EU says US must restore trust after spying revelations

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EU says US must restore trust after spying revelations

Relationship rocked.

The European Commission has put forward a six-point strategy for the United States to rebuild trust lost due to the fallout over spying revelations released by American former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

EC vice-president Viviane Reding denounced the mass surveillance by American spy agencies and said European citizens' trust has been shaken by the Snowden case.

"Massive spying on our citizens, companies and leaders is unacceptable. Citizens on both sides of the Atlantic need to be reassured that their data is protected and companies need to know existing agreements are respected and enforced," Reding said.

To mend fences, the commission suggested the US swiftly adopt the EU's data protection legislative framework, which provides clear and enforceable rules for data that is transferred and processed overseas.

The EU also wants the US to make more use of existing Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) and similar agreements to access data, and strengthen the so-called "Safe Harbour" provisions when EU and American companies exchange data.

The US should also sign up for the Council of Europe's Convention 108, the commission said, which outlines the protection individuals enjoy when it comes to automatic processing of personal data.

It wants US President Barack Obama to address Europeans concerns in his ongoing review of national security agencies.

While the commission's strategy seeks to address the EU's deep concerns over the US' intelligence collection programs, it made clear that data protection standards will not be part of the negotations around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently underway.

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