European Parliament threatens U.S. with end of pact on data protection

March 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

STRASBOURG, France, March 13 (UPI) -- The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend the Safe Harbor agreement with the United States on data protection.

The resolution passed 644-78 Wednesday following a six-month investigation into the U.S. National Security Agency's activities, the (London) Inquirer reported. The investigation came in the wake of revelations in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"The Snowden revelations gave us a chance to react. I hope we will turn those reactions into something positive and lasting into the next mandate of this Parliament, a data protection bill of rights that we can all be proud of," said Claude Moraes, who represents a London district in the European Parliament and serves as rapporteur for the civil liberties investigation.

The resolution is a warning to the United States that the agreement could be scrapped. Members of Parliament called on the United States to upgrade its standards on data protection.

Officials have also called for common standards in the EU, the EUobserver reported. Critics say U.S. companies like Facebook use countries like Ireland that have weak standards as their European headquarters.

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