US surveillance of the internet: major threat to people's privacy or a storm in a tea cup? Opinions have been divided in discussions on our social media platforms. While the Parliament conducts an inquiry to discover the truth about the revelations by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, find out what the people affected have had to say about it.
On Wednesday 9 October MEPs debate whether the Swift agreement – an EU-US cooperation to help detect terrorists plots – should be suspended following the revelations about NSA surveillance. They will vote on it during the next plenary session.
Our LinkedIn followers urged caution. Mogens said: "The truth is that we Europeans cannot defend ourselves against terror in our territory without the support of information from friendly countries." Martin added: “Countries have always spied on other countries, both friends and enemies."
The issue was also extensively debated on Twitter using the #EPInquiry hashtag. Diani tweeted: "We need a free Internet, free media, need to get away from proprietary software from US, balance of privacy and security." Asteris added: "There's a huge difference between 'tracking foreigners' and surveilling all foreigners. I shouldn't have to explain that to any citizen."
On the Parliament's Facebook page the alleged spying by the Americans also proved a hot topic on various occasions. Juan wrote: "They spy on anything, on everything, on anybody. They've become obsessed with 'security'. They mistrust even themselves!" However, others disputed the significance of the revelations. Ilse commented: "Is that what we should worry about? I've got nothing to hide, let them spy away. Why not be concerned about the radio-active leak in Japan, which will affect all of us?"
EP fans on our Google page also showed themselves to be sceptical. Matt said: "Are we so naive as to believe it's just the Americans? Are you cleaner than clean, EU?" Juho added: "My take is that this is horrible news for EU and the Union should definitely react."