Europeans: beware for updates to ToS and policies!

On the 6th of October 2015, the European Court of Justice will make a decision on whether or not the Safe Harbour treaty between the EU and the US is still valid or not. Logically, the CoJ should decide that the US have never respected any aspect of the Safe Harbour treaty, as the mass surveillance is objectively proven, and as it's proven that most hardware and software from US companies is infected with mass surveillance and cyber warfare elements, that make the Safe Harbour treaty as it exists now, a hoax.

Many US companies know that, and have been updating their ToS and policies, sometimes with new software updates to slip through unnoticed. These contain clauses like "European customers and users acknowledge that they explicitly give permission for the data harvested from them to be stored on US based servers and processed in the US". Examples are Apple, Western Digital, Google, Microsoft, etc... all of which have made such updates recently.

By not accepting these updates, you can demonstrate that you won't just bend over for these corporations that are not even executing a reasonable corporate agenda, but that are just puppets on a string for US military industrial organizations that are arguably not even justified by the US constitution any more, but that have grown so powerful that even the President of the US fears them and refuses to do anything against the massive aggression and belligerent provocations they constantly permit themselves to commit, and force individuals and companies to commit, for no objective goal other than a vulgar display of power.

This goes beyond product or service preferences, this goes beyond politics, this is a matter of helping the companies help themselves to resist the coercion. A discussion on privacy standards and policies as applied by commercial entities is one thing, this is not even about that, this is about whether or not you would allow shady US intelligence agencies to harvest your data, when you don't even trust your own government with that same data. This is about saying no to cyber-terrorism, and about saying yes to your own democratic institutions, because they're the only fair chance you have to keep your civil and human rights safe. The intelligence communities in the EU have been massively infiltrated by US agencies throughout the cold war, and these guys have been continuing their war on the world for the last 25 years. If we're not careful, a situation like in the US might grow, where the intelligence services are definitively above the law, and no democratic institution can control them any more. This would be very bad.

By refusing company policies that support the mass surveillance by the US intelligence community through US companies, and by forcing those companies to store and process your data on European servers, you help those companies escape the undemocratic system they are caught up in, and you provide yourself with a chance that you might have a fruitful dialogue with these companies - through the democratic institutions that deal with that - about how these companies should respect their customers and their customers' privacy and human rights.

The democracy in the US has become so weak that it can't oppose it's own rogue private armies and warlords any more. Let's make sure that this doesn't happen in the EU, and that democracy can prevail.

And let's hope the EuCoJ cuts the cord on October 6th, so that we can renegotiate the whole data mining and privacy thing on a European-wide level. We're the biggest market in numbers of consumers for these products, they should really respect us and respect our democratic rights.

The decision of the EuCoJ will also demonstrate whether or not the CoJ itself is still independent and viable as an organization. The proof that mass surveillance by the US is perpetrated is there and cannot be denied. If the Court decides to not take that proof into account and decide that the Safe Harbour treaty was not broken, that means that they will have made a political decision, which is not what a court should do, in fact, it would mean that the Court would have lost it's legitimation. That would be very bad news for Europe, because it would mean that the European institutions have reached a rotting point beyond what is salvageable, and that a major overhaul of the European institutions is required.

I personally think that there is still democracy in Europe, with both Germany and France having protested the kind of secrecy that is being used by the US in the TTIP negotiations, etc... the European Commission is undoubtedly corrupt beyond salvation, but the member states still seem to have a functional democratic reflex. We'll see, it's pretty important, and it's still a long wait until the 6th...

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when i read the MS ToS (the updated one in preparation of windows 10) it said the those located in the euro-swiss region would have their data stored in server located in ireland. Just checked apple's (while downloading the iOS 9.0.1 patch), same thing.

I think they are taking place right now somewhere in Germany. I donated some money to SumofUs to help sponsor a protest against it. I really hope that Europe will reject that draconian shit. If not then we are f*cked.

That's in general, specific services have updated the policies recently together with a software update, for instance, the use of Cortana in English for users that don't have English as system language. Cortana could not be used by users that didn't have any of the Cortana languages (US/UK English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Simplified Chinese) as system language, or those that had but had loaded "incompatible" language packs (don't ask... Microsoft lolz). There was an update to fix that, so that Cortana can now be used, but it apparently relies on Safe Harbour mechanisms, which the Microsoft legal team (in good right) deems void, so that they are soliciting (well... not really, but you know...) explicit user consent.

Russia has effectively blocked all cloud services that store and process user data of Russian users outside of Russia. The reason why this hasn't happened yet in the EU, despite all of the NSA mass surveillance built into the hardware and software products sold by US based companies, is because of the Safe Harbour treaty. Big US corporations would not want to lose the EU as a market. The EU is a growing market. This year alone, the population of Germany will rise with about 1 million inhabitants, most of them able bodied and technically well educated, running from the war between the US and rivalling oil/drugs/weapons mobs in the Middle East and in Africa. These are mostly people that immediately can be inserted into productive capacities in the EU. Germany for instance seeks to shorten the refugee approval procedure to fill in thousands of job vacancies in the health care sector, but there is also a big demand for technically skilled engineers and technicians. When these refugees are earning money, the market grows considerably in a short period of time. US companies want a part of the action, that's why they're trying to push the TTIP on the one side, and are trying to avoid the annulment of the Safe Harbour treaty. If the Safe Harbour treaty is void, which would be the only legally logical conclusion the CoJ can objectively make, then the Safe Harbour treaty needs to be renegotiated, and the US government will need to provide guarantees against the cyber warfare initiatives of its rogue intelligence community, but that may take a while, because the alphabet agencies are not really under political control any more in the US. US companies want to avoid a situation like in Russia at all cost. That's why Google is building data centers all over Europe, that's why Microsoft and Apple use data centers in Europe, that's why Amazon is ever-present in Europe, but for some services, like Skype or Cortana etc... that is at present not possible, so they're trying out whether or not the users would protest against a Safe Harbour clause in the ToS's and policies, in the hope that they will be able to fall back to that. Some companies, like WD, which have a huge user base in the EU with the MyCloud products for instance, have no European data centers, so if Safe Harbour stops, their service might get banned and they might lose their entire user base over night.

TTIP negotiations are a hoax, there is no transparency at all, the documents to prepare for the negotiations are kept in a "safe room" at the US embassies, and democratically elected members of parliament of European countries and of the European institutions, aren't given access. It's a private affair between the European Commission, which is not democratically elected, and the US government.

The TTIP will come, and it will be bad, because that's what some big US corporations like Monsanto and the US pharma industry have bought themselves a corrupt EU commission for. The EU will however - through the democratic institutions like the EU parliament - rectify whatever is wronged by the Commission. This will take a while and will cause a political crisis in Europe for obvious reasons. Europe has survived many political crises, many of which looked far worse than the TTIP. If the Commission now agrees to the TTIP, which will happen, that doesn't mean that the member states will accept the provisions of the TTIP immediately. For national politicians to accept the TTIP would be political suicide. What the US industrial elite doesn't comprehend, is that they are going to be the first victims of the TTIP, because with the present situation of patents in the EU, if the TTIP for instance would limit the access of the EU population to medicinal products (substituting working medicine - that has become too expensive for everyone because of corporate greed and political stupidity - with psychotropic drugs works in the US, but it doesn't work in Europe, Europe is not the land of the NSA wishing cards with puppies or "happy data privacy day" wishes by the NSA on Twitter... yup, that's actually a thing...), then the EU parliament would immediately react by abolishing medical patents, and the needed medicine would immediately be copied outside of the US. Who knows, maybe the EU will sign the TTIP with the same back thoughts the US had when they signed the Safe Harbour treaty... what goes around comes around?