Edward Snowden’s revelation has not only affected American’s, but it also caused concern and debate among European Union countries whether NSA surveillance programs should be tolerated. After the NSA scandal, EU executives announced that US will have to alter their surveillance projects in order to meet the EU laws, as well as allow legal redress in the US courts for those EU citizens whose rights may have been undermined by the NSA.
One of the biggest issues, however, is that EU can’t do much to control NSA activities in regards to their actions concerning Europe, because one of the main NSA’s collaborators in mass surveillance programs is Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters. The problem is that secret services in the European Union are strict remit of national governments, and even though EU commission has demanded to view the information that may concern or negatively affect citizens of the EU, its demand was failed to meet. One of the commissioners said, “I have direct competence in law enforcement but not in secret services. That remains with the member states. In general, secret services are national.”
NSA’s policies have been causing serious tensions between EU and US. Cecilia Malmström, the commissioner for home affairs explained that EU’s co-operations with the US in regards of surveillance is based off terrorism threats, and the revelations revealed by Snowden has put NSA’s activities in question. If US wants to overcome the current tensions, NSA must address these accusations and work with the EU in order to be able to collaborate in such way that does not harm EU citizens, yet still allow to prevent possible terrorism threats.
For more information: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/26/nsa-surveillance-europe-threatens-freeze-us-data-sharing