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!

EU Data Protection Proposal Taken Word For Word From US Lobbyists

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the better-than-real-people dept.

Privacy 108

Qedward writes "Glyn Moody looks at the proposed EU directive on Data Protection — and how some of the proposed amendments seem to be cut and pasted directly from the American Chamber of Commerce — that well-known European organisation... You might ask, Glyn writes, who are these MEPs representing — some 500 million EU citizens that pay their salary or a bunch of extremely rich U.S. companies intent on taking away our privacy?" Lobbyplag lets you look at which lobbyist wrote each part of the bill. Fears of the U.S. exerting undue influence seem to be justified.

cancel ×

108 comments

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

nonsense! (1)

etash (1907284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869155)

they are just trying to save their grey matter... working is something prohibited for them!

Re:nonsense! (5, Funny)

TheP4st (1164315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869999)

Reminds me about this from The Truth by Terry Pratchett:

Mr Tulip looked down at the departing coach

'From what I hear he mostly doesn't do a --ing thing!' he complained

'Yeah,' said M. Pin smoothly. 'One of the hardest things to do properly in Politics'

Interesting (5, Interesting)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869191)

Not like we didn't know already, but it's still nice to see some proof once in a while. I hope this taints the whole proposal enough so they won't be able to push it through. I guess from time to time politicians need a Zero rupee note [wikipedia.org] to remind them.
Imagine the outrage in the US if Chinese or European groups drafted a law for congress.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869795)

Someone should produce a Zero Dollar note for the USA and a Zero Euro note for the EU :)

Seconded: Zero-dollar and Zero-euro notes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869965)

In the US, it might be interesting to pay "campaign contributions" with Zero-dollar notes, to make the point that such payments are nothing more than a legalized form of bribery.

Although it's just a gesture, it costs little to "pay a million" in such notes, and such gestures can be newsworthy.

Re:Seconded: Zero-dollar and Zero-euro notes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875941)

I'll be taking back those internets i gave you earlier, then...

Re:Interesting (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870309)

Imagine the outrage in the US if Chinese or European groups drafted a law for congress.

Why would anyone care? A proposed law should be judged on its merits, not its origin.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870471)

in general yes, just it happens that when proposal arrives from external source, it more fits external source needs and not local.

Merits (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42873273)

Lobbyists are are the top of their game when their wording disguises the merits.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870833)

This sort of thing is ridiculously common. You usually see it most often along 'trade' barriers. The reason I was given was to make it easier to know what is going on both sides. There is a reason you can get something over nighted from hong kong these days... For example take a driver in the US. He may be 'ok' on drive time in the US. But couple hundred meters to the north and he is driving illegally. So the Canadian gov is trying to make the laws more like the US. The US in this case can not match what canada did because they are under a court order of what they must do (safer driving). As both sets were originally written by trade organizations with no trial studies.

Also many times the senators/congressmen do not write their own bills anyway. They take them from trade groups (the amazing failure of reps to do their own jobs).

Re:Interesting (1)

emaname (1014225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871563)

Imagine the outrage in the US if Chinese or European groups drafted a law for congress.

Personally, I think there's nothing the people in the US could do about it now anyhow. If their "representatives" want to do something like that, they will. And they'll justify it to the people they "represent" in some twisted "in order to serve you better" way (which is "political code" talk for "there's nothing you can do about it").

Odd (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869195)

So, how does this work in EU?

In US, lobbyists are the guys (officially) donating money to the candidate (which is, sadly, allowed). But I don't believe that such "donations" are allowed in EU.

So what does it even mean "US lobbyist" here? Isn't simply giving money to MEPs illegal??

Re:Odd (3, Interesting)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869297)

What if the money happens to fall in to their US bank account, the one they didn't tell anyone they had?

Re:Odd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869313)

What if the money happens to fall in to their US bank account, the one they didn't tell anyone they had?

Then the fact that these are "lobbyist" is an unproven allegation. US lobbyists (typically) document their donations. If this is not allowed in EU then either

a. The authors of this website have evidence of illegal activity perpetrated by these "lobbyists" (illegally giving money to MEPs to influence their decision)

b. They are pretty much guessing without knowing who may have paid how much money. Is the list of lobbyist-suggested changes a leak or also published? Couldn't tell from the article...

Re:Odd (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869523)

The lobbyists, being based in the US are not doing anything illegal. It is the MEPs who would be breaking the law by accepting the money.

Re:Odd (3, Insightful)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869641)

That's why the MEPs don't accept the 'donations'. Instead they sell something to the lobbyist for 1000% of it's value.

Re:Odd (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870333)

The lobbyists, being based in the US are not doing anything illegal.

It is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [wikipedia.org] to bribe any government official, anywhere in the world.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875979)

Should probably stop doing it in the Presidential Election then, right?

Re:Odd (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869351)

[Disclaimer: I worked in the field.]

Ever heard of social engineering? Political social engineering?
Bribery is for schmucks. Losers who are too stupid to do actual lobbying.
The whole point of lobbyism is that it isn't bribery (but social engineering).

It's called "designed reality". A politician will have nothing but meetings with interest groups and about certain topics. Those meetings will be filled with practically only social engineers, who tell the politicians whatever they want him to believe, so he acts like they want him to. To the politician, this becomes his perceived reality. (That's why it doesn't matter even if it's the green or pirate party... they will all get sucked up into the designed reality.)
The common notion that there would be an absolute reality, and such a thing as "facts", strengthens their belief in the distorted view. They will defend it as "fact" and "reality" to their death. (I bet even you want to defend this right now, don't you?)

"donations"... pfft. lol.

Re:Odd (1)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869561)

Wow, that's one heck of a conspiracy theory. Sadly enough, it's arguably true, though I might confess that I'd prefer to be bribed instead of suckered were I a politician.

Re:Odd (3, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869831)

Wow, that's one heck of a conspiracy theory.

It's not a theory. Several lobbyist in the past was describing precisely such practices.

"Social engineering" sounds to me bit off, too glorified. I used to call it "conditioning" (the Neuro Associative Conditioning [wikispaces.com] seems to be the common term). It is pretty well known set of practices from the NLP [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Odd (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869563)

(I bet even you want to defend this right now, don't you?)

You lot the bet because I am a rationalist.

Rationalism - noun:
The theory that reason rather than experience is the foundation of certainty in knowledge.

What was your wager, again?
Oh, well played... Well played indeed.

I only perceived a reality in which you had made a bet. You've not lost your slimy touch.

Re:Odd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42871913)

Sadly this is true

[Disclaimer: I work on the other side, sorta...]

And it isn't even that hard. Often a Congressional staffer needs to research several topics with 48 hour notice (say, before a hearing or vote). They could go to Google and try and do it themselves, or they just call the most relevant Special Interest group about topic X. In 24 hours, the staffer gets a nice color/multimedia briefing on topic X from the lobbyist's point of view. This becomes the only data point they have and sets the reality.

Re:Odd (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869355)

Well simply giving politicians money (aka campaign funding and donations) would indeed be illegal. Inviting politicians over for dinner and explaining them your point of view is not (well, depends on what the invitation includes obviously) . Summing up your key points and arguments is fine and done by many interests groups. Preparing the text for a law proposal while not illegal, is somewhat shady and hopefully results in a few politicians being forced to step down or at least loosing credibility.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869435)

Except that they do just give them money. Trade unions and for-profit companies make our laws.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869447)

Where is giving campaign donations forbidden? I bet it's pretty much legal everywhere, some places you just need to declare those donations.

Play nice and you'll get a directorship. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870063)

Revolving door, I believe it's called.

Re:Odd (1)

sorisos (2702365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869375)

As far as I know, most EU lobbyist have established a role as a representative for a particular group and the lazy politicians just ask them what they believe would be a good decision/law/etc. In most cases there's no one to argue the opposite and if there is, the lobbyist make sure they have good "facts" to make sure their view will seem as most trustworthy. Of course there's probably a lot of fancy dinners and such (ie bribes) to get to that position.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869379)

'lobbyist' does not necessarily mean 'handing over money in exchange for policy'. It may be the common way corruption has been legalized in the US, but there are a lot of other ways in which you can be a lobbyist.

Re:Odd (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869469)

Bribery is only needed by bad lobbyists. The ones that are good at their jobs, like the MPAA and RIAA, appear to be representatives of an industry and therefore experts on a particular subject. Politicians are not expected to be experts on everything, they are expected to be willing to take advice from experts. When they need to draft a new law, the solicit the opinions of experts. The competent lobbyists have already insinuated themselves into the system and so are invited, as experts, to provide opinions to the politicians. Some of them really are experts, others are paid shills. The politicians, not being experts, are usually not able to distinguish the two.

Re:Odd (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869705)

Either that, or this is the real reason so many countries turn a blind eye to havens, where income including bribes is never declared.

Re:Odd (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870281)

You are giving politicians (and the lobbyist) in Europe too much credit. There are still a lot of shady financial transactions going on there. See for instance the scandal leading up to the resignation of Christian Wulff last year.

I wouldn't be surprised if the MEPs were receiving more than just sweet words from the publishing lobby

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42875289)

Your financial advisor is likely precisely like this. Also, they *can't* know everything. We HAVE to rely on others. The question is, when the area we're discussing is very very grey who do you trust? What is reality?

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870257)

Possibly it goes like this:

MEP: "I'm in stress. I have to finish that law proposal until tomorrow."
Lobbyist: "Don't worry. I've got a finished proposal here. Just copy&paste from it freely, this saves you time. Oh, and I'd like to talk to you in this fine expensive restaurant. I'm paying the bill, of course."

Re:Odd (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871225)

Does the "how" really matter? Money has always and will always find influence in politics. You can spend your entire life fighting to close loopholes to try to keep it out, but there will always be more, and new ones opening up. And if you actually close one, your chances of having enough influence to close another one will vanish.

Anyway, lobbyist money only succeeds in the presence of public apathy. If the voters don't give a shit that US businesses are writing their laws, no law concerning lobbyists is going to keep the businesses from doing so.

Ho Hum (0)

some old guy (674482) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869197)

Welcome to the global economy, Skippy. What makes international graft and influence peddling any different from the common domestic kind? Is the EU so ethically superior to the US, Russia, or China?

Re:Ho Hum (4, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869373)

I would compare ethical behavior in international politics to a giant whack a mole game. No one is really ethically superior and bad apples turn up everywhere. That why the hammer of public outrage should come down on them. The problem is some countries consider themselves exempt.

Re:Ho Hum (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870075)

The primary problem is that too many people want to blame the lobbyists instead of the politicians.

Things have been framed as 'government vs corporations' by both government and corporations, because when people buy into that line of bullshit then they blame the corporations instead of the government, which results in nothing ever changing. The reality is that its 'government and corporations vs the people' and this is only possible because the politicians enable it.

Throw 'em out! (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869201)

It's hard to get rid of the lobbyists, but at least you should be able to get rid of the corrupt MEPs who listen to them.

Re:Throw 'em out! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869277)

And who will you have to replace them?

And how long will they stand aginst the epic tide of money and power?

Every man has his price... And these large companies can meet it. Money? Power? Fame? Women? Men? Drugs?
Anything.
Legal or illegal.... What.... they can and have done it all in the past... what makes now any different?

And those that cant be bought have 'accidents'. Or someone claims they raped them and there goes their support.

Re:Throw 'em out! (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869303)

It's hard to get rid of the lobbyists, but at least you should be able to get rid of the corrupt MEPs who listen to them.

And who will you have to replace them?

With corrupt MEPs who listen to me instead of course!

Re:Throw 'em out! (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869429)

Lobbyists are people who try to influence members of the parliament. In former times they were allowed to enter the lobby of the House of Commons in England to meet sympathetic members of the House between sessions, thus the name. If you write to your congress critter, you are lobbying. If you discuss with them in town hall meetings, you are lobbying. If you talk to them in private, you are lobbying. Anything you do between elections to influence members of the parliament is lobbying. Do you really want to get rid of that?

Re:Throw 'em out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870045)

Do you really want to get rid of that?

When it comes to for-profit corporations: YES

Re:Throw 'em out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870177)

I want to get rid of f..king amerikaans from our Parliament, yes.

Re:Throw 'em out! (1)

eagee (1308589) | about a year and a half ago | (#42872347)

Anything you do between elections to influence members of the parliament is lobbying. Do you really want to get rid of that?

Um, when that lobbying is for the benefit of a single multinational corporation instead of the greater good of the people served by the legislature - then yes, I absolutely want to get rid of that.

Re:Throw 'em out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42873845)

Anything you do between elections to influence members of the parliament is lobbying. Do you really want to get rid of that?

Um, when that lobbying is for the benefit of a single multinational corporation instead of the greater good of the people served by the legislature - then yes, I absolutely want to get rid of that.

Let me fix that for you...
I want to be able to talk to my representative and ask them to do the stuff I think is best, but I don't want the people with whom I disagree to have that same ability.

Re:Throw 'em out! (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year and a half ago | (#42874455)

What you've done here is construct a straw-man argument. The conventional definition of a lobbyist is someone who is employed to persuade legislators to vote for legislation that favors the lobbyist's employer. By bringing up the origin of the word and pretending that I was arguing against that, you have defeated an argument that only existed in your own twisted mind.

ONE MORE REASON TO KILL THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869207)

These fat cat euro bureocrats are MUCH WORSE than the americana equivalents because under european system there arent no real primaries but politica parties nominate from their long standing "faithful" which is mostly people in their 50's or worse , thus assuring The establishment rules always...European citizens are DENIED THE RIGHT TO DO REFERENDUMS to vote for or against anyrhing.

Clearly this is being rejected by the europeans citizens and will certainly cause the implosion of the european union.

MEP elections (5, Informative)

pijokela (462279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869247)

I have no idea of how you guys elect your MEPs, but at least in Finland we have many people from all parties running for the EU parliament. I can vote for any of them. It's true that parties do use the EU parliament as a dumping ground for old politicians, but the lists always contain new names also and I choose who I vote for.

So, maybe you need to vote for some other party or reform the voting in your own country instead?

Re:MEP elections (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869517)

I'm not sure where the OP was from, but in the UK you also get much bigger constituencies for the Euro elections than the national elections and have multiple MEPs per constituency. This means that smaller parties are much more likely to be represented than in the national elections. The most competent of my elected representatives has been my MEP.

Re:MEP elections (2)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869527)

Same in the UK. The European parliamentary constituencies are larger than national parliamentary constituencies, so a MEP will represent many more people. In the European vote I have a choice of candidates, normally one from each of the main parties and possibly the occasional independent. I can't recall my choice from the last one now but I think it was 5 or 6 candidates. In comparison local government and national parliament elections offer a choice from about 7 to 12 candidates depending on how many single issue candidates there are.

Re:MEP elections (2)

radio4fan (304271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869575)

So, maybe you need to vote for some other party or reform the voting in your own country instead?

Indeed.

UK voters should note that all four MEPs mentioned in TFA are from the Conservative Party, and vote accordingly for the other lizards in the future.

Re:ONE MORE REASON TO KILL THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869445)

You don't have any clue what a primary actually does. Right?
If everyone can found his own party and even get elected to the European Parliament (look at the swedish Pirate Party!), there is no point to go through the primaries of two big parties. Just cut out the middleman and get your own election platform! You try to turn a sad necessity of the congealed U.S. two party system into something of an advantage.

Re:ONE MORE REASON TO KILL THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869569)

"primaries" = getting enough names to get the right to get as a candidate on the vote. and it's not that hard. in finland you need 2000 names on a list and off you go as candidate.

the primaries in USA are a joke btw. could just hold the real election with the same trouble.

Re:ONE MORE REASON TO KILL THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW (1)

drankr (2796221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869941)

The EU needs to go back to its economic cooperation origins and drop the attempts to establish a political dictatorship completely. Such as it is, it's a disgraceful spectacle on so many levels.

Re:ONE MORE REASON TO KILL THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW (2)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42872899)

It seems you don't understand fair competition can only happen when all play by the same rules.

Take the UK, (the) most developed countries in the EU follow the guidelines set by the Working Hours Directive, for the well-being of the workforce (~=population) an employee is allowed to work a maximum of 48 hrs. per week.
The UK Tories try all in their power to get exempted from it because "it's damaging to the economy"...
Yet the Germans that adhere rigorously have economic growth while the British economy shrinks.
This directive does allow exemptions for the likes of the police and the military but the UK saw fit to include the oil industry, yeah right, as if they are suffering!

Re:ONE MORE REASON TO KILL THE EUROPEAN UNION NOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870187)

Actually, no. A huge EU is better to balance outside powers.

Fears of the US *government* erxerting ... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869211)

US citizens don't want this either. As a German, I say, it's not right to blame them too. Yes, there's a pathetic passivity when it comes to rising up and saying no. But are we sure we wouldn't be too, in the face of intelligence agencies that actively disrupt any form of protest with false flag moles and propaganda / mass media (See: Occupy movement, W(ikileaks) T(ask) F(orce), even in other countries, like with the "orange revolution"), and eating mostly tiring high-fructose high-fat "food". I'm pretty sure that would leave me apathetic too.

This is the government. And with that, I do not mean what e.g. teabaggers think they mean. I mean the corporations and their lobbyists. The actual ruling class in the US (and here too, mostly). The teabaggers just have never experienced an actual government, that is on their side against the ruling class. (Think French revolution against the nobility, or US independence against [foreign] nobility.) So you have to understand why they think they want a small "government". They actually want less lobbyists. Just like everyone else does.

So... how about that? Let's get rid of lobbyists once and for all. Since the US government is already taken by them, we cannot rely on them ever changing that. Since the whole governmental system around it, is already shaped to allow nothing else, we cannot use elections or mass-media, etc, to do this. It has to come in the form of a "high-road" revolution, where the US citizens will push forward no matter what, but will not engage in the evilnesses, mass-murder, terrorism, etc, the corporation-rulers will no doubt engage in. No matter what. Otherwise it will just end up being the same after the revolution, since those revolting will have become like the ones they hated, in the process.

As a German, who grew up in the 80s, let me say: I can haz cool America back again?

Re:Fears of the US *government* erxerting ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42873967)

...teabaggers ...

I was reading your post, which seemed very interesting, and came across this word. Being German, perhaps you don't realize that it's an insult. Well, it is, and I stopped reading your post, and skimmed the rest of it. You seemed to have some interesting thoughts, which I would have liked to explore, but your lack of manners for the reader and for those whom you appear to disagree with completely turned me off. Insults do not generate consensus, but rather make people ignore your message and dig in their heels, refusing to budge from their position. If only you had omitted the epithet, maybe we would have been able to communicate.

Re:Fears of the US *government* erxerting ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42874545)

It is only "propaganda" when it disagrees with his viewpoints--nevermind that he continues to repeat the spoon-fed propaganda that is continuously used to characterize the Tea Party.

 

Being German, perhaps you don't realize that it's an insult.

Being German, he has first-hand experience with every single sickening sexual fetish and deviation.

Secret lobbyism is the biggest threat to democracy (3, Interesting)

ZorroXXX (610877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869215)

And if you have any doubt that non-open influence of leaders is bad, please read Animal farm [gutenberg.net.au] by George Orwell to see an example of how bad things can get.

Re:Secret lobbyism is the biggest threat to democr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869649)

At least let them know that constiuents are aware of the lobbying. If you're in the UK you can use www.writetothem.com to send emails to all your elected representatives (local councillors, MPs and MEPs) so drop them a line and the link to lobbyplag. I'm not saying sunlight is disinfectant, but a crack in the curtains might make them a bit more worried that people are peeping in...

Ick! (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869223)

Fears of the rich exerting undue influence seem to be justified.

FTFY. Surprise, surprise! Lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists. Did anyone expect anything other than this result?!?

Seems Legit. (2)

EnempE (709151) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869225)

If you get a bunch of expert debaters and politicians, then ask them to make decisions about a complex and sensitive matter that they have no idea about, they are going to ask someone who knows a little more than them. They are going to be more able to listen to the louder voices among those who know more. It may just be that the loudest voices on the planet belong to Americans. I mean American companies.

That data looks pretty safe to me, I mean, what could possibly go wrong ...


In all seriousness though if these amendments are too ludicrous they won't go past proposals, and if they do they will struggle to make it to domestic legislation.
we hope.

Re:Seems Legit. (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869349)

If you get a bunch of expert debaters and politicians, then ask them to make decisions about a complex and sensitive matter that they have no idea about, they are going to ask someone who knows a little more than them. They are going to be more able to listen to the louder voices among those who know more. It may just be that the loudest voices on the planet belong to Americans. I mean American companies.

This is how it goes... However if they where smart, they would be able to understand what the background motives of the experts could be, and try to get opinions from several experts with differing motives (preferably also experts who's motives are not financial). This is where politicians seem to fail, at least here in Finland.

UK a US state? (4, Interesting)

greatpatton (1242300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869233)

Funny to see that the commitee members having the highest percentage of amemdement made by US companies are comming from UK....

Re:UK a US state? (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869395)

If the UK continues on it's current course, this problem will solve itself in a few years when the UK leaves the EU.

Re:UK a US state? (2)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869665)

It's going to be complicated.

Could end up that Scotland is part of the EU and the rUK exits the EU. Then Wales and Northern Ireland could be unhappy about still being lumped with England since the strongest anti-EU sentiment is definitely concentrated in the south-east of England.

The Conservative party is the most vocal anti-EU of the main parties and yet also the most vocal about adopting Central European Time. Bit schizophrenic, eh? Of course the pro-Tory press will daily promote the idea that European legislation on human rights makes it easy for terrorists to avoid jail and give all prisoners who actually end up there a cushy time while immigrants get an easy life at tax payers expense. The people who swallow all that seem to be a bit oblivious to the fact that EU directives on human rights and employment also protect them, which is the real reason the Tories want out; it'll be easier to oppress the proles.

Re:UK a US state? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870001)

It's going to be complicated.

Could end up that Scotland is part of the EU and the rUK exits the EU. Then Wales and Northern Ireland could be unhappy about still being lumped with England since the strongest anti-EU sentiment is definitely concentrated in the south-east of England.

The Conservative party is the most vocal anti-EU of the main parties and yet also the most vocal about adopting Central European Time. Bit schizophrenic, eh? Of course the pro-Tory press will daily promote the idea that European legislation on human rights makes it easy for terrorists to avoid jail and give all prisoners who actually end up there a cushy time while immigrants get an easy life at tax payers expense. The people who swallow all that seem to be a bit oblivious to the fact that EU directives on human rights and employment also protect them, which is the real reason the Tories want out; it'll be easier to oppress the proles.

Never mind the fact that something like half the exports of the UK go to the EU zone. If Brits decide to leave the EU they'll be excluding themselves from any influence over the inner workings of their most important export market. It would be a truly bizarre situation if Scotland remained in the EU but England left and even more bizarre if Wales and other regions began to think about increased independence because they don't want to be dragged out of the EU by a bunch of ultra natinoalist English Tories. There is a precedent in Greenland, which is a Danish territory with self rule, decided to leave the EU even though Denmark it self remained. The entire discussion about the UK leaving the EU seems to be completely divorced from the political and economic consequences of that leaving the EU would have.

Re:UK a US state? (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870113)

Thing is the European Convention on Human Rights has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the European Union. So getting out of the E.U. won't help in that regard.

Re:UK a US state? (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42873785)

You paint an ugly picture of some vocal English, regretfully for the good natured Brits you are spot-on.

Re:UK a US state? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870027)

The americans openly state that they want th uk in europe to represent their interests. When the uk threatens to leave the us advises that we stay.

Lets face it the uk is is americas bitch.

Yeah... And? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869253)

Are you really shocked by this? The media companies already own the EU.
Bought and paid for. Just like the rest of the world other than a few 'evil' countries who will eventually bend over just the same. They have no other choice left that doesn't lead to the same end.

At the very least the mega raid should have tipped you all off by now. You WILL dance to the tune of the USA. And the USA dances to the tune of Hollywood.

The only thing you should really be shocked by is it took them this long to roll it out. You'd better get used to the idea. The one world is here. And it's not under the thumb of some evil dictator or secret organization. It's the multinational corporations and the media industry is right there at the top of the list.

And they've already won. We've been handing them money, power, and control for decades now. We are the good little consumers who WILL do as we are told or else. It's all over but the shouting and acceptance if we wan't our nice modern lives to continue.

He was close... But only thought it was one country.

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."

"But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

"You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."
-george carlin

Re:Yeah... And? (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42873879)

These are proposed amendments

Luckily enough the EU parliament consists of many individualists and providing some of them are made aware of this nice tally of subservience by some of their colleagues I see little chance of these amendments making it into the actual ruling.

US Lobbyists on tour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869257)

You'd think Europe would have the stones to stand up pressure from US corporations.

Having considered emigrating West, I'm actually more inclined to emigrate East; the regimes there are beginning to seem more and more attractive everyday.

The EU citizens don't "pay the MEPs' salaries". (0, Troll)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869263)

(and I'm SO sick of that bogus meme.)

The MEPs send armed thugs to STEAL their salaries from the citizens, when they aren't manipulating their banking system to con or cheat them out of the money.

Saying "I pay your salary!" just encourages them to laugh behind closed doors, like any other successful thug having a guffaw over the antics of his victims. You don't "pay their salaries" unless you're in a position to FIRE them and keep the money, at your own, individual, discretion.

(Over here our ancestors had to fire AT them to get these parasites off their backs. But in the couple of centuries since that time a home-grown population has arisen.)

Re:The EU citizens don't "pay the MEPs' salaries". (3, Interesting)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869627)

So ... in your fantasy country of the United States of No Taxes at All, your politicians get no salary at all?

Re:The EU citizens don't "pay the MEPs' salaries". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869729)

Yes, we do pay for that, just like we pay for everything else in the public sector. As it should be.

Re:The EU citizens don't "pay the MEPs' salaries". (2)

Malc (1751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870145)

You could replace "MEP" with "MP" in your diatribe and you'd have the same point but different context. So what?

As with any politician in Europe, you fire them by voting elsewhere, etc.

Wrong concern (2)

KPU (118762) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869317)

While it is concerning that a U.S.-based lobby has this much power, the real issue is that nobody should be listening to the American Chamber of Commerce. If the EFF started writing EU legislation, we'd be jumping for joy.

Fears of the U.S. exerting undue influence.. (2)

r45d15 (1543669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869363)

"Fears of the U.S. exerting undue influence seem to be justified." More analytical judgment: bears shitting in the woods seems to be true.

SO WHO SAVED YOUR ASSES IN THE WARS ?? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869455)

Us, that's who !!

You owe them !!

So they own you !!

Move along !! Move along !!

This is disgusting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869493)

The worst offenders are from the UK, of which I am a citizen. Unfortunately, none of them represent the area I am from, although I am seriously considering contacting them anyway.

Basically, these pigs with their snouts in the trough are traitors to the UK. By taking the position of US corporations, against the interests of their own citizens, personally I believe their citizenship should be revoked, and they should be deported to the US.

Re:This is disgusting (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870247)

None of them represent my region either but I've written to them anyway, technically I wrote the the worse offender Malcolm Harbour but copied in Sajjad Karim and Giles Chichester all of whom have copy and pasted over 22% of their amendments (Harbour has copied >25% of his amendments) and all of whom are members of European Conservatives and Reformists.

I don't expect an answer since none of them represent my region but I asked lots of questions about why they can't find time to think and write their own amendments, how they select which amendments they are going to copy and paste, assuming of course there is a selection criteria and not just a case of "Those spiffing nice chaps at the golf club thought we should write this".

That's funny (2)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869525)

My response to this, and other nonsense regarding IP issues, can be lifted word for word from Arkell v. Pressdram. Both of them.

US Chamber of Commerce = Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869595)

The US Chamber of Commerce might sound like a government organization, it's not, it's a lobby group for the Republican party in the USA.

When you see them successfully lobbying, it usually involves money, directly or indirectly to the politician concerned, either into their campaigns or sometimes hidden backhanders.

https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/02-7

Lobbyplag is javascript infested (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869639)

I went there, they refused to display anything unless I enable it - I hate sites like that. I would have read what they had to say, as it is I did not.

Re:Lobbyplag is javascript infested (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42871543)

I would love to mod you up, but no points today. I, too, went there and found the "if you won't play with our javascript, we won't let you look". At least they were clever and entertaining about it.

I have a similar fetish against unnecessary flash pages, and certain Very Large Game Companies have sites you cannot view without Flash installed. They, however, lack the sense of humor of Lobbyplag.

Or perhaps the sense of humor of a constipated badger.

Not the US...US based lobbyists. (1)

jo7hs2 (884069) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869767)

"Fears of the U.S. exerting undue influence..." Please don't conflate US based lobbyists exerting influence with the US itself exerting undue influence. Admittedly, we have been known to do that, but at least make the distinction when the offending party is a private party and not the United States itself/themselves.

Re:Not the US...US based lobbyists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42869893)

Is there really still a difference?

I for one welcomed our (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869853)

I for one welcomed our lobbyist overlords years ago

From the "Blame everything on the EU" crowd (1)

Aceticon (140883) | about a year and a half ago | (#42869995)

I've checked all 4 MEPs mentioned in the article: all are Tory (conservative) British MEPs.

This is the party that hammers the most and the hardest the "Blame it on the EU" key.

I am physically sickened (though not at all surprised) that these lowlifes are completelly in the pocked of American interests.

The sooner the UK leaves the EU, the better: we need to get rid of the turncoats working for foreign powers.

Re:From the "Blame everything on the EU" crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870461)

I'd rather the UK stays in the EU and starts regarding the US as a competitor rather than a mentor, but I'm not sure we have any politicians with the will to do so.

Re:From the "Blame everything on the EU" crowd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42872785)

What exactly are the US and EU competing for?

Re:From the "Blame everything on the EU" crowd (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42873991)

The long and short straw.

The MEPs simply agree with the lobbyists (1)

kdataman (1687444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42870351)

I know there are abuses, but simply agreeing with a lobbyists is nothing wrong. The MEP, it seems to me, has to think about businesses in Europe as well as individuals so there has to be a balance in the regulations. There could and should be lobbyists on both sides of an issue since all a lobbyists does is represent a group and bring their opinion to the decision makers. So here we have a business lobbyist convincing a conservative (pro business) MEP that the lobbyist's position has merit. Not a tough sell. Since US companies have a stake in the decision then their sharing their opinions is natural. If the MEP agrees with the lobbyists position then using their wording is no surprise.

So until someone starts talking about secret payments of some kind, all I see is someone being convinced.

Re:The MEPs simply agree with the lobbyists (1)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42874103)

So until someone starts talking about secret payments of some kind, all I see is someone being convinced.

Just wait a couple of years until they're voted out.

Not much later their knowledge of the subject at hand will be recognised by one of the companies that have sponsored the lobbyists and the ex politician gets appointed to the board of directors.

so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42870569)

they're screwed now, won't see thing for another few years though.

GCA 1968 from German 1938 law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42871779)

At the risk of Godwin, but since its true...

The reverse has happened; there is considerable evidence that the 'Nazi Weapons Law' of 1938' was used as inspiration, if not an actual basis, for parts of the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968. Not in total, since the Nazi law and preceding German law ironically aimed at curbing the then nacent Nazis, as well as communists, included the forced registration now being demanded by the current Administration to be imposed against Americans.

So we've already had some tastes of European inspired law, thanks. No more is required.

you guys are missing the forest for the trees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42873489)

The problem with our work, and all governments of the past is simpy education.

We don't give a shit about it, so we are stupid and easily taken advantage by our betters. Ignore all rhetoric and fancy stats, just check to see if your country spends more on books or guns to properly guarge your country's future.

  I say this not to bash American, but despite a population that understands and values education. They allow their government to completely gut it, hire the least qualified teachers because of low salaries, and use schools as day cares. Now on top of that, vouchers are now a thing, so I guess the gap between the dumb and the haves will only widen.

Saying all this. The solution is evolution or drugs. I am glad american choose drugs. Cause I am almost halfway dead and revolution is pretty painful.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>