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US Forbids The European Law Enforcement Agency From Releasing European Documents To European Officials

from the bloody-cheek dept

Europol is probably not very well-known outside the EU. Here's how it describes itself:
Europol is the European Union's law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens. We do this by assisting the European Union's Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism.
The emphasis is in the original. You may notice that it mentions Europe a few times, which underlines the fact that Europol is a European organization based in Europe, run by Europeans and serving Europeans. But the US seems to take a different view:
The head of the EU police agency Europol is taking instructions from the Americans on what EU-drafted documents he can and cannot release to EU lawmakers.
The story in the EUobserver quoted above explains:
The issue came up over the summer when US ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner told EU ombudsman Emily O'Reilly she cannot inspect an annual Europol report drafted by the agency's own internal data protection review board.
And if you are thinking there might be some top-secret US information in that report, the Dutch MEP Sophie In't Veld says that isn't the case:
"There is no operational information, there is no intelligence, there is nothing in the document. So you really wonder why it is kept a secret."
The problem seems to be simply that the uppity Europeans dared to write their report without asking for US permission first:
The Americans are unhappy because Europol had drafted the report "without prior written authorisation from the information owner (in this case the Treasury Department)."
The fact that the Treasury Department thinks that it "owns" information about how the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) complies with European data protection laws is rather telling. No wonder that back in March, the European Parliament called for the TFTP to be suspended in the wake of revelations that the US was going outside the program, and accessing EU citizens' bank data illegally. The latest high-handed action by the US ambassador to the EU is unlikely to encourage them to change their mind.

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Filed Under: crime, data protection, documents, eu, eu parliament, europol, lawa enforcement, us


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 3:09am

    There is no operational information, there is no intelligence, there is nothing in the document. So you really wonder why it is kept a secret.

    Because reasons. And because they can. And because the people are the enemy.

    Having the Europol taking orders and hints from the US Police State should set quite a few alarms into Europeans heads.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 3:57am

    Remember, Europeans are not American, and therefore have no rights and to be treated with utmost contempt. It goes without saying that this goes for the right to information as well.

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:44am

      Re:

      Europeans are not American, and therefore have no rights and to be treated with utmost contempt

      Wait. They are not supposed to treat Americans that way?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:10am

    'Because we can, what are you going to do about it?'

    The US isn't even bothering to pretend here, they're making it pretty clear that no matter what it may say on paper, they don't see themselves as partners with the others in the program, but rather the boss of it.

    If the others in the program had any dignity, self-respect, or interest in maintaining their own authority, they'd drop the program after a stunt like this, or at the very least kick the USG out of it and revoke their access to it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:16am

    US: And then we put it on paper in an undemocratic deal and now the EP can't do jacksh&t about it...*cue diabolical laughter*

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:32am

    Here,s the thing ,the us is acessing eu data ,browsing ,financial ,social media,
    email etc at this point anything thats not encrypted has to be assumed to be under surveillance .
    eg as far as the usa is concerned any eu person is fair game .
    That,s why the treaty is designed for the good of the us ,
    not eu citizens .

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:39am

    Because - American Exceptionalism, that's why.

    Think I'll make popcorn and watch Team America.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 9 Sep 2014 @ 4:43am

    "There is no operational information, there is no intelligence, there is nothing in the document. So you really wonder why it is kept a secret."

    I really wonder why there is a document with nothing in it. Crazy Europeans wasting paper.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:00am

    and, as per usual, the USA thinking it rules the Planet and has the right to dictate what can and cant be done anywhere, unless permission has been granted by it. i have to ask the questions what gives the USA the right to think it rules the Planet, why does the USA think it can dictate to others like this, what would the USA do if the situation were reversed?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:04am

    meant to ask as well if the EU is taking any notice of the USA and what will the USA do if the EU takes no notice? start another war? it seems to me that the only thing the USA is any good at now is doing exactly that, as well as bully nations to do what it wants and trying to get the ISDS implemented so that USA companies will be able to sue other countries and take them over if they cant/dont pay!! and there are supposed to be terrorists that they are fighting? best look a bit closer to home, me thinks!!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:21am

      Re:

      Eu lacks any army and even worse: There is no political unity on foreign policy. EU is not scary at all in the "might makes right"-department, that is what USA and Russia are taking advantage of and has been taking advantage of for a long time.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:10am

    The US agencies can fuck off and die, This is not their jurisprudence. Any interference should be construed as an Act of Terro, and should be dealt with as such.

    This tinpot diktat bullshit has got to stop.

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

    • identicon
      Zee, 11 Mar 2015 @ 7:47am

      Re: Agreed

      Agree 100%.. Last time I checked it was the United States of America. Not the United Empire of Earth. Always getting involved in ish that don't even concern em

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:21am

    The American people should take down their government, or at least protest.

    I see no protests about the US murdering thousands of innocents every year. All i see is "we must make facebook pages, and like all the posts and write letters to congress" so they can be rerouted to the recycling letter withour being opened.

    You need to learn about democracy with the french, when the french government starts messing too much with the people, cities burn. I'm not saying start destroying your own cities but at least gather in public places, so much people in the US and no one protests, you all behave like good sheeple.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      I'm not saying start destroying your own cities but at least gather in public places

      Already been tried. It was called the Occupy Movement and it got crushed.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:45pm

        Inevitable

        I'm pretty sure the Occupy purge was prove enough that peaceful protest is now impossible.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 8:56pm

          Re: Inevitable

          USG/Police to the public: 'Sure you can protest, protest all you want in fact, just remember, if you become too visible or effective, we will shut you down and crush you. The public is allowed to call for change(in specially designated 'free speech zones'), they are not allowed to actually try and cause it.'

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 8:36am

          Re: Inevitable

          No, it was not. Anybody who gave up after the occupy movement is a fool.

          The occupy protests themselves were very successful -- the problem was that there was no followup. Look back to the civil rights protests. Early on, they looked to be pointless, but in fact they were not. This is a long-haul game, and no single protest, action, or movement will change a thing -- but all of them are essential.

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 10:09am

            They showed that the police can disperse a protest without reprisal.

            Oh do tell. Exactly how were the occupy protests successful? What change have they successfully propelled.

            What they demonstrated is that when a mayor or the polices or whatever gubernatorial entity wants to disperse a protest, they can with little embarrassment, let alone retaliation from the people.

            I'm half convinced that was the function of Occupy, to show that wealth disparity cannot be handled peacefully, partially thanks to the propaganda engine that has made any kind of equalization regime distasteful, the presumption being that if you're a gazillionaire, you worked harder than a night-shift waitress or a front-line marine to get there.

            But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt: what did Occupy succeed at doing?

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

  • identicon
    FitJackets.com, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:28am

    Expressionistic diversity towards information~

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:42am

    Lack of Trust

    Hmm, so we should start by preventing all bank-related data reaching to either GB or USA. I will be funny!
    (and Wise)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 5:46am

    Well

    Screw those EU guys... releasing that information will certainly offend the US, they need to follow their own logic and not release it on those grounds alone.

    You reap what you sow!

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

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:15am

    I think the EU needs to send the US one of those F-Bombs shown in the article above.

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

  • icon
    steell (profile), 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:31am

    It takes two to Tango (again)

    Seems to me like the only way the US can get away with doing this crap is if the EU allows it. It appears to me that very few (if any) Countries are willing to tell the US "No!", they all bend over instead.

    And that's sad.

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

  • identicon
    aNONYMOUS, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:34am

    Europe: America's largest military base.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:40am

    "The Americans are unhappy because Europol had drafted the report "without prior written authorisation from the information owner (in this case the Treasury Department)."

    Really this shows the insanity inherit in the very concept of intellectual property and permission culture.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:47am

    The fact that the Treasury Department thinks that it "owns" information about how the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP


    Is the information Copyrighted, That would explain the entire issue , you know because infringing behavior is bad and extremely expensive , My advise release a leaked copy online then say ...oops !

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

  • identicon
    bob, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:52am

    why have it at all?

    "There is no operational information, there is no intelligence, there is nothing in the document. So you really wonder why it is kept a secret."

    well, it SOUNDS like a govt report.

    with all the things not in the report, *I* wonder why they make it at all.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Keep It Up, Folks

    Oh dear. The US Government just keeps sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. How long will the rest of the world put up with this crap before real, political, economic, and military repercussions start happening? I just wonder who's going to pull the trigger on them first.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2014 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Keep It Up, Folks

      Probably their own citizens at the rate they're going. Question is when that happens, which country or group of countries (que coalition joke here) will send a peacekeeping force to prevent the infighting between their citizens & government?

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

    • identicon
      Digitari, 9 Sep 2014 @ 7:35pm

      Re: Keep It Up, Folks

      the world already knows the USA is insane enough to use nuclear weapons. We have done it once, and like beating your wife, you just know it's gonna happen again!!!

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 10:17am

        Atomic weapons, not nuclear.

        We dropped atomic weapons in WWII. No post-Castle-Bravo hydrogen bombs have ever been used in hostility and I think we hope to keep it that way.

        It would be really, really stupid of anyone, including the US to do so.

        And we have so many conventional alternatives.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2014 @ 11:43pm

          Re: Atomic weapons, not nuclear.

          Nuclear, thermonuclear, doesn't matter. It's a very loud bang with a very tall mushroom cloud. The only question is how loud and how tall. Once it starts it won't end until "undalleskaput"*.

          I hope, fervently, that we won't do it. I know, however, that if the US government feels threatened enough, they will, in a heartbeat. That applies to their own citizens rising up against them, also. They have a large stock of "tactical" nukes (

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 on a mobile device (profile), 23 Sep 2014 @ 7:01pm

            I suspect we're safe because paris didn't burn.

            It's such a neat story that they made a movie about it: when the Allies were advancing on Paris, Hitler ordered the city razed to the ground, but Dietrich Hugo Hermann von Choltitz, not wanting to be the man who burned Paris, delayed the orders until the allies arrived and the order became impossible to carry out.

            Unlike the US vs. USSR which had amazingly sophisticated security systems (for their time, and granted, the USAF didn't really use theirs), we've seen nukes in the hands of captains, and occasionally lower ranking officers in the conflicts between India and Pakistan...both peoples with religious fanatacism amongst them, and yet not one nuke was used.

            There is gravity to using nuclear weapons in hostility, even small ones such as nuclear depth charges (which we really do have), since such an even turns a key that no-one wants to see unlocked, and whoever does -- whatever nation does -- will go down in history as a traitor to the rest of the world.

            I think if we were going to have madman scenarios, we'd have seen one by now. Probably one that resolved without misshap but still. Though it's possible that one did and it was very well covered up. Not likely, though.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 9 Sep 2014 @ 3:15pm

    Wow.

    Someone probably gonna shoot me for this, but..
    I am starting to think Putin is right. It is time for the west to fall..

    Not that Putin is the way to go. No way. But, the american government has gone to far, yet again.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Howard (profile), 10 Sep 2014 @ 6:41am

      Re: Wow.

      Exactly my thoughts.

      So far Putin is the only world leader who openly and spectacularly give zero fucks about the us whining and bullying. Kudos for that (if not for other things).

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

  • identicon
    observer, 9 Sep 2014 @ 6:14pm

    The fact that the Treasury Department thinks that it "owns" information about how the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP)

    As a network engineer, I think they could have chosen a less confusing abbreviation.

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


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