An judicial opinion from the European Court of Justice’s advocate general could spell serious trouble for U.S.-based tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon.
Advocate General Yves Bot charged U.S. intelligences services with conducting “mass, indiscriminate surveillance” in violation of fundamental rights guaranteed to citizens of the European Union, The Guardian reports. The opinion was issued regarding a claim initially made against Facebook, but the implications of the decision are likely to reverberate through tech firms worldwide.
The opinion is not binding but the court generally follows the advocate general’s recommendation. A final judgement on the matter from the ECJ is expected later this year. If the court endorses Bot’s opinion, it could mean diminished access to both European data for the U.S. National Security Agency and European markets for American tech companies.