In late 2012, Max Schrems, a privacy advocate and member of the Europe v Facebook group requested that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner investigate the alleged sharing of European Facebook users’ information with the United States National Security Agency (NSA), in the light of the Snowden revelations.
These revelations suggest that Facebook and the US government had violated the Safe Harbour arrangement, which aimed at guaranteeing the privacy of EU citizens and regulates the transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States. When the Irish Data Protection Commissioner refused to investigate the case, Schrems appealed to the Irish High Court. The Court’s decision centred around whether the European Commission’s decision on Safe Harbour in 2000 was binding and therefore not subject to investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.
The Schrems case, to which EDRi-member Digital Rights Ireland is attached as an amicus curiae, will have a hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 24 March.
British spy agencies are under scrutiny in a landmark court case challenging the legality of top-secret mass surveillance programs revealed in documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
A panel of 10 judges at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg held a hearing to examine the U.K. government’s large-scale electronic spying operations, following three separate challenges brought by a dozen human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Privacy International, the American Civil Liberties Union, Big Brother Watch, the Open Rights Group, and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.