A new intelligence leak claims that the US is conducting
large scale surveillance of EU governments. Apparently the NSA has
bugged EU offices in the US and in Brussels, intercepting hundreds
of millions of communications. Embarrassing for the US. One German
politician has likened it to the days of the Cold War.
The same source, former US intelligence contractor Edward
Snowden, has previously leaked information about a US government
program, PRISM, through which the NSA gains access to huge amounts
of internet data including emails, chat rooms and video.
Public outcry about PRISM was likely a factor in our federal
government's recent decision not to implement new data
retention laws. The proposed laws would have required
telecommunications data to be stored for two years in case needed
by law enforcement or security agencies.
Law enforcement and security agencies still have the power to
conduct surveillance and obtain information from businesses. But
currently businesses have relative freedom over the length of time
for which they store customer data.
Here are some pointers if your business receives a request for
information from the government.
As soon as you receive a request, make sure you stop any normal
data purge processes and preserve all potentially relevant
Check that the agency in question has the power to obtain the
kind of material it is requesting under relevant legislation.
Sometimes an agency might ask you to provide information
informally or voluntarily. A formal statutory request for
information will normally trump privacy obligations to your
customers. An informal request may not.
Make sure you understand exactly what information is requested.
Insufficient production might expose you to criminal penalties.
Overproduction might result in non-compliance with your privacy
We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're
quite proud of it really.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The legal rights and wrongs of taking photos can be confusing, so what does the law say about photos in a public place?
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).