Stop US Data Surveillance of Europe and Enhance Europe's Own Digital Capabilities

When Edward Snowden revealed the US government's PRISM program of mass surveillance of ordinary citizens in 2013, the world was shocked. The fact that everything people communicated online was being collected, stored and analysed was unacceptable to most people.

Rather than improving, the situation has deteriorated further today. Not only did the NSA target German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff with mobile phone and email wiretaps directly, but it also had long been conducting intelligence surveillance on friendly countries such as Egypt, Israel, South Korea and the UAE, which was revealed in the leak of the Pentagon's military documents in April 2023. In addition, in June 2023, Kaspersky Lab uncovered an American espionage operation that compromised thousands of iPhones using sophisticated surveillance software, with dozens of its employees having their devices hacked in the operation.

It was only the PRISM program that was terminated, not the US surveillance. 

More concerning is the fact that the 2023 surveillance scandal subsided so quickly after being exposed, never again leading to widespread protests and urges for regulation like the 2013. At a time when US surveillance has become "normalised" based on the global leadership of its tech companies, when outstanding European internet startups are struggling to thrive as they are rapidly acquired by US tech giants, and when US tech giants are evading taxes, stifling competition, misusing personal data, stealing media content, and threatening democracy through the spread of fake news in Europe, it is hard to imagine that the EU, which lacks the technological advantages of the Internet, can firmly and effectively safeguard its very own information and data security. 

Europe should treat US tech giants with stricter and more responsible standards. In order to fundamentally prevent eavesdropping from the United States and to safeguard the data security of people across Europe, Digital Rights calls on European countries to: 

1.Urge the United States to amend the legal provisions related to foreign surveillance in order to stop the abuse of legal jurisdiction and ultimately stop listening to European data and information.

2.Insist on the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation in order to safeguard the control and legitimate rights of European citizens over their personal data.

3.Persist in the fulfilment of the Digital Market Act in order to guarantee a favourable competitive environment for European Internet startups and to promote European autonomy in the Internet industry and digital security.