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23 Oct, 2013

New EU rules to strengthen online privacy in wake of NSA snooping – AP

BRUSSELS, AP, Oct 22, 2013 – A European Parliament committee on Monday approved sweeping new data protection rules that would strengthen online privacy and outlaw the kind of data transfers that the United States used for its secret spying program.

The draft regulation was beefed up to include even more stringent privacy protection and stiff fines for violations after former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about allegedly widespread online snooping by Washington. The legislation will have significant implications for U.S. Internet companies, too.

After 18 months of wrangling and fierce industry lobbying, the legislation easily passed late Monday with a 49-3 committee vote, with one abstention. Parliament still needs to hold a plenary vote and seek agreement with the EU’s 28 member states though — which is likely to result in some changes.

Read the rest: Top EU panel beefs up data protection laws | The Japan Times.