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ALDE Calls on Commission to clarify issue of US Government Wikileaks subpoenas


12 Jan 2011


Justice & Home Affairs

The ALDE group will examine tomorrow an Oral Question to the Commission on the US subpoenas in relation to Wikileaks and their conformity with EU data protection rules and ask for a debate in plenary on the issue.

Sophie In't Veld (D66, Netherlands), ALDE Vice-President in the LIBE committee, stated: "The EU should as a matter of urgency ask the US authorities for clarifications on the subpoenas imposed on Twitter and most probably on other private companies to provide personal information and communications of persons - including EU citizens - they consider to be related to Wikileaks. The Commission should explain if EU data protection rules have been violated and if the US authorities have jurisdiction to impose the lifting of EU citizens' privacy rights".

"The lack of an identified illegal act and of a judicial enquiry in the US casts a shadow on the whole process of lifting the protection of citizens' privacy for the sake of national security through such subpoena orders" stated Renate Weber (PNL, Romania), ALDE coordinator in the LIBE committee. "The EU should raise with the US authorities the fundamental issue of putting into question those persons who have not committed any crime".

Sarah Ludford (Liberal Democrat, UK) added: "The US administration could have prevented the Wikileaks scandal through better security measures. It is incredible that diplomatic cables could not only be accessed by a junior employee, but downloaded in bulk. It would be advisable for the US administration to concentrate now on tightening their own data security, while respecting citizens' fundamental rights including privacy."

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