Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Patriot Act vs. the EU's Data Protection Directive

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the otherwise-the-terrists-win dept.

Cloud 239

itwbennett writes "Last week, Microsoft warned that under the Patriot Act the company may be compelled to hand over European customers' data on its new cloud service to U.S. authorities — and also to keep the data transfer secret. This, of course, runs counter to the European Data Protection Directive, which states that organizations must inform users when they disclose personal information. 'Microsoft can already transfer E.U. data to the U.S. under the Safe Harbor agreement. But legal experts have warned that this agreement is hardly worth the paper it's written on,' writes IDG News Service's Jennifer Baker. 'There are seven principles of Safe Harbor, including reasonable data security, and clearly defined and effective enforcement. However all this is nullified if the Patriot Act is invoked.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Down with the patriot act! (4, Insightful)

asylumx (881307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664228)

Seriously, why can't we get rid of it?

Re:Down with the patriot act! (4, Interesting)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664398)

It's the Patriot Act which "isn't worth the paper it's written on" - or is it The Constitution that isn't worth the parchment it's written on - since the Patriot Act?

Re:Down with the patriot act! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664524)

The Constitution has undergone gleischaltung. It was necessary to protect the United States from its enemies.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664406)

With Obama, yes, we can! Obama for change!

Oh, wait ... He got the PATRIOT Act renewed. Never mind.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664474)

Yeah. That was his PERSONAL doing. Fucking Kenyan socialist.

Idiot. Wasn't it Bush and the Republicans who wrote and passed the damn thing in the first place?

Re:Down with the patriot act! (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664506)

If he was a socialist, you wouldn't have had him renew the act

Re:Down with the patriot act! (2)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664798)

You are under a misapprehension of what a socialist would do. Socialists aren't that keen on individual rights against the government. Quite the opposite. Sure, they may support some rights for people than a conservative or classical liberal might not, but those "rights" are actually entitlements and safety nets. Many socialist countries have very effective central government with significant powers in certain cases to do things that would make an American start to froth at the mouth. Things like actual censorship and press controls. That is because a socialist merely has a different idea of what government power should be used for, not about how much power a government has.

The Patriot Act is not a socialist or conservative plot, it is merely a case of attempting to make government more efficient at the cost of individual liberties. Anyone in government will want to keep it because it makes their lives easier. That includes both liberals and conservatives.

That's the major reason why giving the government power for *any* reason can be dangerous. The powers that are derived from what is needed to enforce anything can be used by *anyone* who subsequently gets elected for their own purposes. Social Security is protection for people's retirements, and now everyone uses Social Security numbers for everything, even if it is not related to Social Security. The Patriot Act is obvious, but just because it is obvious doesn't make it more dangerous than other measures that have accumulated over time which allow the government to accrue power that it might not strictly be entitled to.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665022)

Well said. The powers we give the government keep getting expanded in spite of our protests to the contrary (our, meaning the voters). We have given the enumerated powers, but with those powers, our vigilance has been lax, and the government, corrupt as it is, continues to grasp for more power. The resolution is to challenge it in the courts. The problem is, that takes money, and the vested interests (those who like to restrict liberty... that includes the *AA's) will not take up the cause because it is not in their best interest. It takes a groundswell of individual protest to get any headway, but so far, the government and the complicit corporate press dismiss it as fringe loonies. (I never thought I'd see the day that Founders' concepts would be considered "fringe lunacy.")

Funny how things turn out like the Founders warned, though. Jefferson particularly comes to mind these days... but the power still rests in our hands, if only we weren't asleep (collectively)... Something has to jostle the voters awake... I thought renewal of the PATRIOT Act (and the TSA in general) would do it... but it hasn't.

The decline of the Constitutional Republic starts with voter apathy.... the second is letting things (corporations) that don't vote and aren't really people (in spite of the legal definition) control the halls of Congress.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664560)

Oh yeah, thats right, Presidents don't have anything to do with... oh, wait, they have to personally sign every single bill* that is passed through congress? And Obama did so to the renewal? Se he was the one who actually signed the renewal of the PATRIOT Act into law?
Huh, imagine that. Well, looks like the idiot is obvious now...

*exception for veto overrides of course, not applicable in this case

Re:Down with the patriot act! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664432)

One reason is that would take too many people with way too much ego invested in the way things are to admit that they were wrong. They also do not have the political cover (or balls) to do anything about or to the PATRIOT ACT except to keep extending it. At least Congress did one thing right with it, and put sunset provisions into it so it comes up to be exposed to light and oxygen periodically.

At some level, the PATRIOT ACT is a limited form of "emergency measures" that stereotypically seem to be enacted in authoritarian governments that seem to never go away, even if the actual or imaginary "threat" has passed.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/05/1840243/Patriot-Act-vs-the-EUs-Data-Protection-Directive#

Re:Down with the patriot act! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665162)

At least Congress did one thing right with it, and put sunset provisions into it so it comes up to be exposed to light and oxygen periodically.

And since then the leadership (from both major parties) has repeatedly shut down any attempt by Congressmen who are concerned about the more draconian provisions of it to actually debate any of it on the floor. Like the original PATRIOT ACT, the renewals have occurred quickly, with only a minority of legislators giving it any kind of real thought.

Sunset provisions are more often than not a way of making a bill seem less risky or stupid than it really is. For instance, the Bush tax cuts were portrayed as much cheaper than they turned out to be, in large part because according to the accounting at the time they would have expired last year.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36666088)

If you read right-leaning websites, they don't refer to that as the Bush cuts expiring... they call it Obama's tax increase.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664468)

Simply put, law enforcement agencies wanted many of the provisions in the PATRIOT act years before it was passed, but nobody was willing to go that far. Then we were attacked by terrorists, and suddenly the political climate changed and the concerns about undermining our constitutional rights magically disappeared. Now that law enforcement has the power they wanted, they are not going to give it up without a fight.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665708)

One important thing that most people decide not to mention is the fact that many of the provisions of the PATRIOT act were nothing new; in actuality, most of the PATRIOT act merely makes it easier for law enforcement (or ICE or whomever) to "fight terrorists." Most of the provisions decreased the level of bureaucracy, and judicial involvement, for law enforcement. So, actually, most of the scary things that the act permits were indeed possible before 2001, it was just prohibitively work-intensive for officials to get permission.

Do not get me wrong, I agree that there is no reason to have the Constitutionally uncertain act, and that it undermines civil liberties to a truly stupendous extent. However, I worry that getting rid of the act will not achieve the ends (as far as aiding civil liberties goes) that some think it will.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664758)

Because it's the Patriot Act. Clearly only a terrorist would want to get rid of something called the Patriot Act.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664992)

Why can't we get rid of it? Because our elected representatives are gaining power from it's implementation and not enough people give a enough of a damn to vote. There is actually a presidential candidate that will end the patriot act and barn-fulls of other malfeasance. Of course this guy is despised by even his own party, and is often misrepresented. Get the facts straight from the horses mouth, read his book, vote.

Or sit around bitching and doing nothing.

Re:Down with the patriot act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665024)

Seriously, why can't we get rid of it?

Well, DUH... It would be unpatriotic to get rid of the Patriot Act.

Onoes! (2)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664254)

The internet short circuited two jurisdictions causing paradoxical rift in cyberlegalspace.

Re:Onoes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664780)

if the balls touch, we all die

Don't put data in clouds (1)

rmstar (114746) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664258)

It will end in tears.

Re:Don't put data in clouds (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664834)

the problem is in the rain.

I have a feeling that things will be very interesting for the Next generation

Of course you realize, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664290)

This means war! EU vs US. Let's see who's got the chops.

Re:Of course you realize, (3, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664410)

What it means is that European companies face a fine under the data protection act if they use a cloud service in the USA. I would have thought that it would give the USA more incentive to change the rules than the EU.

Re:Of course you realize, (2)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664472)

It gives the USA incentive to bully the EU into changing its rules, yes. Wait for a relevant Wikileaks release in a year or two.

Re:Of course you realize, (2)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665292)

This is probably exactly what will happen. Remember the SWIFT treaty, about transferring bank transaction data from the EU to the US? The European parliament rejected it because of privacy concerns. Then, after a few months of arm-twisting from national governments and visits by Joe Biden among others, the Commission presented a new treaty with some cosmetic changes which was passed in the parliament with a large majority.

EUs stricter privacy laws are there in spite of its politicians, not because of them, and they are being hacked away at bit by bit.

Re:Of course you realize, (1)

meba (2025382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664528)

Cloud service in USA as servers in USA or a company with servers in EU founded in USA? Big difference.

Re:Of course you realize, (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664784)

Cloud service in USA as servers in USA or a company with servers in EU founded in USA? Big difference.

Obviously any entity that can be compelled to hand over customer data under the Patriot act. I think that it would cover both, but a company with servers in the EU could probably structure itself to avoid this - you know a wholly owned subsidiary in the EU.

Re:Of course you realize, (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664548)

Not necessarily.

IANAL, but AIUI you're perfectly allowed to transfer data outside the EU provided you take "reasonable steps" to ensure it remains secure. The Safe Harbor scheme essentially boils this down to a simple question for EU companies to ask US providers: "Are you registered under the Safe Harbor scheme?". The Patriot Act may throw a spanner in the works, but I'm not sure it's as much of a problem as it's being made out.

Re:Of course you realize, (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664756)

The Safe Harbor scheme essentially boils this down to a simple question for EU companies to ask US providers: "Are you registered under the Safe Harbor scheme?". The Patriot Act may throw a spanner in the works, but I'm not sure it's as much of a problem as it's being made out.

The thing is to be registered a company needs to comply with the seven safe harbour principles [lawdit.co.uk] . If they cannot (which the patriot act will not allow) they cannot register. If they cease to comply they are no longer registered. If you use a company who says that they meet the criteria and are registered but know that they are not then you are liable for a breech in the DPA.

"The Terrorists" (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664318)

...win again.

Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (5, Interesting)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664326)

I'm someone interested in releasing my software.

I've worked on this software for about 1 year my time, and done things I think are "research" in their newness.

Releasing any software in the U.S. is basically opening me up to a multitude of unfounded lawsuits and I become a target for corporate espionage - why do I bother.

As a euro developer - I must confess that the U.S. is looking less and less interesting as a revenue source.

All the "steal people's data" and the "we control domains" - why on earth would I think about building a business in this piranha pool?

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (2)

gilbert644 (1515625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664382)

It's by far the largest software market in the world and extremely influential, if you don't have a solid foothold in the US you are likely to get screwed down the line by a competitor that does. This is not likely to change anytime soon.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664608)

Problem is, I see it changing. As taxes go up and our freedoms go down, companies are going to be moving out. The only thing keeping us in the lead is the fact that other countries are also getting worse.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664738)

What evidence do you have that taxes are going up in the USA ? I found this [taxpolicycenter.org] pretty quickly and it shows the opposite.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665094)

What about other taxes that impact people as much as revenue taxes?
e.g. sales, use, property, gasoline, FICA, excise, capital gains, inheritance (death), license fees, other taxes disguised as fees, etc.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665330)

Maybe it's conservative propaganda to make people demand the tax breaks that are the only constant in conservative policies around the globe (even GREEK conservatives demand tax cuts!).

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665752)

No-one in the Greek government is demanding tax cuts, they are looking at decreasing spending [bbc.co.uk] , Greece's problem has come from widespread tax avoidance [bbc.co.uk] by the general population mixed with massive overspending by the government. The problem got as bad as it did because the Greek governments have successively lied about their budgets. The Greek protests are about the massive cuts mixed with a large scale sell off of nationally owned assets. [bbc.co.uk]

As for constant the Conservatives are heading a coalition government in the UK, a quick Google shows no planned tax cuts by the government and they only party in the UK asking for one is Labour [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665252)

As taxes go up?
Our taxes are very low, much lower than when the US was the undisputed leader of the software world. Compared to the EU our taxes are still very low. High taxes in the USA is a red herring, businesses move out to exploit slave-wage labor.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665270)

False premise: "As taxes go up".

I would have thought a geek would have better filters for Faux News and/or Teabagger propaganda...

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664748)

This I know, but unfortunately at this early stage of my company opening it up to unending lawsuits is basically the end of my dream.

The U.S. is basically "corporates only" for software. All the patents and pressures means until I have a sufficient _american_ patent portfolio, I'm easy game for the existing corporations registered with patents in the U.S.

It's a crazy state of affairs.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664610)

Because the US offers better protection for when Microsoft CopyOfYourSoftware(tm) is released.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664692)

or... Why do business in the EU. No-one forced Microsoft to provide a cloud service in the EU, perhaps a local competitor will emerge that in not patriot-act encumbered.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664760)

Right. As much as I would like this to be true there is too much group think in management where anything from MS is deemed as good.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664710)

we call it nazi banana state here now

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664754)

Good points and it makes me ask: Where in the world should I have my websites & domains hosted? I've got a few websites and I'd love to have them hosted in a country where I can have some expectation of not falling prey to the U.S. gubmint. (Note: Not a rhetorical question - I really want to know.) Thanks.

Re:Honestly - why do business in the U.S. (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664938)

In all honesty at the moment I'm erring on the side of caution - have a machine placed in a CO-LO where I'm in charge of everything and they provide network, power and air-co. Two machines, one slow cheap machine as serial server to the real machine.

Any company that insists on "root access to the machine" is off the list.

I'm still browsing at the moment.

If your organisation gets big enough for multiple servers - look into leasing a line and hosting the machines yourself. It's old school - but it's "I'm in charge".

Your mileage may vary :-)

Ok lets ask an easier question.... (3, Interesting)

pythonboy (1627121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664330)

Ok lets ask an easier question.... ... Who doesn't have access to my personal data ?

Re:Ok lets ask an easier question.... (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664392)

Ok lets ask an easier question.... ... Who doesn't have access to my personal data ?

You

Re:Ok lets ask an easier question.... (1)

pythonboy (1627121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664526)

Ok lets ask an easier question.... ... Who doesn't have access to my personal data ?

You

I would laugh if you weren't so damned right! £10 admin fee to find out what a company knows about me here in the UK. Even then the censor it with black pen, and send you a photocopy. But who censors the censors ????

Dear EU Members (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664350)

+ fc6f c098 c2be 29c2 bac2 8ac3 adc2 83c3 9b4e c2a7 ...
                                + 48a1 ef1f c39f 5137 c3bd 17c3 adc3 ad0b 6139 c2a0 ...
                                + 1692 12ee c2a6 c38c 3dc2 88c2 981f c294 1602 c2a5 ...
                                + b5bc a4e7 c396 1618 c2b6 c393 c2aa c38e c3b0 57c2 ...
                                + f34d 88ea 1969 c28a c382 c29e c2a6 c3ae c3b3 c392 ...
                                + dc0e d26a 40c3 a12e c38f c3a9 c3aa 3c57 c398 6e39 ...
                                + 5974 9e97 c2ac c3b1 3ec2 9dc2 8913 c3b4 47c2 82c3 ...
                                + 3ae0 b948 c297 c2b5 61c3 8f7b 530a c28f c288 0d57 ...
                                + 53c2 3960 c2a2 c39c c38a c2a7 414c 6bc3 ba6c 0732 ...
                                + 37f7 1b70 c397 c2ac c280 c3bb c29b c3a4 5635 c292 ...
                                + a620 385c 49c2 9506 61c3 b6c2 b7c2 bb75 c3b2 04c3 ...
                                + ab2f 455b 70c2 9d16 38c3 abc3 8872 c290 5051 c2a7 ...
                                + 86c3 d3ec c28f 2bc3 bdc2 b5c3 b933 4e43 2ec2 99c3 ...
                                + 0243 c71c c2ae c38d 74c3 b163 58c2 b1c2 bd3c 46c2 ...
                                + 46f9 9f4a c3a0 c299 c2b4 c394 1f79 c280 c2be c29a ...
                                + f696 3250 c287 0825 c393 c3a6 c2a7 3a12 31c3 bac3 ...
                                + a041 7d39 48c2 84c2 a446 c284 c289 5b15 31c2 b118 ...
                                + 3ce9 e371 51c2 94c2 ac46 c2b4 60c2 a2c3 8a61 c2a9 ...
                                + 5c44 b0da 33c2 8a26 c288 7ac2 b168 c286 c281 c394 ...
                                + e1e6 0084 2bc3 96c2 96c2 bfc3 ac64 0923 2bc3 9534 ...
                                + fbb7 c8f1 c2b4 c382 60c3 bfc3 8fc2 b83d 41c3 a3c3 ...
                                + 6057 17ff c2a4 420a c2a7 54c3 9ec2 9f50 c296 c38a ...

The summary is wrong. (5, Interesting)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664360)

There are specific exceptions for 'National Security' in both the European directive and each country's implementation (eg the Data Protection Act in the UK).

So all the US needs to do is find a shill (the UK government would be my guess at their first choice) who will declare that they need to export 'this' data as a matter of 'National Security' (honest!) and Microsoft and in the clear and the US get what they want.

Re:The summary is wrong. (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664488)

This doesn't get around the real business case though. The question for consumers/voters is whether they want their data to be subject to secret transfer to a (vulnerable?) foreign jurisdiction or not. For some classes of data (the important ones) any organisation which can offer you data security without backdoors to foreign powers would have a competitive, or in the public sector, a political advantage.

The summary is !wrong (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664532)

This is not an issue of the US government wanting information and needing a shill to send it to them. It is simply a matter of Microsoft, as a U.S.-based corporation having to turn over information on all its dealings with extra-nationals at the U.S. government's request. Euro privacy law would prohibit some of that and since Microsoft makes use of European systems, this falls under Euro privacy law. It is a horrible mess but the U.S. law will trump the EU law because...

Microsoft is a U.S. company. Would your solution help smooth things over for Microsoft? Yes. Is it necessary? No. Safe harbor, as noted in the article, lets MS transfer everything to the U.S. anyway (meaning the data is now on U.S. servers subject... only to U.S. law). If MS gets sued, one of their in-house counsel will waltz over to the EU and say, "hi, we're subject to U.S. law first... didn't you guys see that in the terms of service and eula? Oh, and ... the data is also in the U.S." If the EU bothers MS over it, there will be several amicus curiae from virtually every other company based in the US and likely the US gov't as well. ... if it even gets that far (and it won't).

Re:The summary is !wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665000)

It simply means US companies can't offer cloud services in the EU.

Re:The summary is !wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665066)

Euro privacy law would prohibit some of that and since Microsoft makes use of European systems, this falls under Euro privacy law. It is a horrible mess but the U.S. law will trump the EU law because...

Well, maybe the solution is to throw some people from Microsoft Europe into jail, and very loudly tell America to kindly go fuck themselves, because they have no fucking business demanding the information on citizens of foreign countries when there have been laws passed against it.

This sense of entitlement the Americans have is getting tedious. Fuck off, and start respecting that your laws do not trump everyone else's.

If the tables were reversed, the US government would be howling from the rooftops about how this violated their sovereignty and the rights of their citizens.

No wonder people fucking hate America nowdays ... because they've become a bunch of whiny losers who snivel that they need to fuck the rest of us over in order to keep themselves safe. Here's a hint ... the rest of us don't give a fuck if you're safe if it's at our expense.

This double standard they like to apply (laws, trade agreements, you name it) is getting old. I say someone should make it very clear that there will be people in jail or prison if Microsoft complies with this. Maybe there's a reason why other countries are losing sympathy for you?

Re:The summary is !wrong (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665256)

Of course the US would is the EU had produced any products that were used to the same extent as Microsoft's products. Though if that had been the case I strongly suspect the balance of power would already be very different than it is right now. Granted a large part of the reason is likely due to the fact that the EU countries spent decades worrying about the US and Soviets shitting all over the continent instead of working on technology and invention...

The EU is more than welcome to provide their own solutions in place of Microsoft's. All that has happened so far is that Microsoft has warned their customers of potential issues with the tangle of laws in the various countries their products are or may be used.

Your over developed sense of persecution isn't exactly well placed here. If the EU citizens are doing business with a company from another country then they must be prepared to deal with the laws in that country. Microsoft has merely done the due diligence that those citizens should have.

Re:The summary is !wrong (1)

bioster (2042418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665478)

Microsoft has merely done the due diligence that those citizens should have.

I don't expect my grandmother to do any real 'due diligence' when she buys a computer product. Is your grandmother really going to do more than compare prices, and maybe a feature or two?

I still want my grandmother's rights and privacy to be protected, though.

Re:The summary is !wrong (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665680)

Actually one of my uncles and I do my grandmother's due diligence when it comes to her computer and technology issues. I can still appreciate that Microsoft is being up front with a potential issue instead of pretending to ignore it until things come to a head and someone is crying because they were violated and weren't told it would happen.

Re:The summary is !wrong (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665122)

This is not an issue of the US government wanting information and needing a shill to send it to them. It is simply a matter of Microsoft, as a U.S.-based corporation having to turn over information on all its dealings with extra-nationals at the U.S. government's request. Euro privacy law would prohibit some of that and since Microsoft makes use of European systems, this falls under Euro privacy law. It is a horrible mess but the U.S. law will trump the EU law because...

So at the end of the day, if the US decides to use it's power over MS to get information from servers located in Europe, the EU will sue the hell out of MS for knowingly violating privacy laws... Sounds like a loose/loose situation for MS :)

Re:The summary is !wrong (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665682)

Except that at the end of the day, MS will take its $219 Billion market cap and its rather large political influence in the US and hide behind the US State Dep't. (which, despite the antagonism from the anti-MS, pro-EU guy above, is precisely what any company should do when it is confronted by a situation putting the laws which govern it in conflict with the laws of another entity in which it desires to do business, whether that is a US-based company or one based in Europe or Fiji or wherever).

Re:The summary is !wrong (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665710)

So at the end of the day, if the US decides to use it's power over MS to get information from servers located in Europe, the EU will sue the hell out of MS for knowingly violating privacy laws... Sounds like a loose/loose situation for MS :)

More like a tight/tight situation. ;)

Re:The summary is !wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665160)

And Microsoft would be sued in EU and lose tons of money

Re:The summary is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665202)

So, if Microsoft's data is necessary, does that mean the terrorists are running Windows?

WTF? (1)

Tiger Smile (78220) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664436)

Hard to imagine people still cling to the idea that we must give up our freedoms to protect us from the people who hate us for our freedoms.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664514)

There was this brief period during the fallout from the Enlightenment when great men believed that liberty was worth the additional dangers it might add. But, in general, people are too dull and too easily frightened to understand that. They're too easily overawed, too easily swayed by emotional appeals, and lacking in sufficient ability to evaluate statements such as "We're increasing surveillance to maintain your freedoms" and realize that the two notions are diametrically opposed.

Re:WTF? (0)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664566)

There was this brief period during the fallout from the Enlightenment when great men believed that liberty was worth the additional dangers it might add.

The Founding Fathers believed that liberty was paramount because God endowed men with natural rights. Now that the existence of a deity is not taken for granted (and is in fact expressly rejected by many on this site), the only defensible political system seems to be some form of utilitarianism: you can have only so much freedom as others are willing to allow you in their pursuit of what they believe is the common good.

Re:WTF? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664604)

What a strange position, since atheists and agnostics tend to be far more pro-liberty than your average theist. But hey, blaming non-believers for the failure of a nation overwhelmingly Christian with politicians who invoke God with obscene regularity to show their piety probably makes sense to you.

To me, however, it looks like you're just a bigoted piece of rat shit.

Re:WTF? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664648)

What a strange position, since atheists and agnostics tend to be far more pro-liberty than your average theist.

And that's what's so weird. J. L. Mackie, one of the foremost atheist philosophers of religion, also wrote an excellent book on metaethics where he makes the case that, in the absence of a deity, no one has an inalienable right to anything. It's all arbitrary rules made up by society. Many who would accept Mackie's arguments in philosophy of religion are, for some reason, unwilling to follow through to the ramifications for ethics and the relationship between individual and state or society.

But hey, blaming non-believers for the failure of a nation ... To me, however, it looks like you're just a bigoted piece of rat shit.

I must have missed where I castigated anyone for their beliefs whether theist or atheist. I simply noted that the beliefs of the American Founding Fathers are widely considered superseded by schools of thought that arose in the 18th century and they should not be considered the last word on politics.

Re:WTF? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664690)

I simply noted that the beliefs of the American Founding Fathers are widely considered superseded by schools of thought that arose in the 18th century

I mean in the 19th century/1800s. Sorry.

Re:WTF? (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664726)

Not really weird. Many people, who accept, that there are no inalienable right, just arbitary rules, actually consider these rules a genuinely good idea and are willingly following them.

Re:WTF? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665080)

Many people, who accept, that there are no inalienable right, just arbitary rules, actually consider these rules a genuinely good idea and are willingly following them.

Then they are looking at things from a utilitarian perspective instead of a natural rights perspective, and though they may agree with the Founding Fathers in some respects, they should take other statements from those men with a grain of salt.

Re:WTF? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665566)

Well, what IS a natural right? If you recognize something as such and someone else goes and uses force to trample all over your rights, where does that leave you? A right is only one when you are able to exercise it and as a society we formed a state to ensure that we can exercise our rights. What these rights are is an agreement within the society and differs between societies (e.g in the EU we consider life a basic right and the death penalty is a violation of that right, in the US the death penalty is in use).

As an atheist I believe that a "natural" or "god given" right is one a human made up and didn't want to justify.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664984)

It sounds similar to the argument that without God there can be no absolute morality, which appears to presuppose that absolute morality is in some way a necessity.

Even assuming that God exists and has given us a moral code, believers seem unable to agree on the nature of this moral code. Belief provides morality only when enough people can get together and agree on what God wants, and the same is true of secular moral codes. The only real difference is that the former group would invoke their deity as the source of morals, while the latter would hopefully be basing theirs on reason and common interest. It doesn't follow that either group will form an equitable or even practical system of morals.

Re:WTF? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665190)

Within Christendom morals have varied widely in time and place. At one time, the notion of a lawful order from King to Peasant was seen as a perfectly moral society, the idea that each rung on the feudal ladder should have any particular equal footing was not identified.

Heck, in the United States, or at least a fair fraction of it, belief in the natural superiority of white man over black man was seen not only as a sound moral precept, but was even given a theological underpinning.

Morals change over time. They never were nor will they ever be immutable. As I said in another post, about the only constant in the rules societies function by is the dominance hierarchies by which most higher primates organize themselves. The rules themselves are not as important as simply having rules of conduct to build a society around.

Re:WTF? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665504)

Sounds like the argument someone who is being well served by the current hierarchy would make; actually it sounds down right like the Neo-Communist Chinese government.

As a parent poster pointed out if you don't hold their is a higher power than man, then you have only two real choices. Everyman is completely sovereign unless and until he can be conquered and subjugated by others. You have anarchy. The other option is really to hold that because there is no higher power than man the collective judgment of men is enough, which gets you your argument any society where a majority derive benifet is perfectly ethical. There is nothing standing in the way to returning to the institution of Slavery for instance.

Before anyone gets cute and points out gee lots of our supposedly Christian founding fathers held slaves blah blah. Yes ok your right, to a point but many of them expected that the institution would not last. Sure enough it did not.

Re:WTF? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665890)

Ah my, the useful lie and the false dichotomy of atheism rolled into one.

All men are equal can be a philosophical position just as much as a theological one, and has the advantage of not ultimately amounting to "God says so."

And yes, I'll remind you religion, even Christianity, has hardly been a protector of liberties.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665104)

Just because these rights are not a part of the laws of nature does not mean that they are less important, they hold tremendous value, and must be protected. My right to life and limb, my right of freedom of speech and expression, my freedom of movement, my freedom from government persecution regardless of gender ethnicity religion (or its lack) and sexuality etc, my right to vote, my right to own property, these in fact hold more value than the governments right to lead us. They are thus treated as legally treated as inalienable I.e. non transferable, not sellable, or up for suppression by anyone not even government. The idea that without god they would somehow be less important than the nations hold over us is in of itself offensive, and dangerous, as society becomes less religious it becomes more imperative that the false association between god and religion is broken or we will lose one with the other.

Re:WTF? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665144)

All rules are arbitrary. The only constant in all of human history, much of it dominated by some form of theistic belief, is that there are rules. The precise nature of those rules, other than that they follow the dominance hierarchy model present in other great apes as well, changes over time. What John Locke (who is the real founding father in all of this anyways) put forward was an argument for a secular society where people of different beliefs and traditions could live together in peace. Yes, the Founding Fathers did invoke some of the natural law mysticism of the day, but the real purpose was put forth in the Preamble to the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It does not invoke any religious belief, even the vague deistic ones that some of the Founding Fathers adhered to. They were making a new and more perfect union, not invoking one out of some sort of deism or mysticism.

Re:WTF? (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665416)

[...]where he makes the case that, in the absence of a deity, no one has an inalienable right to anything. It's all arbitrary rules made up by society.

...and in the presence of a catholic deity, you have the (Spanish) Inquisition - you didn't expect them, did you? And in certain countries, as we all know, religion prescribes beheading or stoning under certain conditions that we might find unreasonable. The point is that religion only entitles you to what that particular religion believes to be reasonable - even when that's something as silly as trial by ordeal.

Of course they are all arbitrary rules made up by society. That's the point. We, the inhabitants of planet earth, or society, have agreed upon a set of rules - we can call them The Universal Declaration of Human Rights or something else - that we can agree to as being reasonable.

Mind you, I've heard priests say out loud that atheists could never be happy because they didn't know God. They are of course wrong. When someone dear to me died of cancer, I can mourn about her and don't have to be angry at an imaginary friend that did this to me.

Re:WTF? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665016)

please don't insult the rats.

Re:WTF? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664544)

Most people have no concept of their freedoms, and cannot think far enough into the future to imagine how giving up their rights could possibly be a bad thing. When the FBI/NSA/DEA says, "we are only going to use this power to keep you safe from those dangerous people," most Americans accept that explanation and even go as far as to defend the agencies that are undermining their rights. There is something of an assumption that there is no way that law enforcement or espionage agencies would ever abuse the power they are given.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665674)

People never cared about "freedoms" they do and have always cared about "comfort".

When the US was a British colony, the British crown enacted various policies that make the colonists uncomfortable (loads if taxes, manditory quartering soldiers, controle of exports/inports and associated custums searches, etc.) Add to that the rising class of wealthy colonial land owners who could never be taken seriously by the British royal court because they weren't nobles and thus had limited status. Thus "freedom" and "equality for all" were big rallying points during the revolution.

However, now people are starting from a position of privlage, and are more woried about what some jackass will use his freedom to do to them than they are about the government opressing said hypothetical jackass. So long as they don't think the powers will be used against them, no one cares that the government can abuse the freedoms of someone else.

The notable exception to this is the extreme cases like the TSA where the trodding on rights is equal opertunity enough to upset people (it's not just Abdul that being groped it's dear old Granny too).

News at 11 (3, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664630)

The USA is screwing the only friends they have left over (again)...
So whats the news again?

News at 11:01 (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664848)

For the rest of the world it's the Transferring Restricted Access Information To Obstruct Rights act or TRAITOR act

Very Childish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36664664)

While MS's concerns are a legally valid interpretation, this seems like childish behavior where they have come late to a party and create obstacles for their competitors.

The risk of doing business with US companies (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664960)

You know, every time I see a story about some business "gone wrong" due to involvement with China, I usually hold my tongue because what I want to say is that doing business with US based companies can be every bit as problematic as doing business with a Chinese company. And the problem doesn't start or end with the PATRIOT act. It goes on and on and on due to all sorts of problems such as software patents, the DMCA and more.

Things that are legal in other countries are illegal here and will get you screwed over if you happen to have a connecting flight here. We've seen that story play out before too. Heck, for that matter, you don't even have to do business with a US company -- recall the guy who was accused of some sort of illegal thing by Cisco which resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of some guy in Canada? Yeah, the USDOJ was unable to produce the evidence it has promised from the beginning.

So yeah... there you go. The US is the new China whether anyone wants to believe it or not.

Oh for fuck's sake (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36664996)

Can we just overthrow our fucking peeping-tom government already and put up something suitably less needy, greedy and pervy in its place? The government needs to go back to the point of being TOO FUCKING AFRAID of pissing off its populace to entertain shit like this.

I figure a little violent revolution with a few thousand politicoes executed publicly and messily ought to give us another 1-200-ish years of peace.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665304)

You don't need a violent revolution at this point, vote. Ron Paul would end this nonsense in minutes. Of course, he's hated by all, even his own party. He's also hated by all sides of the media and often misrepresented - get the facts from the source, verify with his voting record. Most of his ideas aren't wacky when properly understood... default, ending the fed, competing currencies - good ideas, IMO, being a professional economist. His 'wacky' social stuff is better understood in context, read his book. Vote.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665780)

The voting system is broken in the US. The only rational choice is to vote for the lesser of the two D/R evils, otherwise you're just increasing the probability that the worse of the two will win the election. You don't need a game-theoretical analysis to see this.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665378)

Can we just overthrow our fucking peeping-tom government already and put up something suitably less needy, greedy and pervy in its place?

Lemme check . . .

Ah, he we are.

The answer reads "If you're asking permission, then no."

Re:Oh for fuck's sake (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665718)

Oh for goodness sake.

Source for following statements [gallup.com]
A recent gallup poll shows 54% of people who claim to be "very familiar with the patriot act" are either satisfied with it, or want it to go further. 65% of people "somewhat familiar" with it have the same opinion, and 62% of people not familiar with it have that opinion.

In all, 62% of americans do NOT think it has gone too far.

Regardless of whether or not you think the patriot act goes too far, calling for a revolution because you disagree with the majority of americans is going rather too far. This is a democracy, not an anarchy.

Feel free to express your opinion and lobby for change, but good gracious tone down the rhetoric. The government "pissed off its populace" far more when Obama issued the Executive order on abortion in his first week in office (Source [gallup.com] , showing 58% disapproval and 35% approval of the order); but for some reason I didnt see people clamoring for a revolution over that; to cry for armed rebellion over a mere ~%40 disapproval seems ignorant and hypocritical.

Re:Oh for fuck's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665784)

*sigh*

Murder does not help your cause. You would (correctly) be labeled as terrorists for attempting to enforce your morals with violence. Modern upraisings need to be more sophisticated than that to be successful. Besides, those men are pawns and you know it.

Also, our government was corrupt before it even began. I fail to see how another revolution would help in the slightest.

There are two solutions to corrupt government:
1) Magical future where everybody everywhere agrees to stop being dicks to each other forever. (We are biologically incapable of that.)
2) Magical future where everybody everywhere has everything they will ever need forever. (Science fiction, unless you buy into Kurzweilian bullshit.)

Re:Oh for fuck's sake (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665846)

I suggest you read a history of the French Revolution before you carry on too far with that line of thinking.

Buying a house under the patriot act (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#36665124)

I learned a bit about the Patriot Act when buying a house. Prior to the Patriot Act you had to disclose sufficient financial information to the bank for them to take the risk of the loan. You had to prove you had the down payment, provide a credit report, and appraise the house. But they didn't really care where or how you got the money. But under the Patriot Act you have to provide an audit trail for all of your assets. For example, you must show where you got your down payment from and where it was for the past 6 months, etc. In my case I sold stocks so I had to show tons of statements prove that the money really came from those stocks, not some other place.

It was fairly creepy. I felt like I was depositing money in a bank and the government required proof that I didn't get the money by selling drugs. It really slowed things down and complicated it. I used to watch TV shows where the police had ridiculous access to people's information, but I see now how that is happening. I can imagine a time when the government can track every dollar - where it goes and where it came from.

Re:Buying a house under the patriot act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665914)

Beyond certain amount, all bank transactions are cc-ed to the FBI or something. That's been in place for a long long while (way before 9/11).

Re:Buying a house under the patriot act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665952)

This is exactly why governments, and by extension, banks, abhor cash.

Re:Buying a house under the patriot act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36666092)

In what jurisdiction and since when would selling drugs be illegal? Did they close down all the drug stores?

Cloud is anchored to dirt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665232)

All Microsoft has to do is have Microsoft EU run a cloud data center for EU-based data. Microsoft EU, even though ultimately owned by Microsoft (US), is a different company and is not subject to the Patriot Act regulations (no European Company is). Conversely, when an EU-based company does business int eh US (and hosts data there) they become subject to the Patriot Act and may have to deliver up data to the US.

uk census (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665592)

And the government here in the UK wonder why people dont want to do their fucking census?!?!

I am so glad I left the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36665650)

We moved to an EU country two years ago after having grown up in the US. I think it was the best decision I ever made. The US is nowhere near as "free" as most Americans think it is.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?