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US Reneges On SWIFT Agreement

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we-changed-our-minds dept.

EU 394

Windrip writes "It seems the US is not living up to its end of the bargain when it comes to the SWIFT data agreement. When the agreement was signed last year, every EU citizen was guaranteed the right to know if the American authorities had retrieved their banking information, and which authorities had requested the information. Now one European Parliamentarian, Alexander Alvaro says that, once again, the Americans are not honoring their treaties."

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394 comments

I'm an American... (4, Informative)

Palmsie (1550787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512290)

...and I don't agree with the stance my government is taking. Just in case all the non-US slashdotters go on about how X, Y, and Z America is. It's not all of us, scouts honor =)

Re:I'm an American... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512322)

I suspect the majority of American /.'ers would say the same thing, so what's the point in stating it?

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512354)

The point is that the American Government does not necessarily represent it's people. Despite the fact that it should. Count me as another citizen who is deeply embarrassed by the actions of my government.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512510)

We know for certain the US government doesn't represent Slashdot. Which is what I was trying to say: the OP's objection should come as no surprise to anyone who reads Slashdot. If it involves a controversial US law then US /.'ers are invariably against it, particularly in non-domestic matters.

Re:I'm an American... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512702)

No worries, most people, I believe, understand that the US government does not represent all it's people. Those who do really need to get a clue. I'm European by the way.

But note also that I expect Americans to do something about their government, especially if they claim to be so embarrassed about it. Because either you fix the problem yourselves, or one day I will ask my government to take care of it (for example by not exporting items vital to your industry or by ceasing all police collaboration). It would be better for both of us that you take care of your own government rather than I dictate how your government should behave, but I can't endure your government's awful behavior forever.

I know it's hard for you guys to reclaim your government, I know your gov has become an entity of it's own, that the American people serve their government instead of the other way around. I know your votes don't count because no matter who you vote for, corporations will just bribe the elected people to swing their way. And with so many elected people in various positions of power it's difficult to have a government made mostly of good people.
But if you guys are motivated enough, you can do it. It's going to be tough, that's why you need motivation, but it's possible.
Protest TSA pat-downs by not flying; do not take the train when the government tells you the train is an alternative, instead respond "No, it's not comfortable enough. It's the plane or nothing". When your politicians can't buy whatever they want because business and industry are impaired due to nobody traveling anymore, they'll have to rethink TSA invasive searches.
I know half of Americans are happy about those TSA searches, but this is just an example of how you can change things provided you have the motivation and the willpower to fight long enough. Even if you don't have money and your vote is worth nothing, you can just use something else as leverage. Labor is strong leverage against the people at the top.
"Opt-out Day" was a joke because it was supposed to last only one day - it made those who participated feel like they were doing something, but they were actually not achieving anything. Had Opt-out Day lasted 1 month perhaps things would have changed.
Do you know why some politicians hate Anonymous' DoS attacks so much? Because they last longer than a day and have the potential to last forever. They really don't care about websites being down for a day or two, they can recover from that easily. Customers can't use the service? They'll come back in 3 days when it's working again, no loss at all. But what if the people doing those attacks suddenly decided to make them last 6 months? That's why they try to send these people to jail for as much as a few years when all they did was disrupt a website for 3 days. No matter how much you disapprove of those attacks, you can't deny the punishment far exceeds the crime.

It is possible for Americans to change their government. You have to do it, otherwise other nations will try and you won't like it (and neither will those other nations. I really want to emphasize that I would not take any joy in my country meddling in yours business).

Re:I'm an American... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512752)

I expect Americans to do something about their government, especially if they claim to be so embarrassed about it.

It is possible for Americans to change their government.

Begging the question of why we (Americans) should care what you "expect"... we have changed the Government. If you don't think George W. Bush... followed by Barak Obama... is a change, then I don't know what is!

Personally, as an American, who has never missed a vote, I hope more folks will be voting on a basis other than a strict "D" or "R" basis.

Re:I'm an American... (-1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512900)

If you don't think George W. Bush... followed by Barak Obama... is a change, then I don't know what is!

I can't quite tell if you are joking or not.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512778)

The number of Americans that abhor our current government and wish them to be replaced is small compared to the amount of people who don't feel the same way. All we can do is try to change their minds until we are sufficient in number. So, in a sense, we are doing something.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512800)

Believe me, if he didn't, there would be comments bashing Americans in general, and at least one person questioning why Americans were silent on such abuses. For example, look how Muslims are being picketed against [youtube.com] because since these idiot teabaggers didn't hear a Muslim condemn terrorism (and they're too lazy to ask one or google it), so they assume Muslims are by default supporters of it.

Re:I'm an American... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512836)

I bet a majority (perhaps slim though) of Americans would agree, but that it just isn't particularly important issue to them in general, which means it doesn't matter in the end.

Re:I'm an American... (3, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512374)

Usually people don't hate on average American folk (outside of jest at least), so much as they do the people in power, be it senators or CEOs.

Although the fact that things like the tea party exist, and there is more than one person that likes ayn rand's books, and GWB got voted in twice, and Reagan is the most beloved president in history... those all make that a lot harder ;-)

I suppose some groups may be more likely to hate Americans as a group (say Islamic fundamentalists that dislike western ideals), but westerners don't so much, I don't think. There are a lot of things I love about the US, and some very horrible things also.

Re:I'm an American... (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512438)

"Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope.'"
--George Carlin

Politicians are products of "political machines" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512544)

Mere puppets. Now, who really truly runs those "political machines"? The wealthy, for whom "enough" is NEVER, enough. They've got what I call a "virus of the spirit" & they're trying to "fill" whatever 'void' it is in their lives, with the acquisition of wealth, but moreso, power. In the end, I hope they realize they're chasing a never-ending goal if they think those things will 'complete them' as people, imo. Their true problem's greed, and not just minor greed, but totally insatiable greed on the part of the wealthy that produce these puppets in political figures (who act as excellent scape goats too when things shit the bed). End of subject.

p.s. too bad there isn't a way to successfully and accurately gauge that type of persona early on, and into later life also. Not sure, but I think the correct psychological term would be sociopath. Anyhow, if that were possible, then the world might be a better place, because face it: It's not "average joe" out there running the show, it's big money. They're making a huge mistake in killing the golden goose of the USA imo, because the rest of the planet's wise to their shit, and going to burn them (like China has imo)

Re:I'm an American... (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512694)

i voted ron paul. not all politicians suck. just the ones that have the charisma to make idiots believe they will do something different.

if YOU have good enough charisma to get voted in by a large majority of an entire country, then do run. we will vote for you...though chances are you like many others wouldnt refuse a large check from lobbyists... practice what you preach.

Re:I'm an American... (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512876)

The problem with Ron Paul is this: people would rather have an unprincipled representative who does what they want, than one who is principled and does what they don't want. If you think about this, you'll realize, as depressing as it sounds, it's a fairly reasonable position.

I like Ron Paul. As far as I can tell, he sticks to his principles. However, I don't agree with what he would do if he were elected president. I don't think the US should be isolationist, and I don't want to go back to the gold standard. I'm not certain that abolishing the fed is a good idea (although recently they have seemed to slide back to their traditional position of ineptness).

Re:I'm an American... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512556)

funny story about ayn rand, towards the end of her life she got government help for medical reasons under a pseudonym. She couldn't live up to her own "values". America is full of hypocrites of one color or another. The more stringent the values that they espouse they more they seem to ignore them. Truth is a little bit of tolerance could go a long way.

Re:I'm an American... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512580)

And the fact that you two seem to agree that "The World" consists of European leftists, speaks volumes.

Re:I'm an American... (2, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512768)

By American standards, the world is generally a fairly leftist place.

I think the bulk of non-US /. posters are European or Canadian though, so that is somewhat what I was going for. Not to mention the story is US/EU... I think my statement holds outside of those places though.

Re:I'm an American... (1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512662)

Usually people don't hate on average American folk

I do, and I live in US.
Best of Americans are tolerable, best of the best are even genuinely good, however average ones are nothing short of horrible.

Re:I'm an American... (-1, Troll)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512664)

Usually people don't hate on average American folk (outside of jest at least), so much as they do the people in power, be it senators or CEOs.

        I think we are on the same page there. The government is the problem, not the solution.

Although the fact that things like the tea party exist, and there is more than one person that likes ayn rand's books, and GWB got voted in twice, and Reagan is the most beloved president in history... those all make that a lot harder ;-)

        And there we deviate. You don't have a clue about the Tea Party if you read about it on any media outlet. If you don't care for Reagan, you understand *nothing* about America - nothing. Or you genuinely *don't* like America.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512706)

Ha! Either you love Reagan or "genuinely don't like America." By your statement, dear Tea Partier, he seems to have it just right. Trickle down was actually trickle up, unless you genuinely hate America because in a capitalist society the consumer is the top not some random company. Reagan was a government socialist doling out corporate welfare. And on top of that he spent more than any president before him. Hate America? Then you probably love Reagan.

Re:I'm an American... (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512724)

You can't blame our citizens. Much of our education is propagandized. If you're curious, do some googling on how Conservative Texas school districts influence what's taught in public schools around the country. A few months ago, they were trying to get Thomas Jefferson scrubbed from history; and he's a Libertarian hero!

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512742)

I'm an American (midwesterner), and throughout the short 21 years of my life, I've found that the people who are most friendly, tolerant, hospital, and caring have been Iranians and Chinese, and the least friendly are Americans. Interestingly, all of the Iranian and Chinese I've met all think that Americans are the nicest people they know, and that people of their own country are the least friendly.

As far as the internet goes, though, everyone's pretty much a gigantic asshole.

Re:I'm an American... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512872)

I bet it is a self selected group on both sides though. You speak to the Chinese and Iranians that are willing to speak to the longer term (over one generation) Americans, and the Americans they speak to are the ones willing to talk to the newer term (less than one generation) Chinese (though many of the Chinese I know came to build railroads, and are longer term Americans than I).

I've had a few Chinese friends, and they would basically tell me when I could hang-out, and when i couldn't as members of the community as a hole would judge them (during high school) for having American (read white, as we were all Americans) friends. Later in life some drifted from the community, and others stopped being friends.

To be fair, I shun large parts of American culture, in the sense that racist and/or willfully ignorant assholes are a large part of my "American" culture (and tend to be in every culture from what I can tell).

I know all the Turks I've meet in Paris and Vienna dream to come to America, where they will be truly accepted as locals, and I don't have the heart to tell them that it is only the Americans with an interest that visiting Europe that feel that way, and a large part of the population would hate them much like the French or the Austrians.

Re:I'm an American... (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512786)

We don't hate them just because we don't know them. The Americans we meet on "our" side of the world are unlikely to be representative for the "average American".

Make no mistake though, it's the Americans that vote their politicians into place, nobody else.

Re:I'm an American... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512848)

Although the fact that things like the tea party exist, and there is more than one person that likes ayn rand's books, and GWB got voted in twice, and Reagan is the most beloved president in history... those all make that a lot harder ;-)

Aren't there often enough essentially political parties that are neo nazi (in Austria), and fascist (in Italy) that are relevant to the politics?

Assholes give assholes power everywhere, not just over here.

Re:I'm an American... (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512868)

...snip...

There are a lot of things I love about the US, and some very horrible things also.

Very true, and I agree wholeheartedly. We've done some great and horrible things, often at the same time. We won't look back on the early 21st century fondly. That being said, the current climate of petulant self-loathing isn't one of my favorite things.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512890)

so you're saying you dont' mind americans unless they're pro right-wing? you nkow americans are learning first hand right now just how much evil anti-freedom rubbish both philosophies can create. I guess western europeans haven't even though they had hitler, mussolini and lenin/stalin on their doorsteps. we americans took our positions based upon your trials and tribulations!

Re:I'm an American... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512902)

"Islamic fundamentalists that dislike western ideals" ???

WTF, it's bullshit like that creates more mindless idiocy than anything else.

No-one hates Western "ideals", whether Muslim or otherwise.
"Ideals" are what SHOULD happen.
What pisses people off is Western PRACTICEs.

You know, like blaming EVERY Muslim because some of the residents of a Muslim country take umbrage at you killing all their relatives, or blaming all Muslims for "terrorism" because your government picks a Muslim country to blame for 911 - with NO EVIDENCE at all.

Or turning a blind eye while Israel commits genocide in Palestine and then vetoing any condemnation by others. Or not having a problem with THEIR nukes, but berating Iran for nuclear power.

It's the hypocrisy and "do as I say, not as I do" mentality that pisses us ALL off about the US.

It's interesting watching Japan's nuclear probs and thinking about how the US has no problems with THEIR nuclear industry, despite their public admission that they WOULD like nuclear weapons and despite the history WW2.
Iran has invaded NO-ONE, but aren't allowed the energy, let alone nukes to protect them from Israel - who ARE invaders and killers.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512412)

What the fuck is the difference, you complacent assholes?

Keep bullying the world to your standards, America, you'll fall soon enough with your deficits, and will be China's bitch soon enough. Then you'll know what it feels like, having to adhere to someone else's mandates, even those that violate your citizens' rights, in order to continue to do business with them.

Re:I'm an American... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512462)

Welcome to the club, Europeans. We don't know when our own government is spying on *us*, either. They've been ignoring disclosure and reporting laws for years about our own citizens.

Re:I'm an American... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512526)

Screw that. I'm American. I don't appreciate the anti-American sentiment--your country, your fuckup people. That's on you, not the US, particularly when it seems there are political reasons to undermine a *justifiably* unpopular treaty from you end.

I have no clue why the EU would agree to this in treaty form anyways. Really, are you people nuts, or just stroking anti-American sentiment to hide your own stupid decisions?

I have no clue what the EU would hand over data without review, as the article suggests Europol is. That's on the EU governments/agencies, not the US.

I have no clue why the BFDI didn't even bother to at least tell the citizen/gov member what data was handed over. After all, they or some EU member agency handed it over to the US, so they know *what* data was handed over. They don't need the US to inform the citizen of that. The US not revealing what agency revealed/reviewed what in that file IS important, but your own gov should be able to tell you that at least your data was accessed, and they seemed really like they didn't even want to do that--again, that's on the EU, not the US

The BFDI didn't even seem prepared to handle this request in the first place. Just maybe they aren't contacting the right folks across the pond either.

Lastly, and the point of the article, the US probably isn't honoring the agreement. Not much proof though given outside an agency that was ill-prepared to handle a request in the first place. But given the buffoonery of approving the treaty, providing data info to their citizens regardless of American action which they can certainly do, and the delay they caused on their own end, wow...seems the point of this, whether true or not, is the treaty is going to get pulled.

And as an American, or particularly if you in the EU, why the phrack is that a bad thing again? You should never have approved the treaty in the first place. If American stupidity or laziness means the treaty is pulled, then good, since you never should have agreed to this shit anyways. Your nation is your nation--quit handing over your info to some other nation out of your control, even if they may be nice, friendly, and a strong ally. Do investigations on your end, and if there's an issue, then turn that crap over to your ally.

Damn, I'd be pissed if my banking info was handed over to someone in Spain. Particularly, I'd be upset my gov was lazy and didn't want to do the investigation internally, and handed over info with no control over oversight or rights to a country I have little to no rights in if I'm not IN the country. Why would you in turn do this to your own citizens?

Re:I'm an American... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512790)

I don't get it. In Feb 2010 the EU Parliament had voted massively against it. I even sent a message thanking my MEP (who btw voted against it again). Then in July they approved it, with hardly any changes? FFS.

Re:I'm an American... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512824)

I tend to rag on Americans fairly consistently, but am the first to admit that every American tourist/citizen I've met has always been quite nice. Every American businessperson has been a total prick, though. It is unfortunate that your businesspeople, and your army, are your international representatives. They really seem to have no respect for foreign cultures when they stomp in; we, abroad, tend to get the imperialist version of your country, and the news doesn't really seem to indicate that we can expect things to change from within, any time soon.

And so what? (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512316)

And what are they going to do about it, send a strongly worded letter?

Dump a few 100 billion in bonds if you want to kick the US in the jimmy.

Re:And so what? (1)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512348)

that's so hilarious, oh god, you made me laugh so hard.....

yes, please put it in a short letter, no more than 1 page.

Re:And so what? (1)

GreedyFly (22979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512594)

Sad but true. No one but so called terrorists have the balls to discipline the US on any matter what so ever.

Re:And so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512552)

THIS (previous poster, having the typical American attitude)
is why the rest of the world hates you. Is that so hard to understand?
You goverment signes an agreement and says "FUCK YOU".

THIS
is why the terrorist won (look at your airports and tell me the terrorist didn't win).

The american middleclass is about to crumble, and you have barely anyone talking about in your media. You even voted for this rich-rape-the-poor by letting the rich pay nothing, while the average worker pays a LOT more (%). Do you realise that when only a few are very rich, and the rest is poor, that democracy no longer works? That money=power? (Heck, in Norway they don't even allow advertising on TV for political campaigns as it benefits the rich).

A real shame (5, Interesting)

bkk_diesel (812298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512318)

I'm not sure where to find a list of treaties that the United States has failed to honor (did a quick search and nothing obvious popped up), but it seems to me that as time goes on the Americans are losing more and more credibility on the world stage. The start of the real decline seemed to happen with the latest invasion of Iraq and really accelerated through the term of G.W. Bush. This is my perspective as a non-American living outside of the United States, but do the majority of people inside the U.S. realize how much they've lost on the world stage over the past decade?
In a way the decline reminds me of the local police - 30 or 40 years ago the local police were your friend - someone you could go to and talk to and who would be willing to help you out. These days it seems like you're best off staying as far away from the police as possible.
Does anyone else see things in a similar way?

Re:A real shame (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512378)

These days it seems like you're best off staying as far away from the police as possible. Does anyone else see things in a similar way?

Sadly yes, but I don't think America is the only place this is happening. Personally, I think it has to do with the fact that there are so many new laws about everything that basically everyone is turning into a criminal. So I dont think it really matters which way you cut it, it's bad everywhere. It just seems like America is the place where it is happening most.

Re:A real shame (1)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512382)

in the grand scheme of things, it's good that you conscientious fuckers die off after 60 or 70 years or else we'd really look like assholes.

Re:A real shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512388)

It's probably for the better. I know I for one, do not care how the US is perceived, even when I'm traveling abroad. I always find it bizarre that people think I should become defensive of my native country whenever the US is involved. I owe it no more tongue than you do.

things are actually better than they seem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512396)

things were actually WORSE in the past
the police are still your friend, but they're not your lawyer

Re:things are actually better than they seem (2)

Professr3 (670356) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512636)

Yes, but that's no reason to accept the status quo. Here's a quick hyperbole mixed with Godwin's Law: If I shot you in the face, it's fine because it was worse in Nazi Germany - they'd shoot you in the back.

Re:A real shame (1)

black6host (469985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512402)

"This is my perspective as a non-American living outside of the United States, but do the majority of people inside the U.S. realize how much they've lost on the world stage over the past decade?"

No, probably not the majority. But many of us do. Besides, it's a different world than it was 30 years ago. Our economies are so intertwined at this point it would be near impossible to practice isolationism even if the US wanted to. That being the case people from all over need to see things as they really are: boundaries are man-made, counter-productive at this point and they create a sense of isolation from responsibility to the rest of the world. Well, at least some of us here in the US thing so anyway.....

Re:A real shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512574)

I'm not sure what the post had to do with isolationism. Also I assumed the post was not referring to US police, since he/she is a "non american living outside the US". In any event, I think there are a growing number of americans that are very aware of our position on the worlds shitlist, and that are pretty unhappy with the way the feds are handling things. That having been said though, our place on the world stage was in a similar state toward the end of and immediately after the vietnam war. See how things look in a few decades, nothing is going to be entirely clear until we can look back on it.

Re:A real shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512456)

Maybe they just didn't say WHEN people would be informed? All the data will come out in the year 3000 for those concerned.

Re:A real shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512490)

Well one of the reasons for the change in the behavior of the police force was that back in the good old days when the police were your friend, they had LOTS of problems with corrupt police officers. So it was decided that police shouldn't get so chummy with the people they were supposed to be watching over. Departments nation wide instituted systems of revolving beats and rules of ethics to prevent try and prevent corruption. Now they are trying to reverse this somewhat because while it's helped reduce corruption, there is such a gap between the police and the public that nobody trusts them!

Re:A real shame (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512626)

I'm sure everyone would love the downfall of the united states. But lets just put things in perspective:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/2010_Nominal_GDP.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/e28cfcc56891df08bf32a556eb9d6d90.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_wage

Re:A real shame (2, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512708)

I'm also not from the US, and not living in the US (But I am an American, just like all Mexicans, Canadians, Cubans, and any other people living in America, which is a fucking continent).

I know a lot of people from the US, and I can tell you something, you can split them into three categories:

- Those that have no idea
- Those that think they have an idea, but they really don't.
- Those that have already moved out of the states.

Think about this: In 99% of the world, "Liberal" is a word used to describe those in the far right. In the US, that is the far left. The entire world considers the Red October to be one of the most important revolutions in history, a step in the right direction for Russia, and can differentiate between what Marx and Engels thought and what guys like Lenin did, from the barbaric stuff that people like Stalin did. The US thinks that the Red October was a coup d' etat organized by the evil reds. Around the world Communism means "YASPS" (Yet another Socio Political System). In the US, it means the devil's work. Less than 2% of US citizens are actual Atheists. Around the world, the world "Evangelical" is sort of an insult, the religions that are stock in the US are considered cults around the world, and mostly frowned upon.

Try talking to someone from the US that considers himself "leftist". You'll realize that, hadn't he told you so, you would consider him to be on the far right.

All governments are evil, the difference is that the US has the support of 99% of all its citizens. They have truly drank all of the Kool Aid.

Re:A real shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512780)

You forgot one category:
- don't care; may know; but too busy living

Re:A real shame (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512870)

I'm not from the U.S. and I dont live in north america. Please don't speak for me when it comes to the Red October. You have NO IDEA what we think about it or what we think of communism. Ask me father who lived through it.

Shove off.

Re:A real shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512894)

Grandfather, not father. I'm old but not that old.

Re:A real shame (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512878)

I'm also not from the US, and not living in the US (But I am an American, just like all Mexicans, Canadians, Cubans, and any other people living in America, which is a fucking continent).

I know a lot of people from the US, and I can tell you something, you can split them into three categories:

- Those that have no idea - Those that think they have an idea, but they really don't. - Those that have already moved out of the states.

Think about this: In 99% of the world, "Liberal" is a word used to describe those in the far right. In the US, that is the far left. The entire world considers the Red October to be one of the most important revolutions in history, a step in the right direction for Russia, and can differentiate between what Marx and Engels thought and what guys like Lenin did, from the barbaric stuff that people like Stalin did. The US thinks that the Red October was a coup d' etat organized by the evil reds. Around the world Communism means "YASPS" (Yet another Socio Political System). In the US, it means the devil's work. Less than 2% of US citizens are actual Atheists. Around the world, the world "Evangelical" is sort of an insult, the religions that are stock in the US are considered cults around the world, and mostly frowned upon.

Try talking to someone from the US that considers himself "leftist". You'll realize that, hadn't he told you so, you would consider him to be on the far right.

All governments are evil, the difference is that the US has the support of 99% of all its citizens. They have truly drank all of the Kool Aid.

What the hell are you smoking?

First.. for the last damned time... North America may be a continent, but the name of the country is the United States of America. We're Americans. You're not. Period. Mexicans come from Mexico. Canadians from Canada. Cubans from Cuba. Words bloody mean something.

As the rest of your post hangs on the idea that the only people who haven't left the US are morons it wouldn't seem to be worth replying to. You're either deeply clueless yourself, or a fair troll.

Re:A real shame (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512832)

No, the local police here went from being complete thugs to a mix of sexist assholes (of both sexes) and decent people.

Re:A real shame (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512858)

Interesting question. I'm 40, live i Norway - a socialist democracy (you know... what most Americans associate with Hitler.. sigh...).

When I was younger, I and everyone I knew lover America. We we happy to have a superpower that also was a beacon of freedom and democracy.
Today, as you middleclass crumble and you have lost control over your own politicans, you don't even revolt. Is the propaganda that effective?

I find it hilarious that poor right-wingers voted to let the rich not pay taxes (compared to average joe). The propaganda surely is working.

However, even here, and especially in EU, the same stuff is happeing. We are about to face a world where being a human does not matter unless you have money. This will bring down the western civilisations eventually, if it continues.

Re:A real shame (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512880)

This is my perspective as a non-American living outside of the United States, but do the majority of people inside the U.S. realize how much they've lost on the world stage over the past decade?

It was a talking point during one of the President's speeches. It's not a secret. Whether people care or not is another point. And while some agree US citizens agree with the general sentiment, for others the general vitriol that comes the US' way is fodder for politicians. It makes it really easy to play "us vs. them" which is just another form of fear-mongering that oils the current political machine (on all sides of any given aspect of politics).

Misleading headline and summary (4, Insightful)

Blackeagle_Falcon (784253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512336)

TFA talks about Alvaro's efforts to obtain information about U.S. access to his account data from the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BFDI). From the article BDFI seems to be some Kafkaesque bureaucracy. He submitted the original request in October. After repeated requests for more and different personal information, the BDFI finally forwarded the request to the U.S. authorities at the beginning of this month. The hang up here does not seem to be on the American side.

Re:Misleading headline and summary (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512428)

And....Europol has agreed to every request, so I'm not sure where the "failing to live up to the treaty" language is coming from. If there aren't mechanisms built into the treaty on how to retrieve this information in a timely manner, blame those who signed it.

Re:Misleading headline and summary (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512464)

The whole agreement was designed to bog down all requests in miles of red tape without having to deny them outright for a very long time, and employ a few more bureaucrats. Political expediency at its finest.

"We have 'transparency'.. Just fill out this form in triplicate, and we'll respond in 6 to 8 weeks... maybe"

Re:Misleading headline and summary (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512508)

The whole agreement was designed to bog down all requests in miles of red tape without having to deny them outright for a very long time, and employ a few more bureaucrats. Political expediency at its finest.

You base this interpretation on which parts of the agreement? Which facts? Or perhaps your comment is just gas?

Well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512350)

'Nuff said.

Re:Well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512430)

Yah beat me to the "Well,duh." comment. Good show.

Big surprise (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512358)

The European Parliament is so gullible, a few handwaving promises about the US handling the data according to EU rules and the EU developing its own storage system with the purpose of exporting data in a more controlled manner "within five years", and they drop all previous opposition...

Re:Big surprise (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512536)

The European Parliament is so gullible, a few handwaving promises about the US handling the data according to EU rules and the EU developing its own storage system with the purpose of exporting data in a more controlled manner "within five years", and they drop all previous opposition...

If they have a shred of guts in their entire body, then they'll take the US failure to uphold their end, and stop upholding their end / shut down whatever systems thay are providing that are not being used as agreed.

If they don't, then, well, they don't. Kind of think the US government needs to learn a lesson eventually -- possibly the hard way; HOPEFULLY in a way that doesn't do any damage to the US people beyond a slap on the wrist (?)

Re:Big surprise (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512810)

I simply don't get it. A hundred deputies or so still voted against, but the majority changed their vote inexplicably.

What about us? (1)

phmadore (1391487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512364)

And what rights were Americans guaranteed, I'd like to know?

Re:What about us? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512460)

And what rights were Americans guaranteed, I'd like to know?

The "Patriot" Act sets out what remaining remaining rights, if any, you Americans are guaranteed. You are guaranteed the right to be spied upon by your government. You are guaranteed the right not to know about it when that happens. You are guaranteed the right to have your treatment described as "interrogation" when if done by another government it would be called "torture". You are guaranteed that every effort will be made to prevent government employees (from the highest to the lowest) from being held responsible for their actions. And you are guaranteed the right to a free grope by a uniformed monkey when you travel by air. Some of these rights may be shared by citizens of other countries.

You once had other rights, but you mostly gave them away to politicians who talked about how much danger you were in.

Re:What about us? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512616)

You forgot: "You have the right to be forced to inform on your fellow American, while also being forced to not tell anyone that you have been forced to do so."

Note to Europeans (3, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512376)

We have altered the deal. Pray we do not alter it further.
    -- Obama

Re:Note to Europeans (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512606)

If only that were so. I could accept Evil compared to what I see...

"Meh, ______ (sporting event) is more interesting" - Obama

Tsunami and Earth Quake hit Japan - "Meh"
Muslim world in turmoil - "Meh"
Economy Collapsing - "Meh"

Re:Note to Europeans (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512860)

I hear fiddling while Rome burned was popular too.

On one hand, there is always some crisis somewhere that *requires* immediate attention. It is conceivable that the man is burned out, numbed, or tired. What more, several months into the office, you probably find that you really don't have the power / influence / friends you thought you did, like being trapped on a roller coaster ride you can't get off, so you just have to grin and bear it.

On the other hand, these are *important* matters that can potentially affect large numbers of people, be it citizens, allies, or (hah!) future citizens of the empire. A stitch in time does save nine, so the saying goes; putting forth some effort now, even if he's in a bad situation, would probably place him / the People / America / the Earth in a better position later. Be lazy, forget to fill the car up with gas or do the laundry (just the basics), and you could be in a very place by the end of the week.

   

Re:Note to Europeans (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512874)

You've got it backwards, actually. The US is a bit odd in that it's content to be everyone else's scapegoat. Consider China the polar opposite, which won't accept the slightest public criticism, even when they amply deserve it, and more...

In short, yes the US uses it's influence to get what they want. Do you think any politician would have a career if they signed up to give the US everything they want, no strings attached? But how about if they made a deal that sounds good, only to have the big bad US back out of their obligations? Well then it's not their fault, is it? After a thousand such broken deals, how could they know this would happen again? Oh, yeah, but whatever we do, we can't stop keeping up our side of it, of course....

What a boring story..... (1)

tuxrocks2 (2018914) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512414)

Its rather interesting to read this story about US PATRIOT act and how it was extened last year. Government can now do whatever it wants here, really.

AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? (2)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512418)

Seems our government uses the above response quite often when questioned by the international community.

Re:AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512486)

i agree to you idea !
http://www.sunglassesing.com/sunglasses/burberry-346.html

Why aren't they asking Europol? (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512472)

I don't understand why the BFDI needs to ask the US for this data. If Europol are vetting the US requests, shouldn't they be keeping track?

Re:Why aren't they asking Europol? (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512828)

How would that help? The US would just proxy everything through a friendly-sounding US agency and the Europeans would have no way to really now where the data ended up.

What do American citizens get? (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512482)

As an American citizen who's used SWIFT transfers, I'm curious whether I have the right to know if American (or any other) authorities have retrieved their banking information. Is that something that could be gotten through a Freedom of Information Act request?

this appears to Be EU's problem (1)

Zebai (979227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512488)

According to this own article this is the EU's obligation to make this information available, not the US authorities. I also cannot seem to verify any part of this disclosure requirement unless its related to some other EU compliance law related to subpoenas.

GODZILLA !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512492)

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high tension wires down, Godzilla!

Helpless people on subway trains
Scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them, Godzilla!

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town, Godzilla!

Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah

Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah

Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah

History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men
Godzilla !!

So let's see if I got this straight... (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512494)

Stop me if I make any mistakes here...

When another country does something that the USA doesn't like, the USA gets all up in arms about it and either invades the nation with the intent of "setting them free", or else they impose quite intense political and/or economical pressure on the nation to comply with their expectations.

When the USA does something that another country doesn't like and the other country dares to point this out, the USA basically goes "Meh." Because they figure that there's squat all that anybody else can do about it.

Just wanting to be sure I know where things stand.

Re:So let's see if I got this straight... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512578)

Just wanting to be sure I know where things stand.

We have more bombs than you do.

Re:So let's see if I got this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512680)

I am so tired of everyone jumping back and forth on the America bandwagon. It always goes back and fort. We are great, then we are evil. "America is always stickin it's nose where it doesn't belong trying to police the world." Then a week later "Oh my god, do you see what is happening and America is just watching it. Why aren't they helping?"

It is the same BS over and over back and forth.

"Ohh the US is corrupt thier politicians are all crooked."

Please before you jump on your high horse point out one country in the entire world where there is no corruption in government.

Of course the US is the only country that ever does anything wrong. No other nation is evil unless they are a third world nation.

Grow up, there is evil and corruption everywhere. EVERYWHERE

I also love how people take a short, single paragraph article and accept it as gospel. Don't take time to read the full article to get all the facts. Just accept the small snippet as the complete truth.

Re:So let's see if I got this straight... (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512772)

Grow up, there is evil and corruption everywhere. EVERYWHERE

/quote>

Yes but when's the last time evil and corruption in the UK or Australia or Zimbabwe had a direct effect on you? The US has enemies because the US has influence. Very few nations -China and India come to mind - have policies that will affect so many people's lives and their influence is usually still limited to their own borders.. The EU as a conglomerate of nations also has power. But the US seeks to have more influence outside it's borders than pretty much any other nation.

Re:So let's see if I got this straight... (1)

extraordinaire (2010224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512734)

When another country does something that the USA doesn't like, the USA gets all up in arms about it and either invades the nation with the intent of "setting them free", or else they impose quite intense political and/or economical pressure on the nation to comply with their expectations.

1. It's not our fault the other countries are pussies. 2. TFA is editorialized to hell, but in short, not giving up a few names is not quite on the same scale as, say, creating a safe haven for a terrorist organization that attacks your country.

Off Switch Needed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512534)

In the Future. Perhaps not long from now, misanthorpes and mallcontintents such as the half-bread formerly known as Barry, the thing that call itself Barak Hussain Obama, and the Oligarch known as Janet Neopolitanio will be implanted with OFF-SWITCH.

The function of the OFF-SWITCH is to kill the owner.

The killing of the owner is deemed in the interest of the betterment of humanity.

Just a little consequence of Obama making himself the 3rd court of the United States of America.

PS. Now we know. Obama instructed Treasury to hand over 2.8 million dollars to families in Pakistan. So, Obama's third court will accept blood money for internees at Gitmo. Ya'll cum. Pay up.

Nough said.

-308

U.S. reneges on Swift Agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35512584)

And this is newsworthy and surprising because????

You know what I miss? (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512638)

That feeling from when I was a kid that there was anything remotely honorable about my country's conduct.

Re:You know what I miss? (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512852)

I can understand this. A few years ago, my dad and I were talking about the inevitable demise of the US; and while I didn't care other than the repurcussions for the rest of the world, he was genuinely sad to see the "bright spark" of the post-war era dying.

That said, don't assume that _all_ of your country's conduct is reprehensible. They've been very good at getting aid to disaster areas, and most of the people I've met have been very repectable (and respectful).

Bullies... (3, Insightful)

suss (158993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35512674)

Bullies rarely keep their promises.

That's what the US has become to the rest of the world; nothing more than bullies.

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