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Shatter hasn’t sanctioned ‘PRISM’ data mining in Ireland– Ó Clochartaigh

11 June, 2013


The CIA has not asked the Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence for permission to mine data on digital banks here in Ireland for surveillance purposes. He made his statement when questioned by Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh today.

The Galway West Senator raised the question during a Seanad debate in light of the allegations being made by former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, that the US Intelligence Agency search through the servers of the large computer multinationals such as Google & Facebook as they collect information in their counter-terrorism efforts.

“It is my understanding that these multinationals have farms of servers in this country. I asked Minister Shatter to tell us if he is aware whether or not the CIA are mining data from these, if so, did they seek his permission as Minister to do so and what are the implications of all this for this State’, asked Sinn Féin’s Junior Spokesperson on Justice, Equality & Defence.

In a comprehensive reply the Minister stated that he does have concerns about some of what has been exposed relating to the level of surveillance that foreign Intelligence Agencies are involved in, especially in light of his present role as part of the Irish  Presidency of the European Union.  Shatter stated it was important that the privacy of Irish citizens is not violated and that he has no evidence of infiltration in the Irish State. The Minister said he will be raising the issue at a meeting of US and EU Justice leaders in Dublin this week.

“Technology is constantly changing and we must deal with the dangers that may come with that’, says Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, ‘however, even though we must be vigilant in protecting the Irish public and the international community, we must also ensure that the likes of the CIA do not contravene Irish and European law and I am satisfied that the Minister confirmed that he has not sanctioned any such activity and that I hope that remains the situation”.

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