Statement by EU Commissioner Věra Jourová on the finalisation of the EU-US negotiations on the data protection "Umbrella Agreement"
Wed 9 Sep 2015, 11:29

EU Commissioner Věra Jourová: "I am very pleased that today we have finalised negotiations with the US on high data protection standards for transatlantic law enforcement cooperation.

Robust cooperation between the EU and the US to fight crime and terrorism is crucial to keep Europeans safe. But all exchanges of personal data, such as criminal records, names or addresses, need to be governed by strong data protection rules. This is what the Umbrella Agreement will ensure."

EU-US Umbrella agreement
Wed 9 Sep 2015, 11:30

The European Union and the United States have clinched a deal protecting personal data shared for law enforcement purposes such as terrorism investigations, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The two sides have been negotiating for four years over the so-called "umbrella agreement" that would protect personal data exchanged between police and judicial authorities in the course of investigations, as well as between companies and law enforcement authorities.

New TPP leaked text reveals Countries' Weakening Resistance to Copyright Maximalist Proposals
Wed 5 Aug 2015, 20:40

Thanks to the publication of the leaked TPP document by Knowledge Ecology International there is more insight on the current state of play and why the most recent round of negotiations in Maui fell apart.

Countries are resisting U.S. negotiators' proposal to distort trade secrets law into a weapon against hackers, journalists, and whistleblowers. There are two new proposals in this leaked text, one of which the U.S. itself supports, to allow countries to adopt a narrow safe harbor for whistleblowers in respect of information that exposes a violation of the law. But this is far from enough. The safe harbor isn't compulsory and it doesn't apply to leaks of information that are of vital public interest, but that don't expose illegality—such as the TPP text itself.

Another important area of dissent from the U.S. negotiators' hard line appears in the Enforcement section of the IP chapter, in which every single country is now lined up against the U.S. in favor of a remedy for victims of wrongful copyright abuse. As in previous drafts, most countries remain opposed to a worrying U.S. proposal to limit the Internet retransmission of television broadcasts without the authorization of the rights holder of the broadcast content—and, tellingly, that of the rights holder of the broadcast signal itself.

US and China in urgent negociations on cybersecurity
Sun 20 Sep 2015, 07:00

The United States and China have been engaged in urgent negotiations on a cybersecurity agreement and may announce the terms when the Chinese president Xi Jinping arrives in Washington on Thursday. The agreement could address cyber attacks on power stations, cellphone networks and hospitals, according to unidentified officials cited by the New York Times on Saturday.

President Barack Obama called last Wednesday for an international framework to prevent the internet from being “weaponised” as a tool of national aggression, while holding out the prospect of a forceful US response to China over hacking attacks.

New open letter on TPP to include user safeguards
Tue 22 Sep 2015, 01:40

This letter echoes a call from earlier this year when hundreds of tech companies called on the U.S. Congress to oppose the TPP and the Fast Track bill for doing nothing to promote fair use or other exceptions and limitations to copyright.

In the letter, EFF urges officials to be receptive to new changes that would mandate their countries to pass rules that bring more balance and flexibility to their copyright regimes. The letter makes clear that EFF remains very concerned about other provisions in the TPP, including its retroactive copyright term extension, its ban on DRM circumvention, and trade secret rules that could criminalize investigative journalism and whistleblowers who report on corporate wrongdoing.

This letter has been sent to trade negotiations today as they prepare to re-convene in Atlanta, Georgia to finalize the terms of the TPP.

EU ministers reach agreement on Data Protection Directive for the police and criminal justice sector
Fri 9 Oct 2015, 13:40

Today, Ministers in the Justice Council have sealed an overall agreement on the EU's Data Protection Directive for the police and criminal justice sector. Trilogues between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the Directive will begin later this month.