E&C Leaders Seek Briefing on EU Decision

Concerned about impact on jobs, commerce
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A bipartisan group of House Energy & Commerce Committee members has requested a briefing from the Commerce Department on a European Union court of Justice ruling that the E.U./U.S. data privacy safe harbor is invalid.

Commerce is working on a successor agreement that would presumably address the court's issues, though it is unclear what assurances the new deal could give on NSA surveillance of data, one of the reasons the court ruled that the safe harbor was not necessarily safe.

In a statement, bipartisan leaders of the committee said they were concerned by the impact of the decision.

“The ripple of uncertainty caused by today’s decision is cause for concern as digital data flows have become a bedrock of commerce," they said. "We must be mindful of any decision that threatens U.S. jobs and the strong commercial ties between our country and the European Union,” they said.

The "they" was basically all the committee leaders on both sides of the aisle: Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.); Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) and ranking member Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

“In this ever-evolving area there have been good conversations across the Atlantic to address privacy," they continued. "Our hope is that European regulators move quickly, working with the Department of Commerce and others here in the U.S., to provide a quick resolution to this unnecessary uncertainty.”

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