Wyden Blasts EU ‘Safe Harbor’ Ruling
Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., condemned the European Union Court of Justice ruling today, which struck down a key agreement allowing the free flow of information between Europe and the United States.
Wyden has long warned of the economic dangers of overbroad surveillance, including at a roundtable in Silicon Valley last year.
“By striking down the Safe Harbor Agreement, the European Union Court of Justice today called for open season against American businesses. This misguided decision amounts to nothing less than protectionism against America’s global data processing services and digital goods. It is a mistake that will wreak havoc on businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, and cost good-paying American jobs,” said Wyden.
“Yet, U.S. politicians who allowed the National Security Agency to secretly enact a digital dragnet of millions of phone and email records also bear responsibility. These ineffective mass surveillance programs did nothing to make our country safer, but they did grave damage to the reputations of the American tech sector. Recklessly broad surveillance policies give European regulators an excuse to chop the Internet into country-sized pieces.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Safe Harbor agreement in international digital trade, and by helping the European Courts to strike it down, short-sighted politicians have seriously damaged American businesses. Congress needs to start taking the next steps on surveillance reform now, and not wait for the expiration of section 702 of the FISA statute in December 2017 to get started.”
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