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17-05-2017

New Submission Request - 17 May 2017 Update

On Wednesday 17 May 2017, the case of Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited & Maximilian Schrems, was in for mention before the Honourable Ms Justice Costello.

At issue was a recently declassified Opinion and Order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. All parties were generally of the view that this information should be brought to the attention of the court, save for Mr Shrems who, through correspondence between his solicitors and the other parties, suggested that receiving further information at this stage was inappropriate, that such action would lengthen the process of the case further and that a distinction between law and practice should be drawn. The Data Protection Commissioner (“DPC”) was generally neutral on the issue of this declassified information, but did agree with the Ms Justice Costello that had this information been declassified at the time of the hearing it would have been brought before the court.

The information in question is an Opinion and Order of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which relates to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and a press release, released by the National Security Agency on the issue of Section 702 and “upstream” data on 28 April 2017.

Ms Justice Costello stated that it would be inappropriate for her to continue to draft a judgment in this case in which “about communications” are discussed where there is now a possibility that this information may be out of date.

Ms Justice Costello was minded to suggest that either Facebook or the DPC should formally bring this information before the court. It was contended by counsel for the DPC that Facebook may be the more appropriate party in this regard. Ms Justice Costello stated that if the court does decide to receive this new information, she would need the experts for the parties in the case to comment, perhaps just in writing on these developments.

The case is in for mention again on Friday 19 May 2017, we will continue to monitor this situation closely.

Disclaimer

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