Issue 3: “Five-eyed Snoopy” – State on State intelligence gathering and confidential trade secrets.

EU Perspectives

In this third issue on privacy we are entering into the world of spying – which is quite distinct to the issues on privacy discussed in earlier posts.

Given that the EU has no “Homeland Security” or MI5/MI6 types milling outside the Berlaymont building what is the EU perspective on spying?  The EU, after all, is not a State it has no traditional executive branch and no military or intelligence services on which to lean.

The reason the EU takes an interest in spying is because it is an economic power-house. According to 2012 figures, the GDP of the European Union was $ 15,970,000,000,000 compared to the US’s $ 15,940,000,000,000, making the EU the wealthiest region in the world – ahead of the US and China.

The US, China, South America, Israel etc. may not give a flying fig what the EU has to say on the Middle-East, what it’s…

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About Geert van Calster

Geert is an independent legal practitioner and academic. An alumnus of the College of Europe, Bruges (promotion Stefan Zweig), Prof van Calster is the Head of Leuven Law's department of European and international law. Geert is a visiting professor at Monash University (Melbourne) and at the China-EU School of Law in Beijing, and a visiting lecturer at King's College, London. He was previously i.a. a visiting lecturer at Oxford University. He was called to the Bar in 1999 after having worked as of counsel to a City law firm since 1995, and practices in the areas of Private international law /Conflict of Laws; WTO law; (EU) environmental law; and EU economic law.

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