Reding on Prism

While the world holds its breath and follows the man-hunt for Edward Snowden (surely Hollywood blockbuster material at some point down the line), the main diplomatic aspects are not about extradition agreements between USA and Russia but US-EU-relations. In a recent op-ed (published in many newspapers in many countries), European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding points out the absurd consequence that EU citizens rather than US citizens were the victims of Prism surveillance, but with no access to the legal system and therefore no chance to make complaints. Netopia would like to add that this is another example (from a long list) of how online services challenge geographic jurisdictions. Data protection might be a good start, but the issue is much bigger than that. In fact, establishing rule of law online is essential for the survival of democracy. So, as you watch the Snowden-thriller unfold (and hope he makes it), make sure you don’t miss the international diplomacy behind the drama.