Privacy – Christian Engström: I can’t say I’m surprised – but we’ve got the United States and its security bureaucrats digging through our e-mail in the European Parliament. Mashable reveals that the United States has demanded information from Google about the communications of two Wikileaks activists. One of them is the Icelander Smári McCarthy (pictured).
These events catch our interest here in Brussels, here at the Pirate Party office in the European Parliament. We know Smári, and we have contacted him as a consultant to produce a report on Iceland as an “information paradise” and a conceivable centre for cloud computing (www.islandsofresilience.eu).
A quick check reveals that we have been in touch with Smári (through Erik Josefsson), via his Gmail account, regarding this report during the time period when the United States was wiretapping his mail.
Now, this is not about keeping secrets. That’s not the point. (And besides, we would never use Gmail for anything sensitive.) But there’s an important issue of principle here.
The United States is breaking into and digging through mail between the European Parliament and people who have been commissioned to produce its political reports. This is completely unacceptable.
The United States is not supposed to spy on political parties. The United States is not supposed to spy on the Members of the European Parliament. The United States is not supposed to break into and dig through the daily routine work of the European legislative body.
For now, I’m mostly pissed off. Later, I will consider how to handle this issue. I will probably raise these events at a formal level with the European Parliament.
[UPDATED: The initial headline of this article was “The United States wiretapped mail of the European Parliament”. It was changed after criticism of being misleading.]