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Dutch MEP Petitions To Ban Export of Surveillance Software

timothy posted about a year ago | from the hey-we're-using-that dept.

EU 81

Trailrunner7 writes with this excerpt: "A Dutch member of the European parliament is supporting a grass-roots effort to restrict the export of surveillance software such as FinFisher and others, which are used by some governments and law-enforcement agencies to monitor their citizens' activities. The effort, dubbed Stop Digital Arms, is supported by Marietje Schaake, a member of the EU Parliament's International Trade committee. The petition itself is on the Change.org site, and it calls upon members of the European Union 'to give the European Commission the mandate to draft the laws and develop initiatives necessary to stop digital arms trade' ... In a report called 'For Their Eyes Only' released earlier this year, the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the university of Toronto detailed the spread of this software around the world and identified a slew of FinFisher command-and-control servers in countries such as Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, among many others."

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Or you could fix the problem (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315633)

and sanction the fuck out of the US until they either revolt and kill their leaders or collapse

Re:Or you could fix the problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315651)

Or you could stop being a sissy faggot and do it yourself.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Or you could fix the problem (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315673)

Or you could stop being a sissy faggot and do it yourself.

-- Methane-fueled

FTFY - now stop smelling your own farts.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (-1, Offtopic)

sI4shd0rk (3402769) | about a year ago | (#45315691)

Something just shot out of a bare bayerhole. Where? My sensors detect that the bayerhole that had something shoot out of it is located in my house. Whose asshole is it? It's mine, that's whose! What shot out of my asshole? A fart. That's all well and good, but who caused the fart to shoot out of my bare-as-fuck bayerhole extravaganza? An extra terrestrial in a distance galaxy? Who's the fuckin' culprit!? Well, after gathering the greatest minds in the world and performing thorough experimentation, a conclusion has been reached: I am the one who shot the fart out of my very own asshole.

What!? How!? How can such a thing be possible!? This is a thing of legend!

Re:Or you could fix the problem (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#45317099)

Right... because compared to China, Russia, the UK, France, Mexico, Syria, etc, the USA clearly stands out as a bastion of evil.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#45317281)

Even though it still remains, the U.S. (inc.), like the MAFIA will collapse due to the rot within.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45318627)

What bullshit. The day the US collapses is the day it takes the entire world down with it. And this software ban is just another example of the worthless blather emanating from Europe. Last time I checked I don't believe the US or any other intelligence service from around the world has open sourced or packaged there software to the masses. This proposed ban is just as idiotic at the proposed ban on spying in general being floated by all the countries currently unable to compete in the intelligence gathering arena. It's just about time for the NSA and CIA to publish some of the information they have collected over the years on the governments all over the world. Then all the lying hypocrites currently crowing about US spying can get busy explaining why they themselves provided their citizens data to the NSA and why they regularly request data from the NSA. Let's throw everyone's secrets out in the open in the name of transparency and then sit around and marvel at the chaos and growing animosity in the world today.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (1)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#45321573)

Even though it still remains, the U.S. (inc.), like the MAFIA will collapse due to the rot within.

The US will still remain, and still be a major power, after the "collapse". The US economy and political system may be living on borrowed time (and money), but its not as bad as the Soviet Union in its later days. The Soviet collapse may have been painful, but Russia is coming back, and so will the US. I just hope it's more like Britain and France, rather than some other past empires like Turkey or Portugal.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (1)

sabri (584428) | about a year ago | (#45318931)

Right... because compared to China, Russia, the UK, France, Mexico, Syria, etc, the USA clearly stands out as a bastion of evil.

Let's not forget that the Dutch are masters in spying: over 25000 wiretaps on land-lines, and over 150.000 (yes, 150k) taps on internet traffic. Keep in mind that this little state, about twice the size of the SF Bay Area, only has about 15 million citizens. That's nearly 1 in 10 being monitored. (source) [privacybarometer.nl]

And then a Dutch MEP wants to criticize the US? ROFL.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320969)

Right... because compared to China, Russia, the UK, France, Mexico, Syria, etc, the USA clearly stands out as a bastion of evil.

Well, for the last 30 years USA is the only of those nations that have acted in a hostile manner towards my nation. For the others I have only heard from the US that they are evil but none of them have acted like they are.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317723)

The UN should just make Mass Surveillance as illegal as Chemical Weapons. No country should do wholesale eavesdropping on anyone, whether their own citizens or those of countries.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45318463)

That do you hope to achieve by that? The US have still not ratified Geneva convention protocol I and II and conveniently ignores the parts that are ratified.
It is pointless to sign treaties with nations that doesn't follow them.

Re:Or you could fix the problem (0)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45318751)

HAHAHA!!! Americans? Revolt? HAHAHA!!! Did you mean for them to revolt in the same way they did on Wall Street? HAHAHA!!! You're killing me! I can only imagine how it'd go:

Americans are all in the streets, prepared to storm the gates of the white house. They have mustered up all the defiance possible, and are about to make their move. But then Facebook comes out with a new upgrade to the $SmartPhoneApp and each person's $smartPhone beeps, requiring the user's attention for the upgrade. After 2 minutes of downloading, and 3 minutes of looking at the new Facebook interface, no one can remember why they're standing out in front of the white house, and they simply go home, eyes to the phone the whole way.

Seriously, who in their right mind would sanction the US? That'd be like candy factories petitioning Halloween.

I think it would be better (1)

Lumpio- (986581) | about a year ago | (#45315647)

if they didn't ban just export but import as well.

Re:I think it would be better (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#45315739)

if they didn't ban just export but import as well.

Great idea. The Dutch don't need Wireshark anyway.

Oh, wait, you mean "monitoring software" means software that can monitor traffic on the network?

How about jailing the people who actually abuse the tools to violate other people's rights, instead of trying to outlaw them?

Re:I think it would be better (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45316163)

How about jailing the people who actually abuse the tools to violate other people's rights, instead of trying to outlaw them?

Hard to jail them when they work for the government.

Re:I think it would be better (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | about a year ago | (#45316293)

So how would the EU go about jailing the NSA?

Re:I think it would be better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45318535)

NSA would have to pay their workers a lot better if the deal includes a "If you ever leave the US you will go to jail."-clause.

A situation like that isn't far-fetched, the former president George W. Bush essentially is subject to such a clause. He had to cancel his trip to Europe when it became clear that he would have to stand trial for violating the UN Convention Against Torture.
Not that he risks being extradited, the US government reserves the right to let their presidents get away with crimes against humanity, be it murder or torture. They just can't leave the nation after that.

Re:I think it would be better (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#45316531)

It would be more like a weapons export ban, where you are not allowed to export them to countries that are known to abuse them. In other words no selling telecom monitoring equipment to governments that then use it to oppress their citizens, like certain middle eastern countries or the US/UK.

Re:I think it would be better (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#45316577)

It's far more like too little too late. Face it the US in it's stupidity has kicked off and internet arms race. Basically want security you require a total ban all foreign hardware, software and business from communications infrastructure, don't have a ban and you can now guarantee back doors. Reckon the US will slow down, absolutely not, in fact they will ramp up their efforts because they will claim because of what the US has done, other countries will be forced to retaliate in order to secure their systems ie a self creating and perpetuating threat, US declaring internet war upon the rest of the globe and then demanding they build up defences because of the war the declared.

Re:I think it would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316861)

However, an "internet war" would be far preferable to a "real war".
Also it could only boost infrastructure and informational security.

Continuing "hoping" someone won't abuse you, seems less and less like a real longer-term solution.
It's good that more and more people become aware of the importance of security.
Maybe we can fix the house of cards built until now yet.

Re:I think it would be better (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#45317103)

Right... because you happen to think YOUR country doesn't monitor electronic communications. Good luck with that one.

Re:I think it would be better (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45316535)

Jailing members of foreign governments is typically quite difficult until after you've won a war against them.

Re:I think it would be better (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45318831)

"How about jailing the people who actually abuse the tools to violate other people's rights, instead of trying to outlaw them?"

Who'd jail them?

Re:I think it would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316189)

+1 and also ban development thank you

Carrier IQ (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315679)

Can we add Carrier IQ and other spyware to the list? I'd also like to know how much data NSA got from Carrier IQ and how much Carrier IQ and the telcos that forced it to be installed, got paid by the NSA.

Very slippery slope... (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about a year ago | (#45315693)

Be careful such a well-intentioned ban doesn't backfire.

Instead of banning software, how about reacting to what people DO with software?

Re:Very slippery slope... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316333)

You don't get it, do you? We aren't on a slope anymore. We are free falling. A ban like this would only stop you and me from trading with this kind of software. The government doesn't need to care about laws. It just slaps a "top secret" sticker on the deal and it's done. To hell with it. Now it's up to everyone for himself. Or terrorism.

Re:Very slippery slope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316533)

Agreed completely. Replace "software" with "firearms" (or any other inanimate object devoid of free will) and I'd agree completely all over again.

Re:Very slippery slope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316605)

Be careful such a well-intentioned ban doesn't backfire.

Instead of banning software, how about reacting to what people DO with software?

s/software/surveillance/g

See how that works?

Re:Very slippery slope... (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about a year ago | (#45318847)

"...how about reacting to what people DO with software?"

And what would the correct reaction be? Civil war? No one wants that.

Re:Very slippery slope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319675)

Instead of banning software, how about reacting to what people DO with software?

That's the American Way. That's what you did with firearms and drugs and as a result 1/3rd of your male population has spent time in jail. The European Way is called Common Sense. You should try it sometime, it has proven to work very well with both firearms and drugs, and considering the USA's track record, I don't think anyone is very motivated to adopt their policies.

Actual Headline (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315727)

To translate: Dutch politicians attempt to ruin their own software industry, do nothing to stop digital surveillance.

Re:Actual Headline (1, Informative)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#45316347)

To translate: Dutch politicians attempt to ruin their own software industry, do nothing to stop digital surveillance.

Well the proposal would be for a EU wide export ban, but I see your point and tend to agree it wouldn't solve much.

Still, it makes sense to try and change some things that are within ones own reach, at least for starters. And in the Netherlands, there is quite a bit of development of this type of surveillance software going on.

I worked for one of these companies for about a month until I figured out exactly how badly it disgusted me. The Netherlands is among the worst countries when it comes to phone taps, which is what this company specialized in, but they happily exported to places like China and worse.

So, is this enough? No. Is it a start in the right direction? Maybe.

Re:Actual Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45318049)

So you're saying that surveillance software sales have become a crucial part of the software industry?! I need to take a longer shower now...

Seems to me this person is doing a big favour to the European software industry focusing their efforts on making products that are actually useful to society.

Sounds hypocritical and ridicules considering goal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315795)

Sounds hypocritical and ridicules considering goal

Banning the export of software is in itself censorship and counter-productive to the goal given that it's impossible to achieve the objective (reduction of censorship) desired. Plus its a bit hypocritical.

The goals here might be well-meaning (I'm doubtful of that although will assume it for the point of this discussion) like that of censoring child pornography / piracy / hateful materials / racism within the countries of production (making that assumption based on the fact most countries seem to have implementing filtering now at a national level to solve the above goals). However it's not at all effective when bypassing these systems is well known.

There are numerous proxy sites to work around the problem and applications like Tor. Perfectly legal in most of these countries and even should application (not software)-specific proxies that restrict or are intended to get to censored sites also get censored there are non-application specific solutions like VPN, Tor Browser Bundle, Pirate Browser, and similar solutions to work around that. Solutions that have been well-publicized in the countries banning such exports.

It's not that difficult to develop in-house filtration systems either and such bans will simply export production and jobs elsewhere.

I'm against this and I'm against censorship. Lead by example and eliminate ones own filters first. Then fund projects like Tor. Then maybe (further evaluation needed) fund attacks on select sites that are accessed by the populous in censored countries. If well-planned a good percentage of the computer using population of censored countries will have the tools and information needed to bypass censorship in there home countries.

Stop Digital Arms (4, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#45315797)

By all means, let's drive it underground... and make it all classified..

Re:Stop Digital Arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315865)

" let's drive it underground... and make it all classified.."

      It already is, that's the point of all this, just kill the bastards doing it and by extension their families too on national TV. Make violating the public trust a capital offense and the problem will be solved immediately.

Re:Stop Digital Arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316289)

By all means, let's drive it underground... and make it all classified..

Remember, export bans don't keep the people who can make the stuff from having it

EU fake parliament (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#45315807)

Nothing will happen. Remember EU is not a democracy, and the EU parliament is a fake parliament. It does not vote the budget. It cannot start a directive initiative (only the EU commission can). The commission can remove amendments done by the parliament, and it already did it in the past. And of course the EU commission can ignore a proposal from the parliament. The only real power of the EU parliament is to reject a directive within the co-decision method.

Most of the time, the EU parliament vote non binding resolutions that are only relevant to the press. EU ideologists can then quote nice resolutions that will have no consequence in the real world, and tell us how good the EU is for EU citizen. But this kind of propaganda is getting less effective, as people face a harsh reality every day.

Re:EU fake parliament (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45317967)

True look at the way Spain implemented some employment related directives (TUPE) basically a F You to the EU and its Citizens whist holding out the other had for all that juicy CAP subsidy money for the farmers and fishing fleets.

Re:EU fake parliament (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#45319001)

EU being no democracy, it has no legitimacy pushing directives on member states. But EU subsidies come from EU member state taxes, therefore it is legitimate for EU citizen to have them. As a tax payer, I am happy to give money help Spain farmers while they say f*ck you to the EU. Especially while they say f*ck you to the EU.

Re:EU fake parliament (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45319725)

So a few farmers make hey and the rest of the Spanish workers and all those unemployed Spanish young people can go hang eh.

Re:EU fake parliament (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#45321441)

Before hanging themselves, southern EU citizen should at least try to vote for someone that will propose a fix to the euro. The current setup cannot work because the only way to offset a commercial deficit is to make the country poorer every year. That kills the economy and gives no opportunity to improve the commercial deficit.

The fix can be to have the European Central Bank creating the money needed to offset the deficit and give it to member states that need it. Or to broaden EU tax transfers like the CAP, but to benefit other workers. If no money transfer solution is accepted, the remaining fix that a member state can do on its own is to get out of the euro zone, get back to the national currency, and devalue it every year to offset commercial deficit, which is the way it worked before the Euro.

Good luck with that (3, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | about a year ago | (#45315819)

It may be possible to ban the SALE or TRADE of such software, but you can't very well stop someone from GIVING it away. After all, they can stand on the border and hold up printouts of the source code and invite people standing 5 feet away from them to take photos of it.

Well, I guess you COULD ban it if you are in a country that doesn't have or even pretend to have free-speech protections.

All any such ban will do would be to drive the R&D to other countries.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45315933)

Its going to end up like the US ban on exporting Crypto tech. It will push the related jobs outside the country to make sure they don't have issues with the law, and otherwise do pretty much nothing.

Trololololoooo (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45315947)

it calls upon members of the European Union 'to give the European Commission the mandate to draft the laws and develop initiatives necessary to stop digital arms trade'

Amazing. The response of the Europeans is apparently to demand their governments give up control over their own intelligence agencies and the ability to develop cyberweapons, crippling their telecommunications infrastructure... Because one government agency in the United States got caught peeping through the windows.

Explain to me the logic here, because to me it looks like the Europeans are shooting themselves in the foot while screaming "Look what you made me do! Now you'd better stop or I'm gonna do it again!"

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#45316041)

How are you seeing not being able to develop 'cyberweapons' as crippling their telecommunications infrastructure? You can't put a 'CyberSCUD' next to your router to 'preemptively strike' intruders. You secure your telecom infrastructure by securing your telecom infrastructure.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45316043)

well unlike america we have a variety of meps of variety of opinions.

some of them are pretty much outright nazies, some of them aren't, some of them want to ban everything, some of them not, some of them just vote yes on everything(no shit! everything! even things that are against each other). somehow it sort of works.

I do hope though that they would just make it illegal to tap into communications for agencies like it is illegal for private people. I mean, the tools they're proposing to ban are already illegal to use to snoop on other people in EU. enforcing that is needed.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45316049)

oh and to clarify its illegal to snoop on your users even if you own the network.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#45316183)

oh and to clarify its illegal to snoop on your users even if you own the network.

Yes, but it is legal for many kinds of government agencies to snoop on your network in many European countries, without disclosure and without legal oversight. And that's a far bigger problem.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45318195)

not for companies though in the USA

Re:Trololololoooo (3, Interesting)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#45316173)

Explain to me the logic here, because to me it looks like the Europeans are shooting themselves in the foot while screaming "Look what you made me do! Now you'd better stop or I'm gonna do it again!"

"The Europeans" isn't actually a single group of people with a single agenda. Like "the Americans", it's composed of many different groups. One group, namely European politicians, gets a lot of coverage, and they find it advantageous to inflame anti-American sentiment to (1) get more attention and (2) push through legislation that otherwise wouldn't have much chance to be pushed through.

Re:Trololololoooo (2)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#45316375)

Mostly agree with your post, except I think this is not meant to "inflame anti-American sentiment" but rather it's timed to ride on that sentiment which is already quite inflamed enough, thank you very much, because of the US agencies' own doing.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#45316549)

which is already quite inflamed enough, thank you very much, because of the US agencies' own doing.

And how is what the US agencies are doing different from what European governments have been doing routinely?

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316707)

Scale.

Re:Trololololoooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316975)

US agencies had the bad taste to do it in public.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about a year ago | (#45317547)

The NSA got caught?

Various leaks about inappropriate surveillance have been happening in every nation since the beginning of nations and spies. The NSA effort is particularly large scale, and is part of its international collaborative efforts with other nation's monitoring agencies. Make no mistake, these agencies trade intelligence on a frequent basis so that each can gather data from the other agencies that they lack the local resources, or the legal ability, to gather themselves. The "Echelon" monitoring system is built on this basis, and hte UK and USA and other signatories have certainly gathered data that would be illegal for individual nations to gather, but nominally legal for them to collect from other nation's monitoring.

Since the SIGINT of the Netherlands was also participating in Echelon, it's not as if other northern European nations were not active in this network and covering Holland traffic.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#45318375)

The NSA got caught?

So did European spy agencies, European war mongers, and European assassins, but Europeans are completely blind to that when they do it.

The NSA effort is particularly large scale, and is part of its international collaborative efforts with other nation's monitoring agencies.

And that's why Europeans are justified at venting their anger at the US instead of their own "monitoring agencies", who aid, support, and cooperate with the US? Yup, makes PERFECT sense.

Re:Trololololoooo (1)

mars-nl (2777323) | about a year ago | (#45321153)

She is a MEP who is concerned about human rights (especially in the Middle East). She blames Western technology for internet censorship in e.g. Middle Eastern states. The software that is used most for this happens to be mostly American and Italian.

http://www.marietjeschaake.eu/2011/12/media-radio-free-europe-marietje-schaake-its-high-time-this-digital-weapons-trade-stops/ [marietjeschaake.eu]

Re:Trololololoooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45323041)

So she is in the first category: trying to gain notoriety. The tiny Netherlands is the 11th largest arms exporter in the world. It also has a reprehensible history of colonialism and oppression. Marietje should concentrate her efforts there instead of killing Internet freedom.

Anything can be used as a weapon (4, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#45316143)

Others have said similar things already, but this will never work. Any tool that can be used to do something useful, can be used to harm someone else. That is true for most tools we humans use and also applies to most "cyber tools". Using a network scanner to find intruders or bad configured systems is good, using it to find someone that wants to get information out of a censored government is bad. Using a load tester to see if your system can handle the users it's designed for is good, but using it to take down some system that is run by someone you oppose of is bad.

She has no idea that the tools exclusively marketed as cyber weapons are nothing more than window dressing for existing things. Any government spending money on this either needs the window dressing and can't make their own, or is too stupid to understand this sort of thing. The more they spend money on cyber weapons, the less they will spend it on potentially more harmful things. Please let them be, it's a snake oil market and anyone buying the snake oil deserves what they get for their money.

Re:Anything can be used as a weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316627)

Others have said similar things already, but this will never work. Any tool that can be used to do something useful, can be used to harm someone else. That is true for most tools we humans use and also applies to most "cyber tools".

Logic.. how dare you! People on the Intertubes say surveillance is bad, so wireshark BAD! The NSA uses wireshark, so it's DOUBLE BAD!

Re:Anything can be used as a weapon (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#45316743)

She has no idea that the tools exclusively marketed as cyber weapons are nothing more than window dressing for existing things.

Government bureaucrats do not understand technology, and should best leave it alone.

When a government tries to fiddle with technology . . . you get something like: https://www.healthcare.gov/ [healthcare.gov]

Hell, if you tasked most parliaments in the world with building a campfire, they wouldn't be able to figure it out:

"I propose a 5-year flame-thrower research project to be funded in my constituency, which would provide a stimulus for the fire industry . . . "

Re:Anything can be used as a weapon (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year ago | (#45322245)

Yep, like /.! ;)

My God! It's fishing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316201)

The Ducth are fishing Finns everywhere.

Clue by four (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316223)

Someone should the MEP with a clue by four or a brick then see the MEPs outlaw the whole construction industry.

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316261)

Well if it keeps it out of the hands of the NSA I say ban away.

Dumbest idea ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316507)

A new law that does nothing positive, but can be easily abused. They totally don't understand anything. They should get the "Dumbest populist idea ever" award.

Re:Dumbest idea ever (1)

mars-nl (2777323) | about a year ago | (#45321223)

This law might not work as intended, but to call it the dumbest populist idea ever goes a bit too far. ThisMEP does not fall into the category of populist politicians and she is also not dumb, but rather wel-informed.

Check this:
http://www.marietjeschaake.eu/2013/09/media-eu-should-stop-the-spread-of-digital-arms-vieuws/ [marietjeschaake.eu]

Whats the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316539)

Its not like the company wont take the source and have people from somewhere else keep working on it. The only result of this would be losing a bunch of jobs.

Assuming Doom (1)

b4upoo (166390) | about a year ago | (#45316737)

I try to keep an open mind about surveillance and data farming. The benefits could be substantial although the potential for abuse is also very real. Many people only consider terrorism in relation to spying. But we may have the potential to stop almost all crime in its tracks. Whether it is illegal narcotics traffic or being able to quickly find a missing child the possibilities are almost endless. And these systems could also apply to large businesses such that the financials are constantly studied to detect fraud, bribery and deceit.
                  Think about it a bit. Most people carry a cell phone these days and that means their movements can be tracked. Yet most people do not feel threatened just because the government can easily know where they are. All in all we simply do not understand the many benefits we might enjoy in a society that has very dense surveillance of us at all times.

Stop export of Ubuntu! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317423)

Because of its default setting to send all your "Dash" content searches back to the mothership at Canonical?

Let me get popcorn and a folding chaise lounge to watch Mark Shuttleworth's fireworks about *that* one....

Drawing wrong parallels (1)

Fredde87 (946371) | about a year ago | (#45317485)

Why are the majority of people in this thread assuming this is an response to the Snowden releases? To me this seems to be a law which has nothing to do with the NSA's activities but instead to prevent oppressive regimes from purchasing european made software which will allow them to suppress their citizens even further by spying on them etc. Haven't we already got similar laws to prevent sells of software used by oppressive regimes which could enable them to censor their citizens?

what is MEP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317729)

I never heard of MEP. i wish articles would stop using some acronyms because not everyone knows what they mean.

Re:what is MEP? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#45317909)

google is your friend.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317835)

What a spectacularly idiotic policy. Not only is it blindingly hypocritical, but it also further confirms the generally held theory that rampant stupidity and lack of critical thinking skills are requisite to being a policymaker regardless of geographic location. Bravo!

For the benefit of those who, likewise, have yet to master the elusive art of thinking (but, also for the amusement of those with a clue):

1) Software is nothing more than applied knowledge, whence comes the term "application."
2) Not only is this MEP joker proposing that sticking a ban-aid over a problem will somehow cure it, she also thinks that outlawing the proliferation of knowledge will somehow work. Why wouldn't it? It's not like anyone in a position of power throughout history has ever tried that one.
3) The proposal is completely ineffective because, notably, the entities whose actions prompted this proposal are sovereign states who are not the least bit accountable to EU law in the first place, and because such entities have no need to rely upon an exporter to obtain what they could acquire through espionage.
4) This proposal is particularly amusing for the property of it being a ban on the proliferation of knowledge of how to surreptitiously acquire knowledge; in essence, an attempt to stop *other people* (like, say, a government) from knowing how to know things they shouldn't (like say, your business).

Yes, this is an attempt to stop others from doing the exact same thing government is doing to others (snooping), because others did it to the government and the government is offended by it, despite the fact that others should not be offended if the government does it to them.

When in government, the moral compass always points outside.

Re:Wow (1)

mars-nl (2777323) | about a year ago | (#45321295)

I partly agree with you (with 1 and 2), in theory.

The point is that it's hypocritical to call a country evil and meanwhile make money on selling them software that allows them to be evil (and knowing in advance it will be used as such).

Also, even though I might have knowledge on how mass censorship works, that doesn't mean I can apply that knowledge. I know how pizzas are made, still I prefer to buy pizza ready made because it's easier, faster or cheaper. By selling mass surveillance or mass censorship software to regimes know to be suppressing their citizens, you help them do it. It's a bad thing.

How funny. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#45317899)

When America does it based on ITAR to keep foreign nations like China, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea from using it, they are the bad guys.
When another nation does it, then it is good. Good figure.

what About Open Source Surveillance Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320627)

Would exporting the source code be allowed as information just wants to be free

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