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Statement on the Advocate General’s Schrems/Facebook opinion

European Parliament

MEP Patrick Breyer (Pirate party) comments on the Advocate General’s non-binding opinion in the Schrems/Facebook case:

“The unambitious Danish Advocate General fails to protect us from the mass surveillance mania of the US and other states. Although the dummy ‘privacy shield’ will likely fall, the NSA mass surveillance of our Facebook usage would still be continued. The idea that data protection authorities whould individually stop all flows of data into the US is unrealistic. Now it it up to the Court of Justice to defend European fundamental values. To us Pirates fundamental rights are not negotiable!”

In detail, Breyer criticises three points in the Advocate General’s opinion:

“1) The fact that EU member states are responsible for national security does not mean that the EU should turn a blind eye on foreign national security programs. The Advocate General’s thinking would leave us completely unprotected in the face of American, Chinese and Russian surveillance mania.”

“2) The Advocate General wants to replace the democratically enacted requirement of an ‘equivalent level of data protection’ by mere minimum safeguards (paragraph 249). This is unworthy of a European Union that aims to be a beacon of freedom in the world.”

“3) The Advocate General does not consider it a generalized access to communication content where a selection of communications takes place (paragraph 273). Defining the notion of ‘mass surveillance’ so narrowly would mean that excepting only the mobile phone of Mrs. Merkel would suffice to clear the US from the allegation of generalized surveillance – an absurd idea. It is a fact that under constant surveillance supervision and control, one cannot behave freely. For that reason mass surveillance is unacceptable and needs to be stopped!”


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