US internet surveillance of EU citizens (NSA PRISM programme):
- extracts from the Commission statement
- MEP's debate
Lieu: European Parliament, Strasbourg
End production: 11/06/2013 First transmission: 11/06/2013
Political group representatives discussed the recent revelations of a secret US programme to gather user data from internet companies and the implications for EU citizens' privacy with the European Commission. The Guardian newspaper along with The Washington Post revealed last week that the US is using a surveillance system code-named PRISM, which allows the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI direct access to the servers of US internet firms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA worker, revealed himself as the source of the leaked information on the secret spy programme.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shots with the European Parliament in Strasbourg
||SOUNDBITE (English) Tonio BORG, European Commission: "The Commission is asking for clear commitments from the United States as to the respect of the fundamental right of EU citizens to data protection and as to access to judicial redress in the same way as it is afforded to United States residents."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Tonio BORG, European Commission: "As far as the present program is concerned, the Commission will raise this matter with United States authorities at the earliest possible opportunity, it will request clarifications as to whether access to personal data within the framework of the present program is limited to individual cases and based on concrete suspicions or if it allows bulk transfers of data."
||SOUNDBITE (German) Manfred WEBER, (EPP, DE),"The State also recognizes that my data belongs to me, I decide what happens with it. That principle must be respected by the State, those boundaries must be taken seriously."
||SOUNDBITE (German) Manfred WEBER, (EPP, DE) "It is unacceptable, and I would like to make that clear on behalf of the EPP, it is completely unacceptable that the United States of America has different rules governing access to personal data applicable to US citizens on one hand and citizens of other countries on the other hand. Our friends from the US should know that."
||SOUNDBITE (German) Manfred WEBER, (EPP, DE): "We need the European cloud. If European data is to be stored in the cloud it should be held in Europe then we can guarantee to our companies and citizens that this data is being stored and secured according to EU standards."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Claude MORAES, (S&D, UK) "For the S&D group, we are very clear that security is important, this is caused for our citizens a major breach of trust and for us, in the S&D group, the ministerial meeting on the 13th and 14th of June is something that we regard as vitally important. The Parliament, all the political groups should give the Commission support and hold into account the United States for what they have done transferring allegedly bulk information of our citizens which may be completely unnecessary in the fight against terrorism, in the fight for security of our citizens."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sophia INT'VELD, (ALDE, NL): "Look around you! An empty hemicycle! This house, just over a decade ago when faced with a similar situation, something called ECHELON, we decided to set up a heavy parliamentary inquiry into ECHELON. Today we get a handful of dedicated MEPs to address 500 million citizens. We are failing the European citizens at a time when trust in the European Union is at an all time low. We should be ashamed of ourselves!"
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sophia INT'VELD, (ALDE, NL): "I don't know if you have listened to the statement of Barack Obama when he was addressing the American audience who was worried. He said "Don't worry! We are not spying on American citizens. We are only spying on foreigners." Foreigners! So that's us. That's European citizens! So what kind of a special relationship is that? And over the last 12 years Europe has bent over backwards to be the closest ally of the Americans in the fight against terrorism."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Sophia INT'VELD, (ALDE, NL): "We expect the Commission, and with all due respect, I am greateful that you are here Commissioner Borg, but this is chefsache [German for "task for a chief"]. This is a matter for political leadership. We need political leadership in Europe to defend the right of our citizens. And the time is now!"
||SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Philipp ALBRECHT, (Greens/EFA, DE) "This is about the rule of law and about democracy because both of them are not in line with mass surveillance. They cannot be in line with mass surveillance of citizens, of people all around the world and so we need to stand up here to say clearly 'mass surveillance is not what we want to have and we need strong data protection rules!'.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy KIRKHOPE, (ECR, UK): "Terrorists and organized criminal groups use information and technology against innocent citizens. Therefore, there must be an expectation that the same technology will be used in our response."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy KIRKHOPE, (ECR, UK): "I will caution that often the way in which some members of this house articulate themselves does little to bring us together on values, but instead pushes us further apart."
||Cutaway shots (3 shots)