Trump hogging the headlines
‘‘Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.’’
So, in future, US privacy law protections will just explicitly not apply to non-US citizens and to their ‘‘personally identifiable information’’.
The phone calls and emails of you, me, Australians, Brits, Chinese - or any other friend or enemy du jour of the United States – will be fair game to US intelligence agencies.
This same section 14 provision also scraps the gentlemen’s agreement that members of the Five Eyes intelligence network should not spy on one another.
To be fair, the surveillance infrastructure that Trump has inherited was created by George WBush, and strengthened by Barack Obama.
However, some progress had recently been made in extending US privacy law protections to noncitizens from a list of 26 listed countries, which, unfortunately, doesn’t include New Zealand.
As far as these things can ever be monitored, the US has previously tended to observe the convention of not spying on its Five Eyes allies.
Seemingly, the Trump executive order scraps such protections.
Elsewhere, Canadian e-commerce and copyright expert Michael Geist has indicated that Canadians or EU citizens could well begin to mount legal challenges.
These could be to ensure their personal data is not voluntarily trafficked back and forth by governments acting as if nothing has changed within this new, far more hostile environment.
Thus far though, there hasn’t even been a peep from our government about the potential implications of the Trump decree for our policing and intelligence information sharing agreements with the US.