The European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution that would back the Commission should it wish to suspend data sharing agreements with the U.S., such as the passenger name records system, in light of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency.
By Zack Whittaker
The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a joint, cross-party resolution to begin investigations into widespread surveillance of Europeans by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
In the vote, 483 voted for the resolution, 98 against, and 65 abstained on a vote that called on the U.S. to suspend and review any laws and surveillance programs that “violate the fundamental right of EU citizens to privacy and data protection,” as well as Europe’s “sovereignty and jurisdiction.”
The vote also gave backing to the suspension of data sharing deals between the two continents, should the European Commission take action against its U.S. ally.
Thursday’s plenary session highlights the strained diplomatic relationship between the EU and the U.S. over recent revelations that came to light in June.
The U.S. government faces continued criticism and pressure from its international allies following news that its intelligence agencies spied on foreign nationals under its so-called PRISM program. The U.K. government was also embroiled in the NSA spying saga, after its signals intelligence intercepting station GCHQ tapped submarine fiber optic cables under its own secret program, code named Tempora.
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