...

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 1:54am

    Re:

    @#3

    and when any other country expects to be able to do the same over US citizens and be able to have access to the US government's computer systems, what will the response be? it will be a very loud 'FUCK OFF'. this is a typical move by the US. they've got to have every bit of information about everybody and be able to track everything about everybody, but will refuse to allow the same of it's people or government. another step towards trying to take over the world!

     

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  17.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 2:49am

    Re:

    I, nor many others, do not want our bank details handed over, if we pay by credit card. Nor do we want our passport information handing over. Nor do we want other identifying information to be handed over before we visit the US, or even if we don't.

    WE DO NOT WANT OUR INFORMATION TO BE COMPROMISED BY GOVERNMENT FIAT.

     

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  18.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 3:30am

    Re:

    ....

    ya know, the simple response to this is to stop flying to the US.

    if they want to kill their markets, let them BE a dead market and see how that goes for 'em.

    would hurt the EU in the short term, long term would hurt less than agreeing to this sort of nonsense, and might eventually result in a shift in US policies... or at least a return to isolationism on their part so they leave the rest of us alone.

    or, you know, they start invading (more powerful) places (than before). that could happen too.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 3:41am

    Re:

    More true than you know: the first thing that will happen is that all this passenger data will be transmitted to the US.

    The second thing that will happen is that the US-based repositories holding it will be hacked, the data will be extracted, and it will be made available for sale in the usual places on the Internet. This means in turn that every stalker, every rapist, every crazed ex-lover with sufficient cash and savvy will be able to purchase it.

    The third thing that will happen is they'll use it.

     

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  20.  
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    kenichi tanaka, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 4:29am

    The United States is trying to become the new "Nazi Germany" of the 21st Century. The world needs to be very concerned because the United States is quickly becoming a threat to world peace.

    Look at the Obama Administration. It wants peace talks to continue between the Palestinians and Israel but when Israel continues to build on land the Palestinian Authority want to build their state on ... Israel says no and continues to build on that contested land.

    So, what does the Obama Administration do? They demand that the Palestinians to come back to the talks yet won't pressure Israel to negotiate in good faith.

    I'm an American, I'm a Patriot and I love my country. But I'm ashamed and disappointed that our government no longer works for the people and they are no longer working for peace. Only to further their own goals of instituting laws that are only harming our civilization.

    The founding fathers of our country, who created our "Constitution of the United States", and I'm referring to the original "UNALTERED", "UNEDITED" and "UNABRIDGED" version of our constitution, they would be ashamed as to what has happened to our country.

    I wish our founding fathers had never rose up against the British rule because we deserve to be destroyed like the disease we've turned into.

    I'm sorry for saying this but we've become the very problem that we rebelled against (when we fought against the British Empire). America has become a dictator who no longer respects our neighbors and who continue to dictate to the rest of the world what they should be doing.

     

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  21.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 4:46am

    Re:

    If you use Google mail or Hotmail or Yahoo mail, that's more true everytime.

     

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  22.  
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    abc gum, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 4:53am

    Why do they hate the tourist industry?

     

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  23.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:04am

    Re: Re:

    And on the other side, US demands info from EU, but don't reciprocate. The EU doesn't get flight info from the US. At least not to the extent that the US gets about EU citizens.

    It is very much a one way street.

     

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  24.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:10am

    Re:

    The US has been hating on the tourist industry for a few years now, with the tax on filling out the little ESTA form online.

    "The US Customs and Border Protection department charge $14 per application for an ESTA. All payments must be made by credit card." ( source: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/uni ted-states )

    So only people with a credit card can enter the country, but only when you've already paid 14 bucks for the privilege of emptying your soul to US Customs and Border 'Protection' agency.

    Next to that you have to endure the ridiculous security theatre, which thankfully you don't have to pay for (yet).

    No, the US hates tourists, and would like to see America only open to Americans.

     

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  25.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:12am

    BTW, EU has been giving this info to the US since 2003

     

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  26.  
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    kenichi tanaka, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:28am

    President Obama and his DOJ are turning into Hitler, rampaging across this planet and telling everybody else what to do. Jobs have been decimated in our economy, the wealthy are now even more wealthy than before this crisis began and all he and his cronies can do is force other countries to give in to his demands.

    It's like Obama is a mix between Napolean and Hitler.

     

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  27.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, we already feel the pain. It is our government who thinks it is great fun to run expose us to radiation with their "virtual strip searches" and then as if that was not enough they also have to grope you. All in the name of "security".

     

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  28.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:10am

    Re:

    I will agree with you for the most part. The only difference is I am proud of what this nation once was and would not trade that for anything. I just think the time is fast approaching for the citizens to take this nation back and restore it to what it once was.

     

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  29.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Re:

    You should be standing up to your EU not my corrupted USA Government.Here's Hoping you stand up for the Rights of Europeans.

     

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  30.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    It's not quite that bad, the US Government just hates modern technology and everything it can be used for.

     

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  31.  
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    nasch (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re:

    So only people with a credit card can enter the country, but only when you've already paid 14 bucks for the privilege of emptying your soul to US Customs and Border 'Protection' agency.

    You're going with a $14 fee? There are reasons not to go to the US, but once you've bought intercontinental plane tickets, $14 is quite literally pocket money.

     

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  32.  
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    abc gum, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    Yes, because it was all peaches 'n cream before that socialist Muslim from Kenya took office.

    Oh, wait - did I respond to sarcasm? In the midst of right wing pandering, it becomes difficult to discern.

     

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  33.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    Tourists are freeloaders that take away all the overpriced miniature Statue of Liberty mementos and leave none for the patriotic and god fearing Americans.

     

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  34.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I know, but I know of no other country that does this. To pay in order to fill out a form to say that you are not a terrorist.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    This is not even close to the tenor of my comment. Your attempt at parody fall well short of the mark.

     

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  36.  
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    Unonymous (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 8:01am

    What I would like to know is how this proposal would be received if it was proposed from Europe?

    You want to fly from Chicago to Germany?

    Great! Submit your information to all countries that you pass over for security reasons. This could include many half a dozen countries or more! Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the U.K, the Netherlands, Germany, perhaps France.
    If all these countries wanted to keep and retain information about U.S. Citizens traveling to, over or through them, in perpetuity how would the U.S. Government react? Why would they expect any other nation to react differently than they would?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re:

    If you have the resources to find it, post a copy of the document. I tried to find it last evening, but all I could find were various articles and press releases taling about it.

    BTW, it is not my intent to put you down. Most of my comments are intended to clarify or correct statements made that I believe are inaccurate in matters dealing with legal issues.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 8:14am

    Now no one wants to visit USA. ^lluminati

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know. Seems pretty accurate to me. Since you're just another AC, I can't with complete certainty point to other comments of yours, but assuming you are the AC I think you are then that parody is entirely on point.

    Also, if you really want to hide yourself as anonymously as possible, you'd change your writing style. This air of sophistication you attempt to present at times, when you aren't foaming at the mouth over piracy, kinda gives you away.

     

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  40.  
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    same day same thing, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    us methods:

    1 "ask" for whatever it is you want.

    2 when not getting it "encourage" said country to get it.

    3 if not effective promish to help them with "gifts" and "aid"

    4 if that does not work "talk" them into it with threats of "agressive diplomacy" and helping fund "like minded citizens" to "encourage" said government and people to accept there "agressive diplomacy"

    5 if all else fails commence "aggressive diplomacy" to bring "freedom" to said country

    6 PROFIT!

    steps seven and eight will be covered if populace *has different outlook*

    i doubt it will get beyond step 2 here

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That is exactly the tenor of your comment. In fact, it shares the same condescension as all of your comments.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Condescension is in the eye of the beholder, and apparently you read things through a filter having a very narrow field of view.

    This article purposely characterizes US officials in a negative light, without any consideration that there are perhaps some legitimate reasons for the data.

    Before launching in to another "they are at it again" screed, in my view one who wants to strive for accuracy should at the very least try and secure a copy of the document and try and contact US officials to solicit their views.

     

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  43.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    BTW, it is not my intent to put you down. Most of my comments are intended to clarify or correct statements made that I believe are inaccurate in matters dealing with legal issues.

    Bullshit.

    If you wanted to correct or clarify you would correct or clarify. You don't do that. You snidely comment about how smart you are while snidely talking down about anyone you dislike. It's pathologically stupid and makes you look like a jackass.

     

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  44.  
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    Kevin (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 4:23am

    And the "New World Order" marches on

    One world government as predicted in the Bible (Revelation 13:1-15)
    The so called Christian USA has done more to push the world to this point than any other country since 1945.
    They will ultimately fail as has every other empire building nation throughout history.

     

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  45.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Re:

    I have some nice new tinfoil you can buy. Please visit my eBay account - you can use Paypal if you want!

     

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  46.  
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    Niall (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Yes because both Hitler and Napoleon thought it would be funky to invade other countries "for the lulz", which of course the modern US Democratic party is so guilty of last decade... except that they didn't.

    So, who would you rather compare with Hitler and Napoleon?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only I know my intent, and what I said is accurate.

    Apparently, you seem to believe you are a better judge of my subjective intent than I am. Just because you believe you are right does not mean you are. I say what I say in good faith. It would be nice to have it received as such.

    By the way, I constantly attempt to correct or clarify. Not once have I ever made any sort of comment about how "smart" I am and how "dumb" someone else is. Your resort to personal attacks makes we wonder if perhaps your subject matter expertise does not stand on as firm a foundation as you proclaim and would have others believe.

     

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  48.  
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    weddie, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Just wondering, as a parent (living in Europe) I would actually like to visit the states with my kids, to show them what is a great country. It is just that issues like this make me think, well, I don't want to if the US government is going to do this. Where can I make my voice heard???

     

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  49.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently, you seem to believe you are a better judge of my subjective intent than I am.

    No, I can read your intent just as well as you can, and your denials of your obvious intent are pretty laughable.

    By the way, I constantly attempt to correct or clarify. Not once have I ever made any sort of comment about how "smart" I am and how "dumb" someone else is.

    Nearly every post you cast aspersions on the knowledge of someone else without actually "correcting" or "clarifying" anything.

    Case in point: http://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20120218/00481917799/how-patent-system-is-rigged-to -only-expand-whats-patentable.shtml#c187

    There is no reason to post what you posted other than to suggest that Mr. Masur is not as well versed in these subjects as you, the brilliant expert.

    You make no effort to correct or clarify. You merely suggest that Mr. Masur is clearly unqualified to speak on such issues, while implying that you, of course, have the necessary experience.

    It's exceptionally transparent. And the thing is, you do that in nearly every post.

    Your denials are pretty funny. Because if you truly believe you are clarifying and correcting and NOT acting like a pedantic asshole, you really need to go back and learn how to write like you're not a pedantic asshole.

    And, I know, I know, oh heaven's to betsy, Mike Masnick is using curse words again. You're a big boy. I've told you already that I call it like I see it, and you act like a pedantic asshole who never has the balls to actually make a definitive statement on anything. It's why we call you out, and why we think you're full of shit. Because you are.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 9:37am

    Re:

    What you may read at sites that raise a ruckus about matters and issues such as this in now way reflects day to day activities here in the US.

    I would hesitate in the least to visit and enjoy the diversity of places and things that my country has to offer. I visited Europe with my family several years ago, even as controversial political issues were being discussed and considered for legislative enactment. Funny thing, they had not a whit if relevance or impact on the great enjoyment we had traveling throughout the contries we visited.

    While in Europe we were welcome with open arms, and had a great time trying to deal with the diversity of languages with which we came in contact. Imagine not speaking German, the other person not speaking English, and yet somehow being able to communicate. It was actually quite fun.

    As we experienced in Europe, I have no doubt you would have the same experience in a visit to the US.

    BTW, if a part of your visit would be to go to a theme park in Orlando, make sure you avoid the period between mid-April and mid-October. The temperature and humidity is more than a bit extreme...it is almost debilitating for those who are not acclimated to extremes of heat and humidity.

    Enjoy what we have to offer. I am confident you will find a trip here a very pleasureable experience.

     

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  51.  
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    nasch (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    I visited Europe with my family several years ago, even as controversial political issues were being discussed and considered for legislative enactment.

    That's a bit different since those controversial issues weren't specifically related to European governments invading your privacy as a condition of allowing you to visit (at least I don't remember any such issues).

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This may come as news to you, but I read such articles, and in addition review bios, CVs, other publications by authors, bar memberships, etc. to get a sense of the person behind an article. I also look at the names of the persons credited with having assisted during the preparation of articles, which in cases such as this comprise many who I either know personally or whose body of work I have studied over the years.

    In the past I have critiqued many such articles, some laudatory and some not. Many I happen to disagree with I most certainly do not "pan" because it is clear that the author is not shooting from the hip. As difficult as it may be for some to understand, it is quite possible for one having a particular view of the law to entertain polar opposite views. They can be provocative and provide very valuable food for thought.

    Some years ago I wrote a rather scathing critique of an academic article. The author took umbrage and essentially told my that I was way off base and my view would never hold sway before a court. Funny, but I never heard back from the individual when my view was upheld by a court and a decision rendered that came as a surprise (to say the least) to the vast majority of practitioners who regularly dealt with the issues involved in the case. Does this make me "smart". Absolutely not. All it does is confirm that there is no substitute for closely following substantive law and its historical development. This is but one of many examples where longstanding notions and understanding of legal issues have been proven wrong, with those critical of my views and opinions comprising predominantly academics.

    As for using "curse words", all they indicate to me a fundamental weakness in the position(s) being articulated by the user(s). In my view resort to "crass" is an ineffective way to engage is a discussion.

    By the way, what is this "we" stuff? Seems to me it should be "I".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    William Chambers, Mar 4th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    No

    This is not an issue of US overreach, but more of EU overreach. If the EU chooses to accept the US's request, then it's the EU's fault. Full stop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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