The ruling means that users in Europe and further afield of Microsoft's services — and others, including Apple, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter, with a headquarters in the US — are not immune from having their data handed over to the US government for law enforcement or intelligence purposes.

The section in the so-called Foreign Intelligence Amendments Act (FISAAA) grants the US government sweeping powers to collect foreign intelligence information stored in US Cloud computing providers like Amazon or Google.

The article specifically states the US Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence may authorise jointly, for a period of up to one year from the effective date of the authorisation, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.

A comparison of the leaked draft Canada-EU agreement shows the treaty includes a number of the same controversial provisions, specifically concerning criminal enforcement, private enforcement by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and harsh damages. These provisions are particularly problematic, and were the key reasons why the European Parliament rejected ACTA. However, given the lack of transparency associated with the CETA discussions (both Canada and EU insist that the draft text remain secret), the concerns that CETA may replicate ACTA appear to be very real despite denials from some members of the European Commission.

Här har vi alltså ett kontroversiellt avtal, med lagstiftningsliknande effekter. Utlåtandet om huruvida det är lagligt eller ej hemligstämplas. Diskussionen förs bakom stängda dörrar. Alla som kan ha invändningar luras att tro att frågan inte kommer att behandlas i dag. Och när det ändå sker, då tillåts utskottet inte ens rösta om huruvida mötet skall vara offentligt eller bakom stängda dörrar.

Sedan undrar våra ledare villrådigt och bekymrat vad de skall göra åt EU:s demokratiska underskott...

The Greek crisis has revealed why the euro is the world's most dangerous currency. The euro was built on a foundation of debt and trickery, where economic principles were sacrificed to romantic political visions. The history of the common currency is the story of a good idea that turned into a tragedy of epic proportions.

The volunteer activists drifted away, thinking the battle won, but the corporate lobbyists for software patents were paid to stay on the job. Now they have contrived another sneaky method: the "unitary patent" system proposed for the EU. Under this system, if the European Patent Office issues a patent, it will automatically be valid in every participating country, which in this case means all of the EU except for Spain and Italy.

...

In fact, the EPO's decision about software patents has already been made, and can be seen in action. The EPO has issued tens of thousands of software patents, in contempt for the treaty that established it. (See http://webshop.ffii.org/, "Your web shop is patented".) At present, though, each state decides whether those patents are valid. If the unitary patent system is adopted and the EPO gets unchecked power to decide, Europe will get US-style patent wars.

While many building codes in Europe cap the number of parking spaces in new buildings to discourage car ownership, American codes conversely tend to stipulate a minimum number. New apartment complexes built along the light rail line in Denver devote their bottom eight floors to parking, making it “too easy” to get in the car rather than take advantage of rail transit, Mr. Kodransky said.

While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has generated controversy in New York by “pedestrianizing” a few areas like Times Square, many European cities have already closed vast areas to car traffic. Store owners in Zurich had worried that the closings would mean a drop in business, but that fear has proved unfounded, Mr. Fellmann said, because pedestrian traffic increased 30 to 40 percent where cars were banned.

And I have bad news for the United States: Rebalancing won't be the relatively pain-free process some in Washington hope. Faced with an increasingly ugly bilateral trade deficit, many of the most senior U.S. officials -- including many who should know better -- have repeatedly called on the Chinese leadership to empower Chinese consumers to buy more Chinese-made products and to allow the renminbi, China's currency, to appreciate to help them afford it. The Foreign Policy Survey results reported here also suggest Washington is on solid ground: Nearly 100 percent of the leading economists consulted told the magazine they think the renminbi is undervalued.

But in reality it's hard to imagine a better example of "be careful what you wish for."

European travellers who use their mobile phones abroad could soon see a dramatic reduction in their bills, after the European Commission announced plans to eradicate roaming charges by 2015.

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“Huge differences between domestic and roaming charges have no place in a true EU Single Market,” said vice-president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes. “We need to address the source of current problems, namely a lack of competition, and to find a durable solution. But we are keeping an open mind on exactly what solution would work.”

Dutch women's refusal to seek longer hours has long bewildered economists. In the spring, the United Nations, suspicious that there was something keeping women from full-time jobs, launched an inquiry to see whether the Netherlands was in compliance with the women's rights treaty. A comprehensive 2009 study by Alison L. Booth & Jan C. Van Ours looked at the amount of time women in the Netherlands spend at work compared with women in other European countries. The authors assumed that part-time work was less desirable but ultimately confirmed that Dutch women don't want to spend more time at work. The NIS News Bulletin interpreted the results of the study as: "Attempts to get more women working full-time are doomed to failure because nobody has a desire for this. Both the women themselves and their partners and employers are satisfied with the Dutch part-time culture for women."

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