Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Dec 2009 18:35 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
Mozilla & Gecko clones The ripples caused by Google's Eric Schmidt's words are spreading further and further throughout the internet. Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development, wrote on his blog, urging people to switch away from Google to Bing, which he claims has a better privacy policy. Dotzler points users to the Firefox Bing add-on.
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Dutch law irrelevant
by jack_perry on Fri 11th Dec 2009 19:46 UTC
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Personally, the most important reason why I find Schmidt's words upsetting is that for me, as a Dutch citizen, the Patriot Act bears absolutely no relevance. If this was really all about the Patriot Act, then at least Google could make sure that data on international users was handled differently...

It is irrelevant whether you are a Dutch citizen, just as it is irrelevant to be visiting a foreign country as a Dutch citizen. You still have to respect the local laws.

How does that matter? Since any Google service probably interacts with servers in the United States, all information passing through those servers must comply with United States Law. One of those laws is the Patriot Act.

For example: I don't think this is a Patriot Act provision, but one major change to FISA law after the attacks of 11 Sep 2001 was to make it easier the government to track terrorist communications (& other criminal activity) that transpire abroad and where information is routed through the United States. I recall cell phone communications being cited as a specific example here, but I don't know the mechanism so if that's bogus don't flame me; I'm just reporting what they said.

The point is: you're living in Holland under Dutch Law, but the people providing your services live in the United States, under US law. The fact that you are a Dutch citizen diminishes the relevance of the Patriot Act no less than if you were physically visiting the US.

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