Today the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs decided in a meeting to protect citizen’s privacy from intrusion from internet giants like Google and Yahoo. The legislation was moved through the parliament by Germany, one of the countries that had serious reservations about US spying on other diplomats besides its own civilians.
Activist organizations like Access working toward digital freedom had started notifying people via email about the European Parliament’s coming meeting few days ago. Access also created an online form to let the European Parliament know how many people stood up for privacy.
“Better privacy in Europe means better privacy for us all, but the proposal has been under full-scale attack from foreign governments (mostly the US) and corporate lobbyists,” Access wrote in its email notification to subscribers.
The issue of American government spying on civilians and international diplomatic offices came to global attention with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations in June this year. The issue took US and the world by a storm that led to Snowden’s asylum in Russia and reservations of some states over NSA’s breach of privacy of personal and official online activity.
Today’s decision to shield citizen data from internet predators marks a landmark in Snowden’s mission of greater civilian freedom against governmental watchfulness and lack of accountability.