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    New York Times: Rules Shielding Online Data From N.S.A. and Other Prying Eyes Advance in Europe

    The New York Times reports on more reaction to revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s broad surveillance programs:

    BRUSSELS — A panel of European Union lawmakers on Monday night backed a measure that could require American companies like Google and Yahoo to seek clearance from European officials before complying with United States warrants seeking private data.

    The vote, by an influential committee at the European Parliament, is part of efforts in Europe to shield citizens from online surveillance in the wake of revelations about a far-reaching spying program by the National Security Agency of the United States. The legislation has been under consideration for two years.

    The panel, meeting in Strasbourg, France, also endorsed ways of tightening other privacy rules, including fines that could run to billions of euros on the biggest technology companies if they fail to adhere to rules like limiting the sharing of personal data.

    The measure, if accepted by Europe, is expected to face fierce lobbying from American officials and technology companies. The legislation would still require the approval of governments and the full European Parliament. […]

    After the vote, groups representing the technology industry pressed European leaders to oppose some of the measures. […]

    For technology companies, the concern about the pending legislation is likely to focus more on the high fines for infractions, and on restrictions on sharing personal data that could limit their ability to gain revenue from advertising and offering new services. […]

    If the proposal becomes law, existing agreements among individual European governments and the United States might keep data flowing across the Atlantic as part of efforts to fight terrorism and crime.

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