In the wake of the PRISM leaks which alleged that a number of technology companies had collaborated with NSA, an Austrian student group has launched legal action against these companies. Citing the European privacy laws, the group thinks that these companies might have tried for sharing user data with NSA.
The tech companies which were alleged to be a part of the PRISM program include the likes of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo. All these companies have vociferously denied the allegation that they had collaborated with NSA and let the agency tap into their servers.
However, the companies have admitted that they were forced to divulge information in certain cases, when the requests were made through court orders. Banking on this, the Austrian student group named ‘Europe-v-Facebook‘ (EVF) has filed formal complaints against Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and Skype.
According to a statement from the group, “There can in no way be an adequate level of protection if they cooperate with the NSA on the other end of the line. Right now an export of data to the U.S. must be seen as illegal if the involved companies cannot disprove the reports on the PRISM program.”
Since the aforementioned tech companies operate through different subsidiaries in Europe, the group has directed its legal action towards these subsidiaries. It is hard to say what such a legal action would result in but given the fact that Europe has far better privacy laws and their enactment, as compared to US, these companies may soon find themselves in hot waters.