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US Activists Oppose US Govt Calls To Weaken EU Privacy Rules

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the lizard-people-lie dept.

EU 151

judgecorp writes "The European Commission has proposals for data privacy (including the 'right to be forgotten') and the U.S. government is opposing them. Now U.S. activists have arrived in Brussels to lobby against their government's opposition to the European measures. The move comes following reports of 'extreme' lobbying by U.S. authorities against the European proposals." Although the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues, it doesn't seem like a bad idea in principle.

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Not a pretty sight (4, Insightful)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year ago | (#42652277)

Extreme lobbying, such as employed in Iraq, etc., etc?

Re:Not a pretty sight (5, Informative)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652425)

Extreme lobbying, such as employed in Iraq, etc., etc?

Why is this marked as troll?
U.S. has no jurisdiction or vote or representation in Europe. Any opposition to European laws thus consists of some unofficial threats, right?

Nor is there a legitimate "political" reason. The only reason it might be happening is some companies (Facebook, etc.) are concerned about running into some customer-protection laws which are conveniently absent in U.S.

The OP is not that far off.

Re:Not a pretty sight (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652503)

Do you feel the same way about Piers Morgan advocating against our Second Amendment? He is not a U.S. citizen and he has no vote here. He may not be threatening extreme violence or such, but he is sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong.

Re:Not a pretty sight (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652549)

Do you feel the same way about Piers Morgan advocating against our Second Amendment? He is not a U.S. citizen and he has no vote here. He may not be threatening extreme violence or such, but he is sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong.

You silly nincompoop, can't you even see the difference between a government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong, and a guy (a journalist) expressing his opinion ?

And you're pissed off about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652563)

And everyone else is pissed off about the US Gov doing the same thing.

Except with guns. Lots of guns.

Re:And you're pissed off about it. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654427)

Please note that in the foregoing post, "everyone" is used as a polite euphemism for "gun nuts".

Re:Not a pretty sight (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652725)

It was probably marked as 'troll' because OP implied, without going out on a limb and exposing himself to criticism by stating explicitly, that the US would invade the EU if it did not get its will.

This is broderline paranoid psychotic.

If I lived in the US I would own a gun, precisely because of people like you, OP and the multiple upvoters, who in my mind are one step away from terrorists, literally. Once you have created this world in your mind you are so far gone that it's impossible to say what the next step is.

Re:Not a pretty sight (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652991)

If I lived in the US I would own a gun, precisely because of people like you, OP and the multiple upvoters

This sentence puts YOU one step away from a terrorist, because the definition of a terrorist is someone who threatens others with violence in order to have their demands met. At least that was the definition before 9/11, after which it became: someone who opposes America and its friends and wears a funny headgear.

Re:Not a pretty sight (3, Interesting)

Larryish (1215510) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653505)

... the definition of a terrorist is someone who threatens others with violence in order to have their demands met.

What if the terrorists wear badges?

Re:Not a pretty sight (5, Insightful)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653235)

As the OP I am now forced to explain that I was being facetious. If you didn't get it, then I pity you.

Nevertheless, there is a serious intent in highlighting that Americans seem to feel it is their god-given right to tell others how to run their business. This used to be great when Americans still believed in their own Bill of Rights and felt that the rest of the world would benefit from the same. But now they have been turned into sniveling cowards by a bunch of barbarians, they are happy to trample anything that sticks up.

Re:Not a pretty sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42654531)

We hardly have a monopoly in this. Mexico consistantly butts in on our foreign policy and on internal states laws. A number of countries in europe and asia spoke out against our gun laws. For the most part the world advocates for their prefered position and profits. Suprised, really?

Re:Not a pretty sight (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654589)

There's a difference between speaking out on another country's foreign policy, and heavily lobbing its government and private actors to push for what you want.

Re:Not a pretty sight (3, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654453)

Enough with the revisionism.

*You* said "invade". Nobody else did.

OP spoke of "unofficial threats", which is probably not far off the mark: "But if you make FB do this, they'll lose money. And this is bad for you, because...".

When free speech of US citizens is directly affect (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652753)

As proposed, Slashdot (a US company) could be forced to delete posts made by US citizens, if those posts mention someone in the EU. That's a legitimate concern. Had this law been in place before, Mussoluni's "right to be forgotten" would mean he could order Facebook to delete any posts critical of him.

Re:When free speech of US citizens is directly aff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653927)

It would suffice to alter the name to "someone", no need to delete it (but probably simpler)

Re:When free speech of US citizens is directly aff (3, Interesting)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654057)

How would Slashdot be forced? Why would a European law have jurisdiction in the U.S.? I suppose the EU could begin blocking sites that don't comply. Some sort of Great Firewall of Europe I suppose.

Re:When free speech of US citizens is directly aff (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654555)

Because slashdot is owned by Dice Holdings, and Dice Holdings does business in the EU? If they fail to comply they can be fined, assets seized, etc etc.?

Re:Not a pretty sight (4, Interesting)

PTBarnum (233319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652857)

Sovereign nations don't often let other countries dictate their policies, but they quite often listen to what other countries have to say about them. The article does not say that the US threatened the EC, it just says that the US is lobbying the EC. If one country is proposing to do something that another affects the interests of another country, the latter can and should lobby the former. Foreign companies and governments lobby the US government on a regular basis, this is just the reciprocal of that.

Re:Not a pretty sight (1)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653739)

Sovereign nations don't often let other countries dictate their policies, but they quite often listen to what other countries have to say about them.

Dictate policies, no. Heavily follow them when they come from the US? Too often. Of course, the reverse is true (Berne Convention) and of course the real point is not that sovereign nation A is talking to sovereign nation B but that companies in sovereign nation A and B are using A to pressure/suggest/lobby B to change their laws to their own advantage.

The article does not say that the US threatened the EC, it just says that the US is lobbying the EC.

And what if the US *did* threaten the EC? Can't sovereign nations threaten each other? Aren't sovereign nations supposed to be strong enough to stand up to threats, idle or otherwise? The point is that at least as far as nations go, it's all very much one and the same if it's all just talk.

If one country is proposing to do something that another affects the interests of another country, the latter can and should lobby the former.

Well, given that the whole point is EU law in EU nations among EU borders involving EU citizens and businesses operating within the EU...what part of the above "affects the interests of another country" except in the same absurd concept that being a subsistence farmer is regulated under federal interstate commerce laws because to feed oneself through farming means a potential lack of interstate commerce. Ie, to accept that the Us has some reasonable standing to lobby effectively means all countries have standing to lobby all other countries at all other times for any reason.

Foreign companies and governments lobby the US government on a regular basis, this is just the reciprocal of that.

Yea, reciprocal. An 800 lb gorilla US over a 50 lb country or a 50 lb country over an 800 lb gorilla US. Seriously, though, at least the EC is its own 800 lb gorilla. But the real problem is governments, both EC and US, treat plenty of companies as their own 800 lb gorillas, potentially out of a belief that those companies could readily cut jobs or otherwise risk the political career of politicians who oppose their objectives or potentially out of a want for campaign contributions or perhaps out of a really seriously warped view that companies really are 800 lb gorillas. Whatever the case, the idea that foreign companies doing it is okay is absurd for the same reason there's a serious problem already with local companies lobbying the US government. And the fact that a lot of the time other governments are lobbying on the behest of foreign (or even local) companies... Really, the idea that reciprocity somehow justifies it is absurd.

Re:Not a pretty sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42654011)

This doesn't affect the US direct, or rather it directly undermines the US's ability to track every person in the world, as they have UK, Australia and no doubt Canada on board. Obviously not much they can do about asia right now but give it time....

Re:Not a pretty sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652923)

The threat is massive intervention of US companies which fund each and every association to deliver proposals for watering down the Commission proposal and the usual astroturfers like Microsofts ACT Jonathan zuck.

When you are not a member of the constituency you are invited to stay at home and criticise your own government. The Stanford Law article is a joke.

Re:Not a pretty sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652947)

Fuck it, declare them Unlawfull enemy combatants and make them live in Liverpool. Opps forgot them are US'ians make that France.

Re:Not a pretty sight (4, Interesting)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653443)

They have very good reason to feel threatened. If Europe starts to get its act together, American people may start to think that it is possible and demand the same.

It cuts both ways (5, Interesting)

pjt33 (739471) | about a year ago | (#42652307)

...the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues...

is one way to look at it, but the other way to look at it is that free speech raises some privacy issues. As the Stanford Law Review article recognises, there's a tension between the two and different cultures choose to give them different weights. That doesn't make either culture right or wrong.

Re:It cuts both ways (5, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652451)

...the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues...

is one way to look at it, but the other way to look at it is that free speech raises some privacy issues. As the Stanford Law Review article recognises, there's a tension between the two and different cultures choose to give them different weights. That doesn't make either culture right or wrong.

True, and in the pre-Internet days, it didn't matter very much if two different cultures weighed those two issues quite differently But it gets much more complicated when we're all connected. Suppose a European creates a Facebook account (hosted in the US) and later wants some information removed. Which country's laws should prevail? It gets even more interesting if it isn't a big international company like Facebook, but a small US-based blog site, that someone in a foreign nation chooses to participate in. Whose laws prevail then?

The Internet is a wonderful thing, but difficulties do arise when different countries' approaches to freedom of speech differ, and both counties share the same global Internet.

A clarifying example (-1, Troll)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652739)

Say, if Hitler were still alive, or the internet existed and these proposals were in effect at the time, what could he legitimately request under these proposals? It's a little hazy understanding what the implications of these proposals are; does the benefit of hindsight and a well-known example make it any clearer what rights are provided and what's feasible under these circumstances?

Re:A clarifying example (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652801)

Say, if Hitler were still alive, or the internet existed and these proposals were in effect at the time, what could he legitimately request under these proposals? It's a little hazy understanding what the implications of these proposals are; does the benefit of hindsight and a well-known example make it any clearer what rights are provided and what's feasible under these circumstances?

Godwin...

Re:A clarifying example (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653077)

You would then be encouraged to say whatever you wanted. The SS would then send for you...

Nice Godwin, by the way.

Re:A clarifying example (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653489)

Sorry, to clarify -- assuming he was no longer in power.

Re:A clarifying example (3, Funny)

Thiez (1281866) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654287)

As I recall, when he was no longer in power he was also dead. I think this limits the possibility of requesting information to be deleted somewhat.

Re: It cuts both ways (1)

donscarletti (569232) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652937)

Which is why sovereign states often look at the Internet with very mixed feelings. In the old days, doing business in a country meant dealing souly with their laws, nowadays, you can do business worldwide without a presence anywhere, subject largely to laws of your own choosing.

China has chosen to largely block "web2.0" and just leave the foreign Internet as merely a reference tool. Other countries are either doing the same or wishing they could, to have something so central to the lives of its citizens that a government cannot control is somewhat an alien concept to many. My thoughts are that if the Internet did have stronger consumer protection, this would remove some of the impetus for government interference. Or at the very least remove a potential rationalisation that could be offered to the public.

Re:It cuts both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653261)

Of course the US laws would prevail. As it was when people wanted to donate to wikileaks using paypal but paypal/ebay rejected it, because "they had to follow us law".

There is no such right of "free speech" in Europe nowadays, anyway. This "right to be forgotten" sounds nice, but nobody really wants it - data are money and power.

Re:It cuts both ways (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654009)

But it gets much more complicated when we're all connected. Suppose a European creates a Facebook account (hosted in the US) and later wants some information removed. Which country's laws should prevail?

Facebook has a HQ in Ireland, so the EU laws would apply
The only out for Facebook is if the European citizen was in the USA when they created and updated the account...
That's likely to be a vanishingly small percentage of facebook users.

It gets even more interesting if it isn't a big international company like Facebook, but a small US-based blog site, that someone in a foreign nation chooses to participate in. Whose laws prevail then?

That's not at all interesting.
The European courts have no jurisdiction. End of conversation.
Finer legal minds than ours have parsed issues like this for a couple decades now.

Re:It cuts both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42654611)

The question of what law applies? The law where the service is hosted.
Very simple, and easily addresses everything.
You are subject to the laws where you reside, the service you use is subject to the law where it resides.

Re:It cuts both ways (-1, Flamebait)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652723)

A right to be forgotten, were such a thing to exist, would itself be a violation of the right to privacy. My memories, records, etc. are my own. Nobody else gets to tell me what I do or do not remember, or even force me to tell them what I know. A right to be forgotten tramples all over what is perhaps the most basic and fundamental right we have, the freedom of thought. The whole concept is ridiculous. You simple have no right to be forgotten. What you may have is a desire to be fogotten.

Re:It cuts both ways (3, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652869)

This concept is dealing with the right to be forgotten by computerized systems, not forgotten by humans.

Re:It cuts both ways (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653791)

You don't have a friggin clue to what you're talking about do you.

Re:It cuts both ways (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653985)

I know exactly what I'm talking about. Forcing someone to forget you violates their privacy. Which part of that is confusing you?

Re:It cuts both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42654035)

Since computers are not people, there would be no "someone" being forced to forget anything.

Re:It cuts both ways (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654505)

Lets see, that part where you think the government wants people to be silent and forget things. The right to be forgotten is about removing your online presence. Every action you take online is recorded and stays there forever. People change and their past online selves can return to haunt them in real ways.

There is also the part where you equate freedom of speech to privacy. What you know, say and do is your right for speech and expression and has nothing to do with your privacy. Your imagined scenario of being force to tell someone... something... in an effort to make you forget... somehow... I have no fucking clue where that came from, where you are going with it, how it would work or imagine that is what people are lobbying for. But it's nice that you were so completely outraged about that particular violation that you based an entire post about it even though it has absolutely nothing to do with what people are talking about outside the extremely loose connection that you made in your head.

Re:It cuts both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653229)

My way for such problems is:

1. NO FUCKIN' COMPROMISES. Period.
2. Then find a solution starting from that fixed base state.

So:
- 100% free speech. Everyone can say anything.
- 100% privacy. Nobody has the right to invade your secret space.

That is really simple to solve, and is not a dilemma at all.
If somebody invades somebody else's privacy, he gets punished with the only legitimate punishment a truly wise person has available: Separation.
All contacts are cut off. He gets expelled from the country. No transfer of information nor matter/energy of any kind between that place and our place will be allowed. Complete embargo. Digitally, a perma-ban. And attempts to re-enter will be answered with a shoot-to-kill reaction.
That way that person can still say whatever she wants. No limitation of free speech or life whatsoever. She can still go around and build whatever society she wants, no matter how crazy the rules are. Much better than prison. Let alone the horribly idiotic idea of harming that person back.
Of course we're not monsters, and forgive such people after a while. Depending on the situations and if the rules of the community are followed again.

So it's not about what you can do. (Like invade people's privacy, murder, pillage and rape.) But what you want to do, and the results of that. Like not being liked by the victims anymore and them not wanting any contact anymore. Your choice. (And I don't judge anyone for what he chooses. It's only cause and effect.)

Or maybe (0)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#42652327)

With extreme prejudice? I've seen 24.

The second amendment sounded like a good idea... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42652343)

In principle.

In practice, it's not very well written, and either causes more problems than it's worth, or just makes for a bunch of argument.

Fortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652371)

The European Commission has proposals for data privacy (including the 'right to be forgotten') and the U.S. government is opposing them.

U.S. has no actual vote or authority in Europe.
Or should not, anyway.

WTF is the U.S. even coming from here, opposing laws in sovereign countries (that are not at all easy to invade)

Re:Fortunately (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652493)

The fear the US may have is that at some point down the road the EU may try to go after US companies to force them to obey its rules. It's one thing to say "Facebook.de must delete every evidence of a user's existence upon their request", but what happens if the EU is trying to say "Facebook.com must delete every evidence of a user's existence upon their request."

Beyond that, there are some limits to how far you could ever apply this "forget me" notion. I'm sitting in North America, running a listserv that has people from the US, Canada, Europe, a couple of Asian countries and Australia on it. The listserv has an archive dating back to about 2002 and there are copies of that archive all over the bloody place. If I suddenly were faced with requests from my European users to start deleting every post they made, it would be an arduous and ultimate futile process. We'd be talking about deleting not only their posts, but posts that contain excerpts from their posts. Worst of all, it would ruin the continuity of the archive, which may be of significant value (I've found myself going back several years to hunt down information).

Obviously this law is targeted at Google, Facebook, Twitter et al. But what it ultimately comes to encompass is ludicrous, and I sure hope that the US, where my stuff is based, does not go down such an extremist road.

Re:Fortunately (5, Interesting)

mill3d (1647417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652633)

Since these companies are based in Ireland for tax purposes, that might indeed end up happening...
On the other hand, that could also force said companies' tax dollars back into the US which wouldn't hurt at this point...

Re:Fortunately (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652819)

Since these companies are based in Ireland for tax purposes, that might indeed end up happening...

On the other hand, that could also force said companies' tax dollars back into the US which wouldn't hurt at this point...

Fat lot of good that would do, they hardly pay any taxes at all...

Re:Fortunately (2)

mill3d (1647417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652847)

It might even be enough to prompt a major "recall" of US companies, in which case it might become interesting. On top of that, bringing HQs back would also help employment as well.

A bucket is filled with many drops, is it not?

Re:Fortunately (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653805)

Because they pay taxes to Ireland. If they payed taxes on income they kept in the states, they would pay a hell of a lot more taxes on it.

Re:Fortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652945)

It is a matter of courtesy to respect requests of your users to delete posts from a listserv archive (or pull the archive). You have no right to disrespect the rights of others.

Re:Fortunately (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653135)

They posted to a publicly readable list server. I'm not going to go through 50k messages when they knew full well it was archived.

Re:Fortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653131)

As opposed to the US trying to force the rest of the world into using its view on IP/Copyright ?

Re:Fortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653919)

it would be an arduous and ultimate futile process. We'd be talking about deleting not only their posts, but posts that contain excerpts from their posts. Worst of all, it would ruin the continuity of the archive,

This has been solved before. What you do is have a special user called Anonymous. When a normal user wants to be deleted, all his posts get anonymized, and you grep/replace their username with anonymous in all comments. This preserves continuity, and once several users have been anonymized, it becomes very hard to identify what any one particular former user commented, as it it mixed in with the comments from other former users.

Re:Fortunately (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652775)

Europe people are stupid little cunts. They should shut the fuck up and take the fucking they deserve.

Re:Fortunately (1)

arkenian (1560563) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652831)

The European Commission has proposals for data privacy (including the 'right to be forgotten') and the U.S. government is opposing them.

U.S. has no actual vote or authority in Europe. Or should not, anyway.

WTF is the U.S. even coming from here, opposing laws in sovereign countries (that are not at all easy to invade)

The point of having an ambassador is to tell foreign countries when things impacting your nation in some fashion against your interests are doing so. The US has every right, and, to its citizens, an obligation, to 'lobby' the EU in its interests. The EU has every right to ignore it, too, of course.... if you're an EU citizen and disagree, don't complain to us, just lobby your own government even more powerfully. The US government doesn't begin to have the resources to outlobby a united EU populace.

Re:Fortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652993)

The US diplomates may say what they like but not US corporations.

Money money money (2)

ADanFromCanada (2809499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652385)

Our personal data is worth money to others. They don't want their money taken from them.

Re:Money money money (5, Funny)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652497)

Our personal data is worth money to others. They don't want their money taken from them.

No, no, you misunderstand. In reality Facebook is selflessly fighting for our rights to remember. They would allow you to delete the data, but they are concerned about freedom of expression being preserved. They said it right here:

Facebook in particular has strong objections to the right to be forgotten, claiming it "raises many concerns with regard to the right of others to remember and to freedom of expression"

Re:Money money money (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654661)

They don't want their money taken from them.

Nobody does. That's when switchblades help.

Not so terrible free speech issues (2)

grimJester (890090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652393)

From the Stanford link:

"But the right to delete data becomes far more controversial when it involves Fleischerâ(TM)s second category: âoeIf I post something, and someone else copies it and re-posts it on their own site, do I have the right to delete it?â Imagine a teenager regrets posting a picture of herself with a bottle of beer on her own site and after deleting it, later discovers that several of her friends have copied and reposted the picture on their own sites. If she asks them to take down the pictures, and her friends refuse or cannot be found, should Facebook be forced to delete the picture from her friendsâ(TM) albums without the ownersâ(TM) consent based solely on the teenagerâ(TM)s objection?"

If Universal posts the latest Spiderman movie and I re-post it, they can have it taken down. This is just normal copyright and that's not limited to big companies or rich people.

] Finally, there is Fleischerâ(TM)s third category of takedown requests: âoeIf someone else posts something about me, do I have a right to delete it?â This, of course, raises the most serious concerns about free expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states cannot pass laws restricting the media from disseminating truthful but embarrassing informationâ"such as the name of a rape victimâ"as long as the information was legally acquired.

The proposed European regulation, however, treats takedown requests for truthful information posted by others identically to takedown requests for photos Iâ(TM)ve posted myself that have then been copied by others: both are included in the definition of personal data as âoeany information relatingâ to me, regardless of its source. I can demand takedown and the burden, once again, is on the third party to prove that it falls within the exception for journalistic, artistic, or literary exception.

This one sucks and shouldn't be there. Obviously people should be able to talk about others even if it's not journalism or art.

Generally, I think the questions on what's ok and what's not have been solved in law long before the Internet existed. This is just about spelling out how hosters should deal with takedown notices etc.

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652483)

You're moving from what might be considered fair use to commercial copyright. If the photo is news, for example it's a tough on drugs police chief's college-aged daughter smoking marijuana, and the newspaper runs that as a story... Is it within her rights to have it pulled? Or does it benefit society that his hypocrisy can't be hidden?

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653721)

Depends if they took the photo with consent at the time (not retroactivly) if the answer is yes then yes they have the right to post it. There are all ready laws about publishing photos without peoples consent in most countries, reposting an already posted photo is a copyright infringment (unless permision is granted). N.b. I don't count pressing the "share" button on Facebook as an infingment in this case because the orginial poster can still remove it.
Quoting someone is far use (for the type of posts you get on facebook), so that is ok; and defermation laws cover posts about people.
The main problem is if the op or subject of the photo couldn't legally consent for it be posted at the time that is was posted (due to age and/or intoxication), then its a bit of a grey area but they should have the right to have it removed. This is the only part that needs new legislation to clarify, in fact this one situation where copyright law actually works well.

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (4, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652491)

If Universal posts the latest Spiderman movie and I re-post it, they can have it taken down. This is just normal copyright and that's not limited to big companies or rich people.

But the copyright for a photograph belongs to the person who took the picture, not the person in the picture. (I recognize that in some cases, they may be the same person.) Suppose in the example given the picture wasn't taken by the person depicted with the beer bottle but by a third party, who gave consent to the second party to post the photo in her album which depicts the first party holding a beer bottle.

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652813)

In the US, people have certain rights to their image that are not based in copyright. The person in the picture does not own the copyright, but they still have the right to control commercial use of the photo.

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (1)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652905)

In the US, people have certain rights to their image that are not based in copyright. The person in the picture does not own the copyright, but they still have the right to control commercial use of the photo.

But how would my example be commercial use?

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653745)

Most countries have laws about taking photos of people that require there consent both at the time the photo was taken and again to publish it. A good lawyer could probably argued that such consent was implied though.

Re:Not so terrible free speech issues (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652877)

This one sucks and shouldn't be there. Obviously people should be able to talk about others even if it's not journalism or art.

I think the issue is more subtle than that. The question that I think is important is how those people came to have that information. Did I give it to them with the expectation that it would be used for one thing and their publishing it is using for something else. For example, showing an ID to prove my legal right to drink alcohol and get entry to a bar - I don't expect that bar to keep a record of my ID and then post a list of every customer on the bar's facebook page.

a little consistency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652397)

Wait... so today it's OK for people to be in control of what happens to their data? In other words, they have the right to stop OTHER people from making copies of it without their permission?

But step back a few stories and when it's a song or movie, it's no longer up to the person who created it whether it ends up copied all around the world for free, and they have no right to stop other people from copying it?

Uhh....

Re:a little consistency (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652455)

Wait... so today it's OK for people to be in control of what happens to their data?

But step back a few stories and when it's a song or movie, it's no longer up to the person who created it whether it ends up copied all around the world for free, and they have no right to stop other people from copying it?

I think the point of this discussion is that European Commission gets to decide on laws in Europe. And U.S. should pretty much stay out of it. This is completely irrespective of what actual rules are being considered.

Re:a little consistency (1)

storkus (179708) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652841)

I still stand by what I was going to say: I'm embarrassed at my government and it seems that, no matter who you elect, they go do what they want. I'm sure this isn't news to any of you (or me) , but as an American, I'm just really sick and tired of it.

That said, it occurs to me--and not to any of you, surprisingly--that these multi-national, world-wide corporations may be based here in the USA, but they could be located anywhere, and typically have offices everywhere at that. With the exception of defense contractors, any of these companies could move anywhere in the world they wished, if they so chose. They don't for a reason: because the laws here favor these corporations over just about everything else--in this particular case, privacy laws. (Or should we say, lack thereof?)

Despite all its problems, Europe is rich and these corporations know it. Companies that depend on advertising like Google need some privacy taken away in order for their pricier targeted ads to function. (Note: I am *NOT* advocating any of this!) And then there's Facebook, who's whole business model revolves around stripping your privacy away. For what ever reason, they can't buy off these European politicians, so they're doing the next best thing and using the ones they already bought off here. This isn't really news as corporations here do this all the time: witness ADM and the sugar tariff, for example. The news is that they're being so public about it and the backlash is growing.

Personally, I hope the backlash makes its way here, but so far it has been very muted.

Re:a little consistency (1)

neonv (803374) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652907)

Inviting lots of opinions to a complicated issues is an excellent idea and creates additional insight into the implementation and practical problems that may occur with the laws. There's no reason to ignore an opinion just because it's an opposing opinion. Rather, opposing opinions can bring the most insight information from people that think differently. Europe doesn't have to agree with the US, but the opinions and insight of the US can be very useful.

Re:a little consistency (2)

shadowofwind (1209890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653359)

I'm completely on the pro "data privacy" side of this debate, and I agree that the official US stance tends to be bullying. But it seems to me that the "US government has no business lobbying European government" argument leaves something important out. A government has a responsibility to its citizens to enforce or at least encourage fair trade practices. If Britons, for example, decide they want high protective tariffs, then certainly that is their right. But then US trade policy may need to be adjusted accordingly. To avoid a trade war, both nations need to understand how the other perceives and is likely to react to changes. Suppose the US delegation says, "if you implement policy X, that will dramatically increase the cost of American products in your country, in which case we're likely not going to be able to continue giving your products preferred treatment in the US." Is that a threat? If so its a completely reasonable one. And in cases when one nation exports a product that the second nation doesn't for the most part export, the first nation needs to represent the interests of the industries that are important to it.

The US government is more at the call of big money than it should be. And it needs to be more respectful of other nation's integrity and choices, and more concerned with fairness, with less of a 'might makes right' approach. But it still needs to communicate on behalf of US economic interests, since protecting those interests is one of the first responsibilities of government.

Yes, please apply brain consistently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652603)

Or did you just then by talking bollocks?

The data isn't theirs.

The movie isn't theirs.

The movie has been released as public, the copyrights go to the public domain. Eventually. The copyrights are lasting too long.

Meanwhile my personal information is NOT being sold to the public. The data remains mine. FB may have it for a while, but it never got sold to them.

Re:a little consistency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652835)

Pay more attention to the actual arguments about copyright reform, and a little less attention to the extremists.

it's no longer up to the person who created it whether it ends up copied all around the world for free

Yes, because that person cannot control the internet.

and they have no right to stop other people from copying it?

No one's saying that. I hear a lot of people saying the accused shouldn't have to pay out more per song than an airline would pay out per person killed through their fault on one of their flights. I hear people saying companies should not be able to extend copyright until the public domain functionally ceases to exist. And I hear people argue that *AA are just corrupt to the core, and shouldn't be allowed to pissed on the public (and the artists they supposedly represent) to keep their outdated business models alive.

we the us govt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652419)

we the us govt are telling you to do as well fucking tell you cause its good for americans. WE don't fucking care about anyone else but our greedy lawyers and making our military uber cool.

NOW if you dont do as we want we'll send secret cia agents all over europe and fuck with you.
signed
buba obama ( head of homeworld security )

Matter more than most protests (2)

redelm (54142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652459)

Most protests are ineffective because they rail against some wrongdoer in the hope of shaming them into reform. The effort is often vain because wrongdoers are very shame-resistant.

This is a little different because the EU is not [yet] a major wrongdoer with respect to privacy. The protest is more to bolster their nerve against heavy pressure from the US govt (a ne'er-do-well).

It enables the EU commissioners to say "The US is divided on this issue of privacy, with the govt saying one thing yet important people and organisations dissent)." So they get to do what they want anyways.

Re:Matter more than most protests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653307)

It enables the EU commissioners to say "The US is divided on this issue of privacy, with the govt saying one thing yet important people and organisations dissent)." So they get to do what they want anyways.

You Americans really think the whole world revolves around you, don't you?
PROTIP: You are irrelevant to what we "get" to do in our country.
You really think it's a matter of what some assholes from that 4th Reich / God State crossover country across the pond tell us to do?? Seriously? lol.

Get the fuck out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652471)

The US has no right to be lobbying the EU. The politicians are elected to represent the people, not foreign interests.

Re:Get the fuck out (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652557)

The US and anyone else has every right to be lobbying the EU. The EU doesn't have to agree or even listen, but everyone has a right to state his position.

Re:Get the fuck out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652677)

Yeah, and we all know what "lobbying" means in this case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_bribery_scandals

Re:Get the fuck out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652833)

The US and anyone else has every right to be lobbying the EU. The EU doesn't have to agree or even listen, but everyone has a right to state his position.

Let's just hope they don't start WWIII over Facebook and Google, that would be embarrassing.

If I trusted the govt to make smart rules (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652529)

If I could trust the government to be smart about the rules they make, and to really understand web technology, the new restrictions might seem mildly attractive. Given the general incompetence of government, I think it best that slashdot decides how slashdot handles login, cookies, etc.

Lobbying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652587)

Lobbying is corruption. Corruption is illegal and immoral.

My facebook solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652625)

My facebook solution is to enforce my right to be forgotten personally. Comments on friends' posts that are public are removed after 2 days. Comments on friends' posts that are private are removed after 7 days. Yes this screws with comment threads but there's no other way to enforce my right to be forgotten and something that appears innocent now coming back to haunt me in 20 years.

Re:My facebook solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652681)

Well... I guess you could use that other option. The one titled, "don't post to facebook". It sounds a lot easier and wouldn't "screw with comment threads" on a site of little to no value. In a broader sense, you could say "don't post to MyTwitFace+" - which covers all the US major social networks...

Re:My facebook solution... (1)

Zmobie (2478450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652709)

Har, har. Problem is, those comments, pictures, or anything you post on there, never actually are deleted. Facebook kind of removes them from public view (I say kind of, because due to glitches or just plain stupid ass over-sight on new features, or hell maybe it is on purpose), but they are still on their servers. Unless it is enforced at the company level (and eve then...) you will never have any right to be forgotten. This is probably my biggest reason for never signing up for facebook or myspace. Call me paranoid, but I like my privacy and the only way to enforce my will on my own data is to keep it from people and corporations like this.

Same here. I don't post on FB. My choice. (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653429)

post publicly, I fully expect the public can see it. If I don't want it seen, I don't post it.

My memories are my own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652749)

You say, "Although the "right to be forgotten" raises some free speech issues, it doesn't seem like a bad idea in principle." but what if that's only because the authors of the "right to be forgotten" have invoked that right against you in regards to the negative aspects of their proposal?

The idea that you have rights over information that you have already given away which could override my freedom of thought is horrifying in the extreme.

Re:My memories are my own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653219)

Um, this about having data removed from computer servers. No one is suggesting trying to forcibly remove thoughts from peoples' heads.

If you can remember the stuff on your own, great! If you need to look it up on the internet? Well, it wasn't really in your brain if you have to go look it up online, now was it?

Stageplay to distract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652777)

The EU will itself monitor all online communications in real time through INDECT. The rationale it has given for developing this capability is for automated detection of child pornography and organ trading. Yes, organ trading is such an issue in the EU that all online communications must be monitored at all times to detect it.

The EU needs to die off. It is harmful to humanity due to particular decisions taken by the individuals involved with it. They had a choice but made the wrong one.

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42652973)

Actually, it seems like a stupid idea in principal.

As an EU person (5, Insightful)

zennyboy (1002544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42652981)

I've seen more good rulings come out of EU than the US. With no in-depth information on a subject, I would more trust the EU with my person (/personal information) than the US (Government/US companies)...

As an American (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653101)

I really wish we would adopt the European standards on privacy. This is one area where I freely admit the Euro's are doing things right and we are blatantly being ass backwards about things.

/rant off

As a European (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653657)

I'm so glad the EU is doing something right and we're standing up to unhealthy US corporate practices.

The right to be forgotten is a brilliant idea. I know, I had it myself.

Who gains? The people.
Who loses? Companies whose business model is to whore our data.

Obviously, this right could only be invoked if the invoker was not in debt to the data-holding company. Likewise, the data-holding company can not be held responsible for consequences of missing data.

There are also some subtleties. Should eg FB be obliged to remove all content Shared from a 'forgotten' user? Should Google be obliged to delete any data associated with an IP you used at a certain time?

Regardless, this is a brilliant idea and the free world should be pushing hard for it if they want to remain free.

Re:As a European (2)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654199)

The right to be forgotten sounds appealing, it really does. When I first heard about it it sounded like something I liked. However the more I thought about it the more I thought about the **AA's playing whackamole and the logistical nightmares of actually trying to implement such a thing. The next problem is how do you separate it from censorship? It's also next to impossible to cleanly state when and where it should be granted.

Can you demand the right to be forgotten by corporate databases? Facebook sounds easy enough, but what about credit agencies, employers and news agencies? In practice I think it would be next to impossible to implement, as the **AA's have found out time and again - the Internet never forgets.

You also have cases of legitimate needs. I had a bad renter that stayed with me last year. Should he be able to demand the right to be forgotten so that he can get out of a bad referral? How about employers that have bad employees? I worked with a guy that was fired for hosting kiddie porn from a server at work. This guy still tries to get work in the field, should he be able to demand the right to be forgotten by his employer of 20 some years so that he can put down his experience without anyone being able to conduct a background check?

What about news agencies that reported on people that were in the news? Richard Jewell was wrongly described as the bomber for Atlantic City Olympic bombing by many news agencies who did a half ass job of news coverage. Does he have a legitimate right to be forgotten? His life was ruined without cause (he was innocent) and surely he would have cause to be forgotten if anyone would. Or does the fact that he was internationally famous as the person to discover a bomb at the Olympics and then be wrongly blamed for it's placement trump his personal case?

What about the arguments against censorship of people. Hypothetical Bob has his account on Facebook and wants everything about him removed from Facebook. Susan remembers Bob before he went crazy and wants to keep his picture up from their wedding. Does Bob's desire to remove himself from Facebook trump Susan's right to remember her husband as he was before he took the crazy train out of town?

What about government records, are those something that you can demand be forgotten? Many police agencies now host open records of who has been arrested and post this information on their website. If someone is arrested do they have a right to have that information forgotten?

Even if you had a clear legal structure that could say when and where someone had the right to be forgotten, without crossing over into censorship, how on earth are you going to do it? I would lay the last dollar I had that you probably couldn't name 10% of the companies that had information on you if your in a typical first world country.

Re:As a European (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42654629)

The right to be forgotten is a retarded idea, and anyone who thinks it's a good one is a retard.

1) The internet will never forget anything. This gets brought up all the time in other contexts, but suddenly when people are talking about "privacy", they conveniently forget.

2) It infringes on the right to free speech. If I know a fact about you, I have the right to tell people that fact or to use it as I wish.

3) It's completely unenforceable for anyone but the most law-abiding organizations, who would really be the only ones trustworthy enough to give the data to in the first place.

If you don't want shit about you on the internet, don't put it there. If you don't trust online services with your private information, don't use them.

Democracy (3, Interesting)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#42653347)

Another practical example of how undemocratic the EU became: no need to lobby elected Members of European Parliament, just lobby the unelected European Commission. I got the feeling that a single US lobbyist weight more on UE politics than any number of EU citizens.

Europe is already a super power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42653901)

>... the US ... Europe is already a super power.

Someone has an inferiority complex.

Much better idea... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42654431)

is to end the illusion that people are perfect.

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